The Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM lens is a powerful lens, ideal for wide-angle photography at various locations, both indoors and outdoors. The APS-C size of the image sensors makes this lens a perfect fit for digital SLRs. With a wide-angle of view that ranges from maximum 102.4 degrees to 63.8 degrees, this Sigma lens is the best wide-angle lens for the Nikon D3400.
Sigma is a well-known optical brand that manufactures compatible lenses and other optical gadgets. Digital photography trends have drastically shifted from using lenses from the same company to inter-operable optical devices. This inter-operability of lenses and cameras supports diversity in photography and helps achieve the best possible results using high-quality lenses with advanced digital SLRs.
Sigma has successfully incorporated state-of-the-art optical features that guarantee flawless and sharp wide-angle photos. These features include ultra-thin film coating on the lens surface to reduce the effect of reflected light. With a maximum aperture of F4-5.6, it can capture clear and sharp photos with its ultra-zooming mechanism.
Sigma 10-20mm uses three SLD glass elements to minimize the effects of chromatic aberration. The lens comes with a premium inner focusing mechanism supported by a hypersonic motor that results in a silent and flawless focusing experience. The lens allows you to capture wide-angle photos from the front of the lens hood at a distance as short as 24 cm.
This lens has an excellent reputation among professionals in the industry. Following is a detailed review of the Sigma 10-20mm lens keeping in view its operations, functionality, and design.
Performance And Functionality
- Maximum format – APS-C/DX
- Focal length – 10-20mm
- Maximum Aperture – F4-5.6
- Minimum Aperture – F22-32
- Magnification – 0.15x
- Lens construction – 14 elements – 10 groups, 3 ASPH, 3 SLD
- The angle of view – 102.4 – 63.8 degrees
- Minimum Aperture – 22
- Anti-reflection coating – Multi-layer
- Diaphragm control system – Mechanical
- Number of blades – 6, rounded
- Zooming method – Rotary
- Minimum focus distance – 0.24 meter
- Focus Modes – AF, MF
- Autofocus motor – Hypersonic motor
- Weight – 465g
- Dimensions – 83.5 x 81mm (maximum)
- Filter Thread – Screw-in 77mm
- Lens hood – Bayonet-type LH825-04
- Other accessories – Front and rear cap
This type of lens is designed for high-quality digital SLRs. To capture sharp photos, the lens image circle of the detachable lens should correspond to the size of the DSLRs’ image sensors. The Sigma 10-20mm with its APS-C image sensor with 3:2 aspect ratio aligns perfectly with Nikon D3400 to reduce vignetting on the photograph border and surface.
The photographs captured by the majority of the wide-angle lenses are sharp at the center but can be distorted at the edges. The reduction in sharpness can be observed in photos captured by Sigma at a maximum aperture of 20mm. You can easily optimize the sharpness within the F/8 and F/11 range.
Light fall-off is another measure to check the sharpness and picture quality. It is noticeable at 10mm and F3.5. The corners of the photograph seem to be darker than the rest of the image. The lens performs well to minimize the vignetting even at 20mm.
The Sigma 10-20mm is constructed with 14 elements in 10 groups and contains three aspherical elements and three low dispersion elements. All these elements combine to give excellent sharpness in the photos at the widest angle with maximum zoom.
The elements in the lens consist of lens glass while the groups form a complete unit of these lens glasses. The elements are united to form a group to reduce the glass-air surface resulting in minimalistic light reflection.
The Sigma 10-20mm uses three aspherical elements that include ASPH, XA, and XGM for distortion correction at wider angles. Aspherical elements are a high-end substitute for the typical spherical items. The spherical aberration is corrected with the aspherical aspects that are close to the aperture stop. The lens is equipped with three ultra-low dispersion glass elements to nullify chromatic aberration, even at full aperture.
Hypersonic Motor HSM
HSM is the most advanced form of focus rings driving motor. The entire operation of autofocusing is so smooth and silent that it doesn’t affect the concentration of the photographer. HSM not only ensures quiet autofocus motion, but it makes the entire process fast and quick. In this way, you can capture clear photos of sunsets, ocean waves, and sports in split-second intervals.
The lens glass surface is coated with an ultra-thin anti-reflection coating that results in a less contrasting flare. Moreover, the layer allows more light to enter the lens by increasing light transmission. It increases the efficiency of the lens at a higher lens speed.
Full Frame Coverage
This lens provides full-frame coverage with Nikon D3400 as the lens image circle perfectly fits the Nikon cameras.
Sigma 10-20mm can achieve null barrel distortion at its minimum focal length. Color fringing is visible when there is external shaking of the barrel. You can observe straight color lines at the edges of the image frame.
The lens is made with dense plastic that absorbs the effect of any external shake or distortion. Lesser barrel distortion means that color fringing is negligible even at the maximum zoom. At 20mm, you can see a low level of pincushion rather than color fringes caused by barrel distortion.
This lens exhibits extra-ordinary performance in case of direct light or sunlight. This wide-angle lens can capture direct sunlight without noticeable light flare. You can take direct sunlight and spotlight photos with this lens without any need for the autocorrection and post-processing.
The Sigma 10-20mm doesn’t come with an optical stabilizer like other Sigma wide-angle lenses. The absence of OS shouldn’t be considered as a drawback as the lens is equipped with advanced visual elements rarely available in other similar models. Another disadvantage is that distortion is comparatively high in the photos captured by the Sigma 10-20mm lens. The distortion becomes more visible at 14mm and beyond.
