Sigma 10mm F2.8 EX DC fish eye lens review

The metal mounting on the lens


The Sigma brand of lenses have been put there to compete with manufacturers line ups. They offer lower prices and some other nice features which i will be talking about in this article. Today i am going to be reviewing the Sigma 10mm F2.8 Fish eye lens which i have had for several months now. In that time i have had a chance to make good use of the product so i think i can give you some genuine advice about this lens and whether you should spend any money on It or not.

Price and Value

First of all lets weigh up what you would probably be buying if you were not going for the Sigma option – this would more than likely be the Canon EF 8-15mm F/4L fish eye. The first thing that i  would like to point out it the huge price difference between the Sigma model and the Canon Model. I bought my Sigma fish eye from amazon which cost me £489  - a fraction of the cost of the Canon lens which is over £900. This was the primary reason why i decided to buy this lens.

What’s in the Box

The box that the Sigma 10mm fish eye comes in.

 

The box is really small. You get the lens in a nice carry case which should protect it from knocks. Apart from the lens and carry case there is a warranty card and an instruction manual written in about 140 languages.

A look at the lens

The first thing that i noticed about this Sigma lens is the quality.  Most of the lens is made from metal which makes it weigh quite a lot and in fact makes your camera set up feel nicely balanced. There are plastic parts on the body; the Auto focus / manual toggle switch and the ring that holds it in – This does not effect the performance of the product. The only negative side of having plastic on the lens is that it’s lifespan will be shorter. The manual focus ring provides ample grip as it is rubberised and the action of moving it is very smooth. This manual focus allows you to focus extremely accurately.  At the front you will see that there is a lens hood that i think is there to protect the glass from impacts more than anything else.

Here is the lens attached to a Camera so you have a better idea of how big it is:

The Sigma 10mm fish eye attached to a camera for size judgement

And another angle:

Sigma lens on Canon 60D

 

The lens cap can be either completely removed, or just the top part. With only the top half removed you will get the classic ring effect on pictures:

Sigma 10mm fish eye with the ring attached

This is what the images look like when you take them with the ring on:

sigma-photo-with-ring-attachment

This style of picture is not my cup of tea but, it is there if i want to use it. That i appreciate. Of course without it the pictures you take will be full framed – the way i prefer it to be.

Portrait shot of the Sigma 10mm  fish eye lens

Overall the build quality is very good and i am confident that the components will last for a long time. It looks pretty nice too!

The metal mounting on the lens

This mounting is for the Canon EF. The mounting options that you have are: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma and Pentax. The mounting is very study and clicks into place solidly. The standard red dot indicator is also there to help you find the right position to slot it in.

A view from the top of the Sigma 10mm fish eye lens. You can see the focus indicator here.

Another view of the lens. You can see the focus meter which also has an infinity indicator – something that is always handy. Again this is of good quality and displays settings nice and clearly.

Features and performance

OK lets establish some of the key features:

  • Image Stabilisation – no
  • Ultrasonic motor – yes
  • Macro Capable – no
  • focal length – 10mm
  • Aperture – F2.8 – F22
  • close focus distance – 13.5cm
  • Lens hood – built in petal style
  • angle of view – Sony, Nikon: 180°. Sigma: 157°. Canon 167°
  • First available for sale – November 2007
  • Price - £489

Having owned the Sigma 10mm Fish eye lens for around six months i can report that not once have i run into any problems. The performance exceeded my expectations on so many fronts. Most notable of which is the sharpness of the pictures it produces. Here is one of my photographs taken with it:

Example photograph to show the performance of the Sigma 10mm fish eye lens.

As it is on the web i have had to lower the file size so you can not really see the true quality. Trust me though, it is really good and you will be happy with it.

As you can see it works really nice in low light conditions and does not produce much Vignetting or any of the other blemishes that photographers dread. All of the pictures that you see on my portfolio that have the fish eye effect are done with this lens – you can check them out on my portfolio.

The Aperture range is pretty good. The F2.8 is going to give you quite nice performance in low light conditions. Using the widest aperture setting does not seem to create any glitches in the image in my experience.

The focus settings are either manual or automatic. You will find the automatic mode to be highly responsive thanks to the built in Ultrasonic motor. The Focusing time is almost instant and is pretty much silent. The minimum focusing distance is 13.5cm which is not considered as macro but it does allow you to get pretty close to objects.

To conclude the review of Sigma 10mm F2.8 EX DC fish eye lens i am going to give this lens a 5 out of 5 rating. The performance is next to none and when you consider how much it costs it just makes the buy all the more impressive. I use this lens all of the time and i will be in the foreseeable future. So if you are thinking about purchasing this product then go for it because you will not be disappointed.

 

johnhoward

Photographer and writer for jhphotographer.co.uk

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