Lens Guides

Vertical Street Photography with SIGMA’s All-Metal I series Lenses

When street photographers choose their gear, they often reach for something small and unobtrusive. Something to help them blend in with the environment and maintain a low profile. But packing light shouldn’t mean compromising on image quality. That’s why the SIGMA I series lenses are the ideal choice for capturing the streets.

From an ultra-wide 17mm, to a tight and focused 90mm, the I series features a range of focal lengths that start at moderate F-stops to keep the size small and the image quality exceptional. These beautifully-crafted lens bodies are constructed entirely of metal components, from the mount to the hood — even the switches — so they look and feel as good as they perform.

Speaking of streets, there’s perhaps no more iconic American urban environment than the streets of New York City. Photographer Yu Shi, who captures the sights of the Big Apple primarily in social-friendly vertical format, took the entire I series out for some fun shots of NYC.

“The I series lineup is a lightweight set of lenses that I think are travel-friendly. I carried them around as a set for a few days, and weight was definitely not an issue, which makes them an ideal set for someone who wants lenses for all kinds of shoots.”

– Yu Shi, NYC-based photographer

Website  |  Instagram

The Favorite: 17mm F4 DG DN | Contemporary

Among the smallest primes ever made by SIGMA, the 17mm F4 DG DN | Contemporary turned out to be Yu Shi’s main lens of choice when photographing New York City. The wide angle of view combined with exceptional sharpness helped make his photos truly pop, and the small size of the lens made it easy to carry and compose unique shots that captured the gritty but colorful vibe of NYC streets.

I series samples from around the city

While the 17mm was Yu’s preferred I series lens, the rest certainly came in handy to show off a variety of scenes from the city. See below how each focal length was used to compose each shot, and how certain details are accentuated by both the choice of focal point, as well as the outstanding sharpness and detail provided by our I series lenses.

20mm F2 DG DN | C

24mm F2 DG DN | C

24mm F3.5 DG DN | C

35mm F2 DG DN | C

45mm F2.8 DG DN | C

50mm F2 DG DN | C

65mm F2 DG DN | C

90mm F2.8 DG DN | C

Lenses that just fit that street vibe

All SIGMA I series lenses have excellent image quality, as demonstrated above, but the lenses are something special apart from that. From the manual aperture ring to the metal lens hood to the magnetic lens caps that come with each lens (except for the 45mm), the overall feeling evokes finely-crafted machinery that’s right at home on the subway, under scaffolding, or in an art gallery.

If you’re looking for a prime lens that is small enough to carry anywhere, sharp enough to impress any pixel peeper, and just flat out nice to use, check out the SIGMA I series.

Shop all-metal SIGMA I series lenses

available for Sony E-mount and L-Mount

Comments (4)
  1. Troy Phillips says:

    Love my I series Sigma glass . I have the 65 and 90 and the rendering is sublime

  2. Yu Shi says:

    Love it, thank you for sharing this amazing blog.

  3. Avatar photo SIGMA America says:

    That’s great! Thank you so much for letting us know you’re happy with your glass. 🙂

  4. Avatar photo SIGMA America says:

    Thank YOU for getting out there and capturing these amazing scenes.

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