Sigma has two new lenses in its ART lens category, which is their series designed to “emphasize creative expression above compactness and multi-functionality.” I tested the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 DN and 19mm f/2.8 DN lenses that are designed for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. Priced at $199, both DN lenses incorporate telecentric optical designs and a linear auto focusing motor that ensures accurate and quiet focusing for video. They have metal exteriors and a simply shaped focus ring with varying textures to distinguish each part of the lens. DN user can choose between black or silver finish.
The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN is a high-performance, wide-angle lens that has an angle of view equivalent to 38mm. Sigma says that it’s useful for studio photography, architecture and starry skies. Its minimum focusing distance is 7.9-inches and its maximum magnification is 1:7.4.
Sigma’s 30mm f/2.8 DN has an angle of view equivalent to 60mm is useful for casual and formal portraiture, documentary photography, travel and everyday shooting. It features a double-sided aspherical lens that enhances optical performance. Its minimum focusing distance of 11.8-inches and its maximum magnification is 1:8.1. Both lenses come with lens hoods and a rugged, well-made case.
I took both lenses to Key West, Florida to see how they handled the rigors of travel photography but ended up shooting mostly with the 19mm lens. (Look for an upcoming post on using the 30mm in the studio.) The 19mm f/2.8 DN proved to be an able traveling companion; not so much for its lens hood, which kept jumping off. Not having a hood only created flare in one or two of the 400 shots that I made with the lens. Otherwise, the 19mm f/2.8 DN did a great job producing sharp images and I never—although I though I might—wondered if it would have been better if I had a zoom. It was great shooting under low light conditions in the Audubon House where I made this image with a Panasonic Lumix G2.—Joe Farace