Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is a member of the Sigma "I series", "Premium Compact Primes" for mirrorless cameras. These lenses are designed for "photographers who value the experience of taking a picture just as much as the quality of the results." [Sigma]

Characteristics of the lenses in this series include small size, light weight, and affordable price. Also consistent with lenses in this series are precision metal build quality and excellent image quality (at f/3.2 in this case), with a useful focal length completing the very attractive Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens package.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle View

Focal Length

The focal length is always a primary consideration when selecting the ideal lens for a particular use. The focal length determines the angle of view, which determines the subject distance required with perspective determined by that distance.

Why 45mm? Why did Sigma not choose the prevalent 50mm focal length?

At review time, Sigma has compact prime lenses covering 24mm, 35mm, 45mm, 65mm, and 90mm focal lengths. Combined, the angle of view steps between each lens option seem optimal for full coverage with a prime lens kit. In addition, being different (from 50mm) helps a lens stand out. Perhaps most important is that the 45mm angle of view is highly desired for movie creation.

On a full-frame body, the 45mm focal length provides an angle of view that seems natural, and that aspect brings great general-purpose usefulness.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sample Picture

Modestly wider than the ultra-popular 50mm focal length, the 45mm focal length is useful for similar purposes. These uses include fashion, portraiture, weddings, documentary, street, lifestyle, sports, architecture, landscape, commercial, around-the-home, and general studio photography applications, including product photography.

As you likely noted, many good applications for this lens include people as subjects. A 45mm lens (on a full-frame body) provides an angle of view too wide for tightly framed headshot portraits (a too-close perspective is required), but 45mm is an excellent choice for wider portrait framing, especially full-body portraits.

To visualize where 45mm fits among other common focal lengths, I'll borrow an example from the Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens review.

Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens Focal Length Range Example

35mm | 45mm | 50mm | 65mm | 70mm | 85mm

APS-C sensor format cameras utilize a smaller portion of the image circle, which means a scene is framed more tightly, with 1.5x being the angle of view multiplier for Sony's line-up. This lens's 67.5mm full-frame angle of view equivalent realized on APS-C cameras shifts the uses toward portraiture and documentary use.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Front View

Max Aperture

The lower the aperture number, the wider the opening, and the more light the lens will allow to reach the imaging sensor. Each "stop" in aperture change (full stop examples: f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6) increases or decreases the amount of light reaching the sensor by a factor of 2x (a substantial factor).

When you buy a prime lens instead of a zoom, you expect at least one strong advantage to offset the loss of zoom range versatility. Common prime lens advantages include smaller size, lighter weight, lower price, better image quality, or a wider aperture. The lens checks those boxes, with that last advantage being a modest one in this case.

An f/2.8 max aperture is relatively wide. Few zoom lenses have a wider aperture at 45mm, though an f/2.8 is not unusual for these lenses. Kit zoom lenses typically have considerably narrower apertures at 45mm. Few normal/standard prime lenses have a narrower max aperture (and most of these are macro or tilt-shift lenses). So, this lens opens wide relative to zoom lenses and not very wide relative to prime lenses.

A wide aperture, allowing significant amounts of light to reach the imaging sensor, provides tremendous benefits. Use that light to enable action (subject and camera) stopping shutter speeds in very low light levels, along with low ISO settings for reduced noise. A 45mm f/2.8 lens can often be handheld indoors under average ambient light without image stabilization or an ultra-high ISO setting.

Another advantage of a wide aperture lens is the background blur it can create. The next images illustrate the maximum background blur this lens can produce at the respective aperture.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Aperture Comparison Example

The 45mm f/2.8 combination creates a shallow DOF and a moderately strong background blur, drawing the viewer's eye to the in-focus subject. Compare the aperture of your fastest 45mm (or similar) lens with the f/2.8 result to see the benefit this aperture would bring to your kit. Especially compared to the f/5.6 result, the f/2.8 blur is considerably stronger.

At a close working distance, the background objects are barely recognizable at f/2.8, easily blurry enough to show separation from the subject.

