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Sigma 16mm 1.4 | Sigma’s Next Lens Heralds Reinvigorated Push Into Mirrorless Market

By Wendell Weithers on October 24th 2017

Sigma has announced the development of their 16mm 1.4 DC DN|Contemporary prime lens leading into PPE 2017. It was early 2016 when Sigma announced the 30mm 1.4 DC DN|Contemporary lens and, in terms of Sigma’s Global Vision strategy; the Contemporary Series seeks to strike a balance between affordability, imagine quality, compact size and lightweight. However, this latest lens appears to only be the beginning for Sigma, as it seeks to make deeper inroads into the mirrorless market.

Per the official release:

For optimal balance with light, compact camera bodies with a short flange back distance, SIGMA designed the new SIGMA 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens to be extremely compact. Moreover, the special design of the focus lens group allows fast and smooth AF performance for videography and more. This lens combines a compact design and comfortable operation while prioritizing outstanding image quality. Featuring SIGMA’s latest technologies, this lens digitally corrects optical distortion.

[Related: Sigma 14mm F/1.8 Art Lens Review | The New Champion of Wide Angle Lenses?]

Specs Highlights

  • 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Stepping Motor
  • Dust Proof & Splash Proof Construction
  • High-precision, rugged brass bayonet mount
  • Three FLD glass elements
  • Two SLD glass elements
  • Two molded glass aspherical elements.

This may “only” be a Contemporary Lens but Sigma wants to send a clear message that this lens is a true performer worth your consideration.

…the two aspherical lens elements have ultra-high-precision surfaces polished to tolerances under 10 nanometers, minimizing the onion ring bokeh effect that some aspherical elements produce and ensuring clear image quality throughout the frame.

In addition, the structure of the optical system gently bends light to minimize sagittal coma flare and deliver optimal optical performance from the center of the frame to the edges. The result is a smooth, round bokeh effect with ample light volume throughout the frame.


On Micro 4/3 cameras the X2 Crop Factor gives the 16mm a 32mm FOV

On Sony APS-C Cameras the X1.5 crop factor gives the 16mm a 24mm FOV

Making another fast autofocus mirrorless lens that offers near Art Series quality, at a fraction of the cost, is a savvy move from Sigma. Micro Four-Thirds users will undoubtedly welcome the addition to their family of lenses; even though they have quite a few to choose from already. However, Sony’s APS-C shooters, many of whom have been yearning for a faster, higher quality wide angle prime will rejoice as their petitions and hopes are being fulfilled. Honestly, this is long overdue as the APS-C lineup is starving while Sony feeds its full-frame demands.

The wave of excitement this will produce should carry over into next year as Sigma’s roadmap promises another fast prime, even as the 16mm has yet to be released.  A 50mm mid-telephoto lens is already in the queue.Pricing isn’t yet available but, Sigma’s aggressive pricing legacy should make any Contemporary lens appealing. As it currently stands, the 30mm 1.4 DC DN retails for $339 at full price. If the next two lenses are price similarily, E-Mount and M43 shooters can ponder the possibility that they could have three fast primes, covering the full frame equivalent focal lengths of (24mm/32mm, 45mm/60mm, 75mm/100mm) for around $1,000.

You can find more information from Sigma about the new lenses here and here.

Mirrorless Lens Articles

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Panasonic’s GH5 Announced with 4K 60P and Three Leica Lenses

7Artisans Fast & Affordable Lenses For Mirrorless Fuji, Leica, Sony, and MFT


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Wendell is based in Atlanta where he shoots events, portraits, and food photography. He also supports his wife Andrea as she runs their cake design business, Sweet Details.

Instagram: Wendellwphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Claude B.

    I agree with the possible great optical quality of this new 16mm, I love my 30mm for great quality in picture. I also have the Sigma 19mm end the great 60mm f2.8. 

    But in manual focus the more pleasant one to work ate the 19mm and the 60mm.  I don’t like to do manual focus in video and pictures with this 30mm and, to what I’ve heard on test, forget the manual focus with the 16mm f1.4.

    A deeper test would be important to know the result.

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  2. adam sanford

    Meh.  Would have been a much bigger deal of crop SLRs got a version of this as well.  EF-S in particular is starving for higher quality autofocusing primes that are purpose-built for crop.

    Also, I can’t get this out of my head for some reason — if you don’t use BBAF, how do you manually focus this lens?  There’s no AF/MF switch.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think we are going to be let down if we continue to hope for an APS-C DSLR 16mm f/1.4 prime, or any APS-C DSLR f/1.4 prime for that matter. At this point, it seems that Sigma is sending a clear message: They’re moving on. If we want to save weight or money in our kits by dumping a big full-frame setup for an APS-C one, we might as well go mirrorless while we’re at it. And let’s be honest: except for rare cameras like the D500, a new photographer who is buying their first serious camera has got to be crazy to buy into the not-long-for-this-world beginner DSLR setups instead of a beginner APS-C mirrorless setup.

      Personally I love OVFs and I hope that Nikon at least keeps the D5xxx series around for as many generations as they can. I love having the fully articulated screen in an ultra-lightweight package with an OVF that lets me enjoy solid battery life despite the tiny battery. But, I see the writing on the wall at this point. Plus the Rokinon 16mm f/2 is so dang sharp at f/2!

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