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Thread: Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 DG HSM II Lens

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    Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 DG HSM II Lens

    Has anyone been able to acquire one of these recently released UWA zoom lenses?

    From the limited number of reviews I've seen, it is substantially brighter and sharper around the edges wide open at all focal lengths than its predecessor.

    I'm keen to hear from anyone who has actually used one.

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    I would love to upgrade from my original one too if the latest lens is a vast improvement worthy of upgrading

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    Yes, I'm very interested in this one as well. The original was an excellent lens and indications are the new one is even better. I asked Andrew at Digital Camera Gear about it and they haven't landed in Australia yet Apparently Sigma have given an eta. of mid-August.

    John


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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    I've been meaning to pick up one of these for a while now.... Nice to know that there is a new one that's coming out!

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    I'm watching with interest as well, noticed Digidirect and DD photographics have prices up.
    Phil

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    Member kaiser's Avatar
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    Hope they have kept the min. focus distance - its quite a fun lens to use that way.
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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    Watch this space, I took the plunge and ordered one, it arrived yesterday. Looks good on the 5D through the Viewfinder at least, I'll take and post some pics as soon as I get the chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild View Post
    Watch this space, I took the plunge and ordered one, it arrived yesterday. Looks good on the 5D through the Viewfinder at least, I'll take and post some pics as soon as I get the chance.
    Good one ,phild! I look forward to seeing the pics!
    I'll be in Kathmandu in early December and am wondering if this lens could pull in some interesting shots.

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    Hi phild
    I was wondering if you have managed to try out the new Sigma 12-24 II.
    I'm keen to hear your opinion even if you don't have time to post pics yet.

    If anyone else has had an opportunity to use this lens, please feel free to share your opinions.

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    Me too! I'm considering picking one up for my holiday trip along with the 35L

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    I've been a little slack, I took some images, nothing special, a couple of test shots. Disappointing is the only word I can use, having only just downloaded them.

    The images are simply resized no PP, there is unacceptable softening at the sides (approx 1/4 of the frame), more so at the left than the right. The lens was stopped down to F9 so I would have expected good sharpness at that aperture. Flare is a problem, any stray sunlight light on the face of the lens causes problems, nowhere near as good as any of my Canon glass.

    CA is well controlled looking at these images, but CA is easily removed, that level of softness isn't.

    I'll be contacting DD to see what, if anything, can be done.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by phild; 01-10-2011 at 5:08pm.

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    OK here a couple of crops, one from the centre and one from the left of the image.

    Note that although the crops are different sizes both are 100%
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by phild; 01-10-2011 at 5:09pm.

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    Thanks Phild
    I share your disappointment as I had hoped to be using a lens that went as wide as 12mm.
    The softness and the flare issues are big deterrents.
    What focal length were you using for the shots you posted?

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    Member KeeFy's Avatar
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    FIRST 2:
    EXIF Sub IFD
    Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) 1/800 second ===> 0.00125 second
    Lens F-Number / F-Stop 9/1 ===> ƒ/9
    ISO Speed Ratings 200
    Original Date/Time 2011:08:12 14:04:34
    Shutter Speed Value (APEX) 630784/65536
    Shutter Speed (Exposure Time) 1/789.61 second
    Aperture Value (APEX) 417792/65536
    Aperture ƒ/9.11
    Flash Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length 24/1 mm ===> 24 mm
    Image Width 5616 pixels
    Image Height 3744 pixels

    Last photo:
    Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) 1/250 second ===> 0.004 second
    Lens F-Number / F-Stop 9/1 ===> ƒ/9
    ISO Speed Ratings 200
    Original Date/Time 2011:08:12 14:00:45
    Shutter Speed Value (APEX) 524288/65536
    Shutter Speed (Exposure Time) 1/256 second
    Aperture Value (APEX) 417792/65536
    Aperture ƒ/9.11
    Flash Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
    Focal Length 12/1 mm ===> 12 mm
    Image Width 5616 pixels
    Image Height 3744 pixels

    I'm a little disappointed as well! Waiting for more reviews to appear before i decide. I really would like a 12mm lens on a FF as well.
    Last edited by KeeFy; 04-10-2011 at 10:09am.

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    Just an update on the Sigma 12-24. I contacted DD Photographics and they kindly sent me another 12-24 which I found to be no better than the first sample.

