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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:13 pm 
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I just ordered the above lens, to test it thoroughly. Ken Rockwell gave it the thumbs up here coming in second after his favorite Nikon12-24mm :D
I'll compare it to a second copy of Sigma's 10-20mm a Tamron 11-17mm and a Sigma 12-24mm.
I'll keep you posted!

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: fact sheet
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Here are the main facts from the catalog:
Size: 84x89.5mm = quite big :?
Weight: 570g = quite fat :?
Optics: 13 elements in 11 groups :?
Closest focus distance/max.magnification: 0.3m / 1:8 (I'll test this!) :? :(
Filter-thread = 77mm (=standard) :)
No IS = not so important :?
AF does not work on D40/x-bodies :cry: , manual-focus override by pulling the focus ring back :?
Covers APS-C-sensors or Four/thirds
Comes with a petal-shaped lens-shade :) but no lens-bag :(
Price: around 440€ = second cheapest of the test-group :) (cheapest is the Tamron 11-18mm)

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 Post subject: first impressions
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:42 pm 
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Here are my first impressions and observations from working with the lens:
The switch-over between AF and MF (by pulling the focus-ring) is not state of the art, but works quite well and intuitively while looking through the viewfinder: as soon as you notice that the focus-ring doesn’t give way to your manual focusing efforts, you remember to pull. :?
AF is a little noisy and slow, but that’s ok with me. In low-light the focus normally finds the target, albeit that needs some "thinking" from time to time. Focus quality will be judged later. :?
The focus-ring doesn't turn with AF, that's good :)
The lens is much easier to get your hands around than the Sigma 12-24mm. The rubberized rings feel good.
The lens has no dof-marker. :?
---
You can see pictures taken for the test here. It will be slowly filling up over time. I'll also be placing "mishaps" to give you a feeling of the "hit-rate" of the lens/body-combo in automatic...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:34 am 
What do you mean by "second copy" of Sigma 10-20 ?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:07 am 
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Hello skelter, and welcome to the Camera Labs forum.
By "second copy" I mean a second exemplar, because the first went back to the retailer as it showed disappointing performance (see here).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:20 am 
Do you mean that you have experienced problems with your exemplar, or that ALL the first exemplars produced had this problem, and so Sigma have produced a "corrected second copy" ?
(sorry but my english is not that good and i have difficulties in understanding :oops: )


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:37 am 
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Skelter, welcome to the club! My english is also not the best! That's probably the reason for the confusion around "second copy" :? Btw. where are you from?
I'm simply referring to the two exemplars/copies of this lens that I got in my hands/n my camera. The first was bad (and consequently sent back) and the second good (and I kept it). There were many complaints in user-forums about unstable quality from Sigma of this lens, but you could also be lucky with earlier exemplars/copies. So you could not come to the conclusion that all older Sigma 10-20mm exemplars were bad and unfortunately also not that all newer copies are good.
My personal opinion is that Sigma made a good design with the 10-20mm but f*cked it up with sloppy quality control (QC) in the early days. And I hope/assume that the many returns made them look into their QC-procedures to improve the rate of good lenses now.
But nonetheless, I would test the lens carefully when you buy one!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:50 am 
Hehe, not easy to do ! I want to buy the lens next month during a trip to new york, cause they're much cheaper there. But how do i test it ? How can i see fast if there are problems ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:13 am 
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There is a very easy test to find out whether the lens is decentered if you have some fine structures in the shop or in front of it's door (antennae on a roof, trees, distant brick-walls.
Important is to set the lens wide open (aperture prio at f4) and disable AF (at least after the first shot) so that the conditions are equal under which you shoot 2 or 4 shots. =VERY IMPORTANT
If you're in a hurry just test the shortest focal length (i.e. 10mm) as it is the most critical, if you want to be absolutely sure, make two sets of shots at 10mm and 20mm.
Then put the fine structure into each corner of your viewfinder and pull the trigger. You'll get 4 shots of the same subject in the different corners (which are most critical with respect to sharpness) and can then compare the sharpness of these structures in-camera by zooming in on each.
When you hsoot against the sky, don't get distracted by strong background light eating into your structures and making them look "ghosty", just concentrate on the sharpness.

Perhaps it's best to try this procedure before with one of your existing lenses...

I personally love twigs from trees against the sky as test-subjects and can do with just two shots: One in normal position, and one with the camera upside down and the same crop. Thus the subjects in the picture change their position 180° and can be compared accordingly. But I think this method is best when you compare the shots on your computer with one pic turned 180°.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:20 am 
Ok i'll try this with my actual lens and post the pictures here, so you can tell me if i understand what you mean


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:28 am 
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Good luck!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:43 am 
Here is the test, tell me if you mean something like this:
Image
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Well, almost :?
The structure needs to be much finer! See an example here.
And you should position it a little better in the corners.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:46 pm 
This picture of the trees looks ok to me... how do i see the problem in it ?
It just looks "out of focus" in the upper part, but isnt it normal in a wide angle lens ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Just have a look at the other one, for which I just rotated the camera 180°. That's sharp!
Look at least in large (685x1024) size.
To make it easier, I placed the crops alongside in my thread about this lens here: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtop ... =1064#1064
See the difference?

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Last edited by Thomas on Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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