Best Sigma Lenses
If you are serious about your photography and looking for an addition that offers different levels of magnification, a mounted lens will help you get there. While you may feel the need to buy something that is the same brand as your camera, that may not necessarily be your best option.
The Sigma brand was founded in 1961, and they offer users superior quality in the science of photography, and many of their designs are offered at a much lower price point while still being compatible with some of the big camera brands such as Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus. Selecting one of these options is going to give you all of the control and quality as some of the heavy-hitting brands, and it comes in at a very affordable price point. In this guide, you will find some of our favorite picks for Sigma lenses.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 5 hrs of research
Perfect for indoor or outdoor conditions
Hybrid autofocus for moving targets
Top 10 Picks
1. 16mm f/1.4 DC DN
Perfect for indoor or outdoor conditions
Hybrid autofocus for moving targets
Some users have issues with dust on the front of the unit
What we liked most about this design is that DC and DN designations mean that it is going to be more compatible with more styles and features of cameras, so you know your photos are going to come out perfect. It is going to be great for sunny landscapes but will take great low light indoor photos as well.Read more
The use of a widers f/1.4 aperture means that it is going to really be able to soak up a lot of light, even in very dim indoor spaces. It also utilizes a hybrid AF (autofocus) so that users will be able to easily capture moving targets without blurring or motion distortion.
This design boasts an e-mount, which means that it will affix to most e-mount Sony lenses. What we liked about this option is that if you are unsure that it will fit your camera, they offer a guide that allows you to plug in your make and model number to ensure that it will fit.
The beauty of this design is that it does all of the hard work for you. It offers autofocus that makes it easy to capture moving targets, and it has a large aperture that will accommodate low light levels.
The size of this mount in conjunction with the soft rubber grip provides users with something that is going to feel great in their hands. We have discovered that many of the past users find that it feels a little larger than most when in their hands, but it still feels quite natural to hold.
One of the things that we liked most about this model is that it comes in at a really affordable price point. In fact, it may be one of the more affordable designs that we have seen from this brand out there on the market.
For users that want something that is going to be pretty simple to use, this is going to be one of your better options. It sports a stout barrel that may be a little wider than most, but it also has a standard aperture that is going to be a lot more versatile for indoor or outdoor conditions.
2. 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art
Great for indoor or outdoor use
Autofocus is perfect for moving targets
Some feel that it is just a little too heavy
This design comes in at a much higher price point than most, but is designed for full-frame cameras that will take pretty stunning photographs, even in low light conditions because it means it isn’t going to crop out the edges like a crop frame camera would do.Read more
The 24-70mm F2.8 design is one of this company's newest options and provides users with some of the top-of-the-line components to take high end, professional photographs. The newly designed HSM is perfect for low light conditions as well as outdoor events.
This unit is designed to be used on almost any style of Canon camera. The mount is listed as being compatible with Canon EF mounts. If you are unsure if your camera will fit, there is an option to plug in your cameras model to ensure it will fit before you buy.
What users love about this option is the pinpoint precision of the autofocus. Even with moving targets, this is going to be able to capture the moment without any distortion or blurring.
One of the downsides that users did not like about this design is that it is quite a bit heavier than most, which can make a long day of photography a little difficult on your arms. It is important to note that it is also a little wider than most, which can feel a little clunky in your hands.
We hope you are sitting down because the cost of this option costs almost three times as much as some of the more affordable designs from this company.
Sure, it may cost more than many of the other designs out there, but the use of the top of the line 24-70mm F2.8 features means that you will be capturing photographs on a professional level. Even with the high price tag, it is still considered more affordable than some of the heavy-hitter brands.
3. 18-35mm F1.8 Art
Fits most cameras
Made from a lightweight and durable material
Slightly more expensive than most
This HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) uses newer technology in the motor to provide the perfect and precise aperture so that you will be able to capture the perfect photo in bright sunshine, or dim conditions.Read more
One of the things that users like most about this design is that it is made from a highly durable material that is going to be able to take quite a beating. Considering that this device is going to be on the move as much as you, durability while still providing superior photos is a big bonus.