The advantages of a lens with a narrow max aperture are the smaller size, lighter weight, and lower cost associated with smaller lens elements. As mentioned, this lens retains those advantages.

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens features a gear-like, 1/3-stop clicked aperture ring that enables a manually-selected aperture. The camera controls the aperture setting with the ring in the A (Auto) position. All other settings electronically force the aperture to the chosen opening.

Aside from a slightly more complicated design, I find inadvertent aperture changes the primary disadvantage of an aperture ring. Incorporating a lock for this ring would eliminate that issue, and learning not to grasp the aperture ring when mounting the camera reduces the problem.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View with Hood

Image Stabilization

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is not optically stabilized. Fortunately, Sony takes care of that omission with Steady Shot or IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) in their mirrorless cameras. In addition to reducing camera shake, the stabilized imaging sensor provides a still viewfinder image, enabling careful composition. Sensor-based AF takes advantage of the stabilized view for improved accuracy.

With no IS switch on the lens, the camera menu must be used to enable or disable IBIS, a slight impediment to working quickly, going from tripod to handholding, for example.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens on Tripod

Image Quality

One aspect we never want compromised is the image quality produced by a lens. Still, cost, weight, and size issues come into play. How does the small, light, affordable Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens perform optically? Let's find out.

In the center of the frame at f/2.8, this lens delivers good sharpness throughout the image circle. That said, once you see the f/3.2 results, you will be less pleased with the f/2.8 contrast and resolution. The difference is obvious, and the f/3.2 results are very sharp. With a modest additional improvement, f/4 delivers outstanding sharpness.

Often, subjects are not placed in the center of a composition. Moving farther out on the image circle, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center, lenses typically show decreased sharpness. This lens shows very little degradation until the full-frame corners are reached.

The resolution chart is brutal on image quality, so let's take the testing outdoors, next looking at a series of center-of-the-frame 100% resolution crop examples. These images were captured in RAW format using a Sony Alpha a1 and processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method. The sharpening amount was set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0   f/2.8 | f/4.0

When viewed alone, the f/2.8 results appear decent. Look at the f/4 image in the same capture pair, and the f/2.8 result looks blurry. If I had captured the f/3.2 image for these comparisons, you would see that f/3.2, only 1/3 stop down, delivers most of the improvement seen in the f/4 images. I needed to prove the f/2.8 vs. f/4 difference to myself. Therefore, many comparisons were made, and a solid number of them are included here.

Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme top left corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

Samples taken from the outer extreme of the image circle, full-frame corners, can be counted on to show a lens's weakest performance. The corner results this lens produces at f/2.8 are good, and f/4 brings about a noticeable improvement for very sharp results, especially for a lens of this focal length.

With one exception, this lens does not exhibit focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA). Primarily, the depth of field increase in the f/2.8 to f/4 change is behind the subject. The subject remains in focus in the f/4 change, but the increased depth of field does not bring the foreground into sharper focus. Many modern lenses automatically correct for focus shift, though the slight angle of view effects from focus breathing (more later) can appear.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings, and you likely noticed this shading clearing in the f/4 results above. At 45mm f/2.8, this lens shows about 2.5 stops of corner shading. From a relative perspective, this amount isn't especially strong for a wide-open aperture. About 2 stops of shading are present in the corners at f/4, and f/5.6 drops that number to just over 1.5. Little additional improvement is realized at narrower apertures, with about 1 stop of shading remaining in the f/16 corners.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the just-under one-stop of shading showing at f/2.8 will not likely be visible in most images, with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing in the corners being a potential exception.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern shown in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.

Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) refers to the unequal magnification of all colors in the spectrum. Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better to avoid this aberration in the first place.

Color misalignment can be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a worst-case example. The image below is a 100% crop from the extreme top left corner of a Sony a1 frame showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

Only black and white colors should appear in this image, with the additional colors indicating a modest presence of lateral CA.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light. More simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation, with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

The example below looks at the defocused specular highlights' fringing colors in the foreground vs. the background. The lens has introduced any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

The f/2.8 result shows an obvious haziness that clears at f/4. Color fringing differences remain apparent at f/4, but improve nicely at f/5.6.

