If you’re searching for an ultra-wide-angle lens and have heard of the name Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon being thrown around, then this review will help you make an informed decision on whether it’s worth adding to your gear or not. Does this constant-aperture zoom lens live up to its hype? Let us help you weigh in.
Here are the features of the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon:
- Wide focal length
The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon is a super wide-angle lens with a 10-20mm zooming capacity. On a 35mm full-frame digital camera, it covers a 15-30mm focal length range. The minimum focusing distance is at 9.4 inches, and the maximum magnification is at 1:6.6.
It comes with a moving inner tube that feels quite solid and a stationary front lens that makes it easy to work with a polarizer and graduated neutral density filter. It fits 82mm filters.
The rubber zoom ring is marked 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, and 20mm.
- Quiet Auto and manual focusing
The lens comes with a switch on the side for auto/manual focusing. The lens is quite quick in locking on its subject owing to its large aperture that stays at f/3.5 even when zoomed in as well as its fair distance from the subject.
And with the HSM mark on its name that stands for “hyper-sonic motor,” it does focusing more quietly than lenses with a standard zoom motor. While focusing sound may still be noticeable in quiet settings, the sonic wave driven AF is hardly obvious in standard environments.
Auto-focus can be done in Nikon DX DSLRs including the motor-free, entry-level ones. And as with HSM drive lenses, focus adjustments can be manually overridden.
- Maximum f/3.5 aperture
Throughout its entire zoom range, the lens has seven diaphragm blades and maintains a maximum aperture of f/3.5. This makes the lens ideal for shooting in low-light conditions. Compared to its 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 EX predecessor, this lens is faster and allows more light in.
And with great depth of field control or ability to highlight how the subjects in a composition relate to each other, the lens offers a great creative tool for many photographers. Amateurs and pros will find it perfect for landscape, real estate, and event photography, among others.
- 13 elements in 10 groups optical construction with an external coating
The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon boasts of 13 elements in 10 groups, including two ELD (electronic logging device), one SLD (super low dispersion), and four aspherical elements, which are helpful in reducing distortions and chromatic aberrations.
The EX in the name of the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon signifies a super multi-layer coating that works to reduce flare and ghosting.
- Compatible with all Nikon DSLRs
The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon works with APS-C cameras, namely D500, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7100, D7200, and D7500.
- Small and medium-weight
The lens is a mix of plastic and metal components. It measures 87.3 x 88.2 mm / 3.4 x 3.5 inches and tips the scales at 520 grams / 18.3 ounces.
The kit comes with a DSLR camera sling backpack and Altura photo cleaning kit with MagicFiber microfiber cleaning cloth.
- Has a solid look and feel to it
- Works well with polarizers and graduated neutral density filters because of its stationary front lens
- AF/MF switch is easy to access
- Auto-focusing can be manually overridden
- Focusing is fast, easy, quiet, and accurate
- Offers a very wide angle of view
- Performs well in low-light environments
- Works great in emphasizing elements in a composition
- Controls flare quite well
- Suitable for real estate photos, landscape images, and event shots
- May do well for group shots and environmental portraits
- Offers true value for its price
- The complimentary camera bag and cleaning kit are thoughtful additions.
- Can shows some lateral color fringing and moderately strong barrel distortion on the wide end
- The bokeh effect with this lens is not that good.
- Close shots of people may appear distorted.
The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon is a wide-angle zoom lens that offers a fast and constant f/3.5 aperture. This makes it great for low-light shooting conditions. The lens is compatible with APS-C format DSLR cameras.
If you love the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon but wondering how it compares with other lenses in its class, then the slightly more expensive Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens for Nikon is worth considering.
As you may have already deduced from its name, this lens offers a higher maximum aperture than the product-in-review. At a maximum aperture of f/2.8, the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens for Nikon can allow more light in. This makes it all the more suitable for low-light shooting such as interior, landscape, and event photography.
Still, the product-in-review’s maximum aperture’s ability to stay fixed at f/3.5 throughout the zoom range is a feature that is an advantage of its own. For one, focusing is faster with the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 than its competition. Additionally, a feature that you may either love or hate about this lens is that it uses a One Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism to switch between auto and manual focusing instead of an AF/MF switch.
If you’re looking for a fast, ultra-wide zoom lens, then the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Lens for Nikon is something you won’t regret adding to your kit. With its f/3.5 maximum aperture that remains constant throughout its focal length range, expect well-lit photos even as you zoom in. It’s great for real estate images, event photos, and landscape shots.
But if you’re looking to take standard portraits or use it as a general purpose lens, then this and other camera lenses in its range won’t fit the bill. For what you can expect in a lens in its range, it performs quite well with its constant-aperture feature a standout characteristic.