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Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback

  
 
Jonas B
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


I have experience from two of the Sigma Contemporary series of lenses, the 35i and the 50i.
The 35mm... I tried three of them and they all suffered from the same problem with a midframe dip to the right (left side was OK) and they all had to go back.
The three lenses were all bought from different places but weren't very far from each other comparing serial numbers. I suspect a bad batch.

The 50i is very good. I have used the FE 50/1.4 GM once only since buying the 50i in February. The 5014GM is better in some ways but it is also bigger and heavier. The images i get from the 50i are totally OK and I'm also happy with the feel of manual focusing (an area where the GM lenses doesn't excel, at least not the 35GM and the5014GM).

The main reason for the on-going switch is part of my idea of having a bag I care to carry all day. The other "parts" are the A7CR, the PZ16-35/4 and the Samyang 75/1.8. I have the 50i mounted to the camera the most of the time.



Jul 08, 2024 at 12:27 PM
Robin Smith
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


Since you say you care about weight then I would probably just replace the Batises. The issue will be whether it is worth it for the weight saving and this needs to be determined for each focal length. I think that performance wise it is a toss up between them (despite Marc - whoever he is).

I know what I would do. Keep the Batis 40 and sell the Sigma 45mm. Sell the 65mm Sigma. I would have thought 35mm and 40mm are similar so why keep both? Also why two 50-55mm lenses? What purpose? They are even essentially the same speed. If you were truly wanting to cull the herd it would not be difficult, but from what you say I am not sure you really want to do it.



Jul 08, 2024 at 12:39 PM
swldstn
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


Robin Smith wrote:
Since you say you care about weight then I would probably just replace the Batises. The issue will be whether it is worth it for the weight saving and this needs to be determined for each focal length. I think that performance wise it is a toss up between them (despite Marc - whoever he is).

I know what I would do. Keep the Batis 40 and sell the Sigma 45mm. Sell the 65mm Sigma. I would have thought 35mm and 40mm are similar so why keep both? Also why two 50-55mm lenses? What purpose? They are even essentially
...Show more

The issue with the Batis 25/2 and 40/2 is size and not so much weight since they weigh 335 an 365 grams which makes them really the same as Sigma I-series f/2 and the the Batis all have a 67mm filter size. Th 85/1.8 is heavier at 452 grams but is also image stabilized. The Sigma 65/2 DG DN is 406 grams so you save 46 grams but you lose the 67mm filter and the internal IS to gain 46 grams?

Maybe itís best to end up selling the Sigma I-Series *24/2, 35/2, 45/2.8, 50/2, 65/2 and even the 90/2.8. In the end it was their build quality and aperture rings that attracted me but the compact C bodies added the third dial so the aperture ring is not needed as much as on the original A7C.

Robin, thank you for your feedback. Will think on this more but selling the set to KEH or other broker might be the easiest thing.



Jul 08, 2024 at 02:41 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


I have used several I-series lenses, including purchasing a 35i at launch. I have used it for several thousand photos now, and it's turned in some beauties. It's a pretty modern clean draw with very smooth bokeh (cat's eye though!), and good transition zone at all distances, which is not so easy to do (ask the FE 35/1.8, ZA 35/1.4 and Samy 35/1.8). It's reliable and pleasant, but it almost never turns in my favorite photos. I often pop on a 1/8 promist filter when shooting clouds or black and white.

I like it's on the wide side of a 35mm. The build is lovely, as is the MF implementation. I dislike the strong and sudden vignetting of the Sigma I-series lenses generally. The 35i, 24i and 16-28i all shared this. I also dislike the not great MFD and performance at MFD for the 35i. The flare resistance is meh, which is disappointing given its well corrected else where and Sigma has other wides with wonderful flare resistance, so the coatings are there...

Overall, I like them better than Sony's, and think of them as slightly slower GM's, given they often share a clean somewhat bland rendering and have excellent build and strong technical IQ.