    I then elected to return the 12-24 and pay the difference on an L series 16-35 which I know will perform.

    That I was able to exchange the lens in a timely and inexpensive manner is a good reaon to buy locally and credit to DD Photographics for the manner in which they helped resolve the problem.

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    Maybe you should have tried the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8

    I find that mine is amazingly sharp from corner to corner.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata View Post
    Maybe you should have tried the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8

    I find that mine is amazingly sharp from corner to corner.
    I believe phild have mentioned he's using a 5D, which is a full frame body. Don't think the 11-16 will work on it without serious vignette.
    Last edited by andylo; 05-12-2011 at 4:31pm.

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    Sorry, my bad.
    It will work at 15-16mm though.

    The Canon L will be your best bet then, although most UWA's will have some distortion and softness in the corners, especially when used at their widest settings and some have less than others.

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    my original 12-24 Sigma works best at f11, not at f9. I had 2 copies the first one which I lost in Vietnam was even sharper than the 2nd one I bought as a replacement.

    however, there is a flaw in your quick cropping test phild - its better to test the crop of the lens in a composition that has more uniformity - ala the stupid brick wall test that everyone does - because it works.....I would have tried again before I returned it.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    .....

    however, there is a flaw in your quick cropping test phild - its better to test the crop of the lens in a composition that has more uniformity - ala the stupid brick wall test that everyone does - because it works.....I would have tried again before I returned it.
    Actually this is the flawed method of testing a lens.
    It's great if you shoot flat field subject matter, and for that you certainly require a lens that has been designed with minimal to zero field curvature, but I dare say that the Sigma probably hasn't been.

    To test for proper sharpness for the lens a proper subject needs to be shot.
    It's almost guaranteed that the Sigma has some field curvature inherent in the design, so shooting a brick wall will only serve to indicate that this lens is inappropriate for this purpose.

    The correct manner in which to determine that the lens is flawed(probably decentered looking at the image where the cropped images were also shown) is to also focus at the area where the softness occurs too.
    That is, in the lower LH corner where the lens is clearly very soft, is where an alternate point of focus should have been attempted.
    If the lens has a strongly curved focal plane, then it will still focus correctly and render sharp detail at that point of focus, but softness may occur in other sections of the frame as a consequence.
    If the lens is defective either by design(unlikely) or by manufacture(decentering) then it will still not render any usable detail at this point of focus.

    The sharpest point of focus seems in the image of the swamp seems to be dead centre on the bunch of weeds half way between the swamp and the bottom edge of the frame.

    Either way it's now probably too late as Phil seems to have returned the lens.

    A brick wall can be handy in determining one aspect of how a lens renders a scene, which helps to understand what the lens can be capable of, but for overall general use proper subject matter is the preferred method.

    But I do agree that f/11 and maybe even f/16 may have been a better aperture value to test with too(especially on a full frame camera).

    Lens flare seems to be a big issue as well.

    Just did a quick search on PZ to see how their lens fared.
    If you take PZ's run down of the lens:

    The center quality is nothing short of outstanding at 12mm and the border quality is also surprisingly high even at max. aperture. However, the corners are rather soft even at f/8. Regarding the high field curvature it is advisable to stop down to f/11 where the lens manages to deliver "good" albeit not great corners.
    as expected the corners will suffer due to the extreme with super high central resolution(tested on 5DII).
    Field curvature seemed to kill corner sharpness but there was also some decentering evident too as they explain that the RHS on their lens was worse than the LHS.. seems to be in opposition to Phil's images.
    They then go on to explain that from about 16mm focal length range, it's as good as the 16-35L in terms of performance, anyhow.
    But with the Sigma you can go wider if you like.
    So in this case(if their test results are true and accurate) the Sigma makes good sense, as it performs as well as the 16-35L in the overlap focal lengths, but with the added bonus of going wider if the need arises.
    How may folks use their UWA lenses at the long end of their focal length range
    Also, if the Sigma's apparent decentering issue is resolved at the manufacturing stage by Sigma, then this lens will be the UWA of choice. If a purchased lens has any issue, then Sigma should be able to correct it on a singular basis under warranty.

    I would say that apart from the issue of filters, this lens would seem to be the one to go for, but be sure to get it from the approved distributor channel for the sake of the warranty!
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