Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens L Mount First Impressions

Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens L Mount First Impressions:

I’ve always loved Sigma lenses, and I was really happy when I heard that they were joining the L-Mount Alliance.  Since then, I waited (impatiently) for the lenses to be released.  After a little bit of a wait, I was glad to hear that a few were finally coming out.  One, which I was really excited about, is the 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens.  I was able to get one on loan to review, and here are my first impressions of it.

Build wise, this is a very decent lens.  Everything about it is very solid and tight.  The lens barrel incorporates metal as the main part.  Nothing has play or feels loose.  The aperture ring, for instance, clicks firmly into its chosen setting.  The focus ring, which I don’t use much, since this is an autofocus lens, is smooth in operation.  The 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is also dust and splash proof, which matches a lot of the L mount cameras currently out.  Speaking of, I’ve been testing the 45mm f2.8 on the SL but there is also a Sony E Mount version as well.  Lastly, the 45mm f2.8 does come with a metal lens hood that is actually a bit hefty in a good way.  It’s a quality piece.

↑ The Sigma 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens with it’s lens hood.

↑ The Sigma 45mm f2.8 is so compact.  It makes a great everyday lens.

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, I think the great thing about this lens is its size.  It’s been such a great match with my SL.  I really couldn’t ask for better, seriously.  If you’re a frequent visitor of my blog, you know that the Summilux-SL 50mm f1.4 ASPH is my “go-to” lens, and it’s my most used lens out of any system.  Check my Instagram, and you’ll see that it is littered with images shot with just this lens.  However, it’s definitely not a lightweight, and it’s definitely not small.  It’s a lens I use for work, and when I need f1.4.  The 45mm f2.8 would be great to own in addition to my Lux because it can be used for pro work (if I don’t need anything faster than f2.8) but at the same time, it’s great for those days when I want to shoot street, cityscape or even some candid shots of my friends.  In other words, it would make a great everyday lens.  In addition to being compact, and easy to live with, the lens weighs only 215 g.  This is something you can definitely carry around all day without feeling exhausted at the end.  It would be great on vacation as well.

↑ This was taken at f8.  This was at the Seaport District in Lower Manhattan.

↑ This was taken at f11.  Black and white conversion was done in Camera Raw in Photoshop CC.

It’s also worth noting that the autofocus is quite fast.  It locks on instantaneously.  I haven’t had any issues with it so far, and it works great on my SL.  It’s accurate, and quiet as well.

↑ This was taken at the San Gennaro Festival.  My lens was set at f5.6.

↑ Here’s another shot taken at f5.6.

As for image quality, the Sigma lenses  that I’ve used have always impressed me, and the 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is no exception.  The color looks great, and the contrast is excellent.  This is a very sharp lens too.  It picks up quite a bit of detail.  I haven’t had any issues with flare either, and there was actually a portrait session I did where it just so happened to be outdoors with very harsh light.  It performed so well.  I’ll definitely add a few of those images, and talk more about it in my upcoming review.  As for bokeh, it’s nice and smooth but at f2.8, don’t expect ultra isolation of your subject.  Still, it’s decent, and remember: photography is about more than just ultra shallow depth of field ;).  I will definitely add a lot of images I shot in f2.8 in my review, so all of you can get a better feel of how images come out at that setting.

↑ Here’s one of my friend taken at f2.8.

↑ This was taken at f8 at the San Gennaro Festival.

↑ Here’s another taken at the San Gennaro Festival.  It was taken at f5.6.

For the asking price of just $549, I think this is a steal.  Everything combined from the excellent build, compact size, and of course, image quality make the 45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens a fantastic choice for someone who is looking for a great everyday lens of this focal length.  Speaking of this focal length, I also love it.  I find it great for street portraiture.  Anyway, expect my full review of this lens very soon with plenty of sample pics.  There will be a lot of portraits in my upcoming review as well.  For one of my weekly portrait set blog posts, I’ll also post a set of portraits I did on the Manhattan Bridge with this lens too.  Thanks for stopping by!

For those interested in purchasing this lens, the link is below.

45mm f2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens at B&H Photo

45mm f2.8 Sony E Mount at B&H Photo

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