Best prime lens
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Best prime lens

Shortlist:

  • Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
  • Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM
  • Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM
  • Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN

Runner-up: Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

The launch of several new mirrorless systems has helped 2018 become a bumper year for interesting prime lenses. The fact that after a lot of discussion, Canon's ambitious (and super-sharp) RF 50mm F1.2L just missed out on an award gives a hint of how hotly-contested this category was.

One of the lenses that really caught our eye this year was the Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary. The 56mm F1.4 is the third in a set of affordable Sigma F1.4 lenses for Sony's E-mount and the Micro Four Thirds system, and like the existing 30mm and 16mm lenses, the 56mm makes most sense on the APS-C format, where it's equivalent to a classic 85mm portrait lens.

The 56mm F1.4 DC DN is small, light and, with an MSRP under $500, very sensibly priced. More than this, though, it's sharp, fast to focus and exhibits pleasant bokeh, as a portrait lens should. In our view this makes it a great addition to the otherwise slightly under-served Sony APS-C E-mount lineup. We only wish it were available for other mirrorless APS-C mounts.

See our Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN
sample gallery