The New Sigma I Series Lenses Are Exactly What the L Mount Needs

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They’re now called the Sigma I series. Today, the three new lenses were announced to join the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary as a subset of the Contemporary branch. The Sigma 24mm f3.5 DG DN Contemporary is for wide-angle shots. The Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary is for every day shooting. And the weirdest one is the Sigma 65m f2 DG DN Contemporary. Indeed, Sigma has two normal focal lengths.

Sony E Mount Doesn’t Need These, But Leica L Mount Does

Let’s be honest here, the Sony full-frame E mount doesn’t need the Sigma I Series lenses. In fact, I’m not sure if you’d buy these over Tamron’s fully weather-sealed and super affordable options. In fact, those are the biggest flaws of these lenses. They all have some weather sealing, but nothing like Tamron’s. The Sigma 45mm needs a UV filter on the front to complete the weather sealing. Further, they’re more expensive than Tamron’s lenses. And if you want a minor quibble, they all also don’t share the same front filter thread.

Here are the specs that Sigma gives about these new lenses.

  • All I series lenses feature an all-metal body, with high-precision metal internal parts and a metal lens hood. The 24mm f3.5 is a petal-type hood.
  • All I series lenses feature manual aperture rings and knurled surfaces for an enjoyable tactile experience.
  • The 35mm F2 and 65mm F2 lenses feature a newly-designed arc-type auto/manual focus mode switch.
  • The 24mm F3.5, 35mm F2, and 65mm F2 lenses all feature a dust and splash-proof mount
  • The three new lenses each ship with both a plastic lens cap and a magnetic metallic cap.

Surely, the E mount doesn’t need these lenses. Instead, the L mount desperately does! It needs more affordable, small, and lightweight glass. So far, the Sigma FP and the Panasonic S5 cameras are the only ones that are small and lightweight. But the system will surely come out with more. 

The Leica L mount system has a lot of issues. The autofocus needs to be improved, and none of the L Mount makers have agreed to use a unified hot shoe. But at least these lenses will solve the affordability and heft issues. Cost is another issue; comparatively speaking, they’re pricier than other camera systems but don’t necessarily offer a whole lot more.

But if you’re a Sony user, you’re probably curious about Sigma’s advantages. Well, the Sigma I Series lenses all have faster apertures, except for the 24mm. Sigma also went for longer focal lengths, where Tamron went for 20mm, 24mm, and 35mm. Sigma’s lenses are made with metal, which some folks might like more. Indeed, I called the Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary the closest thing to a Leica I’ve held in a while. And I’m not sure yet about image quality. Without testing the new Sigma I Series lenses, I hypothesize that they’ll be better than the Tamron offerings. Tamron’s lenses are excellent, but I don’t think they’ve brought their A-game yet with the Sony E mount.

Sigma 24mm f3.5 DG DN Contemporary Technical Specifications

Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary I series lens.
  • 10 elements in 8 groups
  • STM autofocus motor
  • 7 aperture blades
  • 4.3-inch close focusing
  • 1:2 magnification
  • 55mm filter thread
  • 7.9 oz for L mount and 8.1 oz for E mount. That’s about as heavy as a hampster or 2/3rd of a can of soup.
  • $549 price point

Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN Contemporary Technical Specifications

Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN | Contemporary I series lens.
  • 10 elements in 9 groups
  • STM autofocus motor
  • 9 aperture blades
  • 10.6-inch close focusing
  • 58mm front filter thread
  • 11.5 oz. That’s around as heavy as a basketball.
  • $639 price point

Sigma 65m f2 DG DN Contemporary Technical Specifications

Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary I series lens.
  • 12 elements in 9 groups
  • STM autofocus motor
  • 9 aperture blades
  • 21.7-inch close focusing
  • 62mm front filter thread
  • 14.3 oz. That’s around the weight of an American football.
  • $699 price point

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.