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Customer Review

619 of 647 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be 1 Star, Could be 5 Stars! Read More:, February 28, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC Lens for Pentax SLR Cameras (Electronics)
I am rating this lens with only three stars because I am reviewing two lenses. Here is why:

When I received my lens I later realized that I did not receive the extended three year warranty card that comes with the USA versions of the lens. Instead of just sending me the extended warranty card Amazon shipped me a whole new lens. Now while I was reading reviews prior to ordering this lens I had seen many reviews where the reviewer either loved this lens or they hated it. After a while I could see why...

Some of the lenses that are being shipped are sharp all the way around while some are not sharp at all. Many claimed it was sharper at F:8 than F:4 while others said theirs was never sharp at all. Some complained about distortion and or dull or over saturated colors. I finally found a reviewer who had the opportunity to try 3-4 different lenses. They found that there seemed to be a lack of quality control all around when it came to this specific lens. Having a few days of both lenses I decided to compare them out for myself. I am glad I did.

I put my camera in the front yard on a tripod and shot numerous sets of three for each lens at 10mm, 14mm, and 20mm. The results were surprising. The original lens I had been sent first was a clear winner. The trees and anything else around the picture were sharp, The replacement lens was anything but sharp. The colors on lens two were more vibrant than lens one but one can fix that with software where a blurred image is not really fixable.

I shot numerous sets with both lenses and a few different F settings and the results remained the same. The replacement lens was the one being returned. Lucky for me the Sigma extended warranty cards have nothing on them, you enter the serial numbers yourself so I kept the card and returned the replacement lens.

I have included two photos to the gallery for this lens so you can see what I found. In the end my first lens would have received a 5 star rating because they really are excellent lenses if you can get a good copy. The replacement copy would have received a 1 star rating. Luckily I had the chance to compare the two copies side by side or I may have never known just how bad lens number two really was.

If your lens has problems like lens number two you have a poor copy of the lens, return it. Sadly from all of the reviews I have read it seems that maybe 20% of the lenses are not good copies. Many just think poor sharpness is just a general lens limitation when chances are it is just a poor copy they received.

Bottom line!

1. Get the lens out and shoot some shots, If it is not sharp around the edges return it for another copy.

2. If you do not get your extended warranty card you may have gotten a gray market lens. Return it.

Upon talking to a Sigma rep I was told they have no way to verify whether the lens is USA or Gray market (international) by the serial number, if you do not have the extended warranty card you will not get the warranty extension so buyer beware. The card is a card stock type black and red folded warranty card that specifically states that it is the extended warranty card. Don't let any dealer tell you that it has the extended warranty without it being in your hands. Sigma currently has no registration on their website. The rep told me to keep the card in a safe place and then in the event that I need service I will send it and a copy of the original sales receipt in with the lens for service.

All that being said I can tell you that this is a wonderful lens if you need a super wide angle lens and you get a good copy. They are not the fastest lenses around but for the money you cannot beat it.

Take a look at the pictures I included for the lens and hopefully they will help you determine if you were lucky on the Sigma draw and give you an idea of what you need to check for.
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 14, 2009 6:28:05 AM PDT
M. Thornley says:
Excellent info. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2009 8:47:40 PM PDT
D. M. Wright says:
Thank you. I'm cosidering this lens, the Nikon is just too much $$$. Can't bring myself to do it.
This is about the best, most helpful review I've ever seen.

Posted on Nov 29, 2009 12:07:53 PM PST
P. Tornero says:
thank you sir for being honest in your review of this lens. I wish Sigma would not have such quality control issues sometimes in their lenses. but as you stated it is up to the consumer to check out their purchases asap. I am a fan of Sigma Lenses, but I hate the feeling of purchasing a lens from any manufacturer as far as that goes, and have to worry about the most common quality control issues. I believe Sigma tries to give you the most bang for your buck, aside fron the isues that I have stated.

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 10:04:08 AM PST
C. J. Kern says:
The same thing has happened to me, lens arrived with no registration card. I called Amazon customer service and after being hung up on twice, I was finally told to return the lens and they would send me a new lens (with no guarantee that the new lens would come with a registration card). I felt that was a bit much so I decided to contact Sigma directly to see what could be done. They told me, I didn't need the registration card and they only throw them away when they get them. The lovely woman on the other end of the phone said that as long as I kept my sales receipt from Amazon I would be covered for 4 years as it showed date of purchase and that the lens was purchased in the USA. THANK YOU Sigma

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 5:38:27 PM PST
Mighty Mouse says:
I think I got the same bad copy. Also there is no extended warranty card. I took about 80+ shots already and can't get the sharpness in any fstop. I also tried using the focus chart ( I also played with using Av, Manual and Landscape modes to no avail. Even the subjects where the AF points were at came out soft.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 6:46:06 PM PDT
SONIA says:
Great info. Thanks for your time explaining your situation warning us(buyer).
I have a 18-200mm and I love my lens.

Posted on Sep 5, 2010 6:46:07 PM PDT
SONIA says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 11, 2010 7:26:20 PM PDT
John S says:
Your review and experience, along with some of the comments state a case for buying at a local camera shop so that you can "try it before you buy it". Unfortunately for those of us with Sony equipment buying locally is usually not an option as very few camera stores carry accessories for Sony. Even with Amazon's easy return policy there is still an inconvenient time factor waiting for the replacement lens to arrive.

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 9:09:22 AM PST
Running man says:
Thank you for taking the time to post this review, one of the most help reviews I have ever seen, for it offers great insight.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011 4:39:56 AM PDT
Thanks Jim. Good of you to share your experience with others.
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