The lens doesn’t support macro photography and panorama mode as it comes with a 0.15x magnification ratio, which is significantly low with a close focus distance of 24cm. Wide-angles lenses aren’t suitable to capture close-ups so, and the Sigma 10-20mm is no different than the other.
This lens has many excellent independent reviews available online that you can read too if you like. Reading about a first-hand experience with the Sigma 10-20mm can provide you with a clearer idea about the workings of the lens.
User Interface And Control System
- Filter attachment thread
- Focus ring
- Distance scale
- Focus Index Line
- Zoom ring
- Focus mode switch
- Lens Hood
Focusing And Zooming
The lens can be used both in automatic AF and manual M modes. The focus mode selection switch is available on one side of the camera. The premium quality hypersonic motor makes the autofocusing smooth and jitter-free. When Sigma 10-20mm lens is used with DSLRs like D3400 that come with a single-shot AF-S mode, you can focus manually after the lens autofocusses the subject. You need to wait until the camera autofocusses and stops. Then you can adjust the focus manually while keeping the shutter button pressed halfway.
The zoom ring is 13mm wide and comes with a rubber grip. It can rotate in the clockwise direction up to 50-degrees, covering ultrawide to a wide range. The zoom rings come with deep ribbing to minimize the zoom creep. The zoom rings move in the forward direction and extend a total of 4mm to the lens barrel’s overall length. The focus rings are 12mm wide and rotate up to 120 degrees in clockwise direction ranging from infinity to 0.5m.
The lens is equipped with a digital scale on the surface of the length to calibrate the distance scale. The distance scale is market both in feet and meters. However, Sigma advises its user to cross-check the focal distance on viewfinder after manually focusing on the objects. It is because different components of the lens contract and expand in extreme conditions. So, it is always better to cross-reference the distance scale with the measurements on the viewfinder.
This Sigma lens comes with a filter thread of 77mm. The filter thread isn’t synchronized with the autofocus that means that filter thread doesn’t rotate in autofocus mode. Moreover, an 8mm polarizer can be used without worrying about vignetting. This empowers photographers to use the filter to capture ultra-sharp photographs.
The built-in flash of Nikon D3400 doesn’t support the angle of view of this Sigma lens that varies from 63.8 to 102.4 degrees. If you use the built-in flash to capture photographs, then it may result in light fall-off at the photo corners. This phenomenon is quite common while using an in-built flash with wide-angle cameras. That’s why Sigma advises its users to use external flashguns instead.
Build Quality And Design
The lens is made with dense plastic and comes in a charcoal-black matte finish look. Sigma 10-20mm is categorized as a budget-friendly lens, and yet the lens is impressive in terms of build quality. A certain amount of the lens is metallic to ensure firm inter-locking with the camera body. Moreover, the camera comes with couplers and electrical connectors that provide power to the lens. You should be very careful while attaching and detaching the lens with the camera.
The Sigma 10-20mm doesn’t come with optical stabilization, so there is only one focus mode switch on the lens barrel.
The zoom rings are present at the front side, while the focus rings are available at the rear side of the lens. In this wide-angle lens, the zoom rings are of a larger diameter as compared to the lens barrel. The lens comes with both rear and front caps. These caps provide extra security to the lens by preventing dust and other sand particles from entering the lens.
The lens comes with a petal-shaped bayonet detachable lens hood. The shape of the lens is designed to minimize the light flare and ghosting at the corners of the photograph. You can focus on an object placed at the closest distance of 24 cm from the front of the lens hood. The lens adds 11/2 inches to the length of the lens. However, the lens hood is made of plastic and doesn’t add much weight to the lens.
Sigma advises the user to utilize the lens hood to protect the lens and enhance the picture quality by preventing unwanted surrounding light. The lens hood can easily be carried while traveling.
In order to store the lens hood with the lens, you need to remove the lens hood and reverse its direction to prevent any external damage.
The Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM comes with state-of-the-art features, including APS-C image sensor type that supports ultrawide zoom. This compact lens offers the widest angle of views compared to any other similar lens available in the market. This Sigma lens is affordable and a budget lens that empowers the user to capture objects at a minimum focus distance of 24 cm.
The optical construction of this lens comprises of 14 elements in 10 groups. The lens is made with three super-low dispersion glass elements to improve the picture quality by reducing chromatic aberration. Sigma’s 10-20mm comes with aspherical lens elements to nullify the distortion effect in the photograph. The autofocusing of this DC lens is supported by a silent ultrasonic motor responsible for smooth rotation of focus rings.
Sigma’s 10-20mm weighs only 470g with premium quality components and design. It is the best wide-angle lens with rubber zoom and focuses rings to enable perfect grip. The lens comes with a lens mount and lens caps to make the handling extra secure.
The lens exhibits excellent performance with simple operations. The lens comes with minimalistic activities on the lens that doesn’t involve any extra effort. The optical technology employed in the lens can cater to all the image quality issues that include sharpness, aberration, fall-off, and distortion. You don’t need to worry about the image post-processing due to EX DC aspherical lens elements.
This lens captures bright and sharp photos at F3.5 aperture, even in low lights. Sigma 10-20mm EX DC HSM lens is an affordable lens that supports ultrawide sub-frame landscape, indoor, direct light, and commercial photography. This lens has an excellent reputation among both beginner and professional photographers.