on September 1, 2013
I had seen a couple of positive reviews of the Sigma 60mm f2.8 lens (which is offered in both Sony NEX and Panasonic/Olympus MFT mounts, with electrical contacts for AF, AE, and EXIF) and also the sample photos that were included, but they did not prepare me for what this relatively inexpensive lens can do! I have many Panasonic (and also some Voightlander, Tamron, and Nikon) lenses that work well on my Panasonic MFT bodies, but this lens beats them all for optical quality. It is sharp to the corners wide-open (and it's also good even when well stopped down); it does not flare; there are (so far) no observable ghosts from strong light sources being in or near the frame edge; there is virtually NO CA(!) even under very difficult conditions which normally result in noticeable CA problems (unlike with the two shorter FL Sigma f2.8 lenses in the same line-up); there is very low linear distortion; this lens remains sharp over a wide range of focus distances (which is not true for all lenses); and this first sample I tried appears to be well-aligned optically and mechanically, something that is all too rare (lens samples often do vary, regardless of brand or cost). I - am - impressed! Its minor irritations (a slippery-smooth focus ring makes the lens somewhat awkward to focus manually and also to hang onto securely; there is no internal stabilizer; it doesn't mount onto the camera as smoothly as other lenses and adapters that I have; it doesn't focus very closely - but I have some good achromatic close-up lenses that fit on its front to cure that shortcoming; the included shade is at best just OK, so I use a different shade; the internal focusing section rattles fairly loudly unless the power is on - but this is normal; and the plastic front doesn't even pretend to speak "quality-construction") - but all this becomes meaningless when one sees what its image-quality is like, even from wide open, even to the corners (on MFT). I will use a couple of wide rubber bands to "cure" the most important deficiency/quirk in the design. I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS LENS (and I would give it six stars if I could!;-).
on May 17, 2015
This lens is sharp. I am going to gear my review for those who are deciding between this one and the Sony 50mm f1.8. I own both and they each serve their purpose. If you are into videography, get the Sony. The Sigma is loud and focusing while recording, from what I've seen online, is not as smooth. The thing that the Sony lens has that gives it an edge over the Sigma is OSS (Optical Steady Shot) and being faster (f1.8). To me, the OSS is not that big of a deal. Some of the best lens is not optically stabilized. As long as you you know to have your shutter speed faster than your focal length, you will be fine. Now if you are shooting in low light and have to lower your shutter speed, then yes, this lens will be great. And that is why I own both. As for me, I mostly shoot with OSS turned off on my A6000 to save battery. Now, to the comparison.
I know that the Sony is faster then the Sigma at f1.8, but in my tests, the Sigma was brighter. I think this is due to that fact that the Sony's lens has one extra element that light has to go through (see the attached images). Both pictures were shot at f4.0 ISO 400 and a shutter speed of 1/90. The Sigma is on the left and Sony on the right. The focus was placed on the Swingline text on the stapler. As you can see, the Sigma is brighter (look at the background). I did the same thing wide open and the same held true (sorry, those pictures aren't loaded). So while Sony is f1.8 and the Sigma is f2.8, from what I can tell, Sigma is brighter.
Now, I am not a pixel peeper and I am not going to get into chromatic aberrations and other jargon. Not that it doesn't mater, but it's not that important to me. In any case, both lens perform great in that department. The Sony lens is more contrasty. Look at the black text on the paper. Sony, on the right, has more punch. The text is blacker. This could be due to Sigma being more brighter as stated above, but I just wanted to point that out.
Now for bokeh. The closer you are to a subject the more out of focus the background will be, so based on that knowledge, the Sigma's bokeh will be better (in my opinion). The aperture blade count is the same on both lens so that didn't play into the outcome. They both can be used for portrait and street photography.
I haven't tested this yet, but from watching youtube, Davin from Levikka photography stated that the silver model scratches easily and he recommends getting the black version. I own the silver, due the fact it was backordered (and I got impatient). I will let you know in future updates if this true.
Overall, if you're deciding between the two, either one would be a great choice. If OSS is very important to you then the Sony is one for you. If sharpness and detail is more important to you, then the Sigma has your name written all over it. If you get the Sigma for budget reasons, you will not regret it.
