Photography

First Look: SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens

When it comes to interchangeable lens cameras, full-frame users seem to get all the attention. Big lenses, big maximum apertures and big prices abound, and there’s always a new lens designed for full-frame sensors in the photo industry headlines. But what about the humble APS-C format? After all, crop sensor camera users account for a huge portion of the camera market, and it’s time they got some love, too!

The new 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens is the very first mirrorless-exclusive APS-C format zoom lens from SIGMA, and it provides photographers and video creators with an ultra-lightweight, versatile, high-performance option perfect for everyday stills shooting, handheld (or gimbal-held) video, vlogging, streaming, and so much more.


Smallest and lightest F2.8 zoom for APS-C mirrorless

Smaller, crop-format camera bodies like the Sony A6000 series, Sony ZV-E10, or Leica’s TL and CL cameras, tend to look and feel best with a nice, compact lens mounted on them. The SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is currently (as of Oct. 2021) the smallest and lightest F2.8 zoom lens for APS-C mirrorless systems, ideal for cameras like these, and even full-frame cameras like our own SIGMA fp & fp L (more on that later). Thanks to innovative optical design and in-camera aberration correction*, SIGMA was able to create a high-performance zoom lens that is just 3 inches (74.5mm) long and weighs just over 10 ounces (290g).

With its light weight and compact size, the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary goes practically anywhere. Daily snapshots, travel, hiking, vlogging, gimbal use… if portability is a must, then this lens is an excellent fit. SIGMA Ambassador Jim Koepnick first tested the lens on a weekend trip to Chicago, and found it to be the perfect travel companion for a quick stop in the Windy City.


F2.8 aperture for beautiful background blur and low-light performance

One of the best things about stepping up from a “kit lens” to a fast-aperture zoom or a prime lens is the ability to blur the background in portraits and creative compositions, making the subject pop and the background melt away with natural-looking falloff (rather than the often-dubious blurring of “portrait mode” phone pics). With a constant maximum aperture of F2.8 and 7 rounded aperture blades, the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is able to produce gorgeous background blur (bokeh), especially when zoomed in, for great portraits with perfect transitions to out-of-focus areas.

A fast aperture isn’t just for blurry backgrounds, though. Compared to the variable aperture in most “kit” zooms, the constant F2.8 maximum aperture of this lens allows faster, more precise autofocusing, faster shutter speeds, lower noise levels, and overall better performance in low light. For photography indoors or at night, there’s no substitute for a bigger aperture, and the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary brings that capability to the table.


Versatility for photo and video, perfect for all content creators

The SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary isn’t just for photographers, of course. Video creators with APS-C format mirrorless cameras will enjoy this lens’ versatility for capturing everyday moments, social media content, YouTube videos, vlogs, streaming, pretty much anything!

Video shooters will also appreciate the excellent autofocus performance of the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary. Absolutely silent and extremely precise, the stepping motor utilized in this lens offers speed, accuracy, and smoothness when changing areas of focus. Not to mention it’s compatible with all the latest autofocus technology, including Eye AF and Real-time Tracking.

And of course it works with Animal Eye AF, too, as SIGMA Ambassador Anabel DFlux found when she used the lens paired with a Sony A6600 to capture some fun video during a dog agility “powder” session!


Outstanding performance, even close up

SIGMA lenses are renowned for their image quality, and the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary aims to carry on that reputation. Sharpness is excellent, color fringing and other aberrations are well-controlled, and out-of-focus areas are smooth and consistent. In-camera aberration correction* further reduces distortion and vignetting, leading to a lens that offers a ton of optical performance in a pocket-sized package.

Another feature of the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is a minimum focusing distance of just 4.8 inches at 18mm, with a working distance of barely over an inch from the front element! The resulting 1:2.8 maximum magnification ratio allows for close-up photography that gives this already-versatile lens even more flexibility to help overcome any creative challenge.


… and even on full-frame cameras!

Conventional thinking would say that a crop-format lens can’t be used on a full-frame camera, but the L-mount version of the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is right at home on the full-frame SIGMA fp or fp L, especially when shooting video. While still photos do experience a drop in resolution — although on the 61-megapixel fp L, photos with this lens are a very healthy 25.9MP — full UHD 4K video (3,840 x 2,160) can be captured on either camera without issue.

Because the lens is smaller and more maneuverable, it makes shooting video handheld or on a gimbal significantly more user-friendly. The same is true with this lens attached to full-frame E-mount cameras. And along with the 16mm, 30mm & 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary primes, there are now plenty of lightweight, affordable options for full-frame mirrorless users looking for portable video lenses.


Step up to SIGMA with the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens

Portable and powerful, with a creator-friendly price, the SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens is just the right size in every way for Sony E-mount and L-mount users, crop sensor or not. It’s perfect for on-the-go photographers, travelers, parents, YouTubers, vloggers, streamers, anyone who needs a convenient, versatile lens with excellent all-around performance.

* Function available on supported cameras only. Available corrections may vary depending on the camera model.

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