Last Updated on 07/19/2019 by Mark Beckenbach
Mirrorless lenses seem to be getting bigger by the day, and Sigma’s new lenses show that.
Do you remember when camera companies told us that Mirrorless was the future and that we can expect smaller cameras, and smaller, lightweight lenses to go along with them due to advances in technology? We remember that too, but my how things change. Mirrorless cameras started off small, but now they are roughly the same size as DSLR’s, and the lenses that go along with the cameras are becoming cartoonishly huge. Sigma announced a few new lenses the other day, and my arms hurt just looking at them.
We know this has been talked about before, and we know there are many of you that do not see this as an issue because ‘it’s the future’. You’re well entitled to have that opinion, but good grief, since when has a 35mm lens had to look like a shell a tank would fire to destroy a small compound? Sigma is the current kings of creating oversized lenses right now (the recent Sigma 40mm f1.4 and the Sigma 28mm f1.4 lenses come to mind), and now the new Sigma 35mm f1.2 and the 14-28mm f2.8 are continuing the trend. A recent post at DPReview shows images of the new lenses, and they are positively beefy.
Just take a look at the monstrosity above, the Sigma 35mm f1.2 DG DN Art. It has a diameter of 3.46-inches, it’s 5.36-inches long, and weighs a whopping 2.4lbs! Will it be a great lens that takes gorgeous images? Knowing Sigma and their new glass, yes, more than likely. But does a 35mm prime lens really need to be this big? Can you imagine trying to be a stealthy street photographer with this attached to your camera? Do you think you’ll be able to subtly blend into a wedding or an event with this lens? Doubtful.
Prime lenses used to be smaller, lighter lenses that still produced incredible images, and you could use them all day during events without having to worry about giving yourself a hernia. The Sigma 14-24 f2.8 DG DN Art is equally as imposing with a diameter of 3.35 inches, a length of 5.16-inches, and a weight of 1.75lbs, but the size is more understandable given that it is a zoom and not a prime. Not all Mirrorless lenses are this way.
Fujifilm has done a great job at creating fast aperture Mirrorless lenses that are small and lightweight like the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 (2.88-inches in diameter 2.74-inches long and weighs just 0.89lbs). This lens is phenomenal and produces images that will blow you away. It’s half the size of some of the Sigma lenses and weighs nearly three times less.
There are some Sony Mirrorless lenses that are also small and lightweight that perform wonderfully. These companies have proven that massive lenses are really not needed. With Nikon and Canon opting to go with larger mounts for their Z and RF line of Mirrorless lenses, this upward trend in regards to size is only going to continue. That’s a real shame.
Smaller, lighter, easier to manage gear is what we were promised with Mirrorless technology, and that’s what some of us would like to see. How do you feel about the current state of Mirrorless lenses and their size? Let us know in the comment section below.