As a 28 or 35mm guy, I wasn't crazy about the 35 GM, so I ended up with a CV 35/2 Ultron, CV 28/1.5 or Sigma 35/2 for AF as a general one lens solution. Still miss the Pentax 31 and RX1 though.

The GM 24 I enjoyed better than my 24i, so kept the GM. The 50i is the next on my list. It's either that or the ZA 55, which I've owned several times in the past but never crazy about. I do have a ZA 50/1.4 I dig but wish were smaller.



Jul 08, 2024 at 03:09 PM
freaklikeme
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


nehemiahphoto wrote:
I have used several I-series lenses, including purchasing a 35i at launch. I have used it for several thousand photos now, and it's turned in some beauties. It's a pretty modern clean draw with very smooth bokeh (cat's eye though!), and good transition zone at all distances, which is not so easy to do (ask the FE 35/1.8, ZA 35/1.4 and Samy 35/1.8). It's reliable and pleasant, but it almost never turns in my favorite photos. I often pop on a 1/8 promist filter when shooting clouds or black and white.

I like it's on the wide side of a 35mm.
...Show more

I think it's a safe bet that, if you like the 35, you'll like the 50, but don't expect anything different out of the results. I would certainly take it over the Zony 55 on a full frame. I like the Zony on my 6700, where it chops off the bulk of the transverse CA and astigmatism that drive me nuts and makes it the perfect focal-length pair with the Zony 24/1.8. On a full-frame, I'd take the Sigma any day.

I think you've hit on what's so great about the Sigmacrons, and also why people have a difficult time bonding with them; they're boring. There's nothing so wrong with them that any of them offend people, but there's nothing so spectacular about them that speaks to any grander artistic ambition. They're not the smallest lenses, or the least expensive, or the fastest to focus, but they are reliable little performers with nice build quality and a decently considered layout. As a fan of boring, unassuming lenses, I say, "Good job, Sigma. Keep 'em coming."



Jul 08, 2024 at 08:21 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


I never gelled with the 55 ZA. And we are very much in agreement in the I-series Bradóboth their charm and lack of. Itís the choice of a practical shooter. Sigma carved out that niche well. I just with theyíd put out a 16/2.8, 28/2 and 70-200/4. But for 35mm land, I am simply too picky I think. The 16/2.8 and 70-200/4 are lenses of utility, not artistically aspirational. That would be a perfect fit for the I-line.

As far as AF 50mm 1.8/2, I enjoyed the Lumix 50 1.8. It has a color palate that leans pastel with pleasing contrast and some structure on the bokeh without being disharmonious. Highlights are handled delicately as well which I always appreciate.



Jul 08, 2024 at 11:11 PM
aCuria
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


My understanding is that the Sigma 50i, 65i and 85/1.4 are excellent.

The 35/1.2 and 105/1.4 are also excellent but are very heavy. Perhaps there will be a "DN" variant in the future.

Many of the other sigma primes seem to be rather average performers unfortunately. If I have to stop down to get sharp images with a prime when the subject is under 1m away, maybe a zoom (many work great close up) stays on the camera and the prime never gets used.



Jul 09, 2024 at 02:33 AM
tsdevine
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback



The 35/1.2 is a DG DN.

aCuria wrote:
My understanding is that the Sigma 50i, 65i and 85/1.4 are excellent.

The 35/1.2 and 105/1.4 are also excellent but are very heavy. Perhaps there will be a "DN" variant in the future.

Many of the other sigma primes seem to be rather average performers unfortunately. If I have to stop down to get sharp images with a prime when the subject is under 1m away, maybe a zoom (many work great close up) stays on the camera and the prime never gets used.




Jul 09, 2024 at 04:36 AM
Jonas B
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


nehemiahphoto wrote:
[...] I also dislike the not great MFD and performance at MFD for the 35i. The flare resistance is meh, which is disappointing given its well corrected else where and Sigma has other wides with wonderful flare resistance, so the coatings are there...

Overall, I like them better than Sony's, and think of them as slightly slower GM's, given they often share a clean somewhat bland rendering and have excellent build and strong technical IQ.

