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Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review

  
 
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


FM Review: Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary
The Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN is now in stock:

B&H Photo | Adorama

Review quick links:
  1. About the lens
  2. Infinity Performance
  3. Infinity Performance compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar
  4. Field Curvature at Infinity
  5. Sunstar rendering
  6. Sunstar rendering compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO
  7. Sunstar and flare behavior during Sunrise/Sunset
  8. Close-up performance, SA and Focus Shift
  9. Flare resistance compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO
  10. Specular Highlights and Optical Vignetting
  11. Distortion
  12. Rendering
  13. Rendering compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar
  14. Lateral CA / Longitudinal CA / Purple fringing
  15. Axial CA correction compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar
  16. Final thoughts
  17. Samples



About the lens:

The Sigma 65/2 DG DN Contemporary is part of the Sigma I series of compact, high-performance and excellent build quality lenses. It features a premium all-metal weather-sealed construction including a metal hood and magnetic front cap. Together with the Sigma 24mm f/3.5 and 35mm f/2 DG DN lenses, they join the existing 45mm f/2.8 DG DN.

It features 12 elements in 9 groups, with one special low dispersion (SLD) element to reduce CA and 2 aspherical elements to minimize distortion and spherical aberrations (SA). The Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN's mount has a dust-and splash-proof weather rubber strip, super multi-layer coating and a minimum focusing distance of 5cm. (maximum magnification: 0.15x)

It has a rounded 9-blade diaphragm which translates to sunstars with 18-points and it has an internal focusing mechanism which means the front element neither extends nor rotates when focusing the lens.

There is a stepping motor that is quite fast and almost silent and from my initial tests, AF seems quick and precise in both AF-S contrast detect and AF-C phase detect modes. The focusing ring has perfect resistance and provides 270 degrees of focus throw for fine-tuning as well as a linear response. A traditional aperture ring runs from f/2 to f/22 in third-stop increments with an Auto setting also available for camera-based aperture selection.

The lens itself weighs a mere 408g (measured) without caps but the all-metal hood adds another 55 grams and extra bulk which negates the compact design when attached. There is also a MF/AF button. The craftsmanship and low tolerance production is impressive, especially for a lens at this price point.





Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups, with 1 SLD glass and 2 aspherical elements










Main Features











Mar 01, 2021 at 07:52 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Infinity Performance:

The Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN performs at a very high level on the Sony A7R IV camera (61MP). It does not break resolution records but performs similarly to the Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar. (Although not quite as good)

Center resolution and contrast are already excellent from wide open but improve to outstanding levels at f/2.8 and f4.
At mid-zone, the 65/2 DG DN performs great at f/2, slightly better at f/2.8 and optimal at f/4.
The extreme corners follow the same trend with very good performance from f/2, improves at f/2.8 and it is optimal at f/4.

So, to recap the optimal apertures for each area:
Center (f/2.8 to f/4), Mid-zone (f/4), Corners (f/4)


Here is the full image thumbnail showing the areas demonstrated at 1:1 magnification.








  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. Camera: Sony A7R IV (61MP)
  4. WB: Daylight
  5. Lens perfectly centered using my decentering test
  6. Software: Lightroom with my default landscape sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected. All in-camera corrections turned 'off'.


1:1 Crops showing Center, Mid-Zone and Extreme corner areas





Center f/2 vs f/2.8: Noticeable improvement from f/2 to f/2.8







Center f/2.8 vs f/4: Improves further at f/4 where it's optimal







Center f/4 vs f/5.6: Similar performance







Center f/5.6 vs f/8: Diffraction takes hold







Mid-field f/2 vs f/2.8: Excellent performance from wide open. Improves slightly at f/2.8







Mid-field f/2.8 vs f/4: Very small improvement at f/4 where it's optimal







Mid-field f/4 vs f/5.6: Similar performance







Mid-field f/5.6 vs f/8: Diffraction starts to became noticeable







Extreme corner f/2 vs f/2.8: Nice improvement in vignetting and resolution at f/2.8







Extreme corner f/2.8 vs f/4: Very small improvement at f/4 where it's optimal







Extreme corner f/4 vs f/5.6: Similar performance







Extreme corner f/5.6 vs f/8: Similar performance while diffraction starts to be visible at f/8




Mar 01, 2021 at 08:05 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


65mm
CENTER resolution/contrast comparison between Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN vs Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar









  1. Distance: Infinity
  2. Focus: Center - Best of three @ 12.4x magnification
  3. WB: Daylight for both lenses
  4. Both Lenses perfectly centered using my decentering test
  5. Software: Lightroom with FM Default Landscape Sharpening. All other settings set to default
PS: Vignetting and distortion were NOT corrected for both lenses.