This unit is going to be able to work with more styles and brands of cameras than previous models. It will be able to work with Canon, Sony, and Nikon models. You will have the option to plug your model number into a search to ensure that it will be compatible before you buy it.
What we really liked about this design is that it has pretty razor-sharp autofocus, but it also has a myriad of settings on the dial so that users can manually adjust the focus and the zoom to craft unique and interesting photographs.
This design is made from Thermally Composite Material (TSC) which means it is going to be slightly lighter than some of the other designs out there on the market, and a little more durable as well. It has a slightly slimmer barrel as well, which is going to feel natural in your hands.
The cost of this design is quite a bit more expensive than some of the more affordable options that we have seen. The price of this selection lives somewhere in between the most expensive designs and the more affordable options.
If you are willing to pay a little bit more money than most, and you want something that is going to give you a little bit more control over how to adjust the focus and aperture, this design is going to be one of your better choices, and it is compatible with a wide array of cameras.
4. 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM
Slimmer and lightweight barrel
HSM AF as well as manual settings
This 5mm HSM option is going not going to be your standard general-purpose option like the 18-35mm designs. This particular design is made for really sharp photographs. It is going to add a lot more shadow and depth of field, but it is not going to be ideal for beginners.Read more
The 50mm feature is a product that is going to produce some really sharp images, but it is typically only used by experienced photographers. It develops a much richer photo and is ideal for portraits, landscapes, and street photography.
The good news here is that this design is compatible with a wide range of cameras. It will mount to specific Sony, Canon, and Nikon designs. Just like all of the others, simply plug in your camera’s model number and they will tell you if it will be compatible.
This unit uses a lightning-fast Hyper Sonic AF Motor with a wide aperture that takes great low light photos. Users will also have the option of manually tweaking and adjusting these settings on the barrel of the unit.
One thing that we noticed about this design is that it has a thinner barrel that is going to feel more natural when you hold it in your hands, and the weight of it is just slightly less than other designs that we have seen.
This isn’t one of their more affordable options in their Art line. This unit is going to come in at a much higher price point than many of their other affordable options, but it is still going to set you back significantly less than if you bought a Sony or Canon option with these advanced features.
If you are serious about your photography and want something that is going to give you more freedom to manually craft unique photos, this is going to be an excellent selection.
5. 24-105mm F4.0 Art DG OS HSM
Compatible with many brands and styles
Aperture allows for great focus in a wide range of lighting
Comparable to other, high-quality and expensive brands
Some have complained about too much vignetting
Heavy after long periods of use
This everyday and versatile option is a great addition to our list. It is the first of its generation and is starting off with a bang. The autofocus works precisely and silently, thanks to the HSM and aperture allows for impressive photos in a wide range of lighting.Read more
You can get a good idea of the features of this accessory just by seeing the name of it. The OS initials let us know that the camera features optical stabilization. The HSM (hypersonic stabilizer) gives us quick and quiet autofocus. iThere are nine diaphragm blades built-in, giving us all of the tools we need for an impressively blurred background.
Like we did above, we can gather from the acronyms in the name of the product, specifically DG, that this accessory is meant for full-frame cameras (as well as APS-C). As an added bonus, it is MC-11 compatible. This accessory is available for multiple different brands, including Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and Sony. Even further, you have the option to select the US or international product.
Focusing on one subject will not be an issue with this accessory. The magnifying ratio is 1:4.6. The aperture also gives a lot of customization with options from f/22 to f/4. This allows for great shots in a wide array of different lightings. The autofocus feature works surprisingly well, but you can also opt to manually focus your shots.
Just by gripping this accessory, you can feel its durability. It is made from thermal composite materials which feel like metal but is actually more similar to aluminum. This makes the accessory lightweight and durable. It measures 4.29” by 3.5” by 3.5” and weighs just under two pounds.
