A fast wide-angle prime lens for M4/3 and NEX compact systems cameras.

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The 19mm f/2.8 DN A is one of three new ‘Art’ class, fast prime lenses from Sigma, produced for the Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) and Sony’s E-mount NEX cameras. The AF 30mm f/2.8 EX DN the 60mm f/2.8 DN have been reviewed separately.

This year’s update saw some changes to the ‘look’ of the original lenses, with smooth metal focusing rings replacing the plastic ones on the previous models. The second-generation 19mm lens also features improved autofocusing. We tested the M4/3 version of this lens on our Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.

On the E-M5, this lens covers an angle of view equivalent to 38mm on a 35mm camera (on Sony’s NEX cameras it’s equivalent to 28.5mm). The telecentric optical design comprises eight elements in six groups with three glass-moulded aspherical lenses to correct distortion, colour aberration and field curvature. Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer Coating is applied to minimise flare and ghosting.

A new ultrasonic linear AF motor moves the lens elements directly without requiring gears or other mechanical parts. This system provides quiet and accurate autofocusing for capturing still images and recording video movies.

Although stabilisation isn’t absolutely necessary for wide-angle lenses, it can be an advantage when shooting in dim lighting. Because this lens isn’t stabilised, it’s better suited to cameras with stabilisation built-in, such as the Olympus OM-D and PEN models, rather than Panasonic and Sony cameras.

The lens is supplied with front and end caps plus a barrel-shaped hood. It accepts 46 mm filters.

Who’s it for?
This lens will suit photographers with mirrorless compact system cameras (CSCs) who want a fast prime lens with a moderately wide angle of view. It’s great for shooting in cramped environments and the minimum focusing distance of 20 cm provides some potential for close-up use.

It works particularly well with Olympus OM-D and PEN models, which have built-in stabilisation but its angle of view and general handling qualities make stabilisation less important than it would be for longer lenses. Consequently, it could match up well with Panasonic G-series bodies.

Other review sites have commented that it is better suited to M4/3 cameras than Sony’s NEX models which have larger sensors.

See full review with specs, test charts and sample images

Rating

Build

8.5

Handling

8.8

Autofocusing

8.8

Image quality

8.6

Versatility

8.3

OVERALL

8.8

RRP:  AU$199; US$250 (MSRP)