The Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Contemporary Review


The Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Modern’s extensive angle of view, glossy type, and vivid most aperture make it a perfect lens for photographers with an eye fixed for landscapes, interiors, and nighttime skies.


  • Broad wide-angle view
  • Shiny F2 optics
  • Fast, quiet focus motor
  • On-lens aperture management
  • Basic black aluminum end


  • Not totally climate resistant
  • Uncooked captures require distortion correction
  • Noticeable focus respiration


Dimensions2.9 by 2.8 inches
Weight13.1 oz
Filter Thread62 mm
MountLeica L, Sony E
Focal Size (Broad)20 mm
Optical StabilizationNone
Focus TypeAutofocus

The Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Modern ($699) is the most recent addition to the corporate’s I Collection, a lineup of lenses with a throwback aluminum aesthetic. It covers the widest angle but—a 20mm view on appropriate full-frame cameras—and inherits the on-lens aperture management, elegant seems to be, and robust optical efficiency from different entries within the Collection. You may get it for L-mount cameras, the place it is at the moment peerless, or for Sony E-mount our bodies, the business it competes instantly with the $900 Sony FE 20mm F1.8 G. The Sigma 20mm performs effectively and affords robust worth, however, the FE 20mm stays our Editors’ Selection winner for Sony photographers.

Understated Fashion

The 20mm F2 DG DN Modern seems upscale on any appropriate digital camera; you may want personal. Its aluminum barrel incorporates a matte black end, whereas a shiny accent ring sits between the aperture and focus controls. It is a reasonably small lens given its angle of view and aperture—it measures 2.9 by 2.8 inches (HD), weighs 13.1 ounces, and uses 62mm entrance filters.

The lens ships with a steel hood that you could connect in reverse for storage. The hood has distinctive knurled ridges that match these on the guide focus ring. Sigma consists of two caps within the field: a typical pinch cap and a showy magnetic steel one. The pinch cap could be very sensible and straightforward to seize at its heart. The steel cap is undoubtedly prettier; however, it requires a nimbler contact to remove it from the lens, particularly if the hood is hooked up. Solely the lens mount consists of mud and splash safety. I would not fear utilizing the 20mm in mild precipitation; however, you should not take it out in an umbrella climate. The hood is helpful for flare resistance and for maintaining drops and stray fingerprints away from the entrance glass. Sigma skipped an anti-smudge fluorine coating for the entrance factor, so it’s best to deal with it with additional care.

The 20mm Modern is offered for L-mount cameras from Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma, in addition to for E-mount Sony mirrorless fashions. Sigma despatched us the E-mount model of the lens, and we paired it with the full-frame a7R IV within the lab and area.

The L-mount system would not at the moment supply some other 20mm primes with autofocus, at the least not at press time. The Sigma 24mm F2 DG DN Contemporary and Panasonic S 24mm F1.eight are the closest alternate options; however, they do not supply as extensive an angle of view. Sony photographers have several extra choices; each of those above (however pricier) FE 20mm F1.eight G and the additional inexpensive Tamron 20mm F2.8 Di III OSD M1:2 supply the identical focal size, for instance.

Dealing with and Focus

The 20mm F2 DG DN Modern options on-lens aperture and guide focus controls. The aperture ring goes from f/2 using f/22 in third-stop clicks and consists of an A setting if you happen to choose to regulate the f-stop from the digital camera. You do not get the choice to de-click the ring for silent operation, nevertheless, which is one thing to contemplate if you are planning to use the lens for video. Sony’s 20mm F1.8G goes additional right here—you may swap between quiet and clicked aperture modes.

The main target respiration impact—during which the angle of view adjustments with focus—is noticeable and might be distracting if you wish to use the lens for video pictures that shift the airplane of stress for a dramatic impact. That is much less of a priority if you happen to intend to use the 20mm as a significant possibility for walk-and-talks, vlogging, or some other pictures where the main focus stays on a similar topic nevertheless. The quiet STM motor that drives the autofocus works easily and shortly. With the a7R IV, the lens goes from close-up to infinity focus in a fast beat, about 0.2 seconds. It is more significant than quick sufficient for typical wide-angle scenes.

