Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
In-Depth Review

Everybody loves a full-frame 50mm prime lens, and the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens is a strong contender in this crowded niche.

The Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens is a member of the Sigma "I Series", full frame "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]

The 50mm F2 DG DN was simultaneously announced Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens, together taking the I Series lens count up to nine. 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, including metal hoods, and excellent image quality, with a useful focal length and wide aperture.

Summarized, these features complete a attractive Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens package.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View with Hood

Focal Length

Back to Top

Focal length is the first consideration for lens selection, and with a prime lens, you get only one angle of view. That angle of view drives subject distance choices or meets distance-related requirements and determines perspective.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Old Ford Sample Picture

On a full-frame body, a 50mm focal length provides an angle of view that seems natural, and that aspect brings significant general-purpose usefulness. So useful, and thus, so popular, is this focal length that 50mm (or similar) focal length prime lenses are plentiful in major brand lens lineups. For example, Sony has five FE 50mm prime lenses in their lineup at review time, plus a 55mm option for those who need just a little more.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Flower Sample Picture

50mm lenses are frequently used for fashion, portraiture, weddings, documentary, street, lifestyle, sports, architecture, landscape, commercial, around-the-home, and general studio photography applications, including product photography or recording your lunch.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Old Truck Door Sample Picture

As you likely noted, many useful applications for this lens include people as subjects. While a 50mm lens used (on a full-frame body) is modestly too wide for tightly framed headshot portraits (a too-close perspective is required), this angle of view is ideal for wider portrait framing.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Old International Truck Sample Picture

Having a 50mm focal length and a wide f/2 aperture available opens many artistic opportunities, including those found in nature.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Chain Sample Picture

Or, those found at the quarry graveyard.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Dump Truck Picture

To visualize where 50mm fits among other common focal lengths, I'll borrow a focal length range example from a zoom lens review.

Focal Length Range Example

24mm | 35mm | 50mm | 70mm | 85mm | 105mm

On an ASP-C/1.5x sensor format body, the 50mm focal length provides an angle of view like a 75mm lens on a full-frame sensor format body. Uses for this angle of view coincide with most uses of the 50mm focal length, with modestly tighter framing or modestly longer perspective for the same framing being the difference. The APS-C 50mm angle of view favors portraits, including more-tightly-framed portraits.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Front View

Max Aperture

Back to Top

For a 50mm prime lens, f/2 is a moderately wide aperture. Most lens manufacturers, including Sigma, offer a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and some brands include a 50mm f/1.2 in their lineup. Still, few zoom lenses open to f/2 at 50mm.

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 low light levels, along with low ISO settings for reduced noise. A 50mm f/2 lens can often be handheld indoors under average ambient light without image stabilization or ultra-high ISO settings.

Another advantage of a wide aperture lens is the background blur it can create. F/2 with a close subject creates a shallow DOF that draws the viewer's eye to the in-focus subject. It is hard to blur the background diffusely with a wide-angle lens, but the relatively wide f/2 aperture aids greatly in that regard.

Here is a look at the maximum blur this lens can create:

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Maximum Blur Example

The advantages of a lens with a narrow max aperture are the smaller size, lighter weight, and lower cost associated with smaller lens elements. Despite the wide f/2 aperture, this lens retains those advantages.

This 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 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle View

Image Stabilization

Back to Top

The Sigma 50mm F2 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 accessed to enable or disable IBIS, a slight impediment to working quickly, going from tripod to handholding, for example.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens on Tripod

Image Quality

Back to Top

Wide aperture 50mm lenses have a history of hazy, soft wide-open performance. All of these lenses qualify for their max aperture spec, but when sharp images were imperative, stopping down was a requirement. Fortunately, that is not the case with this lens.

The Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens is sharp across the entire full-frame image circle wide-open at f/2.

In general, lenses become sharper as they are stopped down one or two stops from their wide-open apertures. At f/2.8, a slight increase in contrast and resolution makes this lens's results extremely sharp. Further benefits of stopping down will be challenging to see, and no additional benefits are needed.

Often, subjects are not placed in the center of a composition. In the periphery of the image circle, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center, lenses typically show decreased sharpness. As mentioned, this lens remains sharp into the corners, though stopping down decreases vignetting, which increases contrast.

