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Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review - Performance

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Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Performance

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Lens Review - Performance: Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary
 

At 18mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are very good at f/2.8 and f/4, excellent at f/5.6 and f/8, very good at f/11, good at f/16 and soft at f/22.

At 24mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are very good from f/2.8 to f/11, good at f/16 and soft at f/22.

At 35mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are very good from f/2.8 to f/11, good at f/16 and soft at f/22.

At 50mm, central sharpness is excellent from f/2.8 to f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16 and soft at f/22. The edges are excellent from f/2.8 to f/5.6, very good from f/8 to f/16 and soft at f/22.

Given that the apertures available go down all the way to f/22, especially for an APS-C smaller format, means we are well into diffraction territory. This is clearly borne out by the results. At f/22 images are quite soft. However, as always, better to have the option for those circumstances where depth of field is needed more than absolute sharpness.

 

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary MTF Charts

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution and sharpness as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Sony A5100 using Imatest. Want to know more about how we review lenses?

 

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very well controlled at the centre, all the way through the focal length range. The edges do show CA, and although it doesn't show on much subject matter, if it should be a problem the in-camera corrections can be used. Alternatively, there are plenty of software solutions.

 

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Chromatic Aberration Charts

 

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) 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 Sony A5100 using Imatest

 

Distortion is allowed to fly free unless of course we switch on the in-camera corrections or use other software solutions. With corrections switched off, 18mm shows a massive -5.68% barrel distortion. This could be used creatively, but if straight lines are required then the corrections would be best switched back on. 24mm shows a more tolerable -1.20% barrel distortion, after which we are moving into pincushion. This measures +2.89% at 35mm and +3.12% at 50mm.

Bokeh is not of the super creamy variety but is nonetheless very satisfactory, giving good gradation and handling highlights effectively.

Flare is generally unobtrusive and there are no signs of any loss of contrast. Artefacts can easily be generated with bright light sources in frame, but even then the lens can see beyond this and contrast is maintained.

Apart from wide open and at the widest angle, vignetting is fairly modest, as we can see from the table below.

 

Aperture 18mm 24mm 35mm 50mm
f/2.8 -2.4 -1.2 -2 -2.1
f/4 -1.9 -0.9 -1.2 -1.3
f/5.6 -1.4 -0.8 -0.8 -1.1
f/8 -1.2 -0.7 -0.6 -0.8
f/11 -1.1 -0.7 -0.6 -0.8
f/16 -1.1 -0.6 -0.6 -0.8
f/22 -1.1 -0.6 -0.5 -0.8

 

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Sample Photos

 

 

Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 DC DN Contemporary Aperture range

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


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