Most helpful positive review
365 of 377 people found the following review helpful
I didn't plan on buying this lens but I am glad I did
on October 21, 2006
I went into a local camera store to look at the Nikon 12-24mm wide angle zoom to eventually augment the Nikon 50mm 1.8 and 18-200mm VR I currently use on my D200. After seeing the Sigma 10-20mm, taking test shots with it and the Nikon, and then printing the shots in the store, I walked out with the Sigma lens.
I had planned to buy the 12-24mm Nikon next Spring when my budget would allow the expenditure. I have had success with Nikon optics in the past - starting with my first Nikon FM back in the seventies. The Sigma's good construction, nice finish, smooth+fast+quiet focusing and 10mm focal length convinced me to try my first non-Nikon lens in 30 years. A big factor: The Sigma lens is less than half the price of the Nikon lens here is Canada. It fit my budget, so I took the plunge.
The Sigma fits into my "sharp enough" category. In real world shooting, its sharpness is on par with my 18-200mm Nikon. Both lens are less sharp than my $100 50mm 1.8 when "test" images are blown up to 16"x20" size. I never notice any lack of sharpness in "real" pictures. I care more about color saturation, contrast and color balance anyway. In this area, the Sigma does well. Saturation and contrast are equal to both my other Nikon lens - particularly at f8 and smaller aperatures. Wide open, I find some weakening in contrast. The Sigma has a warmer color termperature than my other lens. One click toward blue in Photoshop would fix this minor variance in color. But I use my 10-20mm almost exclusively for landscapes. The warmer color is generally a good thing.
I have noticed some vignetting @ 10mm f4. Zooming to 12mm or stopping down to f5.6 elminates any artifacts in pictures I have taken thus far. I have found it's more important to avoid "thick framed" filters - and stacking filters is a no no with this lens. They cause more darkening than a wide open f-stop. BTW: I added a 72 to 77mm step-up ring to my 18-200m VR Nikon to allow me to share filters between my zoom lens.
I do miss having a manual/autofocus switch on the Sigma lens. I have accidently nudged the manual focus ring a couple of times. With that said, the incredible depth of field of this lens (or any lens at this focal length) means small focusing errors can be tolerated :)
I recommend this lens - even to people like me, who never had a non-nikon lens before.