Taking the testing outdoors, we next look at a series of center-of-the-frame 100% resolution crop examples. These images were captured in RAW format using a Sony Alpha 1 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 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

These results are great.

Next, we'll look at a series of comparisons showing 100% resolution 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 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

Again, this is impressive performance.

Does corner sharpness matter? Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't, but I'd rather have that feature available for when it does matter, and this lens provides that capability.

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).

A lens is expected to show peripheral shading at the widest aperture settings when used on a camera that utilizes its entire image circle. Expect about 2.5 stops of corner shading from this lens at f/2. Stop down 1 stop to reduce the corner shading by 1 stop, and just under a stop of shading remains at f/4. The vignetting reduction essentially ends at f/5.6, with about 0.5 stops remaining at that setting.

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 corner shading showing at f/2 may be visible in select images, primarily those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) in the corners.

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 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 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

Only black and white colors should be present in this image, with the additional colors indicating only a minor 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 examples below look 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 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

The color separation showing at f/2 is strong, and the reduction continues through f/8. Consider what this effect will have on your subjects, with a white wedding dress perhaps posing the biggest challenge for this color separation.

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 and ghosting effects in an image are variable, dependent 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. Additionally, flare and ghosting can impact AF performance.

On this lens, Sigma utilizes Super Multi-Layer Coating to combat flare and ghosting, and the low 9-element count is helpful in this regard. This lens produced practically no flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test, an excellent performance.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Unfortunately, removal is sometimes challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can destroy image quality. Thus, high flare resistance is a welcomed 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 that can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). The 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 an f/2 100% crop taken from the top-left corner of a sony a1 image captured.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Coma

While this performance is not unusual, the stars are not rendered as tiny circles either.

You can turn off the distortion correction option when using this lens. It produces minor geometric distortion.

As seen earlier in the review, it is easy to illustrate the strongest blur a lens can create. Due to the infinite number of variables present among available scenes, assessing the bokeh quality is considerably more challenging. Here are a pair of 100% crop f/11 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Bokeh Example

The first example shows defocused highlights filled rather smoothly and showing slightly uneven aperture blade closure. The outdoor scene appears 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. That is the shape we're looking at here.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting diminishes, making the corner shapes rounder. At f/4, all except the deep corner shapes are round.

A 9-blade count diaphragm will create 18-point sunstars (diffraction spikes) from point light sources captured with a narrow aperture. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, and this lens can produce beautiful stars, as illustrated in the f/16 example below.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sunstar Effect Example

"Built from the ground up for mirrorless cameras, the SIGMA 50mm F2 DG DN | Contemporary is constructed using a single SLD glass element and three aspherical lens elements that are excellent at correcting various types of aberration for clear, high-definition images." [Sigma]

Overall, the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens delivers great image quality with across-the-frame sharpness being its most favored trait. The wide-open vignetting is moderate, the color separation is strong, and the flare resistance is strong.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View with Hood

Focusing

Back to Top

Driven by a stepping motor, the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens autofocuses fast. Focusing is internal and quiet, with only a light buzz (and a little squeak) heard during AF.

With adequate contrast on the subject, this lens focuses in exceptionally 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 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 critically framing while adjusting focus. This lens produces a strong change in subject size through full-extent focus distance adjustment.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Focus Breathing Example

The Sigma 50mm 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, and it has sufficient size.

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 facilitates precise manual focusing. As hinted, this focus ring has a variable adjustment rate based on the rotation speed. A full-extent focus distance change requires 920° of rotation when turning the focus ring slowly. Turn the ring fast, and only 200° of rotation does the same. The rotation speed difference required to switch to the faster rate is significant enough to avoid inadvertent rate changes.

With a minimum focus distance of 17.7" (450mm), this lens has a useful, though unremarkable, 0.14x maximum magnification spec.

ModelMin Focus Distance "(mm)Max Magnification
Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM Lens11.8(300)0.25x
Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens4.7(120)0.28x
Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens8.7(220)0.15x
Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens9.6(245)0.15x
Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens4.3(108)0.50x
Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens10.6(270)0.18x
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens9.4(240)0.25x
Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN Art Lens17.7(450)0.15x
Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens17.7(450)0.14x
Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens21.7(550)0.15x
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens19.7(500)0.20x
Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G Lens7.1(180)0.19x
Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens9.8(250)0.23x
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM Lens15.7(400)0.17x
Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM Lens16.1(410)0.16x
Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Lens17.7(450)0.14x
Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens12.2(310)0.21x
Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens4.3(109)0.50x
Tamron 24mm F2.8 Di III OSD Lens4.7(119)0.50x
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens5.9(149)0.50x

A subject measuring approximately 8.1 x 5.4" (205.7 x 137.1mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum MF distance.

