The SIGMA 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM for Outdoor Action Photography
Editor’s Note: This is an in-depth look at the SIGMA 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM lens — which has since been discontinued — by now SIGMA Ambassador, Liam Doran.
For many photographers, their first camera is typically a crop sensor camera. This is because they are generally less expensive, and more compact than their full frame counterparts. Additionally most of these entry level or even mid level cameras come paired with a kit lens like an 18-55mm, 28-135mm, or even 24-105mm. And while this is a great place to start your lens collection you will soon notice that you are missing the “big picture.”
What I mean by this of course is the wide angle view for taking it all in. Enter the SIGMA 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM. On a crop sensor camera like the Canon 7DMKII or Nikon D7200, the SIGMA 10-20mm F3.5 will convert to either a 16mm-33mm or 15mm-30mm, respectively. Unlike a fisheye lens, the 10-20mm F3.5 is rectilinear, meaning that it won’t distort straight lines while taking in very wide fields of view which is great for landscape, event and editorial photographers! Here’s a sampling of outdoor and adventure images made with this outstanding ultrawide!
1/640 sec. f4 ISO 250 at 10mm on Canon 7D.
Another example of getting the lens very close to the subject to exaggerate perspective. The wide angle lets us see the entire scene from my soon to be winning hand all the way to the mountains in the background.
1/1250 sec. F9.0 ISO 640 at 12mm on Canon 7D.
Nikki Larochelle trail running in the high alpine of the Colorado Rockies. A classic scene setting shot with the entire image in focus from foreground to distant mountains.
1/8 sec f16 ISO 200 at 20mm on Canon 7D.
Early morning at a high alpine lake in Colorado is a great place to have a wide angle zoom. The 10-20mm F3.5 paired with a crop sensor camera make a potent combination for landscape photographers.
1/800 sec f5.0 at ISO 640 at 10mm (slightly cropped) on Canon 7D.
Pulled back a bit the 10-20mm F3.5 is great for setting the scene and letting the viewer know exactly what’s taking place and where. Mountains, sunset bike trail and racer (with a bit of flash) combine to quickly set the scene.
1.0 sec f5.6 ISO 400 at 10mm on Canon 7D.
A rectilinear wide angle (non-fisheye) is extremely important in a situation like this where we need to keep the tree, fence and building lines straight.
1/500 sec. f6.3 ISO 400 at 12mm on Canon 7D.
Another great way to use a wide angle to place the subject very close to the lens which will exaggerate perspective which can be great for commercial shoots. Notice that the entire length of the 9 foot fishing rod is in the frame!
1/1250 sec. at f14 ISO400 at 10mm on Canon 7D.
Flare is kept at bay with the 10-20mm F3.5 enabling great shots looking directly into the sun!
SIGMA Ambassador Liam Doran is an outdoor sports and adventure travel photographer based in Colorado. Liam's work covers all aspects of outdoor mountain life including skiing, biking, trail running, fly fishing as well as travel and lifestyle. His images appear regularly in commercial advertising and in today’s top outdoor magazines including Powder, Outside, Ski, Skiing, Trail Runner, Mountain Magazine and more.