Sigma has added a compact gem of a lens to its Contemporary series, which is known for versatile, lightweight lenses, the kind that serve well on vacation or in general day-to-day photography. With the new 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN lens, Sigma’s first APS-C size mirrorless zoom lens available for Sony E-mount and Leica L-mount APS-C cameras, Sigma has outdone itself, offering an extremely small lens with a 27-75mm equivalent focal length range and an f/2.8 constant maximum aperture.
Normally, an f/2.8 lens with these focal lengths would be much bigger and, having had the chance to use this lens with my Sony a6500 mirrorless camera, it is hard to underestimate the pleasure and the advantages of having such “workhorse specs” (27-75mm f/2.8) in a barrel that weighs just 10.2 oz (290 grams) and is only 2.9" (7.5cm) long at the wide-angle setting. It is an ideal match for APS-C size cameras, very easy to control and to adjust zoom with one hand, which is helpful for smooth videography.
The lens’s “stepping motor” system provides quiet and accurate autofocus, also great for video and for fast-paced work such as event and street photography. During my days with this lens, I shot documentary style on the street, often “from the hip,” and I was very pleased to see the success of the fast and accurate autofocus system.
The lens can also be used for macro-style close-up photography, owing to its maximum magnification of 1:2.8 and a minimum focusing distance of just 4.76" (12.1cm). The constant f/2.8 maximum aperture also provides shallow depth of field focus and enables confident handheld photography, even in low-light situations. Image quality is impressive for such an affordable lens. Three glass-molded aspherical elements yield superb optical quality without excessive weight, and the use of in-camera aberration correction minimizes optical imperfections such as distortion and vignetting.
Sigma has made strides over the years in barrel construction, and this not only contributes to the lightweight and robust design, but the Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) creates thermal conductivity close to that of aluminum, ensuring stable performance and operability when used in changing temperatures. The lens mount itself also provides a dust- and splash-resistant structure, and included with the lens is the LH582-02 petal-type lens hood.
Again, this lens is one to consider for a wide range of photography―a real all-purpose optic―that will please the casual shooter as well as more experienced photographers looking for a lightweight alternative to larger f/2.8 lenses. It is also very effective for handheld videography and vlogging.
As a longtime Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 user, this new lens is a real eye-opener, demonstrating the potential for high-quality and fast-paced imaging in the APS-C format without the drawbacks of a heavy lens.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this lens and others in the Sigma lineup, particularly when it comes to the advantages that a fast yet compact lens can bring to your photography.