Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Review

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

As this sixth Sigma I series lens review hits the site, expected and ever more apparent is that these lenses (and reviews) have many similarities. Thankfully, these lens models are all superbly built and optically high-performing.

The Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary is a "Premium Compact Prime" lens for mirrorless cameras. I series 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, with a useful focal length completing the very attractive Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens package.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View with Hood

Focal Length

The focal length is a primary consideration for a lens purchase or selection for use. Focal length matters because it drives subject distance choices (or requirements), and those distances determine perspective.

I find 90mm primarily suited for people and things.

For perspective reasons, the classic portrait focal length range is 85mm through 135mm (after FOVCF is factored in). A 90mm lens clears the bottom of the classic range figure on a full-frame camera, and with an APS-C/1.5x format imaging sensor behind it, the 135mm full-frame angle of view equivalent is at the top of this ideal range. An APS-C format camera, of course, requires a longer working distance to get the same framing as a full-frame camera (and therefore will have more depth of field and a less-strongly blurred background at the same aperture).

The "portrait photography" designation is a broad one that covers a wide variety of potential still and video uses ranging from moderately-tight headshots to full body portraits, with a wide variety of potential venues, including both indoors and outdoors. Portrait subjects can range from infants to seniors, from individuals to small groups. Engagements, weddings, parties, events, theater, stage performances including concerts and recitals, families, small groups, senior adults, fashion, documentary, and lifestyle are all great uses for the 90mm focal length. There is often adequate space in even a small studio for portraiture with the 90mm-provided angle of view. A 90mm lens can handle an entire senior session.

That portrait photography is one of the best revenue-producing genres out there helps justify the acquisition cost of this lens (you cannot buy stock photos of most people). I also argue that no subjects are more important than people.

People in action are in this lens's capabilities. Some sports, such as basketball, can be captured with a 90mm lens.

From the "things" perspective, the 90mm angle of view is optimal for small to large products, commercial, general studio photography applications, street photography, and a wide range of other subjects.

Like most focal lengths, 90mm can be useful for landscape photography.

Here is an example showing where this focal length falls within a range of common options: The Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD Lens produced the following focal length comparison:

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

The 90mm focal length is moderately longer than the 70mm focal length found on the long end of many standard 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lenses, and it falls on the short side of what is offered by the 70-200mm zoom lenses.

Sigma 90mm 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 amount).

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.

An f/2.8 max aperture is relatively wide for a 90mm lens. At review time, no zoom lenses have a wider aperture at 90mm, though f/2.8 is not unusual for these lenses. On the other hand, few short telephoto prime lenses have a narrower max aperture. So, this lens opens wide relative to zoom lenses and not 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 90mm 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 (and telephoto focal length) 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Aperture Comparison Example

The 90mm f/2.8 combination creates a shallow DOF and strong background blur that draws the viewer's eye to an in-focus subject. Compare the aperture of your fastest 90mm (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.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Maximum Blur Example

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 90mm 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle View

Image Stabilization

The Sigma 90mm 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 accessed to enable or disable IBIS, a slight impediment to working quickly, going from tripod to handholding, for example.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens on Tripod

Image Quality

I'll cut to the chase. The Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens delivers sharp images.

Wide-open at f/2.8, details in the center of the frame are rendered very sharp, and stopped down one stop to f/4, these details are slightly sharper still.

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. However, this lens performs stellarly in our typically merciless resolution chart test. At f/2.8, details in the periphery of the frame are very sharp, and even the extreme corners are sharp at f/2.8. Stopping down primarily eliminates vignetting, which provides higher 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 a1 and processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method. The sharpening amount was set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

The f/2.8 samples are sharp, and the f/4 images are impressively sharp.

If present, focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA), is often made apparent in such a comparison. Notice the depth of field increase shifting primarily rearward in the last example set. Many modern lenses automatically correct for focus shift, though slight angle of view effects from focus breathing (more later) can appear.

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 90mm 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. This lens's weakest performance is quite good.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. This lens's just under 3 stops of corner shading at f/2.8 will usually be noticeable. Stopping down one stop to f/4 removes one stop of shading, and about 1.5 stops of shading remain in f/5.6 corners. The rate of decline slows rapidly beyond f/5.6, with just over half a stop of shading remaining in 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 often be visible in images except those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing 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 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 Alpha 1 frame showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

Only black and white colors should appear in these images, with the additional colors indicating a slight 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

The color blur illustrated in the f/2.8 results is very strong. By f/5.6, this aspect is greatly improved.

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's Super Multi-Layer Coating provides this lens's flare resistance, and the low 11-element count is additionally helpful in this regard. This lens produced only minor flare effects even at narrow apertures in our standard sun in the corner of the frame flare test, reflecting excellent 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 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 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 an Alpha 1 image captured at the widest available aperture.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Coma

Those stars are not rendered small or round as preferred.

This is a prime lens, so geometric distortion is minimal, right? Wrong. This lens has strong pincushion distortion. Expect straight lines in the image periphery to be rendered as curves.

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, and even short telephoto lenses are inherently advantaged in this regard. 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Bokeh Example

The first example shows defocused highlights being smoothly filled with the 9 aperture blades keeping the shapes mostly rounded. 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

The corner truncation seen here is relatively strong but not unusual. As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder.

