The Last in my look at my lenses with the Eos Mirrorless system. The Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM , remember i commented it being the “elephant in the room” next to other lenses in my collection. It is as such as it is a complete departure from my Canon lenses. Elephant, yes regards its weight and super quality build. More of that in a minute.
I have been for the last 7 years using the Tamron 10-24mm Di II. Did me as my main workhorse, as Landscape and architecture are my main photography preferences. As you are aware though that on an APSC camera that makes it (in FF terms) a 16- 38mm equivalent, not as wide as I would really like. I have been aware of the Sigma 8-16mm for a while now and was very interested in it’s 12-25mm FF equivalency. Could i really get a Ultra Wide angle lens without going “fish-eye”, it seemed that I could. A true Rectilinear lens, with reasonably good online reviews on its abilities and most important at this range- distortion and sharpness.
All for a price. So after many years of waiting for prices to drop, opportunities to arise, I saw a 2nd hand one for sale, locally, about a month before my birthday. Sold the Tamron, and put the money towards it. It came with its own Sigma ,zip top, padded lens bag. Weighed in at 550g or half a kilo, phew! and that is without the adaptor added on, I was so worried it was going to dwarf my Eos M.
Now at f/4.5-5.6 its a long way from the fast lenses that everyone raves about, but remember its for landscape and things that don’t move, like buildings etc. Living in a fairly bright and sunny part of the World also helped me not worry so much about this, as did my trusty tripod.
The minute you pick it up you can feel Sigma’s forerunner to their now “Art” series of lenses. Along with a metal mount, and textured housing, you do get a nice feel of quality to this lens. Then there’s the “Bulb” the big glass bulb at the front, guarded by an inbuilt petal shaped hood. Nice touch, although this does prevent you being able to use standard filter systems on it. A lens cover, which is more of a tube with a built in cap on the end of it, all very fiddly, and as it only slides on without gripping anything , it also keeps slipping off and clattering to the ground with a great metal clanking all the way down the road. I got a silicone lens cover that stretches over the front of the lens and does not come off until i want it too!
So back to how it performs on my mirrorless cameras. Before I got the M5 I had a trip to Singapore for four days. I didn’t want to take my 70d, after all getting a smaller mirrorless camera was all about reducing the weight/size of my camera bag. Four days with the Eos M and the efm 15-45mm the Sigma 8-16, and my 55-250mm stm should tell me if i wanted to go the whole hog and get rid of the 70d and get the M5.
I had nothing else to shoot with, this was going to be a really baptism of fire, not only with the Sigma, but the eos M also. I have written about that experience and how it changed my mind so much i sold the 70D as soon as i got back and bought the M5. I called it From Canon 70D to Canon Eos M5
Yes it was very heavy on the front of the M, actually it was more awkward as well, as its shorter than my other efs lenses and is harder to balance. Still I wanted it to work so much , well i just got on with it. I used it for street art photography, landscape, Architecture, inside the Gardens at the Bay, Inside the Jewel airport terminal , outside in Chinatown and little India and Kampong Glam. I even got the mosque in Kampong Glam, that I had visited back in 2013, and this time easily got the whole building comfortably in the frame with room to spare!
I loved the great sharp images I was getting, but missing the image stabilisation, more because the M does not have a viewfinder and holding it out at arms length with such a heavy lens for any amount of time is difficult to say the least. I knew and am right that on the M a viewfinder being held close to your face makes a world of difference.
When I got it on the M5, it was so much better a user experience. The viewfinder adding stabilisation like the M could not. Better balance of weight ratio to the camera body and its grip, gave for a more secure holding of this heavy lens.
I have to say that at the moment this lens is on my M5 more often than it is not. I can and will use it on the M, but only when needed and not my first choice now. It doesn’t flare either, so actually its a very good purchase for me!
I love the drama this lens gives to interiors and skies.