This morning Sigma announced a new line of compact prime lenses for full-frame L and E-mount mirrorless cameras, calling it the “I” series. The “I series” includes three new lenses, a 24mm f/3.5, 35mm f2, and 65mm f/2, along with one existing lens, the 45mm f/2.8 that was released as a kit with the Sigma fp camera. Oddly, the “I series” designation does not seem to play a role in the nomenclature of any of these lenses; they are all designated simply as “DG DN | Contemporary”.
Sigma’s “I series” lenses are not toys: they feature full-metal bodies and internal parts, and metal lens hoods, and their prominent aperture rings and smooth focus rings give them the appearance of cinema lenses. Unlike most cinema lenses, though, each lens contains an STM focusing motor for quiet and accurate AF performance, and they each have a dust/splash seal at the mount.
Considering their sturdy build quality, the lenses manage to be remarkably lightweight, ranging from 230g up to 405g, in E-mount. For comparison, Tamron’s 24mm f/2.8 lens for Sony weighs in at 215g with a primarily plastic body, though it does offer a larger maximum aperture than the new Sigma 24mm f/3.5, which weighs 230g.
As a cool extra touch, these lenses ship with a standard plastic cap, but also a magnetic metal cap that snaps onto the front of the lens. It’s a cool design, but what’s really cool is this short video that Sigma created (in the most stereotypical Japanese way possible) to “stress test” the magnetic caps.
The Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN | Contemporary Lens
I’m willing to bet that Sigma’s new 35mm f/2 will be one of the hottest selling lenses in the coming year (even I have just put myself on the waiting list, and I rarely shoot with primes). The lens strikes an excellent balance between being compact and rugged, stylish and functional.
Sigma promises that the lens’s 10 elements in 9 groups and 9 rounded-blade aperture will produce exceptionally high image quality and smooth bokeh, while the lens is just 2.7 inches long and weighs 325g (11.5 oz.). If the STM motor provides the snappy autofocus that we expect, this lens will become a standard for street photographers and cinematographers alike.
Also worth noting is that Sigma claims that the lens’s “very good correction of sagittal coma aberration” will make it a good choice for night sky photography, reducing or removing the “wings” caused by coma on pinpoint light sources like stars.
The lens will begin shipping in mid-January in the USA, with an MSRP of $639. As usual, you can pre-order now from B&H Photo, Adorama, and Focus Camera.
Lens construction: 10 elements in 9 groups (1 SLD glass, 3 aspherical lenses) ｜
Angle of view：63.4°｜Number of diaphragm blades：9 (Rounded diaphragm) ｜
Sigma’s 24mm f/3.5 is the most compact of the new lenses and offers the least ambitious maximum aperture, but it does provide a remarkably close focusing distance of just 4.3 inches (10.8cm), making it a 1:2 macro lens.
Lens construction: 10 elements in 8 groups (1 SLD lens, 3 aspherical lenses)｜
Angle of view：84.1°｜Number of diaphragm blades：7 (Rounded diaphragm)｜
Maximum magnification ratio：1:2｜Filter size：φ55mm｜
Maximum dimensions × length：φ64mm×48.8mm / φ2.5in.×1.9in.｜Weight：225g / 7.9oz.
The 65mm f/2 has the potential to replace a standard 50mm f/1.8 “nifty fifty” lens in the kits of photographers who are looking for a similar focal length and performance (losing just 1/3rd stop of light) but want improved image and build quality (with a more up-scale appearance), and don’t mind paying a higher price for it.
Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups (1 SLD glass, 2 aspherical lenses)｜
Angle of view：36.8°｜Number of diaphragm blades：9 (Rounded diaphragm)｜
Maximum magnification ratio：1:6.8｜Filter size：φ62mm｜
Maximum dimensions x length：φ72mm×74.7mm / φ2.8in.×2.9in.｜Weight：405g / 14.3oz.
Prices and Availability
All three of the new lenses are expected to be available in January 2021, with the 35mm and 65mm appearing a week or two before the 24mm, which is scheduled for “mid-January”. Prices and pre-order availability are as follows:
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