Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM £550, $700

This Sigma of­fers the widest view­ing an­gle of any DX-for­mat lens, with­out re­sort­ing to fish­eye op­tics

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Straight out of the box, the Sigma 8-16mm looks phys­i­cally longer than most com­pet­ing DX lenses. How­ever, the main rea­son for this is that the petal-shaped lens hood is built into the front of the lens – the slip-over lens cap fits on top of it. The lens hood helps to give full-time pro­tec­tion to the very bul­bous front el­e­ment, but the downside is that there’s no at­tach­ment thread for adding fil­ters. Hav­ing said that, the two-part lens cap can act as a 72mm fil­ter holder, but you can only use this at the long end of the zoom range, other­wise se­vere vi­gnetting will oc­cur.

Build qual­ity, han­dling and the speedy, near-silent ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem are re­fined and a close match to other Sigma lenses in the group. While it loses out at the long end of the zoom range, the 8mm zoom set­ting gives an in­cred­i­ble view­ing an­gle of 115 de­grees, out­strip­ping the com­pe­ti­tion by quite a mar­gin. The dif­fer­ence is very no­tice­able when shoot­ing.

Per­for­mance

There’s a slight drop-off in sharp­ness to­wards the cor­ners of the im­age frame, and bar­rel dis­tor­tion is quite ex­treme at the 8mm zoom set­ting, but that’s only to be ex­pected given the as­ton­ish­ing view­ing an­gle be­ing de­liv­ered. Over­all per­for­mance is very good in­deed.

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