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Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN A Art M43 Lens Review

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN A Art M43 Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the new compact Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN lens for Micro Four Thirds and NEX systems.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN
Price : £169
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Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN
Sigma 19mm F/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens

This moderate wide angle lens is currently available to fit both Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX cameras and costs around £170. It sports a bright f/2.8 aperture and a newly developed linear focus motor.

On Micro Four Thirds bodies, this lens provides an angle of view equivalent to a 38mm lens on a 35mm camera. Those considering this lens, may also consider the 17mm f/2.8 from Olympus, which provides a slightly wider field of view and costs around £230, or the 20mm f/1.7 from Panasonic, which costs around £275 and sports a faster maximum aperture.

On Sony NEX cameras, this lens provides a moderate wide angle view equivalent to a 28.5mm lens used on a35mm camera. There is currently no direct equivalent to this lens available, with the closest being Sony's 16mm f/2.8 pancake lens, which offers a wider field of viewand costs around £195.

Sigma 19mm F/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens Rear
Sigma 19mm F/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens Rear

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Handling and Features

High quality plastics with a matte finish have been used for the lens barrel construction and the lens mount is made of metal. Weighing only 140g, this lens is the perfect companion to smaller camera bodies, just like the Panasonic Lumix GF3 used for testing.

Sigma 19mm Dn A Lens (1)
An updated Sigma 19mm DA A Lens is now available that performs the same as the original optically, but comes with a lens hood, and is available in silver or black.

As focusing is performed internally the 46mm filter thread does not rotate during use and the lens does not extend, making this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Focus speeds are very quick and the wide manual focus ring offers just enough resistance to make applying fine adjustments fairly straightforward. The new linear focusing system does not hold the focusing group in pace when not in use, so a disconcerting rattle can be heard when the lens is tilted and the camera not switched on. This is perfectly normal for the type of focusing system used.

The minimum focus distance of 20cm is great for shooting in claustrophobic environments and for taking close up images.

Sigma 19mm F/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens Front Angle
Sigma 19mm F/2.8 Micro Four Thirds Lens Front Angle

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Performance

Sharpness in the centre of the image area is already outstanding at maximum aperture and the clarity towards the edges is very good. Stopping down the lens improves sharpness towards the edges further, with peak quality across the frame being achieved between f/5.6 and f/8.

MTF Chart
MTF Chart

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix GF3 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are reasonably well controlled, just exceeding 0.75 pixel widths towards the edges of the frame at f/5.6. This low level of CA should pose few issues, even in large prints, or harsh crops from near thee edges of the frame.

CA Chart
CA Chart

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix GF3 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the corners of the frame is reasonably well controlled for a wide aperture lens. At f/2.8 the corners are 1.08 stops darker than the image centre and visually uniform illumination is achieved by f/5.6.

Imatest detected 1.1% barrel distortion, which is a relatively high amount for a fixed focal length lens, although this should still be a low enough level of distortion to pose issues day to day. The distortion is uniform across the frame, so it should be quite straightforward to correct in image editing software if absolutely straight lines are required.

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Sample Photos



A circular lens hood is supplied as standard, and this lens proved itself quite resistant to flare in testing. When shooting into the light, some flare may appear, but only in extreme circumstances and contrast remains good.

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Verdict

This compact lens should make an ideal addition to any Micro Four Thirds or Sony NEX camera kit. Its light weight, compact size and excellent optical performance are complimented by fast auto focus speeds and good build quality.

With the price sitting at around £170, this lens represents excellent value for money also.

 
  The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN makes an ideal addition to the Micro Four Thirds system with excellent performance.

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Pros

Excellent sharpness from maximum aperture
Compact size
Lightweight
Decent build quality
Quick autofocus


Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Cons

Slightly high levels of barrel distortion for a prime lens

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
VERDICT

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Specifications

ManufacturerSigma
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
Lens
Focal Length19mm
Angle of View59.3
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size46mm
35mm equivalent38mm
Internal focusingYes
Focusing
Min Focus20cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades7
Elements8
Groups6
Box Contents
Box ContentsCase, Bayonet type Hood (LH520-02) supplied
Dimensions
Weight140g
Height45.7mm

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    Comments


    johnb57 6 2
    18 Apr 2012 9:40PM
    Presumably this very interesting lens will not perform quite so well towards the edge of a larger Sony sensor so the value of the test is somewhat limited for us NEX users. Real life experiences would be useful as and when anyone can provide 'em.

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    theorderingone 10 2.4k United Kingdom
    22 Apr 2012 1:51PM
    These lens results should still hold true for NEX camera owners... the main differences you may notice include:

    - Sharpness towards the far edges of the frame may be reduced slightly
    - Diffraction may not set in quite so soon when stopping down. (for example, overall sharpness at f/8 my be higher, with it not softening due to diffraction until f/11)

    Exact performance values will always vary slightly from camera to camera, and these reviews and testing are designed to give an overall impression of the performance of the lens.

    I hope this helps?
    josa 2 25 Czech Republic
    19 Apr 2013 3:41PM
    Amazing...why bother with originals...

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