Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Review: Luxury Design, Killer Astro

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Whereas Sigma has a status for its Artwork line, it’s the I-series of lenses that all the time catch my curiosity for one foremost motive: metallic. Just like the others within the sequence, the brand new Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN is a major lens with an exquisite metallic barrel and a devoted aperture ring. Whereas it appears luxurious on the surface, it homes strong optics inside that seize sharp, punchy photographs.

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Whereas the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN is a fairly priced ultra-wide that appears prefer it prices greater than it does, there are a couple of quirks. Chief amongst them, the weather-sealing isn’t all through the entire lens. However, at $699, are these quirks value embracing?

The lens for this overview was offered by LensRentals.

The Massive Image

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Professionals

  • Sharp photographs
  • Some enjoyable flares, but numerous distinction
  • Punchy colours
  • Stunning metallic physique
  • Minimal distortions for astrophotography
  • Devoted aperture ring
  • Moderately priced
  • Not too massive or heavy

Cons

  • Solely weather-sealing on the mount
  • Occasional autofocus misses

The Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN is a fantastically constructed, metallic, prime lens that’s enjoyable to shoot with. The photographs are sharp with punchy colours and distinction, and comparatively little distortion to complain about. The lens is technically nice with lots of sharpness, and it leaves a little bit of room for character with some small flare and that 20mm perspective distortion. And, it’s not terribly costly.

Nevertheless, the weather-sealing is just on the mount, making it vulnerable to break from mud and moisture. It’s not the only option for photographers taking pictures in inclement climate or working in dusty or sandy environments. It additionally had a couple of autofocus misses, however these weren’t widespread.

I’m giving the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN 4 out of 5 stars.

Phoblographer 4 stars

Gear Used

I used the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN within the L-Mount model, mounted on the Panasonic S5. A transparent Sigma protecting filter was used as effectively. The lens was offered by LensRentals and the S5 is on mortgage from Panasonic.

Improvements

As a part of Sigma’s I sequence, the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN has a metallic physique. It makes use of Sigma’s newest optical tech designed for sharp corners and minimal sagittal coma flare. However, they’re not doing something loopy uncommon right here.

Tech Specs

LensRentals lists the next specs for the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN:

  • Angle of View: 94.5°
  • Autofocus: Autofocus
  • Model: Sigma
  • Compatibility: Full Body
  • Filter Measurement: 62.0mm
  • Focal Size: 20.0-20.0
  • Hood Included: Sure
  • Picture Stabilization: No
  • Merchandise Kind: Lens
  • Lens Kind: Extensive Angle
  • Macro Replica Ratio: 1:6.7
  • Max Aperture: 2.0
  • Most Magnification: 0.15x
  • Mfr. Mannequin Quantity: 490969
  • Minimal Aperture: 22.0
  • Minimal Focusing Distance: 0.7feet
  • Mount: L Mount
  • Optical Design: Teams/Parts: 11/13
    • Particular Low-Dispersion Parts: 1
    • Aspherical Parts: 3
    • “F” Low-Dispersion Parts: 1
    • Aperture Blades: 9, Rounded
  • Bodily
    • Dimensions (ø x L): 2.8 × 2.9″
    • Weight: 0.8 lb.

Ergonomics

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The Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN is a reasonably-sized, metallic construct, prime lens. This design is one in all my favorites from Sigma. Metallic lenses with aperture rings are my jam and that’s precisely what this lens is. It brings a stunning metallic prime choice to the E-Mount and L-Mount. And it feels nice within the arms.

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The primary management subsequent to the mount is the auto to guide focus swap. This isn’t solely a pleasant huge swap, but it surely’s really color-coded so you may simply see what mode the lens is in even from a distance. In AF mode, there’s a spot of grey below the swap. In MF mode, the swap is all black.

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The subsequent management is the aperture ring. This ring has a really satisfying click on to it, and it’s properly labeled from f2 to f22, with an A for auto. I did want to verify this ring didn’t twist within the bag when saved, however in any other case beloved the texture of it.

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Closest to the entrance of the lens is the guide focus ring. It is a bit bigger than the aperture ring and, in fact, turns smoother. That makes it straightforward to inform the 2 controls aside by really feel. 

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The entrance of the lens takes 62mm filters. The glass doesn’t take up the total entrance of the lens, however that’s not sudden for an f2. It ships with a metallic, petal-shaped hood.

Construct High quality

The metallic construct of the Sigma 20mm feels pretty within the arms. The click aperture ring is so satisfying to make use of. Sigma actually must make extra primes with the sort of physique. It’s merely pretty.

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Whereas the construct appears and feels nice, the weather-sealing is just on the mount. With such an expensive really feel to the construct, I actually want Sigma spent the additional couple of bucks for full weather-sealing. I might hate to see grime have an effect on the attractive flip of the rings or to get contained in the lens and have an effect on efficiency and picture high quality. Whereas it appears sturdy, the possibility mud and water might spell hassle is larger than with a lens that’s absolutely weather-sealed. 

The metallic construct makes it really feel sturdy, however an absence of full weather-sealing can create overconfidence whereas taking pictures with this lens in situations it shouldn’t be in. After taking pictures with the Sigma 20mm alongside the seashore and close to the spray of a waterfall, the lens fared okay. The S5 did have some seen mud on the sensor, nevertheless, a minimum of a few of these mud spots have been there after I first mounted the lens.

