Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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The title says it all. I read mixed reviews about the Sigma lens and wanted to know your opinion about it. Some people say its sharpness is not that great as compared to Canon within the 10-16 range. However, the 2 extra millimiters are quite compelling.
It is hard to figure out which one I should go for.

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I had this quandry a year or so ago and researched it to death, and also tried both the Canon and Sigma lenses to see how they compared.

In my experience the Canon 10-22 far exceeded my expectations. It's a great lens - with near on L quality optics (just like the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 is).

The Sigma did not have the same build quality nor did it have the same eye-popping contrast and IQ of the Canon.

In the end, I bought neither.... Both are APS-C only lenses, and I wanted to move to Full Frame at some point. (Which I have now done).

Anyway - that's just a personal viewpoint. My recommendation to you would be to get down to your local camera retailer and try them both out on your camera body and see what you think works best for you...

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It's probably fair to say that the only thing keeping Canon from attaching the "L" label to a couple of its lenses is the EF-S mount. That said, the "L" stands for "Luxury" (and has since the F1n days at least) and has traditionally signified fast apertures for a given focal length (or focal length range, in the case of zooms) and ruggedness rather than raw optical performance (some "Ls" were horrible optically, but if you needed, say, a 50mm f/1.0, it was going to cost a mint regardless, so fragility wasn't an option). –  user2719 Mar 26 '13 at 9:04
    
Just to note though, as the Sigma is third party it still has the EF mount. not EF-S, so you can still attach it to a full frame camera, but you'll not get a full circle until you're zooming somewhere around 12-14mm –  Dreamager Mar 26 '13 at 22:04
    
@Mike just for curiosity, which full frame did you end up buying? –  Bob Mar 28 '13 at 1:05
    
@Bob 5D Mark III. Absolutely amazing camera, don't regret it for a second ;-) –  Mike Apr 2 '13 at 14:42
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I went for Sigma. 2mm might seem insignificant, but they really does make a difference on wide angle.

According to Lenstip test Sigma is sharper than Canon across the range, especially in corners if you stop down to ~f/8, but even wide open it's sharper than Canon. It also got significantly lower Chromatic Aberrations, vignetting (difference is huge here - Canon vignettes like crazy, so even if Sigma isn't flawless - it's completely different league) and works much better against the light (Canon gives you huge green bulb, Sigma few small sparkles).

So I would say: If Canon 10-22 is near the L quality than Sigma is above L quality.

Disadvantages of Sigma are quite obvious: You cannot use filters on it. There are some tricks with using Cokin, and supposingly some people made it, but I never did. The overall contrast is also slightly lower, but that's easy to fix in post-processing. AF also isn't the best one - My makes a bit of noise each time it stops the glass, as well as got a tendency to hunt focus if light isn't perfect. So if you need a wide angle for video than I'd recommend Canon.

I don't - I bought my camera for photos - so the choice is quite obvious: Sigma.

Digital Picture made quite a nice comparison of two lenses. Hover the picture to view Sigma, move mouse away to view Canon.

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I just came back from Angor Wat with my Sigma 8-16 and I think if I've the chance I really want to try the Canon.

There is nothing wrong with the Sigma and 8mm is great, but I hated having to change out my 17-55, take the ultra-wide shot, then change back again. Now if you don't mind carrying two bodies, or sticking with an ultra-wide all day, or have plenty of time for changing lenses (i.e. no wife / companions to hurry you around) then by all means go for the Sigma. For myself the Sigma didn't end up getting all that much use and what I really need is a UWA that can shoot somewhat-normal as well.

A previous poster said the Canon build quality beats the Sigma but I'm not so sure if the 10-22 is built anything like my 17-55. The 8-16 is solid, tightly assembled, and just handles like it's a whole class above my wobbly 17-55. Of course this is an unqualified comment because I've never actually handled a 10-22.

I've no complaint about the Sigma's IQ and as to colours & contrast I actually think it beats or at least match all of my 6 other lenses (17-55, 17-85, 55-250, Sigma 30, Canon 50 1.8, Canon 85 1.8).

And finally on focus, I'm not even sure why there is an autofocus motor on this lens because let's face it, it's a 8mm UWA. Put it on f/8, hyperfocal distance and you don't need to worry about focus again.

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Just checking whether you're talking about the 17-55 2.8 IS USM or the 18-55 kit lens? –  Conor Boyd Aug 19 '13 at 21:31
    
I was referring to the 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM. –  user21692 Aug 20 '13 at 13:15
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