I apologize if the picture quality is not that great. My old version of Adobe was not compatible with Office 2013 and I had to use Paint to crop the pictures.
My new Sigma arrived packaged in an unassuming white box. Inside I found a handsome satin black lens, padded nylon case, caps, paperwork and a small plastic hood. The hood twists on and locks after it passes over a notch. For a MFT prime lens, it's on the stout side: shorter than my Lumix 14-45 but longer and much fatter than my Oly 17mm F/1.8. The black finish and fast aperture make it a great lens for stealthy street snaps.
The fit and finish of this Japan-made optic are excellent. The inner barrel and retaining rings are plastic with a metal shell and mount. I was surprised by a "sheesh" sound as I changed apertures, apparently the sound of the auto diaphragm stopping down. It's pianissimo but I can hear it indoors.
FOCUS: Mounted on my E-P3, AF is silent and reasonably fast in dim light, but not as fast or sure-footed as my Olympus 45mm F1.8. Manual focus is activated by turning the entire barrel! The lens barrel is smooth metal but is grippy enough since you can fit several fingers around it. It seemed odd at first but works fine: grab the entire lens barrel and turn. Manual focus ring movement is smooth and fine in pitch, making focus pulls in video a breeze. I would judge manual focus to be a couple levels better than my Olympus 45mm F1.8 and similar in smoothness and pitch to the Olympus 17mm F1.8.
IMAGE QUALITY: Image quality is excellent wide open--sharp across the frame--and improves slightly as you stop down. Flare is well controlled as blazing sunsets were perfect. Background blur is nice wide open and the lens focuses close enough for tight portraits. Very pleased with IQ!
GOCHAS: The 50cm--about 20 inches--minimum focus isn't very close and I often needed to back off my subjects. Wish it had a macro mode. I knew it didn't when I bought it but I didn't think I'd miss it. Also, as others have noted, something is flopping around inside because the lens rattles when the camera is off. Once powered up, the mechanism locks in place and the rattle disappears. Finally, since most of the barrel is a manual focus ring, you can only grip and twist it on a tiny area next to the body during mounting/dismounting. If you have large hands, you may find lens changes awkward.
There is no optical image stabilization so hand shake can be problematic in low light. No biggie if you shoot Olympus MFT since they have IBIS. Most Panasonic cameras --save for the GX7--lack IBIS so this lens may not be the best choice for Lumix shooters.
FINAL BLURB: The bottom-line is this lens is a wonderful value and worth every cent I paid for it at DPReview GearShop (Amazon Speciality Store): well made, attractive, sharp, lightweight, tiny and stealthy on the street. Highly recommended.
on December 19, 2014
The Sigma 60mm F2.8 E-Mount Lens is quite amazing given the price. I use this on a Sony a5100 and it produces amazing results. The images are very sharp and I have been very satisfied with the results.
When compared to the Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens, it provides a slightly more detailed and rich shot (see "cropped" image for comparison). With that in mind, the Sony lens is much better suited for handheld indoor settings as it has built in image stabilization, is faster (f/1.8), and the focal length is more suited to indoor spaces.
If you need an excellent prime lens with minimal distortion and find the 60mm (90mm equivalent) focal length usable, then this is a lens to put at the top of your list. The only other prime lens I would consider for image quality over the Sigma is the Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar T* FE ZA Full Frame Prime Lens ($998). If you can spring for this one, I suggest skipping the Sigma. In either case you should not be disappointed using either with your NEX or Alpha E-Mount cameras.
Sharp and Rich Images
Rattling sound from the lens when the camera is off
No Image Stabilization
The attached image was shot on a tripod at F4/ISO 100. Distances were adjusted for each shot to account for the 35mm vs 60mm focal length.
on June 15, 2013
This lens is an excellent value. The image quality is excellent even wide open. It focuses fast in dim light. Bokeh is smooth and pleasing and the lens focuses reasonably close. I haven't noticed any significant CA or flare issues. Manual focus works well also but it has a little strange feel focusing with the slick lens barrel.
The lens is pretty big in both diameter and length. It isn't as big as the Panasonic 45-200mm but it is close. I guess I'm not a fan of the slick lens barrel. It feels a little strange when you use manual focus and I am a little concerned about the lens slipping out of my hand during a fast lens change.
