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on 1 January 2013
Having read many mixed reviews I took a chance on this lens and have taken about 500 shots so far using a Canon 5D2 (full frame sensor).

Its not an inexpensive lens but compared with some Canon L glass its also not that expensive for the quality it produces. 12mm is massively wide, possibly too wide for some landscape shots as it distorts noticeably towards the left and right edges but for architecture it is simply superb with perfectly straight lines giving beautiful perspective.

Sharpness: Very sharp at the centre (I'm guessing at full circle to the top and bottom of the frame) and local sharpening in PP fixes any noticeable softness in the corners. Slightly soft wide open but excellent at f8 - f11.

Flare: A criticism of this lens which I've encountered a couple of times with direct sun just in or just outside the frame. To get such a wide angle it has a very short lens hood so I guess thats something you have to live with. Just be aware that it can and does happen although I've taken shots right into the sun without any problems at all.

Build: Build quality is excellent, reassuringly heavy but not built like a brick, no lens creep and very smooth zoom.

A couple of significant advantages with such a wide angle lens, the depth of field is massive, hand shake is hardly an issue at all (no IS on this lens) and I've taken tack sharp shots at 1/6th sec, f11, 100 ISO in fading light.

I also have a Canon 17-40mm L but not happy with it at all at wide angle, its very soft in the corners and this Sigma lens simply walks all over it at 17mm so together with a 24 - 105mm L, it makes a perfect combo.

I definitely recommend this lens and I purchased through Amazon knowing that I would pay a bit more but could return and have it replaced if my copy was soft (Sigma quality control is sometimes lacking) but no need to as it happens and despite the minor shortcomings above which can mostly be corrected in post processing 5 stars based on value for money as I cant give a 4.8 - this lens is definitely on par with Canon L glass.


A month on and I'm even more impressed, sharpness in the centre circle to the top and bottom edges of the frame is as good as any of my L lenses and very little softness in the corners. An excellent lens for the price allowing a lot of creativity previously out of bounds ...
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on 8 March 2017
Brilliant lens, not the fastest but good image reproduction across whole lens
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on 28 June 2017
As expected - brilliant piece of kit :)

Build quality is sturdy and looks amazing
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on 18 June 2013
The Sigma 12-24mm is well built and feels very comfortable when attached the A99, nicely balanced. I ligther than the 16-35mm, noticably so. Both the focusing and zoom rings are smooth and easy to use. The AF is very fast and I've yet to see it hunt.

The colours it produces are very good but not as warm as the 16-35mm. The IQ is very impressive but not as good as the 16-35mm and it gets a little soft in the corners but you have to look hard to notice. I've worked between F8 and F16 so far and like the results. CA's are very well controlled, again not quite up to the 16-35mm.

The biggest thing you will notice compare to the 16-35mm is the level of distortition especially between 12mm - 16mm. It is noticable but not excessive and lends itself to a lot of creative options but can be corrected in PP.

Forget using filters it is not going to happen.

I'm actually considering selling my 16-35mm as this lens ends where my 24-70mm starts off from. I'm going to have a bit more of a play before I make the final decision but the extra 4mm over the 16mm make so much difference.

Hope that helped, any more questions let me know.


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on 16 May 2013
Having recently upgraded from a D300 to a D800, and finding that my Sigma 10-20mm lens (a great lens, by the way) was no longer of much use on the full-frame body, I looked around for a similar wide-angle zoom to replace it. This Sigma 12-24mm fitted the bill, it seemed, so I bought one, and am delighted with it. This is the Mk 2 version - the Mk 1 didn't receive particularly good reviews - and Sigma appear to have completely redesigned it. I've only used it a few times so far, but the results I've obtained have pleased me no end.

At 12mm on full frame, it is very, very wide! It suffers from the usual geometric distortions characteristic of all wide-angle lenses if not pointing horizontally, but these can easily be corrected in Photoshop. Barrel and pincushion distortions are small and well controlled, and can also be corrected, if required, in Photoshop. There is slight evidence of some vignetting at the 12mm end, but again, that's really quite minimal - I'm being quite picky here! It focuses quickly and quietly, and the resultant images are nice and sharp when viewed at 100%, with only a slight softening at the corners. Most of my photography is landscape so that doesn't present a problem for me.

It's quite a large lens, but balances nicely on the D800. It has a built-in lens hood which is not removable, which serves also to protect the large bulbous front element. Because of this, you can't use regular screw-on filters on this lens. There is a curious lens cap that fits over the lens hood. This is quite large, and unfortunately doesn't easily slip into a shirt pocket (which is where I normally would keep the lens cap when using the camera). The lens hood is necessary, though, as the lens does have a tendency to flare if the sun is anywhere near the front of the scene, so a little care is needed when using the lens, to avoid this.

