Sigma 19mm on NEX - Initial impressions

Started Apr 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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ebrandon Regular Member • Posts: 459
Sigma 19mm on NEX - Initial impressions

I seem to be one of the first people to get his hands on the Sigma 19mm f2.8 for NEX, so thought it would be good to share some initial impressions and images.

I've only used the lens for an hour, so these are preliminary observations and whatever images I could get with the NEX 5N in the hour between UPS delivery and sunset.

The lens is medium sized, about half the size of the 18-55mm kit lens or 50mm f1.8. It's high quality plastic, and comes with nice solid hood, a pinch cap which works well with the hood, and a nice pouch. The front element looks small.

It has large, smooth, manual focus ring which isn't moved by autofocusing, and can be rotated whether the camera is in AF or MF mode.

It autofocuses fairly quickly and very quietly.

Looking at the pictures when I got home, I had the following observations:

  • The lens is very sharp even wide open

  • It has richly saturated colors

  • It's a fairly low-contrast / high-detail lens

  • I didn't notice any vignetting

  • The bokeh is quite decent

  • The lens has strong barrel distortion in RAW

  • It has a little bit of purple fringing at highlight edges in RAW

  • My preliminary impression is that it has fairly pronounced field curvature

The NEX 5N jpg engine corrects both the barrel distortion and the PF. This lens is a no-brainer for JPG shooters, but RAW shooters should expect to correct at least the barrel distortion on almost every picture.

Here are few sample images:
Shot in RAW @ f7.1, quite heavily cropped and processed

Slightly cropped out-of-camera JPG @ f5.6

Out of camera JPG @ f4 showing both field curvature & jpg engine autocorrecting barrel distortion

Slightly processed uncropped RAW @ f8

Slightly processed RAW @ f4, vignetting added in post.

Processed RAW @ f3.2 showing bokeh

Cropped JPG @ f4

I'm comparing this lens to the Voigtlander 15mm f4.5, OM 18mm f3.5, Nikon AF-D 20mm f2.8, OM 21mm f2, Contax G 21mm f2.8, Canon EF-S 10-22mm, and Sony 16-80mm all of which I own(ed) and use(d) on NEX 5N.

I think this little lens holds it own, with a muted contrast/high detail rending all it's own, excellent ergonomics, and a ridiculously low price.

 ebrandon's gear list:ebrandon's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Ricoh GR Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Nikon D600 Canon EOS 6D +2 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5
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