[27 of 27 customers found this review helpful]
Comments about Sigma Sigma 8 - 16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM AutoFocus Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon EOS Digital SLR Cameras.:
I gave the Sigma 8-16mm a '5' rating, but part of that is because there is no competition for the APS-C sensors ... so, technically it's the best item out there. This is as wide as it gets without a fisheye.
But it's not the best only because of lack of competition. It's a very good lens in its own right. The focus is fast and accurate, and nearly silent. The bokeh is better than I expected, and it works reasonably well indoors. It feels very solid and well built. It comes with a case and built-in (tiny) hood which protects the bulbous front element. Images appear very crisp edge to edge, especially in brighter light.
It has a very narrow aperture so expect to use a tripod indoors, when possible. Still, it creates tolerable indoor hand-held shots if your arms are steady. It cannot take filters because of the front element.
There are some very good uses I've found so far. One obvious excellent use is architecture and real estate. It can capture an entire room which is a huge improvement over the point-and-click pictures most real estate agents publish. You can approach much closer to buildings and get the whole building in the photograph, which puts the viewer into the picture -- it's how a person would see the building. You do have to be careful to keep the sensor as parallel to the image as possible to reduce distortion which only a view camera or tilt shift lens could fix.
Sometimes you want strange perspectives, which this can provide with its incredibly short focus distance.
A third use caught me by surprise -- I photograph food, and this is an unexpectedly awesome lens for that use. The perspective actually enhances pictures of food and makes them appear more appetizing.
There are some issues with barrel distortion at the wide end, which I completely expected to see, and which largely disappear around 10mm. A cursory, non-academic analysis of the raw images shows that it focuses accurately and has reasonably good contrast and detail in the corners. The range (8-16mm) is not very large, but other lenses take over where this one leaves off. I would have preferred it go to at least 24mm for increased usability. However, you're not buying this for the zoom capability... the main purpose it has is the ultra wide angle on your FOVCF 1.6x sensor.
I found that it makes highly immersive video, when you need to film while moving through hallways or alleys.
Strobes may not wide enough for this lens. Camera-based strobes will not work, either, because they're too close to the camera and you see the shadow of the lens. (The lens is not particularly large, but the angle is insane.)
All in all, this is a great addition to my kit and definitely will find uses due to its strengths. Knowing its weaknesses (most of the not any fault of the lens itself) will help you take better shots.