The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary is a wide angle prime lens with a bright 1.4 aperture. It provides an equivalent 24mm field of view on Sony E mount cameras with an APS-C sized sensor, or a slightly narrower 32mm on Micro Four Thirds bodies (35mm format equivalent terms).
As with all our most recent reviews, we’ve summarised our thoughts about this new prime in video format. You’ll also find a bullet point list of our main findings and a series of sample images. Enjoy!
Ethics statement: The Sigma 16mm was loaned to us for a two-week testing period. We were not asked to write anything about the lens, nor were we provided with any compensation of any kind. Within the article, there are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Thank you!
- Focal length: 16mm (32mm for MFT / 24mm for Sony E in 35mm terms)
- Lens configuration: 16 elements in 13 groups
- Lens mechanism: Inner focus
- Angle of view: 83.4°
- Closest focusing distance: 25cm
- Maximum image magnification: 1: 9.9
- Aperture blades: 9 rounded
- Aperture range: 1.4 to 16
- Filter diamater: 67mm
- Weather sealing: Yes (dust and splash proof)
- Optical stabilisation: No
- Dimensions: 72.2mm x 92.3mm
- Weight: 405g
Summary of our findings
- is constructed from a mix of plastic, metal and Thermally Stable Composite
- brass bayonet mount is sealed against dust and moisture
- a better fit for medium to large bodies due to its size
- deep ridges on the fly-by-wire focus ring give you a good grip and help you make fine adjustments
- optical quality at the centre is very good straight out of the gate, with the best performance being found between f/2 and f/5.6
- the corners aren’t as sharp as the centre but the performance improves beyond f/2
- the corners on Micro Four Thirds are a little sharper because a more central portion of the frame is used
- the bokeh is very smooth and pleasant, especially if you focus close
- chromatic aberration can occur at the fastest apertures
- barrel distortion isn’t an issue thanks to the in-camera / profile corrections but some slight moustache distortion is visible
- flare only occurs in strong backlit situations
- the internal focus unit and stepping motor allow for quick, silent and accurate performance for stills and video
Priced at approximately $450, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary is definitely a lens worth considering regardless of whether you use the Sony E or Micro Four Thirds system.
In the case of Micro Four Thirds, it is less expensive than the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.2 by a long shot, yet provides a slightly faster aperture than the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 whose performance and price tag are similar.
As for Sony, it delivers far better optical quality than the Sony E 16mm f/2.8, which is currently the only other 24mm equivalent lens for the system with autofocus.
The only thing that might put you off is the size of the lens, especially if you own a small camera body. Otherwise it is a definite winner!
Check price of the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 PRO on B&H Photo