Center at f/2: The Voigtlander 65/2 APO takes the cake here wide open. Notice the Sigma has a warmer cast and its FOV is slightly narrower







Center at f/2.8: The Sigma improves but the Voigtlander is still ahead







Center at f/4: The Sigma is now optimal and performs similarly to the Voitlander







Center at f/5.6: Similar but the Voigtlander still has slightly higher contrast







Center at f/8: Both diffract and perform similarly




Mar 01, 2021 at 08:13 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


65mm
MID-FIELD resolution/contrast comparison between Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN vs Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar





Mid-field at f/2: Here the Sigma is slightly ahead







Mid-field at f/2.8: The Voigtlander 65 catches up and but the Sigma is still slightly better







Mid-field at f/4: The Voigtlander pulls ahead







Mid-field at f/5.6: The Voigtlander continues improving and is now optimal







Mid-field at f/8: Both diffract but the Voigtlander is still ahead




Mar 01, 2021 at 08:14 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


65mm
EXTREME CORNER resolution/contrast comparison between Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN vs Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO-Lanthar





Extreme corner at f/2: The Sigma does well wide open but the Voigtaldner has higher contrast and captures higher frequency detail







Extreme corner at f/2.8: Both improve but the Voigtlander is still noticeably better







Extreme corner at f/4: Both lenses are optimal but the Voigtlander is still better







Extreme corner at f/5.6: Same story







Extreme corner at f/8: Both lenses diffract but the Voigtlander is still superior




Mar 01, 2021 at 08:15 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Field Curvature at Infinity

I'm happy to report that the Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN is virtually a flat-field lens with low field curvature making it an ideal landscape lens.

Here are 1:1 crops showing the extreme corner area:

LEFT crop: Lens focused at Center
RIGHT crop: Lens focused at the Extreme corner

Same story for the mild field area.






Extreme corner at f/2: LEFT (lens focused at center) | RIGHT (lens focused at extreme corner)




Mar 01, 2021 at 08:49 PM
tbpeur01
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Iím a big fan of this lens so far - the combination of sharpness, size, and rendering, along with the extra bit of reach, means this one will see lots of use. The first image is to simply show the bokeh and sharpness wide open. The last few were added for good measure.




  ILCE-7RM2    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/6400s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/6400s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/5.0    1/1000s    100 ISO    +1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM2    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/5000s    100 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Mar 01, 2021 at 08:49 PM
dakel
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Thanks Fred. As always you do a stellar job. When I first saw the crops in isolation I thought "Wow that's impressive". Then I saw the comparison to the Voigt and I was like "Oh okay, that's what impressive looks like". The Voigt is just so impressive. Great job by Sigma too.


Mar 01, 2021 at 10:01 PM
tsdevine
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review



I'm curious to see the forthcoming rendering section.



Mar 01, 2021 at 10:28 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


dakel wrote:
Thanks Fred. As always you do a stellar job. When I first saw the crops in isolation I thought "Wow that's impressive". Then I saw the comparison to the Voigt and I was like "Oh okay, that's what impressive looks like". The Voigt is just so impressive. Great job by Sigma too.


Yes same here. For landscapes, the Voigtlander is superior even at small apertures but I don't think the resolution difference will be very noticeable in real world images.
I don't know which one has better flare performance but I am guessing the Sigma will do better. (I will compare them)

Wide open though, the Sigma does slightly better at mid-field (rule of thirds area), so where it matters.

This is my second 65/2 DG DN loan and a great copy. It's perfectly centered on my A7R IV and sharper than my first copy.



Mar 01, 2021 at 10:59 PM
 


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Fred Miranda
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


tsdevine wrote:
I'm curious to see the forthcoming rendering section.


I did some rendering comparisons today and the Sigma is more pleasant to my eyes. Specular highlights are cleaner and have less outlining. Although both are corrected for SA, transition zone is smoother on the Sigma and rendering is more uniform across the field since it has lower optical vignetting.
I've already suspected this after seeing some of the 'great' comparisons you posted on another thread.



Mar 01, 2021 at 11:10 PM
itai195
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Looking good so far. I think for the size, price (though the Voigtlander is a great value too), and AF the Sigma will likely be a better choice for a lot of folks. I just recently sold my CV 65 for the Sigma and have been enjoying it a lot.


