Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary

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Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary
– Review by Serene Ong, Edited by Melody Tan
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Image: Serene Ong from Serene Digital Crafts with the new Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) mounted to a Sony a7.

03rd December 2019, Singapore – So many things had been said about the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens and we decided to check out the lens ourselves. Most of us already know that Sigma had been making lots of great lenses and Sony is not new to Sigma when it comes to engineering lenses for Sony mount systems. The 45mm (C) is another good addition to the line-up, made as fast prime and designated as a “Contemporary” line lens, we felt that it is way under-rated and should be given “Art” designation. Read on and you will understand why.

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Image: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) Mounted to a Sony a7r camera.

This small-sized lens (64.0mm x 46.2mm) impressed us at the first look with its full-aluminum construction for the lens barrel which our editorial team described it as “Built like a tank”. Even the lens hood was designed with grip lines to flush into the design cue of the focusing ring. Comes in Sony FE Mount and L-Mount (for now), this little lens weights in at only 215gm which is consider “feather” weight. Inside, there’s 8 elements in 7 groups including 2 aspherical elements which we expected from a (C) lens. The aperture blades are round and you get 7 of these blades for round and 3D-like bokeh.

The 45mm starts focusing from as close as 24cm giving users a magnification ratio of 1:4,  the front takes 55mm screw-in filters and this lens was designed and made for dust & moisture resistant – given all that specs, how can this be a Contemporary-line lens right?

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Image: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) Mounted to a Sony a7r camera.

 

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On handling, we mounted it on a Sony a7r and played around, there is a strange familiarity when we held it, buttons are easy to reach and switch, the weight balance to the camera body is great and we love the Aperture control ring. The only down part that some had complained is – the aperture steps on the aperture adjustment ring are on standard steps and you cannot do 1/3 steps, but that is if you decides to use the ring. Once switched to “A” on the aperture ring, you get what you need.

 

IMG_2690.JPGImage: the Aperture Adjustment ring from F2.8 to F22.

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Image: the Aperture Adjustment ring from F2.8 to F22. (Top View)

 

 

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Image: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) Mounted to a Sony a7r camera.

 

For this review, we invited our Contributing Editor Serene from Serene Digital Crafts to take the Sigma 45mm out for half a day. After shortlisting a few places to review the Sigma 45mm, Serene picked Chinatown for this review. And so we gave Serene a time frame between 10.30am to 06.30pm for her to use this lens at Chinatown. Let’s check out her images and her comments!

 
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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)
I was happy to be invited to review the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens. When I was issued the lens with the camera, I was delighted to note that the Sigma 45mm is indeed a tiny lens. The lens was very “metallic” and looks like it was built to take abuses. I later found out that this lens was made with a dust & water resistant design which is great since most people will be using this lens for outdoor applications, in my context – this is a street photography lens (or portrait lens).

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

And so the Ourshutterjourney Editorial team gave me 3 locations to pick from Haji Lane, Little India or Chinatown – which I picked the obvious choice. Chinatown has always excites me with its colors, people and everything in between. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

 

As I walked through the familiar alleys and shophouses, I started shooting at interesting things or sights and the Sigma 45mm was pretty fast in getting my intended subjects in focus. It was silent and at some point I thought the lens was not working!

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

I certainly like how the lens behaves. It is predictable and easy to use. Really one of those lenses where you don’t have to worry about anything, just point and shoot. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) 

 
Both the camera + lens are very light. I like the fact that I can enjoy shooting without getting tired out by the weight of the gear. And the design of the lens grip gave me that “firm grip” feel and it helps a lot despite my palm was sweating profusely from the Singapore heat. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

As I had mentioned earlier, Chinatown is a very colorful and “flavorful” place. A great place for street photography and the Sigma 45mm seems like the perfect lens for this walkabout.
I am sure many of you would have experienced that feeling of “bringing the wrong lens” from time to time and for this review, I got that “perfect lens” feeling! 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

Chinatown is definitely a great place to practise Street photography, the availability of subjects are endless. Every bit of Chinatown just adds on to the unique eccentricity of the vicinity and the mix of old & new.

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

I like the image quality produced by the Sigma 45mm + Sony a7R, seems like perfect combo for that few hours that I am shooting. 45mm is like a better 35mm and the wider 50mm which many find it hard to understand this focal range (45mm), but once you get used to the focal length, everything seems like a breeze to shoot. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) 

 

Below is a great example of  “graduating bokeh” or back in arts school we call this progressive blur. Unlike most lenses that has distinctive bokeh separation, this graduating bokeh is something else altogether. You must know how to use it properly to shoot the right subject in order to max out its potential. 

 

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Image: Shot by a Sony a7r camera with Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C)

 

In summary, I totally enjoyed the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) lens with the Sony a7r. Without realizing, I had shot over 100 images within a few hours. It used to be a focal length that I don’t fancy but after the review, I had fallen in love with this lens. It’s fast, light and very quiet. During operations, its focusing is fast and very accurate. The image quality is great. While there are many people whom complained about not understanding this lens, I will say don’t complain until you learn how to use it. I highly recommend this lens to anyone who loves street photography or if you are looking for an inexpensive fast prime that is capable. Thanks to Sigma Singapore & Ourshutterjourney for the opportunity to review this lens!
– Serene Ong.

 

Here’s a parting shot.

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Image: Serene Behind the Scenes for the Review 

 
Now that was some amazing images! Reading Serene’s account & user experience of the lens, it sounds like Sigma has gotten another winner again. While our Chief Editor AL had nicknamed the Sigma 45mm as the “Lens with Attitude” and he refused to tell us why, we insisted that there is certainly no attitude with this lens, instead, we think we found gold.  We will be back with more reviews as Sigma sent us 03 lenses!

Buying this Lens
OK people, Buy your Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) from our Accredited Merchants to experience this great lens for yourself!

Renting this Lens
For those of you who wish to try out the lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this lens is available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

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Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

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Contributing Editor – Serene Ong
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Started photography with a strong affinity in Long Exposure and Macro, Serene has created a following under the name of “Serene Digital Crafts”. She is an experimental photographer who will keep trying until she gets the shots that she had envisioned on her mind. Of a joyful character and friendly personality, Serene had started to contribute to gear review during her free time – when she is not shooting, she will be dedicating her time taking care of her 2 lovely kids.

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
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About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
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