Bright light reflecting off lens elements' surfaces may cause flare and ghosting, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes interesting, usually destructive visual artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare in an image are variable, dependant on the position and nature of the light source (or sources), selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades, and quantity and quality of the lens elements and their coatings.

Sigma does not specify the coating used on this lens's elements, but the low 8-element count is helpful in this regard. This lens design produced practically no flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test, reflecting outstanding performance.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality. High flare resistance is a desired trait of this lens.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident in images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). This aberration can produce stars appearing to have wings. Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The image below is a 100% crop taken from the top-left corner of a Sony Alpha a1 image captured at the widest available aperture.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Coma

Those stars appear more like rockets headed into space than points of light.

This lens has moderate pincushion distortion that will add curvature to straight lines in the periphery of the frame.

Most modern lenses have correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced.

As seen earlier in the review, it is easy to illustrate the amount of blur a lens can create. Due to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes, assessing the bokeh quality is considerably more challenging. Here are some f/11 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Bokeh Example

The first example shows defocused highlights being reasonably smoothly filled, but the 7 aperture blades are turning the circles into a polygons (heptagons to be specific). The second example shows a full image reduced in size and looking very nice — normal.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round, and that is the shape we're looking at here.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder.

A 7-blade count diaphragm will create 14 point sunstars from point light sources captured with a narrow aperture. In general, the more a lens diaphragm is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. The sunstars this lens produced are relatively weak in size, but the shape is nice.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sunstar Effect Example

The design of this lens is illustrated below.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Design

The geometric distortion is relatively strong for a prime lens, and the night sky test result did not get an A grade. If this was an f/3.2 max aperture lens, there would be little to complain about. As it is, the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens's wide-open results are slightly blurred relative to the impressive f/3.2 and f/4 results. Overall, especially for the price, the optical performance of this lens is very good.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View

Focusing

Driven by a stepping motor, the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens AF system has an OK speed. The focusing is internal and quiet, with a light "shhhhh" heard during AF.

With adequate contrast on the subject, this lens focuses in extremely dark environments. As usual, the focusing speed is significantly slower in low light.

Unless one is primarily using manual focus, a lens's autofocus accuracy is very important for realizing the ultimate image quality a lens can produce, and this lens has performed well in this regard.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) mode with the shutter release half-pressed or the AF-ON button pressed.

Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as the focus is pulled from one extent to the other, referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing negatively impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone very critically framing while adjusting focus. This lens produces a moderate change in subject size through full extent focus distance adjustment.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Focus Magnification Example

The Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens features a gear-like metal ribbed focus ring. Located immediately behind the lens hood, the focus ring is easy to find. However, the raised hood impeeds finger access, and the ring is short.

Overall, this lens provides a high-quality manual focus experience, with an ideal rotational resistance, smooth movement, no play, and, when turned slowly, a slow rate of adjustment that, aside from adjusting in small steps, facilitates precise manual focusing. As hinted to, this focus ring has a variable adjustment rate based on the rotation speed. A full extent focus distance change requires 330° of rotation when turning the focus ring slowly. Turn the ring fast, and only 150° of rotation does the same. The rotation speed difference required to switch to the faster rate is significant enough to change rates inadvertently.

With a minimum focus distance of 9.4" (240mm), this lens has a very respectable 0.25x maximum magnification spec.

