The af­ford­able op­tion

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM £385, $450

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For stan­dard zooms, and more es­pe­cially for tele­photo shoot­ing, FX-for­mat lenses can work really well on DX cam­eras. But when it comes to wide-an­gle lenses, you really need the right DX-for­mat tool for the job, oth­er­wise you’ll end up with blink­ered vi­sion and the wide po­ten­tial will be lost. There are quite a few DX-for­mat wide zooms to choose from, but the Sigma 10-20mm is ar­guably the best buy. Un­like Sigma’s older 10-20mm, which is still stocked by some re­tail­ers, this newer edi­tion is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent lens with a con­stant rather than vari­able-aper­ture de­sign. It’s pretty fast at f/3.5, and boasts both ELD (Ex­tra­or­di­nary Low Dis­per­sion) and SLD (Spe­cial Low Dis­per­sion) glass el­e­ments.

Like most Sigma ‘EX’ lenses (the suf­fix denotes high qual­ity build and fin­ish), this one comes com­plete with a lens hood and soft case. Fin­ery in­cludes fast and quiet ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus, with the usual full-time man­ual over­ride. As is typ­i­cal with the sort of lens, the ul­tra-wide an­gle of view not only en­ables you to squeeze any­thing from cramped interiors to sweep­ing vis­tas into the frame, but also gives you the op­tion to really ex­ag­ger­ate the per­spec­tive be­tween near and far ob­jects.

Im­age qual­ity is im­pres­sively sharp for such a wide-an­gle lens, right into the ex­treme cor­ners of the frame. And un­like with Sigma’s even wider-an­gle lenses (see ‘Play the an­gles’, op­po­site), the de­sign al­lows for the fit­ment of reg­u­lar screwin fil­ters or fil­ter hold­ers, with an 82mm at­tach­ment thread.

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