Portfolio Reviews Contact Blog    

Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6D DC-HSM Review

Sigma AF 10-20mm f/4-5.6D DC-HSM Life Pixel Infrared Conversion

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio


January 2007

The sigma 10-20mm is an ultra wide angle DX lens, featuring: ASP (Aspherical Lens), HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor, equivalent to Nikons AF-S but slower), IF (Internal Focus), EX (The exterior of this lens is EX-finished to denote the superior build and optical quality, and to enhance its appearance) As you will find out on this review that's one thing i really dislike). And DC (These are special lenses designed so that the image circle matches the smaller size of the image sensor of most digital SLR cameras(DX).


Lens Construction: 14 elements in 10 groups (3 SLD elements)

Picture Angle: 102.4/63.8 degrees

Filter Size: 77mm

Included accessories: Front & Rear Lens Cap, Lens Hood, Case

Size and weight: 83.5mm x 81mm/3.3in x 3.2in, 465g./16.4oz.

Diaphragm: 6 Bladed

Price: $479.00 USD


  • 10mm performance.
  • Price.
  • World wide warranty, something other companies should have, particularly Nikon.
  • Sharp, this lens shows good sharpness @ 10mm, even from f/4


  • Poor IR performance, this lens is not suitable for IR photography, as it hot-spots badly.
  • Bad lens cap, Sigma really need to fix their lens caps.
  • Complex distortions. specially @ 14-20mm.
  • 20mm performance.
  • Variable aperture.
  • G-type aperture.
  • EX. I know allot of people like this velvety like thing, to me it feels like a bad toy.
  • Focus ring, the focus ring is too stiff for my liking.
  • Vignetting quite a bit @ 10mm f/4.
  • Slow auto-focus.
  • No DOF/IR markings


This is a pretty decent lens, with its best performance on 10mm, and so so performance on 20 mm. I personally really dislike the EX finish, to me that gives me the feel of cheap optics. As you can see I find this lens to have more drawbacks then positives, that said the lens is usable, especially around 10mm, where it delivers very straight lines, compared to how wide this lens is. If you enjoy taking IR photography, this is definitely not the lens for you.

Rating FullRating FullRating FullRating HalfRating Empty Features
Rating FullRating FullRating HalfRating EmptyRating Empty Performance
Rating FullRating FullRating EmptyRating EmptyRating Empty IR Performance
Rating FullRating FullRating FullRating EmptyRating Empty Build
Rating FullRating FullRating FullRating EmptyRating Empty Value


Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX. Price From: $799.95 USD

Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 DX. From: $579.00 USD

Nikon AF-S 12-24 f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX. From: $899.95 USD

Tokina AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124AF Pro DX. From: $399.95 USD

Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX-DC HSM. Price: $649.00 USD

Sigma AF 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG HSM. From: $859.00 USD

*Prices are subject to change. Listed price is from July 30, 2009

Sample Pictures

Images have been imported to photoshop CS3 through Capture NX 2 thus leaving the original image settings as shot, I. E white balance, sharpening, etc .etc. Full resolution sample images are in RGB color mode. Check out my copyright page for information about usage of these images.

sigma 10-20 statue
10-20 @ 10mm 1/160sec f/5.6
some CA is visible in this shot, also note the fairly straight lines in this picture.

statue crop
crop @ 100%

sigma 10-20 cat
Sigma 10-20 @ 10mm 1/125sec f/4. ok bokeh, seen better, but not at this price.


10-20 cat crop
Crop @ 100%. Center sharpness is quite good even @ f/4
© 2009 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.