ModelMFDMM
Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens8.7"(220mm)0.15x
Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens9.6"(245mm)0.15x
Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens4.3"(108mm)0.50x
Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens10.6"(270mm)0.18x
Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens15.7"(400mm)0.15x
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens9.4"(240mm)0.25x
Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens15.7"(400mm)0.18x
Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens21.7"(550mm)0.15x
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens19.7"(500mm)0.20x
Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens9.8"(250mm)0.23x
Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Lens17.7"(450mm)0.14x
Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens12.2"(310mm)0.21x
Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens6.3"(160mm)1.00x
Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD Lens5.9"(149mm)0.50x
Tamron 45mm F1.8 Di VC USD Lens11.4"(290mm)0.29x

A subject measuring approximately 4.8 x 3.2" (123 x 82mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum focus distance.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Maximum Magnification Example

The USPS love stamps shared above have an image area that measures 1.05 x 0.77" (26.67 x 19.558mm), and the overall individual stamp size is 1.19 x 0.91" (30.226 x 23.114mm).

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? Mount an extension tube behind this lens to significantly decrease and increase those respective numbers. Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, allowing shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function as normal. As of review time, Sigma does not publish extension tube specs or manufacture these items, but third-party Sony-compatible extension tubes are available.

This lens is not compatible with Sigma teleconverters.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Front View on Camera

Build Quality & Features

"All I series lenses have an all-metal construction. The precision-cut aluminum parts not only give the barrel a sleek, stylish finish, but provide superb durability that improves the quality of the entire product. Metal materials are also used in internal structures that slide with the operation ring for added robustness. These high-precision components crafted with SIGMA's cutting-edge metalworking technology are also used in SIGMA's cine lens line-up for professional cinematographers and provide a tactile, ergonomic feel that make the lens a pleasure to use. The cover ring between the focus ring and the aperture ring has hairline processing that is also used for the rear cylinder of the Art line. This covering functions as a finger hold when attaching or detaching the lens." [Sigma]

Interesting is that Sigma refers to this product line as the "I series", while the product name and lens graphics bear no mention of this designation. Regardless, Sigma's description is accurate. This is a well-built lens.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Product Images

MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    Rotated   Compare »

While many current lens designs feature smooth lens barrels, this one goes in the opposite direction, featuring gear-like ribs standing out on the focus and aperture rings, and the cold, solid feel of metal is built in. The look and feel are very different from many other lenses, but this is still a great look and feel.

I appreciate that Sigma continues to provide an AF/MF switch on the compact I series lenses. The small AF/MF switch clicks assuredly into position, with a white background showing when the switch is in the AF position.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Mount

From a weather sealing perspective, Sigma states, "Mount with dust- and splash-proof structure." There is a gasket seal on the mount of this lens, but the "Mount with" specification leaves us wondering about the rest of this lens's sealing.

Sigma I series lenses are compatible with in-camera lens aberration corrections when used on cameras supporting this feature.

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary is a compact lens and, despite the metal construction, it is lightweight. Even when carried all day, this one will not become a burden.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens13.1(370)2.8 x 2.9(70.0 x 72.4)622022
Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens12.9(365)2.8 x 2.8(70.0 x 72.0)622021
Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens7.9(225)2.5 x 2.0(64.0 x 50.8)552020
Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens11.5(325)2.8 x 2.7(70.0 x 67.4)582020
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens7.6(215)2.5 x 1.8(64.0 x 46.2)552019
Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens28.8(815)3.4 x 3.9(85.4 x 99.9)772014
Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens14.3(405)2.8 x 3.0(72.0 x 76.7)622020
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens10.4(295)2.5 x 2.4(64.0 x 59.7)552021
Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens6.1(173)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Lens6.6(186)2.7 x 2.3(68.6 x 59.5)492016
Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens6.1(174)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens8.3(236)2.8 x 2.8(70.8 x 71.0)552016
Tamron 35mm F2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.4(210)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019
Tamron 45mm F1.8 Di VC USD Lens19.2(544)3.2 x 3.6(80.4 x 91.4)672015

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

Here is a visual comparison:

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Here is a visual comparison of the Sigma I series Contemporary compact prime lenses:

Sigma I Series Contemporary Compact Prime Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sigma I Series Contemporary Compact Prime Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens to other lenses.

