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I have a Sigma 12-24

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by smodak, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. smodak


    Jun 11, 2007
    Franklin MA US
    from my film days...that I have not really used much. I have not used any other 12-24s (the nikons or the Tokinas). How do you think the Nikons and the Tokinas compare to the Sigma 12-24? I know about the filter and bulk issue, how do you think the quality is on a DSLR compred to the others.

    I am thinking about getting back to WA lens shooting, and cannot decide whether to sell the Sigma (I do not shoot film anymore) and get the tokina or just keep it.
  2. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i can't speak from experience but word has it, this may very well be the best of bunch ....are satisfied with the images from this lens?
  3. Every so often I write a little epistle about the Sigma 12-24 on one of the photo forums I frequent. Sometimes I take a little heat and sometimes I get ignored. ANyway, here's my story and I'm stikin' to it:

    I was in Taiwan, working a contract with the Taiwan Air Force, during a good part of 2004. Shortly after the Nikkor 12-24 was introduced I was looking at it and the Sigma one Saturday. The store owner let me take each outside and shoot a series of the same shots with each. My impression was that the Nikkor would be way better. I liked the constant f4, size and weight, and the handling. I also liked the balance, handling, and ergonomics of the Sigma. That night in my hotel I was comparing the images.

    As I remember the results, the Nikkor showed great IQ and color fidelity, great handling (as mentioned), some minor odd distortion I've seen called mustache distortion, and some serious CA on some images. IQ and sharpness was better on the long end than on the short end and maybe a tad better than the Sigma. I'd have to have used a tripod to be more definitive.

    The Sigma was equally sharp but I thought that the color fidelity was a bit warmer. There was very little distortion at any focal length, the rectilinearity is very impressive (enough reason by itself for some photographers), there is almost zero CA especially as you increase the FL. Price was not an obstacle and I bought the Sigma after a few days of thought. No regrets but the odd front end is really a turn off for some.

    As the Sigma 10-20, Tokina 12-24, and Tamron 11-18 appeared, I was able, through the kindness of the folks at Ace Photo, to take enough different kinds of images of these newcomers to convince me that the Sigma is still the pick of the litter. YMMV.

    The upside is that, given a good example of any of these lenses, you would have a fine lens. Not a dog in the bunch. If I had to rate them:
    1) Sigma 12-24 because of its IQ, rectilinearity, and lack of CA
    2) Tokina for IQ and value
    3) Nikkor 12-24 for IQ and ergonomics (price holds it back)
    4) Sigma 10-20 for IQ, handling, and design improvements
    5) Tamron for IQ (underrated and not well known)
  4. Preston


    May 2, 2005
    Reno, NV
    I remember reading a comparison artilce about WA zooms in which the Sigma 12-24 beat them all but they were all very close. If you have no problems with it or don't need a different feature then I would stick with it.
  5. I have serious issues with the 12-24's handling of flare - it's frankly terrible. I have a Sigma 10-20 that I prefer to use most of the time as it handles flare much better, has filter capability (I use grad NDs but largely no polarizer) and is somewhat smaller.

    I keep the 12-24 because it is a full frame lens and does some amazing things at 12mm - this is one of the reasons I maintain film cameras. When it comes to a DSLR though, I almost always use the 10-20. Although it has some distortion that the 12-24 does not have, it's kept in sufficient control that I have only had to correct it in a couple of images.
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