As a 28 or 35mm guy, I wasn't crazy about the 35 GM, so I ended up with a CV 35/2 Ultron, CV 28/1.5 or Sigma
...Show more


The 50i performs better than the 35i at short distances. Not GM-good but good enough.
I'll see if i find the time to make a simple comparison.



Jul 09, 2024 at 06:49 AM
Jonas B
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


freaklikeme wrote:
[...]
I think it's a safe bet that, if you like the 35, you'll like the 50, but don't expect anything different out of the results. I would certainly take it over the Zony 55 on a full frame. I like the Zony on my 6700, where it chops off the bulk of the transverse CA and astigmatism that drive me nuts and makes it the perfect focal-length pair with the Zony 24/1.8. On a full-frame, I'd take the Sigma any day.

I think you've hit on what's so great about the Sigmacrons, and also why people have a difficult time bonding
...Show more

See my comment above about short distances. I agree with the rest.
Boring is good. I don't need artistic surprises when I'm not on the look for them.




Jul 09, 2024 at 06:53 AM
 


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Robin Smith
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


Robin, thank you for your feedback.

The Batis's are not very heavy but they are bulky. I'm not sure how much the IS built in should concern you. I don't find the Batis 135mm particularly spectacular at speeds lowet than 1/60th. For the 85mm I am not sure you are gaining anything at all.

I don't find the aperture on the lens of any use. In fact I find it a pain as it is so frequently shifts off A catching you unawares. There is something to be said though for having all similar design which is where the Sigmas presumably score.

Itís the choice of a practical shooter.
I agree. The idea that f2.0 lenses are boring is rather silly since IMO shooting everything with fast lenses is a completely fetishitic approach to photography. There is no intrinsic virtue in having every shot awash with out of focus areas. Much of the time the differences between fast apertures are quite small anyway and the degree of out of focus areas is much more dependent on subject and background distances.



Jul 09, 2024 at 11:47 AM
freaklikeme
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


Robin Smith wrote:
I agree. The idea that f2.0 lenses are boring is rather silly since IMO shooting everything with fast lenses is a completely fetishitic approach to photography. There is no intrinsic virtue in having every shot awash with out of focus areas. Much of the time the differences between fast apertures are quite small anyway and the degree of out of focus areas is much more dependent on subject and background distances.


It has nothing to do with speed. Their f/1.4 lenses are boring, too.



Jul 09, 2024 at 02:11 PM
nehemiahphoto
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


I stated that I missed the Pentax 31 and RX1, which are a 1.8 and f2. Even stopped down, those lenses render a scene distinctively, especially the Pentax. A little extra bokeh potential is always welcome though


Jul 09, 2024 at 04:30 PM
Jonas B
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


nehemiahphoto wrote:
[...]

The GM 24 I enjoyed better than my 24i, so kept the GM. The 50i is the next on my list. It's either that or the ZA 55, which I've owned several times in the past but never crazy about. I do have a ZA 50/1.4 I dig but wish were smaller.


Here is a little short distance comparison between the 50i and a couple of other 50mm lenses. The test is flawed in a couple of ways but not an entirely failure.

As many other contributors here at FM I have a bunch of 50mm lenses. I picked four of them.

Sony FE 50/1.4 GM (as I mentioned it earlier),
Sigma Contemporary 50/2 DG DN (a.k.a. known as 50i),
Canon FDn 50/1.4 SSC (which is a classic design that has been been around since at least the 60's) and
Olympus Zuiko OM 50/2.0 Macro (not modern, not old, released 1986 sporting 9 elements in 7 groups)

The setup:
A laser printed office paper version of a USAF chart placed 0.5 meters in front of the sensor plane of an A7CR sitting on a stable tripod. Neither the target nor the tripod were moved during the test. The resulting images looked like this:






The patch of interest is the one in center of the upper row above - so a bit under the optical axis. RAW format, ACR, everything at zero, straight or neutral except for the white balance, minor exposure adjustments (within plus minus 0.2 EV) and the sharpening which was turned down to zero.

