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Sigma launches a new mirrorless 18-50mm f/2.8 lens... and it's tiny!

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C
(Image credit: Sigma)

The 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is a standard zoom lens for APS-C Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras that will also be available in an L-mount version. It's the first time Sigma has made a zoom lens for crop-sensor mirrorless cameras.

A new standard zoom lens for Sony E cameras is hardly news, but this one is very different. It's a constant-aperture f/2.8 lens with an effective focal range of 27-75mm, but it's about half the size – literally – of the constant aperture lenses we're used to seeing.

It doesn't go quite as 'wide' or as 'long' as the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G (24-82.5mm equivalent), but then the new Sigma is well under half the price and, at 290g, a massive 204g lighter.

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C key features

Sigma says its new lens is ideal for both stills photography and video, and with a minimum focus distance of just 12.1cm, it can also handle close ups with a maximum magnification of 1:2.8.

The L-mount option is less obviously useful, given that the only L-mount APS-C cameras are Leica's TL2 and CL models – though Sigma points out that the new lens can be used on a Sigma fp L for 4K video and 25.8MP still images.

The optical design includes three glass-molded aspherical elements which work alongside in-camera aberration correction to make the lens's small size and light weight possible. The lens barrel is polycarbonate, which Sigma says has a similar thermal stability to aluminium for reliable use in different temperatures, but metal is used for parts of the internal construction.

We take this to mean that the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C is designed for light weight, portability and cost, rather than to compete head on with a pro lens like the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G.

The autofocus is driven by a stepping motor designed to deliver fast and near-silent AF ideal for quiet environments and both stills and video. Its light weight should also make it handy for gimbal use.

(Image credit: Sigma)

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C specifications

Lens construction: 10 groups, 13 elements (1 SLD and 3 aspherical)
Angle of view (APS-C): 76.5° (W) - 31.7° (T)
Number of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture: F22
Minimum focusing distance: 12.1cm (W) – 30cm (T)
Maximum magnification ratio: 1:2.8 (W) – 1:5 (T)
Filter size: 55mm
Dimensions (Maximum Diameter x Length): 65.4mm×74.5mm
Weight: 290g

Price and availability

The Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary goes on sale from October 29th at a price of $549/£429.99.

Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.