1329 – X-tra Wide

I think it’s quite funny what Ted Byrne commented on “1327 – Como La Lluvia En El Cristal“:

Hmmm… Okay, I know that the song of lenses from the store windows is so sensuous that we will have to lash you to the mast Ulysses-like lest you run your wallet into the rocks each time you pass.

Of course Ted knows me well, but sometimes I think he has a secret telepathic interface right into my brain.

I received the comment on Friday, it only came too late, I had already bought the new Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens for Nikon on Wednesday 😀

Obviously this is the beginning of a new review series. If you don’t know my reviews, well, I don’t concentrate on charts. In fact, I’m as interested in charts as every other gear head, but when I want to see charts, then I don’t make them myself, I trust the professionals.

For instance Photozone.de already has a very technical review up. It’s about the version for Canon, and although there is a theoretical difference due to the different focal length multipliers (1.6 for canon, 1.5 for Nikon, thus the Nikon sensor covers a slightly larger area), the difference can’t turn a good lens into a bad lens. Please go there for numbers.

What I can give you, is an impression of what it is like to use such a lens. I can tell you how it behaves in normal use, how snappy or precise the autofocus is, how it behaves regarding flares and ghosts, and so on and so forth.

Doing so takes time though, and, you’ll see me struggle, with this lens it may take some more 🙂

More about general usage in the next posts. What I can already tell you, is that this lens is small, at least compared to the Sigma 10-20, the Tokina 11-16/2.8 or the Nikon 10-24, and of course it is dwarved by the Nikon 14-24 full-frame lens. It shares one property with the big Nikon though: you can’t use filters. At least you can’t screw them on, because of the bulbuous front element and because you can’t take off the petal-shaped lens hood.

I have Lee graduated ND filters, and when I hold them directly in front of the lens and if I am very careful, they just cover it fully in a vertical image. In a horizontal, I have no chance. Lee filters are equvalent to Cokin Z Pro, thus a Cokin X-Pro filter might be big enough. What you really want though, is one of these.

Another thing that bothers me more, is the fact that the supplied lens cap consists of an aluminium ring and a standard lens cap (notice it in my image though: Sigma finally has lens caps that you can remove with a hood on!). The problem with this arrangement is, that I can’t stow them away as easily as a normal cap. Thus I tend to hold the cap in my left hand while taking photos.

That’s it for the first post in this series. All images taken of this lens were made with the Sigma 70/2.8 Macro.

The Song of the Day is “X-tra Wide” from the 2000 Giant Sand album “Chore Of Enchantment”. Hear it on YouTube.

3 thoughts on “1329 – X-tra Wide”

  1. ROTFLOL – first at Ted’s comment – and then I have to laugh again at a comment Becky Miller made way back in 2007 at a photo workshop taught by Craig Tanner and Marti Jeffers – Craig and Marti had been showing us their collections of assorted lenses and we were all drooling over them.

    Someone mentioned lens lust, at which point Becky piped up very innocently with “Lens lust results in Lensbabies.”

    So, Andreas, even though your lens lust resulted in some other kind of lens, I have to agree with Ted – we’ll have to tie you up to the mast each time before you get anywhere near those sirens called new lens models.

  2. I am thinking of buying this lens for my Canon T1i. Rented a 10-22 for a few trips and I really liked that and was looking for a UWA lens and the Sigma looks extremely interesting.

    Your review series is really awesome. Thanks.

    1. Well, it’s an excellent lens and the only possible fault is, that you can’t use filters. So, if you like to use filters in your photography, get something else, this one’s not for you. In any other case: Welcome to the club!

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