Guide focus is a choice, and you may swap between the 2 modes by way of the AF/MF toggle on the lens. I loved the expertise—the ring turns with a delightful quantity of resistance and with no lag. E-mount cameras’ response is nonlinear—a fast flip shifts the main focus dramatically, whereas slower, deliberate turns make tremendous changes. That is preferred for photographers; however, videographers are inclined to choose a linear response, one during which the shift in focus is dependent upon the angle of rotation, not the pace at which you flip it. For those utilizing the 20mm for an L-mount mannequin, you may select between these two modes through the digital camera menu; however, E-mount photographers are caught with the nonlinear focus mode.

Shut-up focus is offered to eight.7 inches (22cm) for a simple 1:6.7 macro, not unhealthy for a large lens. It is versatile sufficient for close-up pictures, and while you miss out on the very tiny topics that 1:1 alternate macro options just like the Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro Art can seize, I am reasonably pleased with the working distance. The Sony FE 20mm F1.eight G focuses a bit nearer for more considerable 1:4.5 outcomes for those who choose a bit extra magnification from a large angle. Tamron’s inexpensive 20mm F2.eight beats each with 1:2 macro effects; however, its angle of view narrows fairly a bit whenever you focus shut, and its autofocus motor is sluggish as compared.

Sigma 20mm F2 Modern: Within the Lab

To judge its optical efficiency, I paired the 20mm F2 with the 60MP Sony a7R IV and Imatest software program. Lab checks deliver excellent readability towards the middle of the body (5,000 strains) and excellent marks (4,000 songs) off-center, even extensive open. Edges crisp up at narrower apertures—by f/4, the lens is edge-to-edge sharp for landscapes. According to the pricier Sony FE 20mm, efficiency is actual at wider apertures. Whereas the Sony pulls forward by f/5.6, it is advisable to use a high-resolution a7R or a1 physique to reap these advantages.

The 20mm F2 blurs backgrounds at extensive apertures, although it is advisable to work at nearer distances for comfortable bokeh results. Highlights present a distinct cat-eye look at edges and corners at f/2; however, they look extra round by f/2.eight due to the nine-blade aperture.

The Sunstar impact, where the lens attracts the solar or different vivid factors with a multi-point starburst round it, is a fascinating search for some panorama work. The 20mm F2 draws its most outlined sunbursts at f/22; however, it effectively delivers the impact at f/16.

In-camera corrections mechanically compensate for some optical compromises, notably heavy barrel distortion and a vignette on the edges of the body. It is advisable for those who work in Uncooked format to deal with these yourself. We examined this lens forward to its official launch. We did not have entry to an Adobe correction profile; however, we discovered {that a} guide correction of +40 on the distortion slider fixes the problem. Adobe profiles each mainstream lens, so it is solely a matter of time earlier than it provides a Lightroom profile for this one.

I Collection Broadens Its Horizons

The Sigma 20mm F2 DG DN Modern is available with the broadest view but from an I Collection lens and retains a similar design ethos from different entries within the lineup. Sigma emphasizes the ergonomics of those lenses; we benefit from the tactile aperture ring, the superb guide focus expertise, and the comparatively compact and lightweight construct. The 20mm is simple to squeeze into your shoulder bag and makes for an affordable package with a full-frame digital camera.

The 20mm angle catches a bit extra of the world than additional frequent 24mm choices, and right here, the intense aperture turns out to be useful for work in dim mild—architectural interiors and astrophotography come to thoughts—and to blur out the background. For those vloggers who information handheld video onto the digital camera, you may respect the comfortable environments it attracts.

For the L-mount, the 20mm Modern is without competitors—if you’d like a 20mm prime with autofocus, that is it. The Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 covers the identical focal size; however, its plastic construct and slender f-stop do not match the 20mm’s aluminum development and F2 optics.

Sony E-mount photographers have the FE 20mm F1.eight G to mull. It prices about $200 extra; however, options higher safety towards the weather, focuses a bit of nearer and ekes out a win in high optical quality. However, our Editors’ Selection winner by a nostril does not depend on the Sigma out if you happen to choose its type and lower cost.

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