The result:





The FDn f74 image was, for the fun of it, replaced by a 100% crop of a casual "portrait" I took some time ago. That was at a distance of 1.6 meters with the Sigma at f/2.

My conclusions:
The 50GM is very sharp also close up.
The 50 is very good if also not GM good.
The classic double gaussian type lens shows its age - but the Canon lens certainly is sharp enough stopped down at a little longer distances. It has other problems when it comes to rendering and bokeh.
The Zuiko was and is a great lens. Not great wide open here but in real life use of my favorites.
and
The 50i is certainly "sharp" enough also up and close.

That's me, perhaps you can get something else out of the compilation. At a possible next time I'll adjust the setup.



Jul 09, 2024 at 04:34 PM
RomanMF
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


I use my 65mm F/2 all the time. Lovely lens.
Recent portraits shot on it: https://www.instagram.com/p/C8leulLNZ28/?img_index=1



Jul 09, 2024 at 04:39 PM
Dave Sanders
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


RomanMF wrote:
I use my 65mm F/2 all the time. Lovely lens.
Recent portraits shot on it: https://www.instagram.com/p/C8leulLNZ28/?img_index=1


Really like those shots, especially the first two; the second is a good example of how controlled the bokeh of the 65 is.



Jul 09, 2024 at 05:36 PM
jdcoletv
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


I own the Sigma 90mm 2.8 and I find myself using it more and more. It is a sharp, light lens with great color and bokeh and focuses plenty fast. It also is anything but boring.


Jul 10, 2024 at 06:27 AM
freaklikeme
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


jdcoletv wrote:
I own the Sigma 90mm 2.8 and I find myself using it more and more. It is a sharp, light lens with great color and bokeh and focuses plenty fast. It also is anything but boring.


So, aside from the size and price, what's special about it? It can't compete with the resolution of any of the 70-200/2.8s available for the mount at the same focal length and aperture setting. It doesn't have the superb all-around performance of the 105 macro. It can take a good portrait, but there's nothing sweet about the wide-open draw like you'd get with an Elmarit-M 90/2.8 or anything that makes it a standout for the application. For landscape applications, the less expensive Sony 85/1.8 has significantly less distortion and vignetting (and outresolves the Sigma across the frame down to f/5.6). It's got a decent MFD, particularly for the size, but that's where you get the worst of the distortion, FC, and undercorrected SA issues.

I like mine quite a bit. The diminutive size and weight make it an easy carry with either the rV or a6700. Optically, though, it's the very definition of a nothing special lens.



Jul 10, 2024 at 07:13 AM
Jonas B
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback



jdcoletv wrote:
I own the Sigma 90mm 2.8 and I find myself using it more and more. It is a sharp, light lens with great color and bokeh and focuses plenty fast. It also is anything but boring.


freaklikeme wrote:
So, aside from the size and price, what's special about it? It can't compete with the resolution of any of the 70-200/2.8s available for the mount at the same focal length and aperture setting. It doesn't have the superb all-around performance of the 105 macro. It can take a good portrait, but there's nothing sweet about the wide-open draw like you'd get with an Elmarit-M 90/2.8 or anything that makes it a standout for the application. For landscape applications, the less expensive Sony 85/1.8 has significantly less distortion and vignetting (and outresolves the Sigma across the frame down to f/5.6).
...Show more

, gotta love your description... and you are right!
The reason to love (love = like to use I guess) any of these lenses (for example 35GM, 50GM, PZ16-35 and some other all-round zoom lenses, some of the Sigma i-series lenses and some more) is just because they are boring working horses with nothing really spectacular about them.
Those lenses can be "loved", liked or dismissed but they are all boring as you put it. That's why I own and use them way more than my other interesting but often quirky lenses which are super nice sometimes but at any other occasions in-practical, not "normal" enough or always on their way to give you surprise when you don't want it.




Jul 10, 2024 at 08:04 AM
Robin Smith
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Sigma I-Series DG DN Contemporary Primes - User feedback


A lens is only boring if the photographer is boring.


Jul 10, 2024 at 09:27 AM
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