Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN is the second lens in the new series of lenses for mirrorless cameras that Sigma has introduced in early 2012. The lens currently is available for both NEX as well as mFT cameras and retails at ~$199 (as of April 2012). Along with its 30/2.8 EX DN cousin, the 19mm lens targets entry level market and fills in a niche between Sony's UWA 16/2.8 and 24/1.8 lenses.
The optical construction of the lens consists of 8 elements in 6 groups, with three aspherical surfaces. The build quality is consumerish, with plastic barrel and plastic knurled focusing ring. The lens is fairly compact and light, measuring 60.6x45.7mm (2.4x1.8in) and weighing 140g (4.9oz). The lens accept 46mm screw-in type filters. Aperture is electronically controlled, with min aperture of f/22. The minimum focusing distance is 20cm (7.9in).
THe manufacturer's box contains the lens, front and rear caps, plastic lens hood and manual/registration cards. Within the scope of this review, the lens was tested on APS-C type Sony NEX-5n and Sony NEX-7 cameras, where its EFOV is 28mm.
|Lens Composition||8 elements in 6 groups|
|Angular Field||59 degrees (Sony NEX)
|f-stop Scale||f/2.8-f/22, electronic|
|Lens Hood||Plastic (included)|
|Lens Case||Soft pouch (included)
|Retail Price||$199 (2012)|
As the first native WA alternative lens, Sigma 19/2.8 holds a lot of promise. Sitting between the ho-hum Sony 16/2.8 and super-expensive Sony Zeiss 24/1.8 lenses, Sigma offers a lof of appeal to someone who is willing to sacrifice a little bit in FL but save in costs and possibly even get an improvement in quality. Performance of the 16/2.8 lens, particularly on the higher resolution NEX-7 cameras has been a thorny issue for many users, so Sigma can easily corner this side of the market, if its second DN lens shows at least as good performance characteristics as the 30/2.8 EX DN, which we reviewed recently.
Like the 30/2.8 EX DN, Sigma 19/2.8 EX DN is a no frills lens. The look and build of this lens is outright unimpressive on the first look, although the plastic barrel actually can withstand some day to day abuse, including occasional bangs against much harder places. The lens sports a focusing ring, but lacks any other feature commonly found in most SLR and rangefinder lenses, like aperture ring or DOF/distance scale. Sigma incorporated a linear AF motor, which is disengaged when the camera is powered off. This results in some rattling noise when you move the camer/lens combo, but goes away when the camera is turned on and the AF motor is locked in. The lens supports manual focusing as well as manual focus adjust while in DMF and full AF in movie mode. AF operation is slightly slower than with the 30/2.8, but generally the lens focuses on subjects withn 1 to 2 seconds. The usual caveats apply - dimly lit environments and low contrast scenes cause the AF to hunt. Without the DOF/distance scale you would end up relying on the EVF for focusing, which is certainly more convinient in some situations. The focusing ring give about 180 degrees of rotational thrust to those interested in manual focusing this lens.