For such a versatile piece, this is a great value. Similar options from more well-known brands cost about ⅔ more than this option. As this company is known for, it provides you with great features and functionality at a low price.
While there is always room to grow, we are impressed by this accessory. It captures sharp photos and is fairly straight forward. This is only the first version of this series and we are excited to see what the future will bring.
6. 17-50mm f/2.8 Aperture
Versatile design makes it perfect for novices
Excellent image stabilization
Some users found the AF to be a little noisy
This design is going to be another great option for those that are new to the world of photography. A 17-50mm design is one of the more versatile designs that is going to work well in just about any condition.Read more
One of the things that users really liked about this design is that even though it comes in at a really low price point, it still uses the advanced HSM technology to capture razor-sharp images, and it has an incredibly quiet shutter.
This option is going to work well to mounts from some of the big-name cameras such as Canon, Sony, and Pentax. As always, if you want to make sure before you buy that it is absolutely going to fit, you can plug your camera’s model number into their database to ensure that it will fit.
The slightly larger aperture on this model is going to make it ideal for low light conditions, but it is still versatile enough to take great photos of landscapes and outdoor scenes. Plus, it uses its HSM to autofocus images, and there is also a feature that enhances stability.
The great thing about this model is that it is going to be much smaller and compact than other models that we have seen. Users found that this barrel feels great in their hands, and it isn’t excessively heavy.
The thing that we (as well as most users) love about this option is that it comes in at one of the lowest price points out there on the market.
If you are looking for a great place to start in your photography adventures, this design is going to be a perfect fit due to its glass versatility, as well as its incredibly affordable price point.
7. 18-300mm DC Macro
HSM AP with optical stabilization
Thicker and heavier than most
This option is going to be something that is perfect for taking a wide variety of photographs. Instead of packing a lot of different options into your pack, this design is going to give you all of the versatility that you will need.Read more
One thing that users really like about this particular design is the versatility. It offers a wide aperture for low light conditions, but it uses the HSM to craft incredibly sharp images. The only downside users have found with the wider aperture is that it takes a little bit longer to capture the image than most.
This unit is designed for Canon cameras. It is also made to be able to be physically mounted to Sony or Pentax options, but it is important to note that you are going to lose the optical stability feature when mounted on these models.
As with almost all products in this line, this design uses HSM autofocus that will help a great deal in capturing those crisp images. It also has a wider aperture than most, which is going to work quite well in dimmer lighting conditions.
As far as width and weight are concerned, this unit is a little bulkier than most. It is going to fit a little wider in your hand, which can be a little awkward for some, and it weighs in at over 2 pounds, which is quite a bit heavier than some of the other designs that we have seen.
The best part about this option is that it comes in at a really affordable price. While it isn’t the lowest priced design that we have seen from this line, we feel that it is a great value considering the versatility of the design.
For users that are looking for something that has a lot of features that will help craft excellent photographs, but comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank, this is a great place to start.
8. 150-600mm 5-6.3
Perfect for astrophotography or wildlife
The coating on the glass repels water and oil
If you are looking for something that is going to help you capture excellent photos of wildlife and birds at a good distance, this telescopic option is going to be one of your better options. It offers superior zoom while greatly mitigating image distortion.Read more
Due to the long glass design, this option is going to allow users to take clear and detailed pictures of skittish wildlife while keeping a good distance away from them. The zoom on this option is so powerful that it is also frequently used for astrophotography.
This unit is going to mount onto Nikon cameras. Just to be on the safe side, be sure that you plug in your camera’s model number into their database to be sure that it will fit correctly.
While the HSM offers superior autofocus, there is also a way to shut that off so that you can manually focus on the target that you like to create unique images. It has an incredibly wide aperture that makes it ideal for astrophotography as well as incredibly dim conditions.
Due to the fact that this is a telescopic design, you already know that is is going to be quite heavier than many of the other designs. This unit weighs in at just over 4 pounds, which can really weigh you down when used for long periods of time.