A 9-blade count diaphragm will create 18 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. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, but this lens barely creates a star, as illustrated below.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Sunstar Effect Example

"The SIGMA 90mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary boasts exceptional optical performance with an ultra-high resolving power to match the latest high-resolution mirrorless cameras. The lens is built using the very latest optical technology, and includes five SLD glass elements. This helps to reduce axial chromatic aberration that cannot be corrected in-camera, allowing the lens to achieve high resolution and clear image quality with no color bleeding. A high-precision glass molded aspherical lens provides both high resolution and beautiful bokeh." [Sigma]

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Design

Overall, the Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens is sharp with strong resistance to flare. The downsides are strong peripheral shading at f/2.8 (though not unusual), strong barrel distortion, poor sunstar shapes, and strong color blur at wide apertures.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View

Focusing

Driven by a stepping motor, the Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens auto-focuses with good speed. The focusing is internal and very quiet, with only a light "shhhhh" heard during AF.

With adequate contrast on the subject, this lens focuses in very 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 critical 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 moderate change in subject size through a full extent focus distance adjustment.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Focus Magnification Example

The Sigma 90mm F2.8 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 1560° of rotation when turning the focus ring slowly. Turn the ring fast, and only 210° 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 19.7" (500mm), this lens has a reasonable 0.20x 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 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens9.4"(240mm)0.25x
Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens21.7"(550mm)0.15x
Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art Lens33.5"(850mm)0.12x
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens19.7"(500mm)0.20x
Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro Art Lens11.6"(295mm)1.00x
Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Lens31.5"(800mm)0.13x
Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS Lens11.0"(280mm)1.00x
Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS Lens22.4"(570mm)0.25x
Tamron 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD Lens31.5"(800mm)0.14x
Tamron 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 Lens11.8"(300mm)1.00x

A subject measuring approximately 6.1 x 4.1" (155 x 103mm) fills a full-frame imaging sensor at this lens's minimum focus distance.

Sigma 90mm 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). Note that the peripheral sharpness is noticeably degraded at this focus distance.

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? Mount an extension tube behind this lens to modestly 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 90mm 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 90mm 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 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. The compact AF/MF switch clicks assuredly into position, with a white background showing when the switch is in the AF position.

Sigma 90mm 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" part 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens, despite the metal construction, is relatively light.

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 65mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Lens14.3(405)2.8 x 3.0(72.0 x 76.7)622020
Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art Lens22.2(630)3.3 x 3.7(82.8 x 94.1)772020
Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens10.4(295)2.5 x 2.4(64.0 x 59.7)552021
Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro Art Lens25.1(710)2.9 x 5.3(74 x 135.6)622020
Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Lens13.1(371)3.1 x 3.2(78.0 x 82.0)672017
Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS Lens21.3(602)3.1 x 5.1(79.0 x 130.5)622015
Sony FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS Lens24.7(700)3.4 x 4.6(85.2 x 118.1)722017
Tamron 85mm F1.8 Di VC USD Lens24.7(700)3.3 x 3.6(84.8 x 91.3)672016
Tamron 90mm F2.8 Di VC USD Macro F017 Lens21.5(610)3.1 x 4.6(79.0 x 117.1)622016

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

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 90mm 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 LH576-02 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 for this lens is not 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Cap

Along with Sigma's standard (nice) center- and side-pinch lens cap, this lens ships with a very nice aluminum magnetic cap. Snapping into place, 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Angle 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 is an outstanding performer, 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 90mm 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 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens was online-retail sourced.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Side View with Hood

Alternatives to the Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens

I'll start the comparisons with the Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS Lens.

In the image quality comparison, the Sony lens is slightly sharper in the center of the frame, and the Sigma lens is noticeably sharper in the periphery. The Sony lens's advantage is gone by f/3.2, but the Sigma advantage holds through f/5.6. The Sony lens has considerably less geometric distortion and modestly less peripheral shading, including at narrow apertures.

The Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS Lens comparison shows the Sigma lens weighing and measuring half as much as the Sony lens. The Sigma lens has 55mm filters vs. 62mm. The Sony lens has a focus limit switch and, as referenced in the name, a considerably closer minimum focus distance, capable of 1.00x magnification vs. 0.20x. The Sony lens is optically stabilized and has a much higher price.

The Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Lens has a comparable focal length.

In the image quality comparison with wide-open apertures, the Sigma lens holds a slight sharpness edge. However, the Sony lens must be stopped down by 1 1/3 stops to reach Sigma lens's max opening. Both of these lenses perform remarkably at f/2.8 in this regard. Being stopped down gives the Sony lens a strong peripheral shading advantage at f/2.8, and this lens has a slight advantage at narrow apertures. The Sigma lens shows fewer flare effects in the site's standard test, while the Sony lens has considerably less geometric distortion.

The Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens vs. Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Lens comparison shows the Sony lens modestly larger and heavier. The Sigma lens has smaller filter threads — 55mm vs. 67mm — and a higher maximum magnification spec — 0.20x vs. 0.13x. The Sony lens is modestly less expensive.

Use the site's tools to create additional comparisons.

Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens Top View

Summary

Sigma I series lenses are similar, and so are their summaries. If you are looking for a small, light, well-built, affordable lens that has a wide aperture, performs well, and covers the 90mm focal length, the Sigma 90mm 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 90mm focal length ensures plenty of opportunities for use, especially for portraiture, increasing the value of the lens.

The Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary is a sharp lens with strong flare resistance. Optical downsides include strong barrel distortion, poor sunstar shapes, noticeable vignetting at f/2.8, and strong color blur at wide apertures.

The Sigma 90mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary Lens's price is very attractive for its overall quality and features.

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