A top pick

Started Aug 13, 2011 | User reviews
whyukon
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A top pick
Aug 13, 2011

I carefully researched and read all the reviews of available super-wide zooms before settling on this one. There is a lot of choice now, and each lens seems to have its own strengths and weaknesses. However, in my opinion, this lens is still a standout.

The construction quality of this lens is far beyond what one would expect for a lens of this price. It feels incredibly solid, like the high-quality prime lenses of many years ago.

Both the zoom and the focusing ring are very smooth-operating, and perfectly weighted. Focusing is extremely fast, accurate and silent, and full-time manual focusing is possible. The lens has a window with a distance scale.

Distortion is pretty well-controlled, for a super-wide. There is some noticeable distortion at the widest setting, but of course it is correctable. The overall image quality is quite good for such a wide lens, especially at the short 10mm setting, which is where this lens will likely get the most use.

The front lens element has a significant convex curvature, but fortunately Sigma has designed the lens so that you can attach a filter. The front is non-rotating so you can use a polarizer if you wish (keeping in mind the limitations of polarizers at super-wide settings), or just attach a high-quality UV or clear filter for protection.

Sigma includes both an effective lens hood and a nice soft-sided case.

This lens is very nice to use, and when taking its price into account, is an outstanding value. If you are looking for an APS-C super-wide zoom, take a good look at this one.

Problems:

The image quality while quite good, still has some weak areas. Some of the competition may offer somewhat better image quality, or a larger maximum aperture. However, those lenses will likely be inferior to this Sigma in other ways, or cost significantly more. Determine your personal priorities before making your choice.

 whyukon's gear list:whyukon's gear list
Canon EOS 60D Olympus PEN E-PM1 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM
whyukon's score
5.0
Average community score
4.4
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