For the price, you really can't beat this lens. I my mind, this is the ideal price point for Micro 4/3 lenses and the image quality is excellent.
Update: To get an idea of how sharp this lens is, it is about like the ZEISS 55mm f/1.8 used on APS-C. Unless you need the aperture or focus speed of that lens get this one (for APS-C use).
This lens is amazing. The image quality is sharp across the frame from wide open, even at f/2.8 in the center it out-resolves the NEX 16 MP sensors. Aberrations are well controlled and so is distortion. The bokeh can be hectic in very specific situations, but is smooth otherwise. Due to the longer focal length of 60mm (I measured at 63mm based on magnification) the lens does a great job of blurring the background and its performance wide open it makes it an excellent portrait lens. Many people like f/1.8 or 2 on a 50mm class lens, but often that depth of field is too shallow.
Focus speed is so-so, probably comparable to the Sony 50mm f/1.8 and manual focus is typical of NEX lenses. The metal focus ring is a bit slippery to grab or just tweak without using a secure grip from your off hand. The included hood is next to useless, it needs to be much deeper for a 60mm lens. The price is excellent, even when compared to the 50mm f/1.8 lens. Both lenses are good, this one is slightly better optically but is a bit over a stop smaller aperture and doesn't have OIS. If you are just concerned about image quality for stills I would go with this lens, if you want OIS for slower shutter speeds (be aware of subject movement) or for video then get the Sony.
The three Sigma lenses are a must have for best performance on the NEX 7 at an affordable price. Most of the native lenses don't do the NEX 7 justice since the resolution is so high.
on March 3, 2016
I'm using this lens on an A6000 and an NEX 5N, primarily for portraits; secondary for photojournalism and travel.
I'm going to start by saying the image quality on this is AMAZING. I have already decided that I'm going to replace all my normal lenses with fixed focal lengths for the Art series. My mind was pretty much blown at the quality. I was actually really concerned because it is so much cheaper than other art lenses, and since the aperture wasn't too much of a concern for me, I went with the cheaper option. And I could not be happier. Really.
It's a sturdy feeling lens and has a metal mount which is a huge thing for me. The front black part is plastic, but the barrel and the rest of the parts as far as I can see are metal. It's also heavy for the size; I have several other primes for my Sony and this is by far the heaviest and most impressive feeling. Manual focus is smooth all the way around with no sticky spots or areas where it becomes more difficult. It's styled well, EXCEPT...
The barrel. That shiny, glossy, slippery metal. That is where you turn for autofocus. It doesn't give much of a sense of "grip" at all. It's basically like walking across ice with 2 more pieces of ice strapped to your feet. And just thinking about it scratches it. My lenses are stored at all times in a Nat Geo backpack in their own separate compartments and STILL this thing looks like my kid keeps it in his toybox. It doesn't affect the functionality of the lens, but it is SO annoying to have that nice shiny mirror-like surface... covered in scratches.
Overall, I love this lens. I'm obsessed with this lens. Thinking about it makes me giddy. Just don't expect it to look new for very long.
on June 4, 2014
I was salivating over the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens for awhile but never pulled the trigger on the $800 lens. Along came the Sigma 60mm with a similar telephoto focal length but 1 1/3 stops slower. The big upside to the Sigma was it selling for 30% of the price of the Olympus. After reading all the positive reviews of the Sigma and an in-depth review on LensTip, I pulled the trigger on the Sigma 60mm f/2.8. I couldn't be happier!
I used to manage a professional photo store for years and tested most of what Nikon, Canon, and Tamron manufactured at the time. I'm particular about my equipment and a pixel peeper. The Sigma is an outstanding lens at a rock bottom price. Wide open the Sigma is sharp from edge to edge. It's quite impressive! The image quality is exceptional if shooting in the f/2.8-8.0 range. Stopping down further, the image quality does falls off. The image quality is of the Sigma 60mm is on par with that of my Olympus 45mm f/1.8. I haven't shot the Olympus 75mm but from the pictures I've seen from it and those I've taken with the Sigma, I feel the Sigma is every bit as sharp also. According to LensTip's resolution tests, they show the Sigma being as sharp or a hair sharper.
