There is nothing better than shooting street photography in New York City in the summer. The streets are filled with eccentric and fascinating people, each with their own style and individuality, which makes this “melting pot” such an attraction to street photographers from around the world.
Ready to take on the humidity in the city, I set out to lower Manhattan with the new SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens for FUJIFILM X Mount on my X-Pro2 camera. With the full-frame equivalent of 35mm focal length commonly used by legendary photographers such as Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Philip Perkis, the compact size and weight fit like a glove into my hands, assuring me a feeling of a great day of shooting.
Along with the SIGMA 16mm, 30mm, and 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary prime lenses released for FUJIFILM X Mount in 2022, as well as the excellent 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, this compact yet high optical performance lens developed specifically for APS-C mirrorless cameras makes a great addition to the traditional street shooter’s bag. SIGMA has done it. Another dream come true for us FUJIFILM X Mount camera users with the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens.
First impressions of the SIGMA 23mm for X Mount
Only 3.1 inches (79mm) long and just 11.8 ounces (335g), and with a filter diameter of 52mm, the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary achieves the ideal balance between excellent optical performance, mechanical design, and compactness for my FUJIFILM camera. The simple yet stylish design alone is also the reason I would want to make it my go-to lens for street photography.
Street photography is all about observation, awareness, and finding poetic moments. I usually carry only one body and a lens, setting my mental field of view to the focal length that I carry. With the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary, knowing what the full-frame equivalent of a 35mm would be in the frame even without looking through the viewfinder, allows me to pre-compose a shot as I walk through the streets. The fast F1.4 aperture allows faster, more precise autofocusing, faster shutter speeds, lower noise levels, and overall superb performance in low light.
Capturing the hustle and bustle on the streets of New York City
When I think of places to photograph and take the “pulse” of the city, I always hop on the subway and head to lower Manhattan. Downtown, especially Chinatown, Bowery, and the Lower East Side area are my favorite places to photograph where I can mingle, and observe the pedestrians and street workers engage in their daily routines.
The fast autofocus performance of the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens easily allows me to capture the pedestrian’s gestures and moments taken for granted. With the F1.4 aperture, I can shoot at fast shutter speeds in varied lighting situations.
One of the joys of street photography is the fact that you can have a plate full of interactions, emotions, gestures, and moments in a single shot. The more things to see, the better a photograph becomes. The SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary has a build quality that is solid, allowing a comfortable and assuring fit in my hands, enabling me to focus on my subjects, not having to worry about missing those important moments.
The SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens truly offers the best of the mirrorless experience. It is simple to use, and extremely well-balanced with FUJIFILM X Mount bodies. I was especially impressed with its fast autofocus performance, capturing pedestrians walking towards me as I walked toward them.
Final thoughts on the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens for FUJIFILM X Mount
If you’re a FUJIFILM camera user, this is a must-have lens on your system.
The SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens is a great complement to any FUJIFILM camera, and feels good when you’re shooting with it. The F1.4 aperture and the fast autofocus gave me confidence that I am ready no matter what comes up on the streets. Documenting real-life moments on the streets is my passion, and when enjoying this “walking meditation” of losing myself in taking pictures, this is the lens I would rely on.
Of course, this focal length isn’t just for street photographers. Any photographer who enjoys a solid prime lens will love the 35mm-equivalent focal length, shallow depth of field, and overall performance of this lens, and it’s a great choice for video, too. From lifestyle stills to weddings, nightscapes to behind-the-scenes views of any production, the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary is a fantastic lens for any FUJIFILM X Mount user.