The 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASPHERICAL HSM
This Sigma super wide angle lens signals the start of a new breed of lenses designed specifically for Digital SLR’s with a crop factor of 1.5 or 1.6x.
Until now, users of DSLR’s have had to make do with a maximum of 16mm focal length unless they were prepared to fork out a lot of money on a specialised fisheye lens.
More and more manufacturers are producing a line of lenses that concentrate on the “super-wide” end of the spectrum and this Sigma super wide angle lens is no exception.
Sigma Japan announced the 12 – 24 mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM as a lens that is aimed at providing a good wide angle range for digital SLR’s as well as ultra wide angle for film SLR’s. On Sigma’s own SD9 digital SLR (with a 1.7x crop) this lens would provide the same field of view as a 20-41 mm lens, on the Canon EOS-20D/350D this would be approx. 19-38 mm. This new lens will be available in Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Pentax (non-HSM) and Minolta (non-HSM) mounts, and has an estimated Japanese list price of 99,000 YEN ($689, £340 or €450).
- Lens Construction – 16 Elements in 12 Groups
- Angle of View – 122 – 84.1 degrees
- Number of Diaphragm Blades – 6 Blades
- Minimum Aperture – F22
- Minimum Focusing Distance – 28cm / 11 in.
- Maximum Magnification – 1:7.1
- Filter Size – Rear Type (Gelatin Filter)
- Dimensions – Diameter 87mm X Length 102.5mm 3.4 in. x 3.9 in.
- Weight – 600g / 21.6 oz.
- Corresponding AF Mounts – [12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASPHERICAL HSM] SIGMA, CANON, NIKON (D) [12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG ASPHERICAL] MINOLTA(D)Mounts, PENTAX
The appearance, specifications, and the like of the product are subject to change for improvement.
The reviews on this lens have been a mixed bunch. For the Canon and Nikon users, it doesn’t compare to their equivalents (Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED $1000) and (Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM $800) for quality and ease of use.
The Canon and Nikon lenses are smaller, faster (f/4), lighter, and take real filters. In addition, the Canon covers a wider angle and wider zoom range.
This Sigma is heavier, bigger, slower (max aperture F/5.6) and can only take gel filters attached to the rear. You can’t rotate a polarizer filter while it’s on the camera, nor can you use graduated filters with the Sigma super wide angle lens.
The bottom line is I would go for the Canon or Nikon if your budget can stretch to that, but for around $570, it is worth a look at as a strong alternative if budget is an issue.
Buy the Sigma Super Wide Angle Lens from B and H Photovideo for the best price.