Happy Middle Ground

As I journey along the world of Fujifilm; I am always excited to explore what 3rd party lens manufacturers has to offer. How should I put it; it’s a hit and miss. Actually, more misses than hit. Today I am going to share my first impression on three Sigma prime lenses for X-mount. Yes, finally! I have personally own two Sigma lenses before. That was two decades ago and I do have good impression. Therefore,  when Sigma Singapore asked if I would be interested to test drive these three lenses? Oh boy, mine reply with a big Yes! The reason is very simple, Sigma is a lens manufacturers with more than half a century of experience and how bad can it be? Or should I say, how good are these lenses? 

Happy Middle Ground

These three lenses are technically not new. These lenses have been offered to other camera mount and now, finally to the world of Fujifilm. If you need to know the specification; just head out to Sigma website. https://www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/

The 3 lenses are 16mm, 30mm and 56mm. All are F1.4 lenses and Sigma classified them as their Contemporary range. I personally love the 30mm focal length. Which work out to a 45mm focal length in full frame. An interesting focal length for street photography.  

Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F1.8
30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F4
30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4


SIZE DOES MATTER

The 56mm F1.4 is the smallest of the trio. Weighting at 280 grams. I do like the compactness of this lens. Perfect lens to bring for some outdoor portraits or maybe even in the studio. Next, the 30mm F1.4 is rather compact in size too; a little bigger versus the 56mm siblings. But it’s a tad lighter at 275 grams. The largest is the 16mm F1.4. This lens is rather big for me. Especially one place it beside the XF16mm F1.4 WR. The 16mm weighs 405 grams.

Sigma 16mm, 30mm, 56mm.
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F6.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
X-E4 + SIgma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F2.2
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
XF16mm F1.4 WR, XF18mm F1.4 LM WR, Sigma 16mm F1.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F2.8


NEED FOR SPEED

Generally speaking; they all perform well. Auto Focus is pretty quick and able. I have no complain on that. It’s focusing is smooth and very quiet. Check out the video below on the AF speed of the 30mm lens. 

AF speed with Sigma 30mm on a X-T4.
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F8
30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F2.8
16mm F1.4 @F8
30mm F1.4 @F1.8
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4


GLASS ACT

I must say the glass from all the 3 lenses are generally good. They are sharp wide open. Once you stop down; the sharpness gets even better. Chromatic aberration is lightly visible at times. In a nutshell; they are good lenses still. Below are some comparison. One could see the new generation XF18mm is the sharpest lens in this group comparison. Zero CA. As expected TTartisan has the weakest glass here and remember this is not character. It’s character flaws.

Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F1.4
XF16mm F1.4 @F1.4
XF18mm F1.4 LM WR @F1.4
TTAritsan 17mm F1.4 @F1.4
XF16mm F1.4, Sigma 16mm F1.6, TTArtisan 17mm F1.4, XF18mm F1.4 LM WR.
A good example of a good glass.
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F8
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F6.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F2.8
56mm F1.4 @F1.4
16mm F1.4 @F4


BUILD QUALITY 

OK; it doesn’t have a metal body finishing. Which is a good thing for this case. As this certainly keep their weight down. The plastic finishing on these lenses has a very high quality feel. Even the hood feels good. The best part; these lenses are made in Japan. Very well put together.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F3.2
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
strap by @hyperion_camera_straps
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.6
30mm F1.4 @F1.8

PRICE POINT

 I understand the price will be the same compare with other mount. This is another good thing. 16mm going for USD$374, 30mm USD$264 and 56mm is at USD$404. The total for these 3 prime lenses are USD$1042. This commands value. 

strap by @hyperion_camera_straps
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F2.5
30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F5
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F6.4
Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F8.0
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 56mm F1.4 @F1.4

Conclusion

Who are these lenses for? These lenses are definitely more than enough for beginners. If you are newbie; I would recommend these lenses for a start. They will certainly be more then enough to take you from basic to intermediate level in your photography journey. AF is not lighting fast but quick enough and accurate. The glass from these lenses are generally good. 

Even though its body is made of plastic, its feel pretty premium. There are a few things one needs to consider. There are no aperture ring on the lenses. As a Fujifanboy; it’s the aperture ring that makes me love XF lenses. Again it’s a matter of getting used to if there isn’t an aperture ring.. Next; if you enjoy the great outdoor and love to shoot against the element; you need to know these lenses are not weather resistant. If there is any consolation, I was told the lens mount incorporates a rubber sealing to protect the mount from dust and water drops.

Finally; if you are looking for alternative. I would say these three Sigma lenses sit within the Happy Middle Ground. They may not be perfect but the performance and price makes this package pretty close. In the beginning of this blog, I mention that 3rd party lenses are usually hit and miss. For this case; it’s a hit! Especially the 30mm F1.4.

Sigma 30mm F1.4 @F1.4
Sigma 16mm F1.4 @F8

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