Thoughts On Super Wide
Working With Sigma's 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical Lens Page 2

Most wide angle lenses suffer from distortion. However, distortion was much better than one would expect from a lens this wide, which is probably due to the use of aspherical glass. I have seen regular zoom lenses with as much distortion as this lens at 12mm. On my digital SLR distortion was amazingly minimal.

The lens still performs superbly after two months of being bumped around in a backpack, dropped several times, and withstanding the desert dust that infiltrates everything. The non-removable, metal, and petal-shaped hood protects the protruding front glass element, as I would learn from experience. The lens hood also does an adequate job of protecting the lens from flare. Wide angle lenses are susceptible to flare and, as expected, the lens was most susceptible to flare at 12mm. However, the flare was far less than one would expect at 12mm, especially in the bright deserts of Arabia, and rarely affected my photographs. Slightly shifting the lens away from the sun, or shielding the front element of the lens with my hand, usually minimized flare in susceptible situations.

The ability to zoom to 24mm allowed me to isolate this pool from the landscape.

I enjoyed using this lens on my trip and was able to use my film and digital SLRs in ways that were not previously possible because of the wide angle of view. The ability to use my digital SLR for wide angle photography will probably delegate my film SLR to more time on the shelf. The durability of this lens, relative control of flare and distortion for a 12mm lens, and high image quality ensures that this lens will be a traveling companion for many future photographic expeditions.

The full range of the wide angle zoom allowed me to experiment with composition.

Note: The Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical lens mounts Sigma AF, Canon AF, Nikon AF, Minolta AF, and Pentax AF. The MSRP of the lens is $849; the approximate street price is $670.

For more information, contact Sigma's website at:

This lens allowed me to take photographs with my Canon EOS 10D that were not previously possible.

Above and below: Wide angle compositions are improved by placing the photographic subject in the foreground.

In this photo of a couple in Rome, the red dress does it all. It instantly attracts your eye. You don't see all the busy work going on in the background until later.