Sigma 8-16mm lens

Sigma 8-16mm is the widest lens available for cropped-sensor cameras
By Scott Gietler

The new Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 lens ($699 in the US) is the widest available lens for cropped sensor dSLRs. I'm a big fan of ultra-wide lenses and love putting my Sigma 10-20mm lens on my camera. Let's see how I liked the Sigma 8-16mm on my Nikon D300, and look at some real-world photographs.


sigma 8-16mm lens review



This photo makes the Sigma 8-16mm lens look larger than actually is!


Specs, Design, Focus and Operation

  • Find out how the lens is constructed, how the auto-focus works, what kind of build quality it was, and how the close-focus performance is

Comparison with other wide-angle lenses & fisheye lens

  • See what other wide-angle lenses compare with the Sigma 8-16mm. See test photos taken of the same subject with the Nikon 10.5 fisheye lens and Sigma 10-20mm lens.

Chromatic aberration, vignetting, barrel distortion, flare

Sharpness tests

  • Find out which apertures give the best results, and what strange exposure problem I encountered

Sample outdoor photos

  • See how the lens actually performs out in nature

Sigma 8-16mm underwater photos

  • Underwater photos taken with the sigma 8-16mm lens

Conclusions for topside photography

Conclusions for underwater photography

  • Find out if this lens is a good choice for underwater photography. Also includes comparisons with the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye

Discuss this review in our forums


Further Reading

Best underwater lenses for underwater photography

Review: Canon 8-15 mm Fisheye Lens

Sigma and Tokina fisheye lenses on a Nikon D800


Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel, and the Underwater Photography Guide. Bluewater Photo, based in Santa Monica, CA is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious underwater camera stores, serving many thousands of customers each year, where nothing is more important than customer service. The Underwater Photography Guide is the world’s first website to feature free tutorials on underwater photography, and has become the most trafficked resource on underwater photography worldwide. Bluewater Travel is a full-service dive travel wholesaler sending groups and individuals on the world’s best dive vacations. 

Scott is also an avid diver, underwater photographer, and budding marine biologist, having created the online guide to the underwater flora and fauna of Southern California. He is the past vice-president of the Los Angeles Underwater Photographic Society, has volunteered extensively at the Santa Monica aquarium, and is the creator of the Ocean Art underwater photo competition, one of the largest underwater international photo competitions ever held in terms of value of prizes. He lives in California with his wife, newborn girl and scuba-diving, photo taking 4 year old son.


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A wonderful review of this

A wonderful review of this new lens. I have been looking at the Tokina 11-16mm as an option, but I had heard several things (negative) regarding Sigma. In fairness, I wanted to keep my options open, as either lens is in the $600-$700 range.

This article has been tremendously informative. The comparisons between the Tokina and Nikon lens allowed me to evaluate the three independently and objectively. With all three lenses compared, I am strongly leaning now towards the Sigma lens!

Thanks again,


Read your entire review -

Read your entire review - thanks for the complete testing...this has helps me decide to go down to my camera shop and try one out on my Nikon d300s. Since I shoot both stills and video (underwater and above) I'm quite sure that I'll have to save my nickels and dimes and invest in this tool.