ALL NEW Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN E-mount Review

posted in: Equipment, Photography, Reviews | 6

Looking for an APS-C wide-angle prime lens with large aperture for astrophotography, I found the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN.


First things first:

  • All the images showed in this post were taken in raw and then converted to jpeg in Lightroom without any other post processing. Here’s a public folder with all raw images (copyright infringement will be prosecuted)
  • I am not affiliated with Sigma, nor did I get any discount on the lens or money for writing this review. Links in this post may be to affiliates and sales through affiliate links may benefit this site with no additional cost for you. This will keep the website running.
  • I wrote this review to the best of my knowledge but cannot guarantee its correctness. Moreover, it is my opinion about the lens.
  • All images shot with the Sony Alpha 6500 and no filters.
  • Background of purchase: Due to upcoming travels into the Atacama desert of Chile, I was looking for an APS-C wide-angle prime lens with large aperture for astrophotography which should be better than the Sony 10-18mm f/4.0

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 Specifications

  • Lens Construction: 16 Elements in 13 Groups
  • Angle of View (DC) 83.4°
  • Weather sealed
  • Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9 (Rounded)
  • Aperture 1.4 to 16
  • Minimum Focusing Distance 9.8 in (25 cm)
  • Filter Size 67mm
  • Maximum Magnifications 1: 9.9
  • Dimensions  72.2mm×92.3mm / 2.8in. ×3.6in (Diameter x Length)
  • Weight 14.3 oz (405 grams)
  • Corresponding Mounts: Micro Four Thirds, Sony E-mount

 

The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 with lens hood and 2 caps (about 40 grams) weighs 450 grams (measured by myself)

Official Sigma website

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 with lens hood
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 with lens hood

Performance of the Sigma 16mm f/1.4

Sharpness

At f/1.4 the edges look slightly soft but increase to solid sharpness at f/2.8. For the sharpest image throughout frame one has to stop down the Sigma 16mm to f/8.0. Smaller apertures than this started to show softness due to the effects of diffraction. See images in gallery of the bottom left corner.

Chromatic aberration

The Sigma 16mm f/1.4 has almost no chromatic aberration in the centre, but increases at the edges.

Distortion

Being considered a wide-angle lens, it comes as no surprise that the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 has some distortion. Yet, as far as I am concerned it is not that bad. Furthermore, this can easily be corrected in post.

Distortion of the Sigma 16mm f1.4
Distortion of the Sigma 16mm f1.4

Vignette

At f/1.4 clearly visible, the vignette disappears at f/4. However, it is already at f/2.8 drastically less than at f/1.4

Sun star of the Sigma 16mm 20sec iso100 f/2
Sigma 16mm 20sec iso100 f/2

Usage + Videography

Despite the weight and size, the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 convinced with its smooth focus ring allowing cinematic focus pulls. Moreover, the autofocus works a treat and is remarkably faster in comparison to the Tamron 18-200mm lens I use. The 24mm full frame equivalent feels comfortable to film oneself and I did not feel reduced by the narrower field of view yet. However, I had no time to photograph the Milky way because of bad weather. Admittedly, I probably will be limited in astrophotography due to the narrower angle of view, but this remains to be seen. So far, I am very pleased with the fast aperture and the ease of use of the Sigma 16mm f/1.4.

Bokeh of the Sigma 16mm f1.4
Bokeh of the Sigma 16mm 1/80sec iso 100 f1.4
Sun star of the Sigma 16mm 1/640sec iso100 f/16
Sun star of the Sigma 16mm 1/640sec iso100 f/16

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 without lens hood
Sigma 16mm f/1.4 without lens hood

Summary about the Sigma 16mm f/1.4

Pro

– Fast f/1.4 aperture (Lowlight capabilities)

– Sharpness from f/2.8 superb

– Smooth focussing (being the major drawback of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 E-mount)

– Low Chromatic Aberration

– Fast autofocus

– lovely sun star at f/16

– Reasonable prize

– Bokeh

Contra

– Size

– Weight

– strong vignette at f/1.4

– No scales on the lens (focus, DoF)

Competitors for my requirements:

Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex 12mm f/2.0 (Used one of a friend, the results were satisfying but not outstanding)

Sony 16mm f/2.8 (Many bad reviews but I never got my hands on one)

Sony 10-18mm f/4.0 (I own this lens and it is not very suitable for night photography due to the small aperture)


Overall, I am very happy with the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 E-mount lens and am looking forward to use it on my upcoming adventure in Chile. My personal results of the lens are congruent with the ones from other professional lens reviewers, although I have to stress that I had not yet the chance to photograph the brightest part of the Milky Way. This is because I live in the northern hemisphere where it is not visible during winter. Images from Chile will follow soon to show its capabilities as astrophotography lens. Make sure you follow me on social media to stay up to date or subscribe to my e-mail list down below.

The price of this item is currently CHF 415.80.- in Switzerland and can be purchased here.

What is your experience with the Sigma 16mm f/1.4? Do you have any questions?

6 Responses

  1. Great review. I have the 16mm as well. I’m very happy with it and I do mostly video. So looking forward to shooting more footage as well.

    • Hi Brandon, thanks for the compliment. Indeed, the Sigma 16mm is a superb lens not only for photography, but also videography. Especially, the smooth focus ring allows for stunning focus pulls.
      Enjoy filming!
      Tom

  2. Glad you posted samples. Thanks for doing that!

    Ordered my lens this morning!

    • Hi Noah, you’re welcome. I think sample images are the best way to judge a lens by yourself.
      Enjoy your new lens!
      Tom

  3. I adore the Sigma 60mm 2.8 and the 30mm 1.4. I think you have just convinced me to get the 16mm too. I was unsure about the size, but it seems worth it for super sharp wide landscapes and improved manual focus. I think that will be the end of my search then: a holy trinity of 16mm, 30mm, 60mm, which on M43 is a bit of an odd 32mm, 60mm and 120mm. Plus I use a G7 so for 4K video it is more like 35mm (that sounds good), 66mm and 132mm. For photos these lenses are so good that you can crop and they will still bebetter than a longer lens.

    • Hi Mat, glad I could help. It is indeed a superb lens and I think in your Sigma trinity it will fit in exceptionally.
      All the best
      Tom

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