The Phoblographer’s Guide to Sigma Prime Lenses

Editor’s Note: The Phoblographer’s Sigma Prime Lens Guide was not sponsored by Sigma. It was done by the Phoblographer staff with complete Editorial credibility being kept intact. However, before you make a purchase, we recommend that you give them a try first. 

Months and months in the making, the Phoblographer staff has been working hard to finish a guide that we’re finally proud to say is ready for release. In the past couple of years, Sigma has stated that they have improved their QC measures in manufacturing lenses and also released the plans for a new vision of their future products. Today, they are separated into Art, Contemporary, and Sports. And one of the leading third party manufacturers of lenses, they helped to vanquish the ideology that third party products just aren’t as good as the first party. With that in mind, we bring you our guide to Sigma’s Prime Lenses–featuring the entire list of Sigma fixed focal length glass.

Sigma Nomenclature

As cited from Sigma’s own website.

  • APO (APOCHROMATIC)

    To attain the highest quality images, the APO lens has been made using special low-dispersion (SLD) glass and is designed to minimize color aberration.

  • ASP (ASPHERICAL)

    The aspherical lens complex allows freedom of design, improved performance, a reduced number of component lenses, and compact size.

  • OS (OPTICAL STABILIZER)

    This function utilizes a built-in mechanism that compensates for camera shake. It dramatically expands photographic possibilities by alleviating camera movement when shooting handheld.

  • HSM (HYPER-SONIC MOTOR)

    This lens uses a motor driven by ultrasonic waves to provide quiet, high-speed AF.

  • RF (REAR FOCUS)

    This lens is equipped with a system that moves the rear lens group for high-speed, silent focusing.

  • IF (INNER FOCUS)

    To ensure stability in focusing, this lens moves the inner lens or groups without changing the lens’ physical length.

  • CONV (APO TELECONVERTER EX)

    This lens can be used with the APO Teleconverter EX. It can increase the focal length and will interface with the camera’s AE (automatic exposure) function.

  • EX (EX LENS)

  • The exterior of this lens is EX-finished to denote the superior build and optical quality and to enhance its appearance

     

Sigma 8mm f3.5 EX DG Circular Fisheye

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“With such an extremely wide angle lens, focusing is literally almost irrelevant because of the inherently immense depth of field present with fisheye lenses. When the lens actually does have to acquire focus, it does so quickly and without fuss.”

Buy now Canon EF ($899): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($899): Adorama

 

Sigma 10mm f2.8 Fisheye

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“I have nothing bad to say about the Sigma 10mm f/2.8 DC Fisheye. It does exactly what it promises, and does it with relatively impressive resulting performance. Images are sharp, colors are vibrant, and distortion, while extreme, is pleasing to the eye. It’s also a fantastic lens to hold, as build quality soars above many lenses twice the price.”

Buy now Canon EF ($799): Amazon

Buy now Nikon ($999.95): Amazon

 

Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“The Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG HSM Art is a lens you’re not going to have any sort of trouble with as long as you combine it with a high megapixel DSLR of some sort. At the lower megapixels, you may complain about sharpness until you zoom all the way in on a computer to see how stupidly, amazingly sharp this lens is wide open. It’s very useful and pretty fun to work with.”

Buy Now Canon EF ($1,599): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F($1,599): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($1,599): Adorama

 

Sigma 15mm f2.8 DG Fisheye

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“What you’ve got here is a solid fisheye option from one of the best lens manufacturers around. The Sigma 15mm f2.8 DG Fisheye provides a comfortable focal length in its fisheye family of lenses. It is a niche perspective, but the 15mm does it wonderfully with bright colors and sharp edges. Landscape and event photographers rejoice. You’ve found a friend in the Sigma 15mm f2.8 DG Fisheye.”

