Second take – the Sigma 16mm f1.4 in the field

As mentioned in my initial review of the Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens, I had the lens for a few more days – enough for a quick round of weekend shutter therapy. Considering I shot mostly at night/low-light for the review, I took this opportunity to test the lens under more favorable light conditions. I also shot images with human subjects as I normally do for my street shooting.

16mm (32mm in FX terms) is not a focal length that I use often – I rarely compose with anything wider than 25mm (50mm in FX terms), so this was an interesting exercise. For a wide angle prime lens, I found the Sigma 16mm F1.4 to perform well under typical harsh Malaysian sun.

I continued to be amazed by the flare control, which is better than many Panasonic and Olympus lenses. Chromatic aberration was also well managed with some purple and green fringing in high contrast areas – but not distracting and negligible unless you tend to pixel-peep. While sharpness, wide-open, was nothing to write home about, it was still usable if you need shallow depth of field. Stopping down to F2.8 and beyond improves optical performance significantly and puts it on par with other high grade Micro Four Thirds lenses.

All images were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Images were post-processed with Capture One Pro, with minimal adjustments. These images serve as an extension to the original collection of images for the Sigma 16mm F1.4 review.

F16, F5, ISO200

F4, 1/800, ISO200

F1.4, I/800, ISO200

F1.4, I/125, ISO200

Crop from previous image

F1.4, 1/60, ISO200

F1.4, I/500, ISO400

F4.5, 1/320, ISO200

F4, 1/40, ISO200

Crop from previous image

F5.6, 1/40, ISO200

F5.6, 1/1250, ISO200

F5.6, 1/160, ISO200

The Sigma 16mm F1.4 Dc Dn Contemporary Lens is available from B&H
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Is available from B&H

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Images and content copyright Robin Wong 2018 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Some great photos, especially (I think)

    #2, a great play of light.
    ( saw the ref. on your blog )

    #8, a great portrait.

    #14, just great!

  2. Wow!

  3. So, I never see any articles using Fujifilm X cameras and lenses. This system has developed to be one of the top three in the industry. No joy for Fujifilm?

    • Terry B says:

      Please, Stephen, Ming’s site has been remarkably free from trolls and fanboys, so can you stop it so we can enjoy the content?

    • Robin Wong says:

      Stephen,
      Neither MT nor I can afford to buy cameras and lenses just for reviews. When we purchase gear, it is either we need it for commercial shoots or personal use. We do need to rely on the manufacturers for loans when it comes to reviewing.
      I have approached Fuji Malaysia (several times) and was turned down. Maybe, we have been too honest in reviewing cameras and lenses here?

  4. That photo of the young woman on the bike is an absolute charmer. Robin, I am again blown away by your photography and ability to capture the spirit of a scene. Sigma continues to surprise me with the optical quality of their recent builds!

  5. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Robin, Sigma produces astoundingly good lenses. My experience of them is limited to their ART series lenses, and although I am a lifetime fan of Carl Zeiss and shoot with two of their Otus lenses, I was not in the least surprised when reports started emerging that the 85mm ART had taken first place off the Otus 85mm. (Not that the difference is huge – actually, most users would never even detect a difference between those two lenses).
    I’m glad you were impressed with the 16mm (AKA 32mm, for people like me). I did try the 24mm ART on my FF cam, but after a bad attack of GAS I switched to the 28mm Otus. Heading back further, to a 32mm equivalent, would be a bit too narrow for my photography, but that means nothing to anyone else, because of course we all need to select gear according to what we are seeking to achieve. Street photographers, for instance, frequently choose a 35mm lens, and I suspect this 16mm lens from Sigma, on an Olympus like yours, would be a very useful combination for street photography. Your shots certainly seem to confirm this!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Sigma does produce excellent lenses, I agree with that! While I have not used the ART lenses personally, all my friends who have used them testified positively, and I have seen fantastic work with Sigma lenses. While I do wish they specifically design and produce lenses just for Micro Four Thirds to keep the size and weight smaller, I am also very thankful that they have fitted mounts for Micro Four Thirds, instead of just making for Sony!

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