First announced at Photokina 2018 (opens in new tab), Sigma’s new 56mm f/1.4 prime lens offers an effective 84mm focal length on mirrorless Sony APS-C cameras including the A6000, A6300 and Sony A6500 (opens in new tab), while on Olympus mirrorless cameras like the OM-D E-M1 II (opens in new tab) it’s effectively a 112mm f/1.4. It's an interesting development for Sony APS-C mirrorless fans, who are still waiting for more news on the rumored new high-end Sony A7000 (opens in new tab).
In both cases it makes a perfect wide aperture ‘portrait’ lens for low-light shooting and attractive background blur. The best news is the price, which has just been announced: in the UK the Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary will go on sale at £399.99 and will be available from November 2018. In the US it’s on pre-sale at $479.
That’s pretty good value for a premium-quality f/1.4 prime, and although it’s part of Sigma’s ‘Contemporary’ range, the company says its “remarkable” optical quality rivals that of its premium ‘Art’ lenses. It comes with a 9-bladed rounded diaphragm, a dust- and splash-proof design and a smooth AF system well suited to video.
Good news for Sony fans
Sony and Olympus were pretty quiet at Photokina. Sony is saying nothing about its plans for its APS-C camera system, which seems like it’s in the doldrums, while Olympus is sticking with the Micro Four Thirds format despite its long-time technology partner Panasonic stepping into the full frame market.
But Olympus is defiant (opens in new tab) about the relevance and importance of its sensor format and we’re hearing rumours about a new high-end Sony APS-C camera (opens in new tab) that could see this format revived.
Sigma certainly has some faith in Sony APS-C E-mount, as the 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary is the company’s third fast-aperture prime lens for this format, following on from the original 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary and later 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary. Sigma has now completed its line-up of portable wide-angle, standard, and telephoto lenses for the Sony APS-C E-mount system.
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