When I found out SIGMA started creating Z mount lenses, I, as a Nikon Z camera user, was over the moon! When Nikon moved to mirrorless a few years ago, I was concerned about two things: one, that my SIGMA lenses wouldn’t work on the new system, and two, that my favorite brand of glass might not be available for Nikon Z mount.
Thankfully, I was able to keep shooting with my SIGMA lenses simply and effectively with the Nikon FTZ Mount Adapter, which converts my SIGMA F mount lenses to Z without a hitch (this works with Canon EF mount lenses, too). But even so, I have been waiting patiently for SIGMA Z mount lenses to become available for my preferred camera system. And with these new lenses, no adapter is needed! How exciting is that?!
Getting familiar with SIGMA’s new Nikon Z mount lenses
The first thing to know about SIGMA’s first lenses for Nikon Z mount is that they are designed for APS-C or “crop sensor” mirrorless cameras. Cameras like the Nikon Z 50, Z 30, and Z fc are all crop sensor mirrorless models, and they are small, lightweight, and more affordable.
I would consider this your standard wide prime, approximately the same angle of view as a 24mm focal length (when using a full-frame camera).
This lens is a somewhat narrower standard angle, equivalent to a 45mm lens, or very close to the “normal” focal length of a 50mm lens.
This lens is equivalent to 84mm, which is a classic focal length for tighter portraits. But I have used all three lenses in different ways, so each lens can be very versatile.
All of these AMAZING lenses feature a very large F1.4 aperture for low-light performance, with added dust and moisture protection at the mount, to keep contaminants out of your camera and lens in most weather conditions.
First impressions of the 16mm, 30mm & 56mm lenses
When I first laid my eyes on the trio, I was immediately impressed by their lightweight yet sturdy design. Easily able to hold in your hand and just as easily able to fit into your gear bag.
I was able to carry all three lenses plus a Nikon Z fc camera body all day, shooting handheld, without any fatigue. Being able to carry a variety of fast lenses is a big plus in my line of work. I find myself trying to carry as many lenses with me without making my bag overly heavy, and thanks to the compact design of these lenses, I had no problem at all.
Lens performance in the field
This powerhouse trio did not disappoint. All conditions from full sun, to wind, rain, fog, sandy beaches and cold weather, they did the job. The weather-resistant mount gave me piece of mind in the ever-changing weather conditions.
Low light conditions were no problem either. With the super wide aperture of F1.4, I had little concern about capturing my scene, even when the light was fading.
Autofocus was lightning fast and accurate, and combined with the light weight of all three lenses, it was very easy for me to capture images on the fly!
With such a large aperture, background and foreground blur is incredibly beautiful, lending to creamy bokeh to make your subject pop from their surroundings. A look that wonderfully enhances your images, and a must in most portrait work.
I also briefly used these three lenses to shoot on my full-frame Nikon Z 7II without issue. Of course, because these are APS-C format lenses, there will be some cropping. On the Nikon Z 7II, a red crop box pops into the viewfinder showing where the crop will occur, allowing to easily adjust framing. I had no issue whatsoever using these lenses on my favorite full-frame camera, with plenty of resolution to spare!
My favorite features of the very first SIGMA Z mount lenses
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Solid construction (with how much bumping, jostling and hiking I do, durability is a MUST)
- Lens hoods… while attached, they help reduce flaring and add protection for the front element.
- FAST autofocusing, and I mean FAST! I was able to lock in and take the shot incredibly fast and accurately. Something any photographer would want and appreciate!
- Large aperture. At F1.4, you can shoot in incredibly low-light conditions and also achieve that beautiful BOKEH that so many photographers (and clients) love!
- With a compact Nikon Z mount camera (like the Z fc, Z 50, etc.), it makes for a sleek, compact, all-day shooting combo!
- Dust and water-resistant mount! No matter where I may roam, I know these lenses can handle most conditions.
Overall thoughts on the SIGMA 16mm, 30mm & 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lenses for Nikon Z
Overall, I am incredibly impressed by not only the lightweight, compact design, but the amazing optical performance and ability to capture what I see in front of me, effortlessly.
If you’re a Nikon Z camera user, and especially if you are using a DX format camera for photography, video, or any type of content creation, these three lenses are a MUST to add to your everyday gear bag!