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SD15 Starter Advice


New Member
Greetings all. I've been a manual focus Contax/Zeiss user for years and have always resisted the digital movement until I saw the images from the Foveon. It's the first time a digital camera produced that film-like quality I've been missing. That has basically sold me on getting onto the Sigma boat.

I'm looking at getting an SD15 (since the SD1 is just way too expensive). However, I'm not sure what lenses to start out with. I probably need one zoom lens for my wife, but I'm not sure what other lenses would be a good fit to start with. With my Zeiss, I have a 28, 50, 135, a 28-70, and a Tamron 500 reflex (along with a couple inexpensive Yashica lenses).

Are there a couple "must have" lenses to start in both zoom and prime that people would suggest? Also, is it possible to get a split-focus screen for these things? I've always hated auto focus and still like manual focus better.




Well-Known Member
A few to look for...

Zoom - Sigma lenses...I think all of these are discontinued....
15-30 3.5
20-40 2.8
24-60 2.8
50-150 2.8
80-400 4-5.6

These are all good lenses...heavier than the kit lenses...but well worth the expense...

Primes -

24 1.8
30 1.4
50 1.4
85 1.4
90 2.8 - macro (discontinued)
105 2.8 - macro (discontinued)

Any combination of these lenses would be good....remember that the SD15 has a crop factor of 1.7 so a 30mm will take a picture like 50mm you will not get the focal distance...just the area it covers...

A good kit...

15-30 - 24-60 - 50-150 & 30 - 85 - 105

Good luck...and I look forward to seeing your pictures...Tony C.


New Member
Thanks. I will watch for those lenses. Being in Canada, it's not often I come across used Sigma lenses. I may have found the 15-30 EX that you mentioned, though.

I found a used SD15 with a 18-200 lens as a starter kit. At least it's a basis to go from and I'll keep my eyes open going forward.

One more question - it seems Sigma SA lenses non DG or DC are quite common around here. Are those compatible with the SD15? If so, are they worth looking at?



Well-Known Member
Non DG/DC lenses are fine...actually I prefer the older glass...even the old MF SA mount lenses will work..you just have to watch out for MF lenses hitting the AA filter...

Good Luck...Tony C. :z04_cowboy:


Well-Known Member
If you don't want the highest quality, then 17-70 DC 2.8-4.5 Macro (discontinued) is pretty good universal walkabout lens. I tend to use it in MF mode.

I greatly prefer it to 18-200 DC OS (which I got as kit lens). While buying, I choose it (17-70) over 18-50 DC 2.8 EX - the latest is a bit sharper in centre, but could be softer on edges and has a bit less reach.

Another lens I've got is 105 DG 2.8 EX Macro (discontinued), I like it very much. I'm using it in MF mode only; AF is somewhat slow with this lens too.

Then I've got so-called 'polish' M42 adapter (search on eBay) and very cheap M42 Chinon 55 1.8 lens - the latest is sharpest of the bunch, although creates somewhat green-colored bokeh. MF of course :)

Then some more older SA and M42 lens, what are not worth to recommend here.

Lenses what I don't have, but want to (if I could adjust spending their price):
Sigma 100-300 f/4 - best zoom IMO from Sigma, hard to find
Zeiss Distagon T* everything - I would replace Canon mount to Sigma SA one, not hard
Sigma 600mm mirror

Lenses what are told to give very good results (if not decentered, esp. first two - better is to check lens before buying):
Sigma 8-16mm
Sigma 24-70mm (latest version)
Sigma 70mm Macro
Sigma 180mm Macro (discontinued)
Sigma 70-200 2.8 (latest version)
Sigma 120-300 2.8 (latest version)

What about split focus screens, then probably you can order one from Haoda - I've read that they have mastered at least one for SD14; SD15 one should be similar. Katzeye didn't want to take risks :) Cheap chinese screens, sometimes popping up for SD14, are rumoured to not very usable. And I've read that someone managed to create almost ideal focusing screen from old Nikon one...

SD14 focus screen itself is pretty good (of course not comparable to split screens). I've got Pentax O-ME53 (1.14x magnified viewfinder), which can be used on SD14 without problems and makes manual focusing much easier. Well, due to the eyeglasses I can't always see entire image in viewfinder easily; there are always some compromises required.


Well-Known Member
Hmm, I can't edit my post?

I wanted to add two older Sigma lenses, which I want too:
Sigma APO Tele Macro 300 f/4
Sigma APO Tele Macro 400 f/5.6