Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Image Gallery
October 19th, 2021
I entered the world of DSLRs back with Canon T1i, which came with a kit 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS lens. I hated that lens. It was clunky in operation, had a very slow and limiting maximum aperture range, and was uber-cheap in construction. I ditched it as soon as I could. Before long I ended up where many photographers of that era did – with a Tamron or Sigma zoom that covered a similar zoom range but with a constant F2.8 aperture. Yes, the price was more expensive, and yes, the lens was a little heavier, but the constant F2.8 aperture opened up so many more photographic possibilities. Low light photography, shallow depth of field shots, and that more professional look where the subject is more isolated from the background. Ironically, however, while Sony mirrorless cameras have quickly proliferated with more lens options than I’ve ever seen before, one of the basics missing was this very popular zoom and aperture combination that allows APS-C shooters to upgrade their kit lenses. Yes, Sony does have a premium zoom in this space, but the Sony 16-55mm F2.8 G lens costs a whopping $1400, which is more than what most of the Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras cost! Tamron more recently released an excellent 17-70mm F2.8 VC lens, a lens I reviewed very favorably, but it is also very much on the large side of things at nearly 120mm long and weighing 525g. This is, frankly, bigger than what many people are looking for. This made for a great slot for Sigma to slide into with their new Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN lens, as it covers this popular zoom range while delivering excellent image quality, a constant F2.8 aperture, and at an extremely compact size and weight. It is only 62mm in diameter, 76.5mm in length, and weighs only 290g. Despite being beautifully compact, Sigma has packed some excellent optics into this lens.
I fully anticipate that the Sigma will hit a sweet spot for many APS-C photographers that have either a Sony E-mount camera (like the a6400 and a6600 cameras used in this test) and Leica L-mount APS-C cameras. It retains a high degree of portability with the compact size but also really delivers a very versatile optical performance. As we will see, the 18-50mm F2.8 DN is sharp even at F2.8, and delivers a very high magnification level on the wide end (over 0.35x, with about 0.20x on the telephoto end). That allows you to take some creative close-ups like this.
Lenses like this are a staple for many photographers and can, for some, be their only lens. This requires the lens to be versatile, though, a jack-of-all-trades. The Sigma’s disadvantage compared to competitors is that it has a slightly constricted zoom range relative to other options, but I do think it compensates by being extremely compact relative to the competitors, and it also retails for a very reasonable price of $549 USD, which dramatically undercuts, say, the Sony 16-55mm F2.8 G. Does Sigma’s approach to this equation resonate with you? Should the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DN get shortlisted as your next lens? You can check out my thoughts in my text or video reviews, or just enjoy the pretty pictures below!
Thanks to Sigma Canada (Gentec) for sending me a pre-release loaner copy of this lens. As always, this is a completely independent review. The opinions here are completely my own.
Photos of the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DN
Images taken with the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DN
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