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Lens Review, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, World's First Wide-Angle Zoom

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4
A retro look at the Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, the world's first wide-angle zoom lens, on a Micro 4/3 digital ILC.

Imagine being able to replicate the use of four wide and ultra-wide-angle primes from 21, 24, 28, and 35mm with a single zoom unit that combines the four focal lengths into one, albeit longer in length and heavier in weight than any of the four.

Firstly, of course, is the substantial saving in cost, followed by the ease of carrying only one lens rather than four, and the ease of changing focal lengths on the fly.

That was my frame of mind when I ordered a 'rare' listing of the OM-mount Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 lens./p>

Olympus E-P5, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4

Online reviews indicated that this is an exemplary lens, ground-breaking, trail-blazing, with a reputation to match.

The Zoom Range

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 21mm
Olympus E-P5, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 21mm

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 24mm
Olympus E-P5, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 24mm

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 28mm
Olympus E-P5, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 28mm

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 35mm
Olympus E-P5, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4 @ 35mm

The Options

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, Top

The options for me were the ability to use the lens both on my full-frame film Olympus OM's and on the E-P5 with the OM Adapter MF-2 which will give the lens the equivalent focal lengths of 42, 48, 56, and 70mm.

The views above are just about that, a quick early morning take looking down the dead-end road just outside of where I am staying.

The sequential images above were cropped to the 16:9 image aspect to adjust for the framing shifts from my handheld shooting, while the high-rise monstrosity is in the camera's native 4:3 aspect ratio.

All shots were taken at f/5.6, as recommended by the reviews, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3), with the final sharpening done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, Sample Image 01

The Lens

The lens, the world's first, is a super solid all-metal construction composed of 12 elements in 12 groups. Weighing about 450 grams and measuring 105mm in length, the lens came with a built-in floral pattern hood and takes in a 67mm filter size.

Olympus OM-2S, Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4

Though slightly front-heavy when attached to the OM System Camera with a Winder 2 attached, the feel is just right and balanced for my smallish hands.

On the Olympus Pen E-P5

On the E-P5, however, with the added extension to its overall length by the MF-2 adapter, my concern is more towards the fragility of the combination, which calls for extra care and concern while handling and doing shoots with the lens.

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, Sample Image 02

The image above is of my aged table lamp shot with the lens setting at 35mm, f/8, close to the lens's closest focusing distance of 0.5m, while out in the garden, the Maidenhair Fern (final image) looks rather splendid when sharpened to accentuate its lacy spread.

Sigma Zoom-Gamma 21-35mm F3.5~4, Sample Image 03


Will you grab one if you have the chance? My recommendation is a big triple yes!!! I got mine for just slightly below USD 75.00 and it came attached to a fully configured and working Olympus OM-10. The lens was overlooked as the main pitch was the camera. I have the camera listed on my sales page now, but as for the lens, I am in no hurry to part with it.

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