Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM II

£600, $950 This Sigma rules the roost when it comes to get­ting ex­treme an­gles of view from a rec­ti­lin­ear lens

NPhoto - - Test Team -

This is the big brother of the DX-for­mat Sigma 8-16mm that we re­viewed last month. It has the same ac­tual zoom range as the DX lens’s ‘ef­fec­tive’ zoom range and, as such, gives a prac­ti­cally iden­ti­cal range of view­ing an­gles. At 122 de­grees, the max­i­mum view­ing an­gle is wider than any­thing else on the mar­ket for FX bod­ies with­out go­ing fish­eye. The Nikon 14-24mm comes clos­est at 114 de­grees, which is no­tice­ably less ul­tra-wide.

The Sigma looks long, but this is only be­cause the lens hood is built in. In­deed, it’s even shorter than the pe­tite Nikon 18-35mm when the lat­ter has its hood fit­ted. Un­like with most sim­i­lar built-in hoods, 82mm fil­ters can be at­tached to the two-part lens cap, but only used at the long end of the zoom range. Up­mar­ket fea­tures in­clude ring­type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus and four FLD glass el­e­ments, which are claimed to equal top-qual­ity flu­o­rite glass in per­for­mance.

Per­for­mance

Cen­tre sharp­ness is ex­cel­lent through­out the zoom range, but drops off at the ex­treme cor­ners of the frame when us­ing wide aper­tures at very short fo­cal lengths. Bar­rel dis­tor­tion is quite re­strained at 12mm, be­ing no worse than in the Nikon 1835mm lens at its con­sid­er­ably longer min­i­mum fo­cal length.

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