The Best Sigma DSLR Lenses That I Will Personally Pick.

Welcome back!

This is the 5th article in this series about me sharing what are the lenses from the various manufacturers that I will pick & use on a personal basis. The last article was about the Pentax Lenses that I will buy for a Pentax system.

Today, I am going to pick my lenses from the Sigma DSLR Lens line-up. Apart from manufacturing lenses for Sigma’s own system, Sigma also makes a good range of compatible lenses for other brands like Canon, Nikon, Pentax & Sony. For those new to 3rd party manufacturers, here’s a quick start.

Some terms –
Canon – (Image Stabilizer=IS/ EF=Full Frame/ EF-S=APSC/ Ultrasonic Motor=USM)
Nikon – (Vibration Reduction=VR/ FX=Full Frame/ DX=APSC/ Silent Wave Motor=SWM)
Sony – (Steady Shot=SS/ SAL=Full Frame/ SAL+DT=APSC/ Super Sonic Motor=SSM)
Pentax – (Shake Reduction=SR/ D=DSLR/ FA=SLR/ Supersonic Drive Motor=SDM)
Olympus – (Image Stabilization=IS/ Zuiko=APSC/ M.Zuiko=M43/ Silent Wave Drive=SWD)
Sigma – (Optical Stabilizer=OS/DG=Full Frame/ DC=APSC/ Hyper Sonic Motor=HSM)
Tamron – (Vibration Compensation=VC, Di=Full Frame/ Di II=APSC/  Piezo Drive = PZD)
Tokina – ( Nil/ FX=Full Frame/ DX=APSC/ Internal Focusing System using Silent DC Motor= IFS)
*There are other Lens Manufacturers covering smaller markets, so will not be featuring or mentioning here.

You are reminded once again that this is NOT a ”buying guide” or a technical review of each lenses. You can easily find those all over the internet. However, I am sharing based on personal experience, usability and how well these lenses compliment your work.

My Pick for Best Sigma Zoom lens (General Lens).

This is the lens that I will probably bring it everywhere I go, for commercial shoot or leisure walkabouts.

My Pick, is none other than the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM. Marketed as one of the standard grade lens in Sigma Lens line-up, this lens is far from “standard”. Covering a wide angle to a portrait range, this well built lens promises surprises for the user. At a bright apeture of F2.8 at wide angle to a F4.0, this lens is much suited to do landscapes, close up portraits and everything else in between. Featuring Sigma’s signature Optical Stabilizer (OS) and super fast Hyper Sonic Drive motor (HSM) for quiet and fast internal focusing (IF), user can be assused of sharp handheld photos with this lens. Though marked as a “Zoom Macro” (magnification ratio 1:2.7), this is more like a lens that can do “closer- than-others” than a real 1:1 macro. Still no one will really complain given its array of positive features. Optical quality are well-controlled with ELD & Aspherical elements, along with its “Super Multi-Layer Coating” on its glass, this is one of the best lens from Sigma.

Some Quick Information:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM
Format: APS-C with a corresponding 1.5X increase cropped factor (1.6x for Canon).*Not for Full Frame.
Focal Range: Ultra Wide Angle to Light telephoto 17mm-70mm or 25.5mm-105mm (Canon 27.2-112mm) on 35mm formats.
Filter Diameter: 72mm
Supplied with Box: Instruction, Lens Hood LH780-04.
Suggested Alternative Lens: Sigma 18-50mm F2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM

My Pick for Best Sigma Telephoto Zoom lens (Telephoto Lens).
This is the lens that I will use for portraiture work, short range wildlife shots & street photography

My pick, SIGMA APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM. This is a very new lens from Sigma as it was only launched in September 2010. Priced slightly on the high side, we can easily understand why. Featuring a weather-proofed lens body (EX Range) with Sigma’s Super Mutli-Layer Coating, Optical Stabilizer (OS), 1SLD & 2 FLD elements for high quality images, runs on Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and 9 blade apeture with a bright contant F2.8 throughout the zoom range. Designed with the portrait & wild life photographers in mind, this is lens was intended for hand held shooting! Given its specs and when compared the other brands’ counterparts, you may probably think this lens is not that expensive anymore. 🙂 At least that was what I thought so.

Some Quick Information:
SIGMA APO 120-300mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Format: Full Frame, but can be used for APS-C cameras with a corresponding 1.5X increase.(Canon 1.6X)
Focal Range: Telephoto to Mid Super Telephoto 120mm-300mm or (APSC 180-450mm for 1.5X & 192-480mm for 1.6x).
Filter Diameter: 105mm
Supplied with Box: Instruction, Lens Bag, Tripod Ring & Lens Hood LH1128-01.
Suggested Alternative Lens: Sigma 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG APO OS HSM

My Pick for Best Sigma Standard lens (Prime Lens).
This is the lens that I will use for a wide variety of applications when zooming is not everything.

My pick for this category has to be the Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF. This may not be a “Top of the Line”  lens judging from it’s price, but this EX lens is a definite performer. By far, this is the fastest Super Wide Angle lens at F1.8 in the compeition so that set this lens apart from other similar lenses. A favourite with landscape photographers & journalist, this rear focusing (RF)  lens is also widely used for portraits, and even close up photography. (Magnification Ratio 1:4). Though not equipped with a HSM or Super Multi-Layer Coating for its glass plus this lens is not exactly light (52ogm), the bright 9 bladed apeture and a lens angle this wide, Sigma fans and other users will not complain. I am sure.

Some Quick Information:
Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF
Format: Full Frame, but can be used for APS-C cameras with a corresponding 1.5X increase.(Canon 1.6X)
Focal Range: Super Wide Angle 20mm or (APSC 30mm for 1.5X & 32mm for 1.6x).
Filter Diameter: 82mm
Supplied with Box: Instruction, Lens Pouch  & Lens Hood LH875-02 548.
Suggested Alternative Lens: Sigma 24mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro

The above 3 Sigma lenses are the lenses that I will buy if I can ONLY buy 3 lenses for my system. The selected lenses above are not your buying guide, but instead, what I will want to have in my camera bag.

Sigma remained the Top 3  third party lens brand in the photography world and continuing to research & innovate new optical products making them a popular brand among photographers. Sigma is famed for their telelphoto zooms lenses and the excellent lens build quality that is value for money. Have not used a Sigma? Try it.

The above reviews/statement/ findings/ comparisons/ claims are solely personal views consolidated, compiled & based on personal surveys, usage experience, feedbacks from fellow users. This article is NOT PAID by the Brand owner and this article is presented as a reading reference from 1st person point of view.

For the Latest Sigma Lenses That I Personally Loves, check out the below links.
1) Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM (ART)

2) Sigma APO Macro 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM

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