Hands-on with new Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
Sigma has used the Photo Plus Expo show in New York as a launchpad for an all-new lens – the 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary is a fast, high-quality prime for cropped-sensor Sony E-mount and M43 cameras.
In person, the new lens is a relatively small, but beautifully well-made prime that fills a useful gap in focal lengths for both systems. On a Sony E-mount APS-C format camera, it is equivalent to 24mm, while on a Micro Four Thirds ILC it becomes an effective 32mm medium-wide.
Sigma claims that despite being a ‘C’ (Contemporary) class lens, the new 16mm should have performance in line with the company’s premier ‘Art’ series. As far as build quality is concerned, that’s definitely true. Mechanically, this lens is gorgeous – something that is exemplified in the large, very smooth manual focusing ring.
At 92.3mm (3.6 inches) long, the 16mm is relatively compact, but becomes a lot bigger with the included hood attached, beginning to dwarf the Sony a6300 shown in this image. But at 405g (14 oz) it’s relatively heavy for its size.
Optical construction comprises 16 elements in 13 groups, including two aspherical, two SLD (super-low dispersion) and three FLD (“F” low dispersion) elements. That’s an impressive number of specialized elements and the just-published MTF graphs suggest that sharpness at optimal apertures will be impressive.
Nine rounded aperture blades should ensure pleasant bokeh at wide apertures.
While Sigma typically doesn’t make any specific claims about weather-sealing, a thin rubber ring around the lens throat should help keep dust and moisture from entering the camera. As you can see from the engraved text in this shot, minimum focus is 0.25m (about 10 inches).
No details on pricing and availability of the 16mm F1.4 have yet been released, but we’re looking forward to trying out a production sample as soon as they become available.