Lens Guides

First Look: SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens

SIGMA always seems to have a little surprise when a new lens is introduced. As I held the new SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens in my hand, I wondered what special surprise this lens would reveal. At first glance, the 23mm is a nice little lens for my crop sensor cameras. With an effective focal length of 35mm, I thought it would be a wonderful lens to use on the street. After all, the 35mm focal length is not only one of my favorites, but also for a lot of my photographer friends.

The lens is small and light, too – about the same size as the 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary. So far, nothing too surprising. So what was the secret with this lens?

Impressions of the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary

I found the answer quite quickly after I shot a few frames and looked at the images on the back LCD. As I zoomed in, they seemed… sharp. Really sharp!

After viewing the images on the camera screen, I was excited to see them on the computer. Now the images seemed even sharper. Honestly, I’m used to sharp images from my SIGMA lenses, but these images really jumped out at me SOOC (straight out of camera) as they say.

So what SIGMA just created was a super-sharp 23mm lens that gives me the equivalent angle of view of a 35mm lens, as well as an F1.4 aperture that not only lets in a lot of light, but is sure to give beautiful bokeh and soft backgrounds. And it all fits on my small, relatively inexpensive crop sensor camera. It just keeps getting better, because SIGMA just gave us what is comparable to a 35mm F1.4 Art lens (like these options for full-frame cameras) in a much smaller, more affordable package.

And with a lens like that, why should I just keep it on the street… this lens is going to be great for travel so I can photograph cities, landscapes, people, portraits, and even food and still life images for my social media.

Now I was excited to head out and take some pictures with this little lens. I left my Sony a6000 series camera in the bag, and opted for the Sony ZV-E10. The camera and lens fit easily in my jacket pocket, so it was easy to carry around and see what would capture my interest and imagination. Of course, my day began with some coffee as I planned my route to Milwaukee. You can see how small the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens is… so easy for travel, compact enough to slip into nearly any jacket or bag.

Exploring with the 23mm F1.4 DC DN | C

As I explored Milwaukee and my hometown of Oshkosh, the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary made a great companion. It’s a natural focal length for street photography, works perfectly in low light, and is ideal for environmental portraits that show off the surroundings without distorting your subject. Here are some of my favorite shots from a busy weekend!

Have you ever had those ideas that seem good, but you’re just not sure if it’s going to work out? This was one of them for me. I loved the look of the ice on a patio light, but the light was pretty high up and the ground was all ice. So I carefully held up the camera as high as I could and composed on the rear LCD screen and just hoped for the best. (Yes, even professional photographers hope for the best sometimes.)

Final Thoughts on the 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary

As it turns out, SIGMA did have a surprise for me with the 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens. A surprise of this being one of the sharpest lenses in the Contemporary lineup, and also a surprise in what a perfect lens this is for your camera bag. Perfect for street photography. Perfect for portraits. Perfect for just carrying around so you can capture those moments that move you.

And while this lens is designed primarily for APS-C cameras – like the compact Sony body I used, or FUJIFILM X Mount cameras – it’s actually a great addition to a high-megapixel, full-frame camera as well, considering the light weight and sharp image quality. A crop sensor lens on a high megapixel camera, like the 61-megapixel SIGMA fp L, will still result in a very useable file size for photos. And if you shoot video, APS-C format lenses are great options for 4K video without breaking the bank.

If you’re looking for a truly versatile prime lens that is portable, fast, and ultra-sharp, it’s hard to go wrong with the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary. It’s sure to surprise you in the best ways possible!

Comments (1)
  1. Jay says:

    The 23 1.4 DC DN is a nice addition to the Sigma lineup. I just wish it also had a manual aperture ring to go with it.

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