Sigma 50mm F2 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).

At the minimum focus distance at f/2, the center of the frame is sharp, and the periphery is impacted by strong lateral CA at all apertures.

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? Mount an extension tube behind this lens to significantly decrease and increase those respective numbers. 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.

Design & Features

Back to Top

"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. The I Series lenses all feature a high-quality build.

Sigma 50mm F2 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 different from many other lenses, but this is a great look and feel in its own way.

I appreciate that Sigma continues to provide an AF/MF switch on the compact I Series lenses. With a relatively small space available for an AF/MF switch, Sigma logically opted to rotate the conventional switch direction by 90°, allowing a relatively large switch to fit nicely into the compact design. Currently, all of the F2 I Series lenses share this attribute. The AF/MF switch clicks assuredly into position, with a white background showing when the switch is in the AF position.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Mount

From a weather sealing perspective, Sigma states, "Mount with dust- and splash-proof structure." Sigma Contemporary lenses feature a mount gasket that protects against dust and moisture, but for affordability purposes, the balance of the lens is not sealed. Sigma claims that "The vast majority of contaminants work their way into lenses through the rear mount, so as long as they aren't abused, these lenses will provide many years of trouble-free use, even in moderate weather. For regular use in more extreme conditions, Art or Sports lenses are the way to go." [Sigma]

Fluorine coating to repel water drops and dust and facilitate cleaning is not applied to the front element.

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

The Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary is a compact lens and, despite the metal construction, it is among the lightest in its class. Unless you take all of them at once, I series lenses are burdenless to carry, even for a long time.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM Lens5.6(160)2.7 x 1.6(69.2 x 40.5)432020
Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens7.9(225)2.5 x 1.9(64.0 x 48.8)552023
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 DN Art Lens23.3(660)3.1 x 4.4(78.2 x 111.5)722023
Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens7.9(225)2.8 x 2.8(70.0 x 70.0)582023
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 24mm F2.8 G Lens5.7(162)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Sony FE 40mm F2.5 G Lens6.1(173)2.7 x 1.8(68.0 x 45.0)492021
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 GM Lens27.5(778)3.4 x 4.3(87.0 x 108.0)722021
Sony FE 50mm F1.4 GM Lens18.2(516)3.2 x 3.8(80.6 x 96.0)672023
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
Tamron 20mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.8(221)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019
Tamron 24mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.6(215)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019
Tamron 35mm f/2.8 Di III OSD Lens7.4(210)2.9 x 2.5(73.0 x 63.5)672019

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

It seemed appropriate to create a family photo of this attractive lens series.

Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Shown above from top to bottom, left to right are the following lenses:

Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

Keep in mind that the longest lens in that picture is 3.0" (76.7mm). The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sigma 17mm F4 DG DN Contemporary Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens to other lenses.

A small lens gets narrow filter threads, and this lens's 58mm thread diameter is small. Small filters are convenient to pack and inexpensive to purchase. The 58mm filter size is notably shared with the Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens I Series lens.

Standard-thickness circular polarizer filters seldom increase peripheral shading on standard focal length lenses, and this lens remains clear of that shading. Still, I recommend a slim model such as the Breakthrough Photography X4 in case sharing with wide-angle lenses is or becomes important.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle View with Hood

The Sigma LH633-01 lens hood is included in the box, and standard at review time is for I Series lenses 35mm and longer to have round shaped hoods, as seen in the comparison photo. Designed to match the lens body, this 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.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cap

Along with Sigma's standard (nice) center- and side-pinch lens cap, this lens ships with a nice aluminum magnetic cap (LCF58-01M). Snapping into place (with no filter installed), the magnetic cap is easy to install, and it stays firmly in place. Unfortunately, there is no provision to grip the center of the cap, and with inadequate space provided inside the hood to grasp the cap's edges, the hood must be removed to get the cap off. That was enough of a disadvantage for me to put the metal cap back in the box.

