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Sigma 20 1.8 ---- Nikon 20 2.8

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by mood, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    been looking at 20mm primes

    was ready to get the Sigma 20 1.8, but the reviews are mixed
    and it has that huge 82mm front

    the Nikon 20 2.8 is much smaller, but a little over a stop slower
    seems to be better reviewed than the Nikon AFD 24 and 28 2.8 models

    let me see some samples from both please
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2008
  2. I've had both.

    First I got the Sigma 20mm f/2.8, but several issues turned me off. First of all, it's huge and heavy. That may not bother some, but I was looking for a wide angle lens to take backpacking. Counting every ounce, at over 1lb., that was an issue. I found it not that sharp wide open, much better by f/2.8. Stopped down further, optically it was very nice. I also hated its focusing mechanism. The clutch on the lens does nothing more than disengage the barrel from the focusing mechanism. This means that you have to switch both the camera AND the lens to switch between AF and MF. Again, this may not bother some, but several times I found myself with the camera in MF and the lens in AF and then you can't focus at all!

    I loved the color and contrast. I took it on one trip before I sent it back:



    Now that Sigma has raised its prices ($459 now compared to $399 a month ago), I think the lens is even less attractive. An HSM upgrade would re-peak my interest.

    I replaced it with a Nikon 20mm f/2.8 D that I bought from jjdesanto here on the Cafe for $320 shipped (new it's still quite expensive). I find it sharper wide open (even if it is a stop-and-a-third slower) and its small enough to fit in my pocket. At only 9.5 oz., I don't think twice about adding it to my pack. I find the colors cooler than the Sigma, and I have to increase contrast in post, but all in all, it has become my favorite lens and comes closest to creating images the way I see them.

    NIKON D80    ---    20mm    f/5.6    1/15s    ISO 100

    NIKON D80    ---    20mm    f/4.0    1/15s    ISO 640

    NIKON D80    ---    20mm    f/3.5    1/60s    ISO 800

    Again, most important for me was size, weight and sharpness wide open. The Sigma is becoming a popular lens with good reason and others seem to be having more success with it at f/1.8 than I did. Personally, I liked the Nikon better. YMMV.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2008
  3. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Honestly, the Nikon will probably have the advantage wide open. But I still like my Sigma and you've seen my examples. If you want, I can post them again. Here's one you haven't seen.


  4. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    thanks Rich

    and I agree with many of your points
    I think the main obstacle is the size, howvere I will check that out at BH this weekend

    I do like the faster 1.8, as I love to shoot limited DOF
    but if it isn't usuable, why bother

    that being said, all your pics are great, Sigma and Nikon
  5. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    hey Francis
    I knew, and was hoping, you chimed in

    your night shots, and a couple from pfsell, made me look at the Sigma to begin with

    would love to see some more at various F-stops when you have time..
  6. I had the Nikon 28 f/2.8 and LOVED it! It was also Sophie's favorite lens on the D80 because she could use that combo without my help. Here are some samples from it....it's long gone though. I sold because of too much overlap and I liked the sigma 30 more.




    I don't have any landscape photos....so this is the best I can do.
  7. One more cause she was being cute. (again, the 28mm 2.8)

    NIKON D80    ---    28mm    f/2.8    1/200s    ISO 500
  8. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    That's a great shot! :biggrin:
  9. I am enjoying the Nikon 20/2.8- it is pretty wide on the D700.

  10. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    nice Jeff

    I know 20mm is not that wide on my D300, but I don't shoot wider than 18mm anyway
    next year when I upgrade to FX, it will be plenty wide enough

    anyone have some low light shots ??
  11. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    The light be low :wink:


  12. Here are a few taken after dark-


  13. I have the AF version of the 20/2.8, but actually prefer my trusty old AIS version as I see no real reason for AF at these wide angles and I love the marks on the aperture ring to help judge DOF.

    Just a couple silly examples.

    Here's one shot on 35mm film:


    And one this weekend for my friend who wanted a shot of his wheelie-bar wheels to send back to his sponsor:

  14. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Killer shot, Mike!
  15. I've been thinking about this lens, too. I wonder if it can be "dialed in" on the newer bodies. I "dialed in" my 70-200 and it made a significant difference. I doubt the size would prevent me from carrying it around, but if it isn't sharp wide open, then I'd hesitate to pick one up.

    BTW...does anyone have a shot of this lens mounted on a camera? I'd love to see one.
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