Add the Sigma 8-16mm Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens to our ever expanding list of coveted photography toys. The Sigma 8-16mm lens is the widest angle zoom lens currently in the market, built specifically for DSLR’s with APS-C sized sensors. What this means to you, is it provides the equivalent angle of view to a 12-24mm lens on a full frame DSLR. That equivalent angle allows the 8-16mm to flirt with but not cross the line into the sometimes gimmicky fisheye lens territory. A positive in our book.
In addition to a must have focal length, Sigma’s 8-16mm features: Hypersonic Motor for ultra quiet auto focus, four elements of FLD glass (comparable to fluorite glass) to compensate for color aberration, minimum focus distance of 9.4inches throughout the focal range, and 4.2″x2.9″ carry-friendly sizing.
Our test Sigma 8-16mm came as a Nikon mount which we mounted to our D5000. It’s also available for Canon, Sony/Minolta, Pentax, and Sigma as well. After getting some serious shooting in with it, we’ve come away impressed. The HSM motor is key since Nikon’s entry level DSLR’s (e.g. D40, D3000) don’t have an internal AF motor. The focal range made for intriguing viewpoints, exaggerated perspectives, and great panoramic views. Check out the pictures below for the proof. Images were sharp, even at the edges of the frame, often a weak-point for ultra-wide angle lenses. While its not a lens we’d leave on our camera all the time like a 35mm or 50mm, the 8-16mm certainly deserves a place in the bag. It allowed us to capture interesting compositions, not possible with other lenses and when it comes down to it, that’s really what makes for a great lens.
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