As you may have guessed, the price of this unit is much higher than many of the other designs that we have seen. However, when you consider what you are going to be able to do with this option, we feel that it is well worth the higher price point.
For those that are looking for a way to capture wildlife or that like to dabble in astrophotography, this design is going to be one of your better choices.
9. 70-200mm F2.8 Sports DG OS HSM
Great image stabilization
An ideal accessory for sports photography
Lens hood locks into place
Decent weather resistance
Tripod foot can not be removed
Whether you are new to sports/action photography or an expert, we think you will enjoy this accessory. It houses all of the loved features that you see in most options, such as HSM and OS, but also has a few tricks up its sleeve.Read more
Like all specialized lenses, this one is loaded with features. The HSM aids in almost flawless and fast autofocus. The autofocusing feature is quite useful but can also be turned off, allowing you to customize the focus and settings of each shot. The optical stabilization is quite impressive, producing crisp images. These features are also easy to switch without too much fiddling because the zoom and focus rings are rubberized. One of the most admired features is durability. This accessory has built-in weather resistance and a water and oil-repellent finish.
This specific model is made for Canon EF models, but it is also available for Nikon F and Sigma SA models. Additionally, this accessory can be used with an MC 11 adapter but you run the risk of losing autofocus speeds.
In manual mode, the options are endless. The internal zoom provides a ratio of 1:4.8. A great feature for focusing on an object, especially when filming sports or other moving objects, is the focus range limiter switch. This switch keeps the subject of focus in focus, no matter what. Even if the subject dives into the background and there are other subjects present, this particular subject will continue to be the main focus. The glass mixture impressively houses 24 elements in 22 groups.
This style of accessory is known for being bulky and this is no different. It does weigh slightly less than other similar sports options, at just under four pounds. It is made from a mix of plastic, metal, and thermally stable composite materials. It has decent shock resistance and a great hand feel.
The price of this item may initially shock you. However, in comparison with other similar styles, this is actually quite a deal. This company also offers a warranty on its products, even refurbished ones.
If you are dedicated to sports photography and can handle carrying about this beast, it is well worth the investment. It has all of the great features of the brand-name versions but at a lower price.
10. 35mm F1.4 Art
Users love the incredibly sharp images
A little heavier and bulkier than many of the other similar designs
What we liked about this option is that it lies somewhere in between a design used by beginners and intermediates. It offers you enough control of the device that you can craft your own unique photos, but has autofocus for additional support.Read more
As with many of the higher-end designs, this unit has an HSM to capture light quickly and efficiently, and it isn’t as loud as some of the other designs. However, some users feel that the autofocus hunts too much, and can become problematic in busy areas.
This unit is going to be compatible with most Sony E-mounts, but that’s about it. If you want to double-check to see if your camera is going to be compatible, be sure that you plug in your camera’s model number before you make your purchase.
Like we mentioned earlier, this design has autofocus that may become problematic in busy areas and gives users the option to turn it off so that they can manually focus their device.
Another downside to this option is that we discovered that there were quite a few users that felt that the barrel of this option was just a little too wide to the point that it didn’t feel comfortable in their hands, and it is just slightly heavier than other designs.
The cost of this unit comes in at a price point that is much higher than some of the more affordable options that we have seen out there on the market. However, if you are looking for a device in the intermediate range, this will be well worth the extra cost.
If you are looking to graduate from your beginner device, but are not quite ready for the serious professional quality of a 50mm, this design is going to be one of your better options.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Features on these devices are going to dictate where you are going to be able to go.