If you leave your hood in the box (not recommended), you'll love the magnetic lens cap. The optional Sigma CH-11 Magnetic Cap Holder provides a simple method of attaching the lens cap to a camera bag, etc., via a carabiner.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View

Price, Value, Wrap Up

Back to Top

Sigma's name has become synonymous with good value, and Sigma's I Series lenses continue that legacy. This lens is an outstanding performer, is strongly constructed, incorporates a great design, and is affordable.

The "DG" refers to full-frame camera compatibility, and the "DN" indicates that this lens was designed for short-flange mirrorless cameras. The Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount cameras, including APS-C sensor format models, and it is also available in the L mount (Sigma, Panasonic, Leica).

Made in Japan, each Art lens is tested with Sigma's proprietary MTF measuring system, ensuring a quality product. Regarding the Sony E-mount version of this lens, Sigma develops, manufactures, and sells lenses based on the specifications of the E-mount, disclosed by Sony Corporation under license agreement.

Sigma provides a 1-year limited warranty, and Sigma USA provides a limited 3-year warranty extension.

The reviewed Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens was on loan from Sigma Corporation of America.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Front View on Camera

Alternatives to the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens

Back to Top

There are no direct alternatives to the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens as I write this review, but the Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens shares a similar compact design.

In the image quality comparison with a wide-open aperture, The Sony lens is slightly sharper in the center of the frame, and the Sigma lens is slightly sharper in the corner of the frame. One of the Sigma lens's big advantages is a 2/3-stop wider aperture, and at f/2.8, the widest common tested aperture, the Sigma lens erases the center-of-the-frame advantage and shows slightly better corner performance.

These two lenses have a similar amount of peripheral shading wide-open, and stopping down to identical aperture openings give the Sigma lens a noticeable advantage. That advantage diminishes at narrow apertures, the Sigma lens retains a slight advantage. The Sony lens has slightly stronger geometric distortion.

The Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 50mm F2.5 G Lens comparison shows the Sony lens weighing slightly less and measuring considerably shorter. The Sony lens has a unique hood that accepts 49mm filters vs. 58mm and a conventional, though metal, hood. The Sigma lens has 9 diaphragm blades vs. 7. The Sony lens has a 0.21x maximum magnification spec vs. 0.14x, has a click on/off switch, and is slightly less expensive.

Though it is a different style lens, the Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Lens is 1/3 stop closer to a match in aperture opening than the Sony lens we just compared.

In the image quality comparison, even with the Sony lens stopped down to f/2, the Sigma lens delivers considerably sharper images.

The Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 50mm F1.8 Lens comparison shows the Sony lens slightly smaller and slightly lighter. The Sony lens extends 0.37" (9.4mm) with focused to the minimum focus distance and has 49mm filter threads vs. 58mm. The Sigma lens has 9 diaphragm blades vs. 7, stepping motor driven AF vs. a DC motor, an aperture ring, and a considerably better build quality. The Sony lens is much cheaper.

Use the site's tools to create additional comparisons.

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View

Summary

Back to Top

As I said at the beginning of this review, everybody loves a full-frame 50mm prime lens and the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens is strong contender in this crowded niche.

Like the other Sigma I Series Premium Compact Prime lenses, the 50mm F2 DG DN features a small size, light weight, and an affordable price. Despite the low impact of those features, this fun-to-use lens has a precision metal build quality, including a metal hood, and impressive image quality.

Rather safe to say is that the Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens would be a great addition to your kit.

Bringing you this site is my full-time job (typically 60-80 hours per week). Thus, I depend solely on the commissions received from you using the links on this site to make any purchase. I am grateful for your support! - Bryan

Can you help right now?

This site and my family depend on your support.
Please share this page!

Share on Facebook! Share on X! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!

Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens
Share on Facebook! Share on X! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
Can we stay in touch?Free Newsletter
Bryan Recommends Buying It Here
Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site Any purchase made after using this link provides support for this site
Any purchase made at WEX Photographic after using this link provides support for this site
Any purchase made at KEH after using this link provides support for this siteAny purchase made at MPB after using this link provides support for this site
Terms of Use, Privacy  |  © 2024 Rectangular Media, LLC  |  Bryan CarnathanPowered by Christ!