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.
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:
Main features of the Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
|FOCAL LENGTH||56 mm (84 equivalent)|
|ANGLE VISION||25 degrees|
|MAX-MIN OPENING||ƒ 1,4 – 16|
|FORMAT COMPATIBILITY||APS-C (Micro 4/3)|
|MINIMUM FOCUSING DISTANCE||50 cm|
|NUMBER OF BLADES||9|
|NUMBER OF ELEMENTS / GROUPS||10/6|
|FILTER DIAMETER||55 mm|
|DIAMETER / LENGTH||66.5 x 59.5 mm|
Design and construction
In 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.
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).
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).
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
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.
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 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).
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.
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