For products that have a more narrow aperture, they are going to be designed for outdoor spaces because they won’t be able to absorb all that much light. Designs that have a wider aperture, on the other hand, are going to be ideal for indoor spaces, or astrophotography. Not all photographers are taking pictures of the same things, so we made sure that we selected a wide array of styles that not only catered to photography style but also to proficiently level. If you are a newbie, you are probably going to want something that has features that run in the middle of the road. That’s why we selected designs that were listed as 16-35mm (which is perfect for beginners), and that also offered sharp autofocus. For those that are more experienced, we also included 50mm+ designs. And, if you are aiming towards the stars, we wanted to make sure that we also included some telescopic designs that would excel in astrophotography.
This is a big deal because you really want to ensure that you select a design that is going to fit and communicate with your base camera.
The good news here is that this brand goes above and beyond to make sure that each of their products is going to be able to work with the widest variety of cameras. We found that most of these options are going to be compatible with most styles from Sony, Canon, Pentax, and Nikon. Plus, if you are hesitant to make a purchase because you are afraid your camera might not be compatible, they offer a service where you can plug in your model number to double-check. It is important to also make a note that while some devices may work with all cameras, certain brands may lose a few key functions such as image stability.
This is another key feature that we considered because it is really going to help you capture that perfect picture whether you are a newbie or a seasoned pro.
One big thing that we made sure every model that we selected had was an HSM, which translates to a Hyper Sonic Motor. This piece of technology is one of the company's newest and most modern additions to their products. It provides users with a lightning-fast response time to open and close the shutter in various conditions to capture that perfect photograph. We found that many users loved their feature in their devices because not only is it incredibly fast- but it is also very quiet as well. One thing that newbies want to make sure they include in their design is to opt for AF, or autofocus. This feature will find the target that you are looking at, and it will manually focus on it. Of course, this feature is able to be turned off if you wish to pick the target that you want to focus upon.
You might not think size is all that important, but it can actually make a big difference in how you use your device.
You want to select something that is going to feel natural in your hands because you are likely going to be holding onto it for a good deal of time. Weight is another aspect that might not seem important at the moment, but it can be very draining when you need to hold your camera up for a long time. Three pounds might not seem all that heavy initially, but after 10 minutes it can feel like 300 pounds. That’s why we wanted to stick to designs that had slimmer barrels and tried to keep the weight under 2 pounds. However, with some of the larger options, such as telescopic designs, that just wasn’t going to be possible. We took a look at what past users had to say about the feel of the device in their hands, and if it felt comfortable and natural to hold, even for long periods of time.
Of course, the aim of the game here with these products to save you a little bit of money.
The good news here is that even some of the higher-end designs that are made on a professional level often cost lightyears less than some of the name brand options from Sony or Canon. We still wanted to make sure that we selected styles and price options that were going to be favorable to those that are looking to save some money when they can, and those that are willing to purchase a higher-end option at a higher price point. From what we could gather, many of the more affordable designs are actually going to cost you less than what you more than likely spent on your name brand camera. When you compare these options to those from Sony, it’s really amazing how much money you are going to end up saving for a product that users find to be just as effective and easy to use.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Before you lock in on a design, take into consideration where you are going to be taking pictures. If you are primarily going to be indoors, be sure you select something with a wider aperture. If you want to take pictures of the stars and the moon, you might want to dish out a little bit of extra money for a telescopic design.
Be sure that you do your research to ensure that your camera is compatible. We noticed that there are some styles out there that are technically compatible with Sony and Pentax, but users will lose some features such as optical stabilization.
Being in control of your device is going to be a key factor in ensuring that you get the right picture. While details like autofocusing are nice, be sure you select a style that will allow you to turn it off when you want to take control of the settings yourself.
Other Factors to Consider
With these accessories costing a pretty penny, it is always a good idea to take a look at the durability of each product before investing. Luckily, with gentle care and responsible use, most of these items have proven to be quite durable. Before you go cradling this device in your arms and not letting anyone else touch it, remember that these accessories are literally brought into war zones and can handle can handle a little rough-housing, though it is not deliberately encouraged.