Autofocus

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The Sigma 20mm f2 did an honest job at specializing in the kind of topics that ultra-wides are sometimes used for. I didn’t have any points taking pictures landscapes or structure. I did have a couple of snapshot-style images that have been inexplicably delicate. To clarify {that a} bit additional, we have been specializing in folks in a scene. At occasions, the digital camera and lens would nail specializing in their faces. However then out of the blue, it will lose focus for some motive. Nevertheless, the autofocus locked on a excessive majority of the time.

With motion in the direction of the digital camera, the lens missed often, however nonetheless saved a lot of the photographs in focus. The S5 doesn’t have the quickest autofocus system, so I can’t say for sure whether or not or not the lens could have any points on one of many super-fast burst modes on a Sony E-Mount. Whereas the miss price was minor, it was a bit excessive provided that ultra-wides are inclined to lock on simpler than longer lenses.

Ease of Use

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Shot handheld, edited RAW

Controlling the aperture on the lens feels extra pure to me than making these changes on the digital camera physique. That’s one of many causes this lens feels nice to make use of. There may be the off probability that newbies would possibly discover the labeled controls daunting, however I don’t assume too many photographers who don’t know what aperture is are drawn to prime lenses. In any other case, utilizing this lens is basically simple.

This lens isn’t outfitted with picture stabilization. With such a large angle and with many our bodies together with stabilization, that’s not a deal-breaker. However, that will nonetheless trigger some pause for photographers who will use this lens primarily to shoot handheld low mild. Nonetheless, on the S5, I used to be capable of get a little bit of blur out of a waterfall with out utilizing a tripod.

Picture High quality

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Photos from the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN are sharp and punchy. However, this lens additionally handles distortions moderately effectively. It could actually seize some sharp stars, whereas barrel distortion is pretty minimal. Flare is suppressed, however there’s nonetheless a few of it available and when taking pictures this fashion, and there’s nonetheless some distinction too.

Bokeh

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Certain, you will get extra bokeh with an extended lens or an f1.2. However, there’s some good background separation right here. This lens will create probably the most bokeh when taking pictures in shut, the place the background softly fades away. The out-of-focus factors of sunshine didn’t have an apparent onion ringing and most have been additionally away from cleaning soap bubbles. Bokeh balls are principally spherical, with the anticipated cat-eye form solely in the direction of the perimeters.

Sharpness

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Even vast open, the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN has a pleasant sharpness to it. It’s sharp, however not clobber-you-over-the-head sharp. There’s a minor softening on the corners —pixel peepers might discover the perimeters of timber and scenes right here aren’t fairly as sharp. However, there are only a few situations the place such a minor softness could be a difficulty.

Lens Character

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With such a large angle, the lens has surprisingly little barrel distortion. There may be some slight bending in the direction of the perimeters that you simply’ll see when you shortly flip again between a JPEG and a RAW file with out the lens profile utilized. However, it’s pretty minor. You’ll, in fact, get the exaggerated views that include an ultra-wide — not fairly as excessive as a 16mm however not as impartial as a 35mm.

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Edited RAW

I used to be additionally capable of take a couple of astrophotography photographs with this lens. The celebs have been sharp and didn’t undergo from many distortions that alter their form.

Photographers can get some flare right here with a bit effort. Pointed in the direction of the solar, the lens could have a delicate flare of sunshine with a couple of small ghosting spots. But, the picture nonetheless retains fairly a little bit of distinction on this situation. It’s not the type of flare that Photoshop artists will recreate later, however there’s a bit to play with right here.

Shade Rendering

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The Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN has solely very minor chromatic aberration. Solely pixel peepers will actually discover it, and you need to get in actual shut.

Colours felt only a tad further from this lens. The sky and greenery had a bit extra punch, but not in an overbearing approach. RAW recordsdata might simply be manipulated to fulfill a specific shade imaginative and prescient.

Additional Picture Samples

From day one, the Phoblographer has been enormous on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this overview is sponsored. Additional, numerous people will submit evaluations and present numerous modifying within the images. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. You’re not displaying what the lens can do. So now we have an entire part in our Additional Picture Samples space to indicate off edited and unedited images. From this, you may make a choice for your self.

Edited

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Unedited

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Who Ought to Purchase It?

The Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN has an exquisite metallic construct and delivers strong photographs. Photos have strong sharpness, punchy shade, and even only a little bit of character flare. Distortion is effectively managed. To high it off, the metallic physique feels actually nice to work with. It’s an honest selection for astrophotography and landscapes. The $699 worth level makes it a really tempting selection for vast pictures. The lens is an honest choice for photographers on a restricted funds — it’s inexpensive, but the picture high quality doesn’t actually look it.

However, it’s not absolutely climate sealed. If the Sigma 20mm f2 DG DN was absolutely weather-sealed, I might advocate it to lots of photographers (and, if I shot E or L-Mount, would severely take into account choosing it up for myself). The restricted weather-sealing signifies that it’s not for photographers who shoot within the rain or in sandy, dusty environments reminiscent of seashores. The even cheaper Tamron 20mm f2.8 Di III has higher climate sealing, although there’s vital distortion to are inclined to with that lens. It additionally had a couple of autofocus misses.

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