Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

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The Sigma 56mm 1: 1.4 DC DN was featured in the latest issue of Photokina in September and is the third member of the Contemporary family of mirrorless “sensorless” cameras (both APS-C with Sony E-Mount and Micro Four Thirds) of this famous manufacturer.

It is a short telephoto lens (equivalent to 84 mm), which is characterized by high luminosity, a compact and lightweight body (sealed against the elements) and has a picture quality comparable to the Art Series, the most exclusive of the Sigma catalog , The arguments of his two family companions, the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN and the 30mm F1.4 DC DN, form an interesting trio of fixed optics for small size cameras.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

We had the opportunity to try out this triad of lenses that covers virtually all the requirements of a standard user (with a wide-angle lens, a standard lens, and a short telephoto lens) and can be purchased together in a paid package (on offer). until the end of January) is 1,199 euros and includes a special case for the three optical ones.

Although we took photos together for comparison purposes, we focused our analysis on the biggest novelty, the Sigma 56 mm 1: 1.4 DC DN, since the others were already on the market (about 16 mm per year and 30 mm More than two). Let’s start with the specifications as usual:

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

Main features of the Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN

FOCAL LENGTH56 mm (84 equivalent)
ANGLE VISION25 degrees
MAX-MIN OPENINGƒ 1,4 – 16
MOUNTSony E
FORMAT COMPATIBILITYAPS-C (Micro 4/3)
MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE50 cm
NUMBER OF BLADES9
NUMBER OF ELEMENTS / GROUPS10/6
FILTER DIAMETER55 mm
DIAMETER / LENGTH66.5 x 59.5 mm
WEIGHT270 grams

 

Design and construction

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma presented the 56mm F1.4 DC DN as a “lightweight and compact product for everyday use,” and the truth is that we’re pretty much in agreement. On the Sony A6500 , the set is very balanced and the optics does not poke at all on the camera. In fact, the size and weight of the A6500 are almost perfect, slightly better than the other two family lenses that are larger (30 mm just a little longer and 16 mm already much higher).

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens ReviewIn terms of construction, the bayonet mount is made of metal and the rest is made of good quality plastic and in this case makes “good friends” with the camera (it will even be difficult to tell the difference), in addition to having enough ruggedness taught. Each of them has a special parasol (made of 30 and 56 mm tubes and 16 mm petals) made of plastic of similar quality.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

The design is, as seen in the photos, minimalist in the style of the latest digital camera optics. That is, it does not have an aperture ring or focus removal or any type of buttons. For almost neither have nor the typical data of the optics in question, which appear in the frontal area (with which they are not very well appreciated) in black color, and in the subarea already (in superiority) knows the lens mounted on the camera).

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

What they do, very discreetly, is a silver circle with a “C” (which identifies them as members of the Contemporary range ) and several inscriptions ” Made in Japan ” that make their place of origin clear. As they are fixed targets, they do not have a zoom ring either, so they only have one large zoom lens for manual focus.

Its design is minimalist, with a single ring and just inscriptions (there are some but they are not very visible)

In this area, the result is precise, even if the touch of the ring can be a bit soft. On the other hand, the fact that it rotates endlessly (it does not have a stop) makes the task of mounting and removing the lens in the camera somewhat complicated. It may seem stupid, but we must remember that the largest part of the lens is this ring. Therefore, it is common to rip it around, which makes the task more difficult by turning without stopping (especially at 30mm) it has a smaller size).

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

For the rest, as seen in the photographs, on the front of the Sigma 56mm f / 1.4 DC DN you can see perfectly the sheets of a diaphragm whose design is different from that of its range brothers and quite striking.

Performance and image quality

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1/200 sec, f / 1.4, ISO 800

If they are already “on the job” when taking pictures, the sensations are good and confirm that these lenses are very well “married” to the camera (we would have to see this with other cameras like Micro 4/3, which tend to be slightly smaller) and which fulfill their purpose without any problems.

In the always crucial focus area, the operation is very quiet and fast enough in most situations. Only when the light is very short, it is hesitant to nail the focus. On the other hand, as you can imagine, we have “abused” enough of the maximum opening that has produced a few shots that have been nagged by the difficulty of nailing the exact spot with such a shallow depth of field.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1/320 sec, f / 1.4, ISO 100

In return we got some great blurs , in some cases with little to envy what we could have achieved with a full frame , and a very attractive bokeh as a result of a large opening combined with a diaphragm design consisting of nine blades.

As expected, with an opening of f1.4 and a nine-blade diaphragm the bokeh is very interesting

As far as color reproduction is concerned, there is nothing to complain about the lens we tested, with very realistic results and according to expectations. The same applies to the power in the corners and for the aberrations, sections in which we found no significant problems (which we had not expected at fixed focal points, where these defects are usually very controlled).

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1/200 sec, f / 3.5, ISO 100

Finally, with regard to image quality , it must be said that in addition to boasting light and compact, the objective also promised ” superior performance […] comparable to the exclusive Art range “. Well, the results of our tests confirm a great image quality and an excellent level of detail.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1/200 sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800

To say that it is comparable to the best lenses this house makes seems to be more of a marketing strategy than anything else that we will not go into (besides being difficult to review), but in any case, the result is the expected one lens set with that brightness, which logically required a quality leap in terms of a standard zoom. As always, it is best that you check it yourself using the samples we offer.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Detail of the previous photo at 100%. Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1/200 sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800

Sigma Signs 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Photos

Where to buy

Rated 5 out of 5 by 187 reviewers on Amazon.com  

Sigma 56mm f / 1.4 DC DN, our opinion

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review

So things, our impression with these three objectives, and more specifically with the Sigma 56mm f / 1.4 DC DN , is very good and we think an excellent option for users of cameras without mirrors with small sensors that look for fixed quality lenses .

Especially for owners of Sony cameras, with which (as already mentioned) the lenses fit together perfectly and complete a not too wide optical spectrum. In the current Sony catalog, for example, there is no lens with the same brightness of 56mm f / 1.4 DC DN.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1/200 sec, f / 1.4, ISO 125

The main contenders would therefore be the Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS, which will be available as a cheaper option (costing 350 euros on the official website of the brand) and probably of lower quality, and the Sonnar T * FE 55mm F1.8 ZA for Full frame is designed (although it is compatible with all e-mount lenses and cameras), makes it bigger and, above all, that its official price rises to 1,110 euros.

The Sigma 56mm f / 1.4 DC DN would therefore remain in the middle as an excellent option for quality / price (as was the case with many of these third-party lenses), for example, for those looking for portraits Target looking play very effectively with blur.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Comparison of the perspective offered by the objectives (from left to right) of 16, 30 and 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary.

For the other two, the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN and the 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary, there is not much competition that will allow us to extend the recommendation (although obviously they are designed for different purposes). In addition, it seems to us that the current offer, which has already been commented on (the three targets for € 1,199), is undoubtedly very tempting.

Sigma 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review
Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary at 1 / 2,500 sec, f / 1.4, ISO 100

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