Overall, I am delighted with this lens. It is unique in the range of focal lengths it covers, and has enabled me to take images that would otherwise not be possible. It complements my Nikkor 28-300mm VR lens very well, and the two lenses together provide me with an ideal travel kit.
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on 3 September 2013
I am usually a buyer of Tamron lenses but most of their offerings in the wide angle category are not full frame compatible so I decided to buy my first Sigma lens for my Alpha 850.

The lens is quite large and made of metal, it weighs a fair amount because of this and the 17 lens elements needed to make this lens function certainly can be felt when using it. It does feel solid and well made though with no play in the zoom and focus rings. The petal hood is actually a solid part of the lens barrel and cannot be removed, the objective lens inside moves in and out when zooming which seems a bit odd. There is a kind of metal ring which is supplied with the lens which goes over the hood to allow the lens cap to be fitted to protect the lens.

The objective lens is very bulbous like a fisheye and because of this and the fixed hood you will not be able to use screw in filters or use a screw in filter holder for ND grads. This is a real pity for such a wide angle lens as landscapes and architecture will be most people's reasons for buying this lens and the ability to use filters with it would have been excellent. The other issue with the objective lens on this Sigma is that it does suffer from lens flare quite badly, this is because the hood is so shallow as it has to be to achieve the 12mm wide angle setting. Consequently care has to be taken when shooting in strong sunlight side on as a long streak of flare can be seen across the frame which if you are taking particularly architectural pictures can be quite difficult to clone out. Also a fair amount of image distortion is noticeable at 12mm, at about 16mm though it goes away and doesn't seem to reappear for the rest of the zoom range.

This lens is impressively wide angle and the sharpness of the lens when stopped down is excellent, vignetting is pretty low on a full frame body and is soon cleared away by stopping down a tad and CA seems to be well controlled in high contrast situations. The focus motor is pretty quick and quiet which adds to the overall quality 'feel' of the lens.

To sum up this lens is well worth considering if you have a need to do wide angle work but keep an eye on it's price as it does fluctuate massively (nearly £200 I have seen) so keep an eye on the price before ordering.
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on 3 September 2017

If you are looking for optical quality, this is not your lens. I don't want to say it's bad glass, but it doesn't really shine in the optical section.
Corner sharpness is not very good at any aperture.
Color and contrast are not bad, nor remarkable either.
Distortions are heavy but not uneven, and easily correctable, as vignetting.
AF accuracy is soso.
Even using Live view contrast detect focusing, it's not as reliable as whatever "L"canon glass I've ever used,
especially in low light situations.
Let me say that I mostly use this lens for landscape photography, so this downside does not bother me too much.
It's especially difficult to get everything in focus all across the frame, especially if you have different focal planes. You'll need to be very cautious about the hiperfocal distance.
All of these things will make you take your time to use it properly at any given situation.
Also, consider that you'll have to get a special adaptor and holder if you want to use filters.

Now the good stuff.

Great focal range. If You like going really wide, you'll love it.
Value for money. If you can afford the canon 11 24, probably it's way better but remember it's 4 times more expensive.

Now let me add one consideration, since I've read some comments comparing this lens to the canon 17 40 and I disagree. I own both of these lenses, and have tried two different copies of the sigma. I think the canon is a better lens, optically, and I'll tell you why.
I have tested both lenses at 17, 21 and 24 mm. At 17mm, f/11,(f/14 for the sigma, as the canon is f/4 at 17 and the sigma f/5)
it's a tie; the canon being slightly better on one side, the sigma on the other. But extreme corners resolution is better on the canon, no matter what aperture you use. From 19mm onwards, the canon wins hands down, everywhere. The canon is an old design compared to the sigma, and it's not a very good lens regarding its sharpness, particularly in the corners, so this doesn't speak very well in favour of the sigma.
Of course, the canon can't go wider than 17mm. That's the huge advantage of the sigma, regardless of its sharpness.
And the main reason why I keep it.

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on 12 March 2013
Excellent Lens, The sharpness is better than my L series canon lenses, you get lens flare but you will with any wide angled lens
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on 17 August 2013
As the Sigma leaflet says - filters are not recommended for this lens, although the extension cap is fitted for a 82mm filter. Any filter gives heavy vignetting at all focal lengths except 24mm, because one has to have the extender cap on, so it's impractical. Trying garden shots I held a Cokin P 3-stop filter in front, just touching the lens hood top and bottom, and it worked. There is just enough dark area to cover the view. 1/2 inch of Sellotape joining top of lens hood/top of filter did its job, unseen - BUT - it only works between 17-24mm; any shorter and the sides come in. Given that, it does deepen colours etc, so it might be a handy answer on a bright landscape. The lens itself is brilliant on a Canon 6D
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on 28 October 2014
As far as I can tell as an amateur (and not so stupid I can't pick out faults) this is a fabulous lens. There has been a lot of nit-picking in reviews about it but I'm more than pleased with it. Of course, with such a wide angle you need to stop down but that is really no big deal.
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