Buy now Canon EF($609): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($609): Adorama

 

Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“It’s sharp, has nice bokeh, contrast, manageable fringing, and autofocuses at a fair speed. Plus it has weather sealing. There isn’t a whole lot to hate with the Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary. If you’re the type of photographer who shoots wide, does documentary-style work, and needs a reliable lens in their bag, this is one of the best options you’ve got.”

Buy now Canon M ($449): Adorama

Buy now M4/3 ($399): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($399): Adorama

 

Sigma 19mm

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“There is much to love about this lens: it is sharp, the color rendition is second to none, and it focuses quickly.”

Buy now M4/3 ($199): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($199): Adorama

 

Sigma 20mm f1.8 EX DG RF

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said

“The lens barrel feels sturdy in the hand and the mount is completely solid when it’s on-camera (no wiggle at all). The focusing ring is nicely ribbed and easy to use, and it also doubles as the clutch for the focusing mechanism (after toggling the switch on the lens barrel).”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG HSM Art

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“The Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is sharp, contrasty, saturated, and overall delivers incredible image quality that you really can’t sit there and complain about. It’s a beautiful lens that will find its home amongst architecture photographers, street photographers, and landscape photographers. As I’m writing this review, I keep thinking about how sad I am to send it back to Sigma since the review is over. But it’s positively incredible and there is very little to hate here.”

Buy now Canon EF ($899): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($899): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($899): Adorama

 

Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG HSM Art

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

When it comes to color, very few can do it like Sigma. The colors from the 24mm f1.4 are very saturated–which is great for landscapes, cityscapes, sunsets and all. To be honest, we didn’t have too many qualms about it for skin tones either. If you’re purchasing this lens, know that the colors will be exceptional and you won’t have a single complaint.

Buy now Canon EF ($849): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($849): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($849): Adorama

 

Sigma 24mm f1.8 EX DG Macro

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“The combined strength of sharpness, a fast maximum aperture and close focusing capability provide the lens great versatility for any type of photography. When you add to that mix, solid construction with impressive image quality, there’s hardly anything left to say other than if you need a lens like this, you now know where to find it.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 28mm f1.8 EX DG

 

SigmaIn our review, we said

The Sigma 28mm f1.8 was an absolute joy to use. With its 9 aperture blades and EX construction, this lens can help you create beautifully sharp images with colors that truly pop. It’s an excellent addition to anyone’s kit, and it is an affordable entry point for someone looking to break into the wide-angle field of view.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 28mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“I really like the Sigma 28mm f1.4 DG HSM Art. It delivers fantastic image quality all throughout the frame that no one can really complain about. It has gorgeous bokeh that is smooth and combined with the close focusing abilities, you’re bound to get photos you’re happy with. The sharpness is more than acceptable. Despite the fact that we didn’t test this lens with a flash, we’re still confident in what it’s capable of doing. Couple all of this with the weather sealing and you’ve got a highly reliable lens.”

Buy now Canon EF ($1,399): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($1,399): Adorama

 

Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“I’ve seen far more contrasty and saturated levels from Sigma, but this one is still fairly saturated in the grand scale of things. It produces beautiful colors in nearly every situation that are very lifelike and not at all fooling the eye out of the real thing. For portrait photographers, know that skin tones with this lens are very true to life and you’ll need to do very little China Doll style retouching on skin surfaces when in the editing process. This means that you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time.”

Buy now Canon M ($339): Adorama

Buy now M4/3 ($289): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($289): Adorama

 

Sigma 30mm f1.4 II

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“Sigma’s 30mm f1.4 is an overall very good lens. APS-C DSLR users won’t be disappointed by the sharpness, bokeh, colors, and overall build quality. If you’re an APS-C DSLR user, we recommend skipping every other single lens that anyone out there recommends and going straight for this one.”

Buy now Canon EF-S ($499): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F – DX ($499): Adorama

 

Sigma 30mm f2.8 EX

 

In our review, we said:

“This lens renders perhaps some of the best bokeh I’ve seen of any Micro Four Thirds lens. In fact, it even seems like Sigma might have added a bit of micro-contrast into the lens.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 35mm F1.2 Art DG DN

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“In backlit situations with ample light outdoors, the Sigma 35mm f1.2 Art DG DN nails the focusing well. Here is where you’re not only able to appreciate the colors that the lens delivers but also the sharpness.”