A small lens gets narrow filter threads, and this lens's 55mm thread diameter is very small. Small filters are convenient to pack and inexpensive to purchase. The 55mm filter size is not especially popular, but notable is that Sigma uses the same thread size in the 24mm f/3.5 and 35mm f/2 I series lens variants.

The Sigma LH636-01 lens hood is included in the box. Designed to match the lens body, this round hood has a solid, ribbed (inside and out) metal construction. Hoods built for prime lenses, vs. zoom lenses, can be tuned to a single focal length's angle of view, and this hood provides good protection from bright flare-inducing light and from impact.

Sigma does not include a case in the box with this lens, but finding a case should not be challenging. Consider a Lowepro Lens Case or Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo for a quality, affordable single-lens storage, transport, and carry solution.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cap

This lens ships with Sigma's standard (nice) center- and side-pinch lens cap, omitting the aluminum magnetic cap found in other I series lens boxes.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View with Hood

Price, Value, Wrap Up

Sigma's name has become synonymous with good value, and Sigma's I series lenses continue that legacy. This lens performs very well, is strongly constructed, incorporates a great design, and is very affordable.

The "DN" in the name indicates that this lens was designed for short flange mirrorless cameras. The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is available in Sony E-mount, compatible with both full-frame and APS-C sensor format models, and is also available in Leica L-mount.

"Made in Japan" craftsmanship. "Every single lens undergoes SIGMA's proprietary MTF measuring system 'A1'". Sigma provides a 1-year limited warranty, and Sigma USA provides a limited 3-year warranty extension.

The reviewed Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens was online-retail sourced.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle View with Hood

Alternatives to the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

If including the lenses varying by up to 5 or 10mm in either direction, the list of lenses comparable to the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is very long. The lens that seems most comparable is the 5mm wider and 1/3 stop faster Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens.

In the image quality comparison, the Sony lens is sharper wide open. By f/4, it is difficult to discern a sharpness difference between these lenses, though the Sony lens seems slightly sharper in the periphery. The Sigma lens's modest pincushion distortion appears quite different from the Sony lens's modest barrel distortion, but neither lens seems advantaged in this regard.

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens comparison shows the Sony lens slightly smaller and lighter, though few will discern the difference when holding both. The Sony lens uses 49mm filters vs. 55mm. This best-selling Sony lens has a price tag that is a bit higher.

Another similar compact prime lens is the 5mm longer and 1/3 stop faster Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens.

The image quality comparison shows the Sony lens is sharper wide open. By f/4, the two lenses are performing similarly throughout most of the image circle, with the Sigma lens rendering sharper details in the corners. The Sony lens has less geometric distortion.

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens comparison shows the Sony lens again slightly smaller and lighter, though few will discern the difference when holding both. The Sony lens uses 49mm filters vs. 55mm. The Sigma lens has a modestly higher maximum magnification — 0.25x vs. 0.21x. This Sony lens also has a price tag that is a bit higher.

Staying in the f/2.8 aperture class, the 5mm longer Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens seems worth comparing.

In the image quality comparison, the two lenses appear similarly sharp. The Sony lens has less geometric distortion.

The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Lens comparison shows the Sony lens similarly light and modestly larger. The Sigma lens has a manual aperture ring. The Sony lens does not share the all-metal construction, but it has a focus distance limit switch, a considerably higher maximum magnification — 1.00x vs. 0.25x, and a somewhat lower suggested street price.

Use the site's comparison tools to create additional comparisons.

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View

Summary

It seems that all of the Sigma I series lens summaries are similar. Are you looking for a small, light, well-built, affordable lens that has a wide aperture, performs well, and covers the 45mm focal length? The Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens has your name on it.

This compact lens features metal interior and exterior construction, creating a solid build quality and increasing the fun factor for use. The 45mm focal length ensures plenty of opportunities for use, which increases the value of the lens. This lens produces very sharp f/3.2 imagery.

Strong barrel distortion and soft f/2.8 results are the this lens's primary detractors.

For the overall quality and features of the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens, the price is very attractive.

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