The housing of the accessory is usually made from plastic, strong plastic. These models are typically moderately priced, fairly durable, and lighter in weight. There are other options that are made from consumer-grade materials or metal. These materials tend to cost more, are more durable, and much heavier. The actual lens portion is typically made from glass or a blend of glass and high-grade plastic. This area is the most fragile because it can be so easily scratched. Luckily, most, if not all, of these products come with a lens cap included. When you are not using the accessory, you should always put the cap on to protect the glass. This glass is not a very easy piece to replace or fix.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why shop from this brand?
There is one very important reason why this brand is so popular, and it is because they provide affordable products. For anyone that has invested money in cameras and accessories knows that photography can be quite an expensive hobby. If you are looking to build on top of your camera, you may feel the need to buy a product that is made by the same company- such as Sony or Canon. However, once you see the price tag of those add ons, you may take a step back and reconsider your new hobby altogether. Sometimes, additional devices from these big brands can cost you the same amount as a used car! This is the reason that people tend to gravitate to Sigma. They were founded in 1961 in Japan, so they have a lot of time and research into their products. They offer consumers high-end devices that are capable of taking some really stunning photographs (from novices to professionals) at incredibly low prices. Plus, they are compatible with many of the big-name cameras such as Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax.
q: How will I know that they will fit on my camera?
One of the things we really appreciated about this brand is that they really want to make sure that you select the right model for your device. For most designs, they are made to fit most models of some of the big names such as Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however, with some of the designs only being semi-compatible. For some, they will technically mount to the base of your Sony or Pentax camera, but you will lose the feature of optical stabilization- which can be a deal-breaker for some. The great news here is that they allow users to plug in the made and model number of their camera to get a definitive answer on whether or not it will be compatible before making a purchase.
q: I am new to photography, what style should I select?
If you are new to the game and are unsure of what type of pictures you will be taking, buying a design that has features that run in the middle of the road is going to be your best bet. This means you want to select something that is going to take good indoor and outdoor photos in any light condition. This means that you will be able to use it for indoor events, and you can also use it for all of your outdoor adventures. You are going to want to stick with styles that are in the range of 16-35mm because these styles are classified more for novices due to their ease of use and versatility. Styles that are 50mm and above are typically considered to be professional-grade unless you are looking at a telescopic lens to take pictures of the stars and the moon. For astrophotography, you are going to want a device that is 150-600mm.
q: What do all the acronyms mean?
We know, it can be a little overwhelming to be thrown into the acronym deep end when shopping around for a new device. What makes it even more difficult is that Sigma often uses their own set of acronyms to classify their devices. To make things just a little bit easier on you, we have broken down the meaning of some of the more important acronyms to learn. HSM is one that you are likely going to see the most. This is just in reference to the Hyper Sonic Motor. If you are looking for the top of the line and new tech, be sure that the device that you chose has an HSM. The next most important is AF, which translates to autofocus. This dictates the device's ability to focus on a subject for you. ELD and SLD are more advanced concepts and reference the type of glass. ELD means extraordinary low dispersion while SLD means special low distortion. We could break out a series of graphs and formulas and launch into a science class, but the basic gist of ELD and SLD breaks down into how well the colors in your photos blend into one another. Standard options use simple ED, while taking photos of the moon may require ELD or SLD.
q: Are they easy to clean?
To ensure that you get the most for your money, you are going to need to provide proper maintenance to the glass. There is nothing worse than getting outside to take some really great photographs only to find that your glass is covered in smudges and dust. The good news here is that as long as you have the proper tools on hand, keeping the glass clean will be a snap. Before you even bust out your cleaning arsenal, first perform a dirt test. You can do this by setting the focus on the barrel to infinity, and then take a photo of a flat surface. When you inspect the photo on your screen, light distortion on the photo will indicate tiny little pieces of dirt and dust that will need to be tended to. We suggest that you invest a little bit of money in an air blower, a soft bristle camera brush, or some microfiber cloths, as well as some cleaning solution to very carefully wide down the glass. Once you are finished, take another picture of a flat surface with the focus set to infinity to check your work.