Buy now L Mount ($1,499): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($1,499): Adorama

 

Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“The bokeh quality from the lens is also really quite creamy. Again, something about it almost reminds me of Mamiya or Bronica lenses that have some beautiful bokeh to them.”

Buy now Canon EF ($699): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($699): Adorama

 

Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art

 

SigmaIn our review, we said:

“If you’re using the Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art, know that no matter what, you’re going to get great image quality and a lens that just overall performs admirably. It’s fantastic with its build quality, its image output, the focusing speed (which is practically more than good enough) etc. But know that you’re also going to have a massive piece of glass on your camera. It’s yuuuggggeeeeee, and you’ll know the bigly size when you hold it.”

Buy now Canon EF ($1,399): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($1,399): Adorama

Buy now L Mount ($1,399): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($1,399): Adorama

 

Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“Besides the Canon 50mm f/1.2L, I don’t think bokeh in this focal length gets better than this. Yes, the Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 has “unique” bokeh, but I think most photographers prefer the Sigma’s super smooth and creamy bokeh. Also, thanks to the 9 bladed diaphragm, bokeh balls are nice and round, no hexagons here.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 50mm f2.8 DG Macro

 

In our review, we said:

“This lens can render very sharp images wide open and stopped down. Apparently, this lens has a minimum aperture of f32. I never had to go that far down, so I can’t speak to the sharpness at that aperture. I imagine you’d have to be on the surface of the sun to necessitate f32 unless I’m using strobes. I typically had the lens stopped down to around f5.6, and it performed wonderfully.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“When it comes to image quality of the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens, it truly is deserving of its Art moniker. This lens delivers some of the most beautiful image quality that we’ve seen and surely puts lots of the first party offerings to shame with the exception of the Sony 50mm f1.4 Zeiss lens.”

Buy now Canon EF ($949): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($949): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($949): Adorama

 

Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

 

In our review, we said:

As of press time, the Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN Contemporary produces some of the best images we’ve seen to date of any lens designed specifically for Crop Sensory Sony E Mount cameras. In-focus areas are tack sharp while out of focus areas pack plenty of bokeh. Images produced by the Sigma 56mm f1.4 are consistently sharp in the center of the frame throughout the available aperture range (f1.4 to f16), with no significant loss in sharpness detected when moving towards the perimeter of the frame.

Buy now Canon M ($479): Adorama

Buy now M4/3 ($429): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($429): Adorama

 

Sigma 60mm f2.8 DN

 

In our review, we said:

“One of the better uses for it would definitely be street photography. Or in this case, “stalker photography”. I was surprised at how easy it was to photograph people without their knowledge due to the range I had. And being such a discrete lens, I didn’t get any odd stares like when I bring out my DSLR gear. Street photographers, this just may be the lens you’ve been waiting for.”

Buy now M4/3 ($239): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($239): Adorama

 

Sigma 70mm f2.8 EX DG Macro

 

In our review, we said:

“On a photo walk, this lens is brilliant. The Sigma 70mm is an excellent change from shooting with a 50mm. With the limiter on you are quickly focusing and shooting. When something you see requires the macro touch, just switch to full and get the shot. This lens is a great alternative for street photography if you’re the type that prefers telephoto lenses.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art

 

In our review, we said:

“The Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art is capable of producing beautiful images in the right situations and with the right color editor. Portrait photographers may want to consider using the Sigma 70mm f2.8 DG Macro Art where they’ll want to shoot closer portraits but also if they need the lens to double for macro work such as at a wedding. For food photography, the image quality of course holds up.”

