Hardware review: Sigma 10-20mm

The review you’ve all been waiting for – the one to compete with my Canon 10-22mm review from a few weeks back!  Well, there is no clear and decisive winner, so the wind is probably taken out of all the sails of those who were waiting for some smack-down talk.  The reason?  Some aspects I like better on the Sigma, and some on the Canon version of this lens.  So, I’ll refrain from declaring a “winner”, and just give you the lowdown on this lens, what I like, and what I don’t.  So, without further ado:

The Sigma 10-20mm Wide Angle


  • Price – hands down, the best feature of this lens is the price.  Comparatively, the Canon 10-22mm is $724 while the Sigma comes in at a mere $479.  While the price difference of $245 doesn’t seem like much, in this economy, every dollar matters, and when you look at it from a percentage perspective, that’s a 33% savings!  Not too shabby if you are in tight financial times (and I think many of us probably are…)
  • Handling:  This lens handles super nice, and with the patented textured feel to the lens, this is the one area where I really wish Canon would copy them or at least come up with some sort of texture to their lenses rather than the sleek black.
  • Image quality:  This lens handled very nicely, and I would say is not a slouch by any sense of the word.  But, rather than try to explain the IQ to you, I figured as photographers, you’d rather see the results, so, here goes…





These are the originals and have been completely unretouched.  As you can probably tell from the exposures, I was going for something that would hopefully pull together into an HDR-type image.  I was happy enough with these to take that final step, so here’s the HDR work-up for those that are interested:



Focal Range:  I know, 2mm doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you figure that the sweet spot will always be a little in from the edges of the focal range, that takes you from 18mm to 21.  On a crop sensor camera, that can add up, and since most other lenses start at 18, that extra little bit of crispness could be just what the doctor ordered  Is it needed for the enthusiast?  Perhaps not, but for anyone that really looks at their photography in detail, that is a consideration.

IQ:  I realize this is totally counterituitive as IQis being included both as a pro and as a con, but it’s simply the case.  For enthusiasts, the IQ is definitely of serious caliber and worth your money because the differences really are minor at that level.  However, for the working pro, that extra little “oomphf” that you might get from having a wider sweet spot in the Canon line-up could make the difference between a keeper for you and one headed for the recycle bin.

Would I recommend this lens?  Without hesitation.  The image quality, price, and handling of it are on par with every other lens out there, and the minor areas where Canon has the edge are likely to be minor enough that enthusiasts and hobbyists would be better served with spending the extra money elsewhere by getting the Sigma..  I give it a thumbs up recomendation.

Happy shooting all, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Please follow and like:

11 comments for “Hardware review: Sigma 10-20mm

  1. Heather
    June 15, 2009 at 9:21 am

    I am so happy to see this review from you as I am seriously considering purchasing a super-wide angle and can’t decide between the Tokina 11-16 2.8 or the Sigma you reviewed here OR th Canon 10-22mm. EEEk!! I think I will see what I can rent and go from there. Thanks for the review though!

  2. Pete
    June 15, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Have you heard anything definite concerning the winner of the Adobe Lightroom 2 contest? I was one of the finalists, and I didn’t know if you only contacted the winner, or if you were going to post about it and just haven’t received a final verdict yet…

  3. June 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Pete,

    I actually did hear from Adobe that Tom has been super busy with several projects and has not had time to take a look at the page that was set up for the finalists. I expect to hear back from them in another week at the outside, so should hopefully have an answer for you soon. I did think to include this note in the podcast that will be released on Wed. this week, but thanks for asking! Congrats on being a finalist too – good luck with the outcome!

  4. Pete
    June 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks; I really appreciate your prompt reply. Oh, and just so you know, I initially came to your blog just for the contest, but I’ve come to enjoy the content you provide and am now checking it fairly regularly, sooo…. the contest brought you one new “subscriber”, at least!
    Keep it up!

  5. June 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I too started using this lens a few months back. I even took it to Europe, and used it almost exclusively (thanks to my primary lens breaking on day one).

    I reviewed the lens on my blog as well, and steered the conversation a little more toward portraiture.


  6. June 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I bought this lens in January and can’t stop using it! I love it soooooo much. I was going to buy the Canon one, but the price difference was so huge. I used the Canon one (lent from the store while they ordered in the Sigma) on one shoot, and found they handled pretty much the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *