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Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC J Review RSS Feed

Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC J

Sharpness 
 8.5
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 7.5
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 9.0
Autofocus 
 8.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
60 151,589 Wed February 1, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
97% of reviewers $455.04 8.88
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC J
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Description:
Weight: 465g/16.4 oz
Length: 81mm/3.3 in.
Filter Diameter: 77mm
Min. Focus: 24cm/9.4 in
Max. Magnification: 1:6.7
Diagonal FOV:
Horizontal FOV: 102.4 - 63.8 degrees
Horizontal FOV on Digital: 102.4 - 63.8 degrees
Min. Aperture: F22
Optical Construction: 14 Elements in 10 Groups

The Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 DC that succeeded this lens is reviewed here.
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC J
In-Depth Review: Read our Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC J in-depth review!
Mount Type: Pentax KAF3 (in-lens AF only)
Price History:



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Senior Member

Registered: September, 2014
Location: Nelson
Posts: 235
Lens Review Date: February 1, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $195.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image Quality
Cons: None
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-r    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: 10   

Started out hunting for a Pentax 10-17 at a reasonable price. This came up and I took a gamble.

It's not without it's faults, soft corners wide-open wide @ 10mm, but I think that's more about the way it has to be manufactured to offer a non-fisheye FOV at this focal length.

Surprised to see comments re. colour-cast and overall colour -suspect a bad copy?

It shines shut down a little @ 10mm; these examples were taken at that.






   
New Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: October 13, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good construction, solid feel, good accesories
Cons: Weird coating on the body
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-7, Pentax K-r    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

The lens is great, I bought it as my first wide-angle-zoom, and I was really impressed. It's fast on the K-7, probably faster on newer bodies. The case is a great bonus for it's price. I recommend using it with a filter, as it can attract dust very easy. Relatively small.

Autumn by Albert Dobrin, on Flickr

University by Albert Dobrin, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 1,117
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp in the center, mid-range and stopped down, good IQ overall
Cons: soft corners wide open, color cast, relatively poor color
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 8    Camera Used: k-3, k-30    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: Used   

Toyota Camry of lenses. It's a pretty good lens and does it's job well. It's good enough that I don't see a reason to exchange it, but if I had some money to spare, I would.

My biggest gripe is a color cast and overall quality of color that this lens produces. Because of this and slow aperture on the long end I tend to use it less than my other lenses.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: August, 2013
Location: Iloilo City
Posts: 1,098
Lens Review Date: July 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $412.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great value, bang for a buck. Sharp, quick focus. Great image quality
Cons: Some distortion, not WR
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: New   

If it's possible, it would be a 9.5 or a 9.75. It's a perfect zoom for street photography though fixed wide angle to semi wides are recommended. Sharp ay f8 and up and quick to focus. Great image quality. I love this lens. I highly recommend it.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2015
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: July 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-50    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

Good ultra wide angla, sharp and good build quality
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Houston
Posts: 129
Lens Review Date: March 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $363.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, very wide, versatile
Cons: size, distortion at Ultra wide end
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: k5    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: Used   

Great lens for landscape, architecture and pictures in cramped spaces. Very sharp especially on a tripod. It also focuses close which is useful in tight spaces.

I was not fond of the size of this lens as it is really big using a 77mm filter. I also did not like the distortion at the 10mm end.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2010
Posts: 5,916

7 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $304.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Incredibly wide field of view
Cons: Incredibly wide field of view, natural distortions, somewhat soft
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5 II    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: Used   

After seeing numerous photographs taken at wide angle for years, I've wanted an ultra wide angle lens.

I had no idea for what I was in until I actually obtained one!

First off, I love taking photos of sunsets and clouds.. big sky photos and displaying object scale. For this an ultrawide can get you what you want.

However, I had no idea the amount of work involved in avoiding distortion when at the wide side of this lens (10mm)... you must be careful not to pitch up or down the camera from the subject or you will get massive image distortion! This can be played to your advantage but it can also be simply annoying too. Also close up, objects take on a slight to moderate fisheye effect almost. To really get this effect though, the lens would have to be able to focus even closer than it can.

Also, 10mm is simply REALLY INCREDIBLY wide! This is fantastic if you are in a tight place and want to have much of the space in the image (interior shots -- especially in realty or the sort). However, outside in larger space, this means you are losing detail of your subject simply from covering more area in the field of view.

For landscapes and such, the longer end of this lens is probably going to be the smarter option (focal length wise). Forget about Panoramas with the wider end btw. In my experiences, way too much distortion means you will have headaches getting images to properly overlap.. even with distortion correct enabled (LR user here). Plus with distortion correction enabled, means you will be removing a portion of the actual image in crop to accommodate said distortion (it can be rather severe on the edges and somewhat complex). So just use the mid to long side of this lens if you are considering panoramas or landscapes with more detail. The issue there is this Sigma 10-20mm lens tends to be softer in the mid to longer side of the focal range. I think my 18-135 might be sharper and around the same barrel distortion amount as this Sigma lens (which is rather minimal on long side of the 10-20) at 18-20mm. Also, you're getting f/5.6 on the long end of this lens.. so forget about it if you are in a low lit space with no tripod.

I hope this review makes sense.. The lens isn't a dog.. by any means.. it is rather sharp stopped down to F/8 and F/11 but you might want to handle an Ultra wide lens before buying just to ensure this is really your cup of tea. It is the only lens where I really had to practice using it and work through the dynamics of such a particular focal range and the properties of this particular lens -- didn't come automatically.

This is a chubby lens but it is plastic so it is lightweight. Some might find that a flaw, but I think had it been metal, this would have been a brick to hold! 77mm threads means screw-on filters are going to be expensive. I use a Cokin P series step down ring and the square filters instead. That way, I can use all of my ND filters without having to get individual ones for each thread size. Just a cheap step down ring for the filter holder (bought a ton of those step down rings on ebay for next to nothing).

Also, this lens WILL flare in bright light sources (namely the sun!). You won't get a super awesome copy that doesn't flare. This lens flares. Expect it to and plan accordingly. If you take lots of shots with the sun visible or just off camera, and don't want to Post Process the flare effect out, look for a different lens.

I'm glad to have this lens and will get much use out of it.. but I don't think it will be the most affixed lens on my camera as I thought it might have been before receiving it. 10mm, however, is fantastic for big sky photography, massively large landscapes (where detail isn't the leading factor), interior spaces, creative effects, and generally projecting scale of objects. I find, as a result, this Sigma 10-20mm makes up for it's limitations.
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 28
Lens Review Date: September 14, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $489.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wide range, excellent build, sharp
Cons: Minor vignetting at 10mm
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3    Autofocus: 8    New Or Used: New   

I got a new one on sale, and I'm surprised to say that this has actually become my walk-around lens! I do mostly landscapes, and in that genre, this lens (especially for the money!) is simply a wizard. Not so good for interior shots, and some of my flash-assisted photos seem to make the minor distortion seem more prevalent, but for anything outdoors, I find it suitably fast, quiet, light, and SHARP at anything f8 and above.

Even at 12mm, the distortion is so low that I have successfully shot dozens of vertical-format stitched panoramics, and (as long as I'm overlapping sufficiently) the distortion is just not noticable whatsoever. This ultra-wide POV, along with the K-3's file size even allows me to crop down when necessary, and still get files that are outstanding when printed large.

I would have given this lens all 10's, except that I do occasionally find the screw-focus hunting a bit, and in very brightly back-lit silhouette shots, the bokeh is not as pleasant as my Pentax lenses. Both of these are, for me, minor issues, but still worthy of a less-than-10 review.

Summary:
For landscapes... I'm not sure what you could do to get a better value until you are willing to spend 6x.
For interiors... perhaps the 10-20 f3.5 would be better... but I'm not willing to spend the money to find out.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 20
Lens Review Date: June 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build, optics, internal focus
Cons: Requires a whopping 77mm filter, aberrations at 10mm
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: Used   

Bought secondhand for 180 and in first class condition. First impressions very favourable. Looks and feels like a real quality lens. A small downside to that is it is a little hefty. But balances well with the K5.

Optics are supreme. Perhaps a little soft in the corners at 10mm when wide open. Stopped down a little though and its brilliant, right through its focal range. It also resists CA pretty well. There is some vignetting at 10mm but can be corrected in post.

Focus is just screw drive on the pentax version, Nikon and Canon versions get HSM for the same price......why???? A little unfair. But that said it focuses well enough and not too noisy either. Focusing is done internally which means no rotating front element, which also means no problems using a polariser or Grad filters with this lens.

Finally, value. Always a trump card for Sigma and they play it well again with this lens. Represents truly excellent value for money, new or secondhand. Most reviews put it ahead of the similary priced Tamron 10-24. A way below the price of the Pentax 12-24 option.
My only reservation would be whether it represents the best option when compared to its stablemates from Sigma. Sigma also offer a 8-16, 10-20 f3.5 and 12-24. All of which are optically superior to this lens. And the EX 10-20 f3.5 only costs an extra 50 new and for that you get the HSM focus motor, constant f3.5 and a notch up in optical quality.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: March 23, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: it's wide! and sturdy!
Cons: a bit slow for a lot of indoor use
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K10    Autofocus: 7    New Or Used: New   

This lens produces excellent images throughout the ultrawide to wide range, and thus, for me, rates a 9. I'd rate it a 10 if it was faster, but then it would be larger.

If you need an ultrawide lens principally for outdoor landscape use, I'd look no farther. The images this lens produce are as good as anything comparable from manufacturers like Canon - I have compared it with this venerable company's own 10-20, and not found the Sigma lacking. It's sweet spot is 12mm - crisp, clean, minimal distortion, and at f8 it's tack sharp - no slouch down to f4, either.

My only problem with this lens (if it is a problem) is that I don't use the ultrawide range very much, and as a consequence, this is about the least used lens I own. That being said, I wouldn't part with it because when I need it, it's there and it delivers. If I did a lot of indoor stuff, I'd like a 2.8, but I can live with the slower aperture because indoors is tripod territory, anyway. As an outdoor landscaper, you couldn't do better.

Don't hesitate.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2013
Location: "The Green Desert"
Posts: 122

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 10, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $525.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Value, build quality, value, auto focus, value, image quality, did I mention value for money?
Cons: It's big! some aberration and distortion at 10mm
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

My first ultra-wide lens and I love it to bits. The version supplied by WEX in Norwich (UK) has HSM focusing which was a very pleasant surprise. Highly recommended!












   
New Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: January 1, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $440.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely sharp a couple stops down, cheap, solid build, suprisingly fast AF (on K-3), smooth focusing and zooming, undisturbing bokeh in close-up scenes, "sweet spot" at wide angle - 12mm is distortion-free.
Cons: Slow even at wide angle (f/4.0), hard to correct "moustache" abberations at 10mm
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Autofocus: 10    New Or Used: New   

Sigma 8-16 is now out of stock, so this is the sharpest wide angle still available. And the price is pretty low for this kind of lens.
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Newark, Delaware
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons: large
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Autofocus: 7    New Or Used: New   

This is my go to landscape lens. It is sharp and being a rectilinear lens, the distortion is better than acceptable. It also works for interior photography and group shots.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: USA - Delaware
Posts: 434
Lens Review Date: October 22, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $470.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp corner to corner, High quality built, Extremely WIDE
Cons: some distortion, slow compared to it's younger brother
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Autofocus: 9    New Or Used: New   

This was my first wide angle lens. I bought it to avoid having to deal with the kit (it was not bad, but not wide enough and the corners weren't great). I am happy to report that when stopped down the lens performs beautifully. Corner to corner sharpness. Good high quality plastic built too. Distortion is present at the wide end but it isnt always visible and it is correctable. The only real downside is that it does not work with infrared modified cameras. The lens causes hot spots. But then again, it was not designed for that purpose, so I cannot deduct any points for that...
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,008
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Autofocus: 4    New Or Used: New   

Man this lens is a surprise
$450 brand new.
I do not think we can get anything less expensive on ultra-wide lens.
It is sharp...even from f4 and only some softness on the edge. stop down produce wonderful sharpness.
the build is so good. very smooth zoom.
however auto focus really sucks..anyway when I use this lens I use manual focus. it is not hard at all.
overall I find the review at photozone is very accurate.
tarmon 10-24 has cheap build quality compare to this one and this sigma should be sharper.
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