Buy now Canon EF ($469): Adorama

 

Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX DG HSM

 

In our review, we said

“The Sigma 85mm F/1.4 produced excellent results when paired up with the Canon 5D. Sharpness, saturation, and bokeh where all top notch. Of all the images I took, there are only a few shots that I felt needed some form of post processing.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG Art

 

In our review, we said:

It focuses quickly, has a bit of weather sealing and overall is a very strong performer. There is very little that will make me want to not award this lens the Editor’s Choice award that it so easily deserves. It’s highly capable and available at a good price.

Buy now Canon EF ($1,199): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($1,199): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($1,199): Adorama

 

Sigma 105mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“Other than the minor stabilization issue I ran into, this lens has thoroughly impressed me. This lens is definitely a worthy macro lens but can easily transition to shooting portraits. When you add up the image quality, stabilization, build quality, and everything you get with it, Sigma has a winner with this one.”

Buy now Canon EF ($469): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($469): Adorama

 

Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art

 

In our review, we said:

Is it massive? Of course. Does it weigh a lot? You bet. But the quality of the images this lens produces is simply gorgeous. If you are a bokeh addict, the Sigma 105mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is the fix that you’ve been after, and it will keep you crawling back for more.

Buy now Canon EF ($1,599): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($1,599): Adorama

Buy now Sony E ($1,599): Adorama

 

Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art

 

In our review, we said:

“The Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens is really incredible when it comes to image quality. Like many of the other art lenses, there isn’t a whole lot to complain about. Bokeh? Oh man, do you have it. Sharpness? Yes. Colors? Well, that’s where some folks may be torn. Photographers that like the more muted colors will enjoy this lens a whole lot. But photographers that have come to admire Sigma’s saturation in many of their other lenses may not like this.”

Buy Now Canon EF ($1,399): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($1,399): Adorama

 

Sigma 150mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“This lens was a great addition to my kit for the month that I had it, and I’m sad to see it go. It’s another entry in Sigma’s fantastic lineup, and it’s a strong player in third party glass. With super quiet autofocusing, optical stabilization, a fast aperture, and a wide focusing range, the Sigma 150mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro will help you create many beautiful photographs.”

Buy now: Amazon

 

Sigma 180mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro

 

In our review, we said:

“If I had to sum up my impression of the image quality this lens delivers into one word, it would be “unexpected”. Having used macro lenses in the past, I know them to be typically sharp, but I have never used one quite this long before so I was not sure what to fully expect with the 180mm f/2.8. From the first images I shot I was completely impressed with the outstanding clarity and detail this lens delivered, even straight out of the camera!”

Buy now Canon EF ($1,699): Adorama

 

Sigma 300mm f2.8 EX APO DG

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“The bokeh of this the Sigma 300mm f2.8 D is simply amazing. As a telephoto lens, this lens was excellent when it came to bokeh. It is beyond smooth mostly. It has to be some of my favorite bokeh, ever.”

Buy now Canon EF ($3,399): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($3,399): Adorama

 

Sigma 500mm f4.5 EX DG APO

 

In our review, we said:

“The sharpness of this lens is ridiculous. I could see people in helicopters, which were extremely far off. The detail it pulls out of things is stunning, hand-held or on a tripod. I could clearly read things of boats on the Hudson river without an issue.”

Buy now Nikon F ($4,999): Adorama

 

Sigma 500mm f4 DG OS HSM Sports

 

sigma lensesIn our review, we said:

“The Sigma 500mm f4 DG OS HSM Sports is a lens that wildlife and specifically birding photographers are bound to enjoy. The combination of solid image quality, weather sealing and all will make it work out. If you can’t afford Canon’s own version, then this is a solid alternative.”

Buy Now Canon EF ($5,999): Adorama

Buy now Nikon F ($5,999): Adorama

 

Sigma 800mm f5.6 EX DG APO HSM

 

In our review, we said:

The autofocus is quick and precise. It is also ultra-quiet due to the hypersonic motor. The limiters help a lot and speed things up even more.

Buy now: Amazon