I’m Mark Cornick, a SIGMA UK Ambassador and a landscape and urban photographer from London. This has been an exciting week for me as I was the first person in the UK to get my hands on pre-release samples of the first three SIGMA lenses for Fujifilm X Mount.
As a long-time X Series shooter, this is a release that I, and I’m sure many others, have been looking forward to for some time. Here are my first impressions on using this portable trio of prime lenses.
The SIGMA X Mount line-up kicks off with the release of three fast aperture crop sensor primes. These lenses already exist on four other mirrorless mounts, so they’re not brand new products, but to X Series users they’ll certainly feel new!
The three primes all have F1.4 apertures, so are great in low light and provide a very shallow depth-of-field for plenty of impact. The trio comprises a 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary, 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary and 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary. They are priced at £359, £289 and £379 respectively.
This fantastic little set of lenses covers a full range of focal lengths and would be suitable for shooting in most situations over a broad range of photographic genres. All three optics are small and lightweight and you would have no issues taking all three out with you for a day of shooting. They’re also priced to make great value for money, especially considering they are F1.4 primes.
I took images with each of these lenses in Southsea on the South Coast of England as part of a new documentary project about British seaside towns. Each lens was really useful to have in my bag for different shooting situations and being able to switch between these exceptionally portable lenses quickly enables me to capture subjects and compositions I may have otherwise missed. Although some prefer one zoom lens to cover the wide-angle to short-telephoto focal range, I have always been a firm believer in working with fast aperture primes, which tend to have superior optics, better overall sharpness, and of course the ability to shoot hand-held in low light.
The lenses all felt very sturdy on the camera, with the exceptional level of build quality we have come to expect from SIGMA products. The images are rich and sharp, with great contrast, and even in low-light situations, the autofocus was quick to react and very rarely missed the subject. Shooting wide open is just really good fun, and I love the resulting bokeh that comes from shooting in the colourful wonderland of the seaside arcade.
SIGMA 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
Petal Type Lens Hood (LH716-01) supplied
I hadn’t shot with a wide-angle prime like the 16mm F1.4 for some time, but I found it a really refreshing experience, especially when down on the seafront and at the boatyard, giving me the opportunity to capture some nice vistas with plenty of detail.
SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
Petal Type Lens Hood (LH586-01) supplied
The 30mm, with its full-frame equivalent focal length of around 45mm, is a great all-rounder for everyday shooting, and probably the lens that would spend the most time on my camera, especially for the type of projects I am currently working on.
SIGMA 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
Petal Type Lens Hood (LH586-01) supplied
The 56mm worked really well for capturing detail shots that were just out of reach with the 30mm, with the 84mm equivalent focal length making a nice telephoto shooting experience. Although I didn’t shoot many classic head-and-shoulders portraits on this particular excursion, this is of course the perfect focal length for portraits, offering the most flattering perspective on the face, so this is the one I’d be reaching for if I were doing this kind of work.
I had a really great time shooting with these lenses and I am more than happy with the resulting images in terms of colour and sharpness. They’re sharp, well built, portable, exceptional value for money, and provide a great chance to build up your Fujifilm X Mount lens collection without breaking the bank.
I look forward to SIGMA adding more lenses to its X Mount range soon!