Many people believe that Sigma, a third party photography manufacturer merely produce lenses that are inferior to Mbrand name such as Canon or Nikon lenses. While some of them are true, but there some Sigma lenses are better in term of built quality, optical quality and zoom focal length.
Some Sigma lenses are engineered to fill the gap that Canon or Nikon lenses does not have. In this post, I try to categorized the lenses based on similarity on specification:
In wide angle prime category, Sigma has 8mm circular fish eye that Canon does not have, while Nikon has 10mm. In standard prime category, new Sigma lens 50mm f/1.4 is regarded the best standard prime in the market. The build construction is excellent but the trade off is the lens is a heavier and bulkier. (Related article: Sigma 50mm mini review).
Sigma also has quality 30mm f/1.4 lens, which is better than Canon old 28mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/2. Canon has 35mm f/1.4, but the price is way above the reach of prosumer.
In Telephoto prime category, Sigma only has 3 lenses, however, they are a lot more affordable than Canon or Nikon collection.
In Standard wide to telephoto zoom lens, Sigma compromises image quality to affordability. Many of Sigma lenses in this category tend to be significantly cheaper. For example the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8, a popular general zoom lens, is $700 cheaper than Canon’s counterpart. The problem is, the Sigma rarely supply standard zoom lens with optical stabilization or image stabilization. But if you have camera with built-in stabilization (Sony, Pentax, Olympus), then you don’t have to worry about it and get a bargain deal.
In telephoto zoom, Sigma strategy is to put out long zoom lenses and recently equipped with OS (optical stabilization) to combat hand shake. Massive focal length offered by Sigma is unmatched by Canon or Nikon.
In the macro lenses, price and focal length are about the same for both manufacturer, so my recommendation is go for Canon’s or Nikon’s.
In conclusion: Sigma offers many cheaper alternatives, but it does not translate on lower build and image quality. Sometime it is worth the money to get Sigma, especially Sigma with the label EX. These EX lenses tend to have a great built and image quality. Sigma is also well known in manufacturing standard prime such as 30mm and 50mm. In some focal length such as 100-500mm range, Sigma has great collection with affordable price and mechanic that you won’t find in Canon and Nikon’s lens collection.Related Post: