New York City is known as a magnet for street photographers from all over the world. From the bustling financial district of lower Manhattan to the quintessential brownstone neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and Brooklyn, anyone with an eye for intriguing images can easily lose oneself in photographing on the streets here.
With the crisp autumn air making its way through the city, I set out to see what I could capture with the brand new SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens for FUJIFILM X Mount on my FUJIFILM XPro-2. With its incredibly compact size and weight, offering a full-frame equivalent 27-75mm focal range, I couldn’t wait to get out to the streets with this extremely versatile lens.
For all of us FUJIFILM X camera shooters who have also used Leica rangefinders and other mirrorless systems trying to be the “fly on the wall”, this compact zoom lens developed specifically for APS-C mirrorless cameras has been a long-awaited dream come true, along with the SIGMA 16mm, 30mm, 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary prime lens lineup for FUJIFILM X Mount.
First impressions of the SIGMA 18-50mm for X Mount
Just 3 inches long and just barely over 10 ounces (285g), the SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is extremely compact and lightweight, making it a great companion for my X-Pro2 camera. Right out of the box, I knew it would be easy to carry, flexible, and simple to use.
One of the most important things for a street photographer is to be able to walk around without excessive gear. This usually means relying on the one lens on the camera. Everything happens spontaneously and I like to be aware of my surroundings without worrying about the camera. It’s quickly evident how useful a zoom lens is in these situations, and the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary has a perfect focal range for street use. Plus, the fast aperture allows faster, more precise autofocusing, faster shutter speeds, lower noise levels, and overall better performance in low light.
Capturing action and color on the streets of NYC
Early November is one of the most fun times of the year for street photography. Yes, the New York City Marathon is on with over 50,000 runners taking over the streets of New York. Every year, I set out for the best camera positions where I can freely move around to get a variety of shots.
The runners zip through quickly, and the fast autofocus performance of the SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens easily allows me to capture the runners’ expressions and all the excited spectators. And with the F2.8 aperture, I can shoot at fast shutter speeds in varied lighting situations.
One of the most peculiar moments with street photography is when you can capture the un-staged, observed, accidental moments that happen right in front of your eyes. Not only do you need your photographic eyes wide open, but your camera always ready to shoot the moment. The SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary sits comfortably in your hands, and its build quality and solid overall performance means you don’t have to worry about missing these unique moments.
Another benefit to having a modern, versatile lens like the SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is that it can bring the best out of your older gear. For example, the FUJIFILM XPro-2 is not designed to shoot sports and action, but this versatile, quick lens made it possible. It is easy to maneuver, and its spot-on compatibility with FUJIFILM X Mount bodies meant that the camera’s autofocus performance was at its best.
Is this lens a good option for FUJIFILM camera users?
The SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary for FUJIFILM X Mount (also available for Sony E-mount and L-Mount) is an incredible workhorse zoom option for APS-C Fujifilm shooters. Its professional-level optics and build quality make it a fantastic choice for demanding photographers. I believe this compact, fast-aperture zoom lens will really appeal not only to street photographers but also for concert, wedding, on-set stills, BTS photographers, and action sports photographers alike, as well as video shooters.
No matter what genre you specialize in and enjoy, this fast, versatile standard zoom lens is a great addition to your kit, and the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary is simply a smart choice that delivers excellent image quality across the frame. I highly recommend it to all FUJIFILM shooters around the world. I look forward to bumping into you on the streets!