When it comes to weddings and portrait photography there is one lens you can guarantee every photographer will have in his bag and that’s a 70-200 f2.8 of some sort or another, the Canon and Nikon versions of this lens are simply stunning when it comes to image and build quality. But, what if you don’t shoot with a full frame sensor and want the equivalent focal length for your crop camera? what do you do then? none of the big camera manufacturers really cater for us crop sensor users……that is until now!
Introducing the Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 DC Art lens
I was in just that situation recently, I currently own the Nikon D600 and D7100, the D600 being full frame (FX) and the D7100 being crop frame (DX). I needed something in the 70-200 range but didn’t want to be swapping out lenses on the full frame all the time, especially when shooting a wedding! so after seeing that Sigma have produced this 50-100mm f1.8 for APS-C (crop) sensored cameras, I thought I must try it, as this would give the equivalent focal length with the crop factor as a 75-150mm which is close enough to the 70-200mm range I was looking for. If you were shooting two crop sensor bodies this would pair up lovely with the Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 lens, giving the near perfect combination of wide to telephoto focal length for a wedding or portrait shoot, just something for you double DX shooters to think about…..
I am so pleased I did go for it with this lens and to be completely honest I have been blown away by the performance of this lens for the money. The sharpness at the maximum aperture of f1.8 is unbelievable for a zoom lens, you can really blow the background to a creamy blur. At f2.8 make sure you are wearing gloves because it’s incredibly sharp , It peaks at f4 , anything beyond that and you really wont be able to discern much difference. It has an 83mm filter thread at the front element, which will unfortunately mean purchasing new filters for some people , it really is a big piece of glass but the design is beautiful. Well done Sigma!
The build quality of this lens is SOLID!! It is of a full metal construction and weighs in at a whopping 1.5kg, so it is a very heavy lens. To the left of the barrel is the manual / auto focusing switch, that is the only switch as there is no image stabilization on this lens.
It comes with a tripod collar which some reviewers have said “gets in the way”, I can say from my experience I didn’t find this to be a problem but I would have maybe liked it to be a little larger if anything, to use it as a hand grip but like I said before it’s no biggy. This lens is without a shadow of a doubt built to last, with one major flaw, there is NO weather sealing or proofing on this lens, which I myself find surprising as they have put so much effort into all other aspects of it.
The autofocus works well , maybe not quite the fastest but it is practically silent and accurate which is always a welcome bonus. The manual focus ring is large and to the front of the lens and is smooth and firm with absolutely zero play in it! which again is just how I like it. One other big thing with this lens is that it is a parfocal lens which means it will hold the focus point while you zoom in and out, this will be an added bonus for any videographers thinking about buying this lens.
The lens can be purchased in the U.K for around £800/900 which isn’t cheap by any means but in comparison to the Nikon and Canon 70-200’s this is quite some price difference. There simply isn’t another DX lens, offering this focal length and quality, anywhere.
This certainly is a lens worth looking at if you are in a situation like I was, It has proved itself worthy with me already for shooting weddings and portraits and general work. I am certainly not going to be letting this one go for a long long time…..All in all this is a first class lens that will fail to disappoint and one worthy of being in any DX shooters bag!
Pros:- Sharp wide open Cons:- No weather sealing
Extremely sharp at f4 Autofocus not blazingly fast
Extremely well built No image stabilization
Great Dx focal length