Having 1 1/3 stops faster lens, like the Olympus 75mm, is nice for low light situations. However when shooting for shallow depth of field in daylight I often have to stop down to f/2.8-3.5 with my fast M43 lenses anyway because most M43 cameras have a top shutter speed of 1/4000 and a low ISO of 160 or 200. In those situations I often can't utilize the fast speed/shallow depth of field of a lens without a ND filter. That being said having a f/2.8 lens verses f/1.8 isn't as big of a trade as has been with other cameras systems for me.
The Sigma 60mm is made in Japan and the build quality is good, noticeably better than other Sigma lenses I've played around with in its price range. The Sigma 60mm is compact, all things considered. It is slightly longer and fatter than the Panasonic 14-42mm V2 kit lens but half the size of the Nikon 135mm f/2.8 lens I used to shoot. The Sigma 60mm feels good when shooting and the focusing ring is smooth. Like many Panasonic M43 lenses, the Sigma 60mm lens rattles until the camera is turned on. It is completely normal but something that could throw off some people, perhaps Olympus shooters more than Panasonic.
The Sigma 60mm f/2.8 is an outstanding lens. It is sharp from edge to edge wide open. It is well built and feels good when shooting. Considering it sells for $240 or less, the Sigma 60mm is a no brainer if you are in the market for a fast telephoto prime lens. I highly recommend it. My only regret is that I didn't purchase it sooner.
on July 30, 2014
This lens is sharp and fairly bright. I use it on an Olympus body.
Sharp, good Bokeh due to focal length, I think Silver looks sharp on a black body, quick focus and compact. The lens rattle when not powered up is NORMAL, not a defect. Includes a lens hood and has a nice protective case. OEM lenses generally lack a lens hood. So it's a bonus for me.
Since this lens is not OEM, the camera body has no lens correction info, however works pretty good on an Olympus body, with focus and exposure. In my opinion this lens overexposes by about 1/2 to 2/3 of a stop on 60% of my shots.
Shots can be razor sharp, especially on portraits. I'd say open to max aperture.
Some say there isn't much use for the focal length, but I'd disagree. This is perfect for going to the zoo, as animals are at a distance, Use for isolating subjects in landscape photography, etc... Great for not getting in people's faces with distance, but a great focal length for portraits.
Overall this lens is a keeper for me, my only gripe is a little overexposure. But not so much that it cannot be corrected easily, rather have that than underexposure.
Rates fairly well with build quality. If you squeeze the focus ring too hard will not turn. Lighten up a little and and focus is smooth as silk. I do not find manual focus difficult with the smooth finish of the ring.
As far as looks go, focus ring is very bright and smooth, the rest is satin finish and not that reflective.
Overall not a bad investment for outdoors and very bright interiors.
Zooms may be handier for taking snapshots, but the zooms packaged with most interchangeable lenses aren't good for much more than snapshots. They're soft around the edges, the contrast is low, and they don't let in much light. This lens- and the other new Sigma lenses- costs about as much as a cheap 14-42mm zoom, but it is astoundingly better. Not only do you get two or four times as much light gathering ability, it's sharper wide open than the zooms are at their best stopped down aperture, and the contrast is much, much, better. In fact, this lens wide open rivals the best Micro-four-thirds lenses for sharpness at a fraction of the cost.
60mm is equivalent to 120mm in a full frame camera, and combined with the background-blurring possible with an f/2.8 lens and the nice bokeh from the rounded diaphragm leaves, this makes a great portrait lens. It's also great for a lot of nature photography. Downside? It doesn't have image stabilization, but that's only a factor with the lower end Lumix cameras. Olympus cameras and the latest Lumix cameras have in-body stabilization.
However... this particular lens is currently in very short supply. All the respectable mail order dealers and Amazon list it as seriously back ordered. A few less-than-respectable dealers will take your money and tell you oops, we'll ship as soon as one comes in. That means if you want one now, as I'm writing this, you might have to buy used.
My first unit was purchased used from an Amazon vendor, and arrived defective. It wouldn't focus and the camera reported errors when it was mounted. Amazon was very good about paying for the return and quickly credited me. My second unit, also used, came from a well-regarded Southern specialist in used camera gear and is working just fine. So if you want one, be prepared to wait, or if you do buy used, buy from someone you can trust.