Mar 02, 2021 at 12:30 AM
MARKFER
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


I really like this new Sigma line of lenses, but find it hard giving up the Voightlander 65 even with the lack of AF. Something about the clean and naturally saturated images that even surpass my new 135GM.


Mar 02, 2021 at 07:48 AM
serhan_
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Looks good. It is closer to CV 65mm size also...

Lenstip calls it mini Otus as it broke their record center resolution:
https://www.lenstip.com/600.4-Lens_review-Sigma_C_65_mm_f_2_DG_DN_Image_resolution.html

In comparison CV 65mm, very close: https://www.lenstip.com/517.4-Lens_review-Voigtlander_Apo-Lanthar_65_mm_f_2_Aspherical_1:2_Macro_Image_resolution.html

and Samyang 75mm is not bad around 2.8 and smaller apertures:
https://www.lenstip.com/594.4-Lens_review-Samyang_AF_75_mm_f_1.8_FE_Image_resolution.html



Mar 02, 2021 at 09:34 AM
Chaliel
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Ah..., super Merci Beaucoup
Very interested in all your findings.
Do you think the greens on the Sigma are more pronounced or clearer?
Not sure if it's the case..., do not have a calibrated screen here, just a phone...



Mar 02, 2021 at 02:52 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Sunstar Rendering

The Sigma 65/2 DG DN is equipped with a 9-aperture blade mechanism (round) and it's capable of well defined sunstars at f/22.

Here is a sequence showing the 18-point sun-rays from f/8 until f/22 in full stops.














Best sunstar definition at f/20-22




Mar 02, 2021 at 04:11 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Close-up performance, SA and Focus Shift

The Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN focuses as close as 0.55m and at around this distance, there is only slight spherical aberration (SA).
This optical design provides a good balance between ultimate resolution and neutral rendering. At close distance, the lens performs best at f/3.2 where residual SA goes away.

It's interesting to point out that focus shift is minimal.




Close distance performance: (f/2 vs f/2.8) There is an improvement at f/2.8 where SA pretty much goes away






Close distance performance: (f/2.8 vs f/4) Slight increase in resolution/contrast at f/4






Focus shift: (LEFT) focused at f/2 and captured at f/4, (RIGHT) focused and captured at f/4 (Minimal focus shift)




Mar 02, 2021 at 04:26 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Sunstar Rendering compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO

Voigtlander lenses are well-regarded when it comes to defined sunstars. They can be achieved even at large apertures thanks to their flat aperture blades.
In the case of the Sigma 65/2 DG DN, f/20 or f/22 is needed for defined sunstars because its aperture blades are rounded.

Are are a few comparisons between these two lenses:




Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN 18-point sunstar (f/22)

  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/22.0    1/60s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  






Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO 10-point sunstar

  ILCE-7RM4    Voigtlander MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical lens    65mm    f/8.0    1/60s    125 ISO    0.0 EV  






Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN 18-point sunstar (f/22)

  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/22.0    1/60s    250 ISO    0.0 EV  






Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO 10-point sunstar

  ILCE-7RM4    Voigtlander MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical lens    65mm    f/5.6    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN 18-point sunstar (f/22)

  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/22.0    1/60s    1000 ISO    0.0 EV  






Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO 10-point sunstar

  ILCE-7RM4    Voigtlander MACRO APO-LANTHAR 65mm F2 Aspherical lens    65mm    f/8.0    1/60s    200 ISO    0.0 EV  




Mar 02, 2021 at 08:38 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Flare Resistance Compared to Voigtlander 65mm f/2 APO

Generally the Sigma 65/2 DG DN is not as flare resistant compared to the Voigtlander 65/2 APO. The latter has slightly better veiling resistance and less ghosting at backlit scenes. The Sigma has just average flare performance.

Here are a couple samples:




TOP (Voigtlander 65/2) | BOTTOM (Sigma 65/2)






TOP (Sigma 65/2) | BOTTOM (Voigtlander 65/2)




Mar 02, 2021 at 08:56 PM
Fred Miranda
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Review


Sample Images 1




  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/500s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/250s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/100s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/60s    125 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/400s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/320s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/125s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/640s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/2000s    100 ISO    0.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/250s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/320s    100 ISO    -1.0 EV  






  ILCE-7RM4    65mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary 020 lens    65mm    f/2.0    1/125s    100 ISO    +0.3 EV  




Mar 02, 2021 at 09:28 PM
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