Sigma 8-16mm Review (Long with many images)

Started Jun 8, 2010 | Discussions thread
Severian The Lame
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Sigma 8-16mm Review: Distortion, Flare, and CA
In reply to Severian The Lame, Jun 8, 2010
  • Distortion

    • There is a tiny amount of pincushion at 16mm, but not usually relevant.

    • There is the expected barrel distortion at 8mm. It’s not horrendous but it can get your attention. A lot of the time the image will be so overwhelmed with edge distortion and perspective effects that the barreling won’t be noticed.

    • o I took several test shots to demonstrate the distortion at 8mm, but none of them were interesting. The best examples came by accident while trying to shoot something else. Those examples are really striking and reveal a much more complicated distortion at 8mm than anything I was expecting.

  • Flare

    • It can exhibit some rainbow colored flare when very intense lights sources are at or very near an image corner. This flare is many stops less bright than its source and is thus not very visible if its source is not too blown out. However, let the light source (the sun, for instance) be very blown and then the flare becomes glaring.

    • But that little green golf ball on the purple tee is basically about as bad as it gets without getting into really contrived situations (I won't bore you with the night shots with flare induced by an LED flashlight.)

    • Due to the front element and the extremely wide FOV, there can be bits of flare even when the source of the flare is not in the image itself or even close to being in the image. This is especially true at 8mm.

Here that little red football by the bus is caused by the sun which is very far out of the frame.

    • Here's a counterexample. The stadium lights below on the left are the kind of night lighting that can cause multiple ghosts on my Sigma 50/1.4 or Canon 28-135 IS, but they present no problem for the 8-16.

    • Bottom line, I don’t consider the flare that it exhibits to be all that bad. But it can sneak up on you sometimes when shooting in intense sunlight even when you think the sun is well outside of the frame. It’s just one more little thing (among many) to keep in mind while composing your shots with this lens.

  • Chromatic Aberration

    • CA is omnipresent but not bad. I routinely correct every shot no matter what focal length or aperture –though admittedly my lens seems to be stuck at 8mm and f/8. Here are two 100% crops of a 7D images and are examples of basically as bad as it gets!

This is excellent for a zoom lens. My EF 70-200 f/4 IS often produces a bit more CA than this. Even pixel peeping on a 7D there is little to object to.

Next post: centering and focusing.

[Unfortunately I have to sleep and go to work, etc. So it will be hours before I can make my next post.]

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