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Sig­ma breaks into the fight for Fuji­film X. Pho­to: blog.sigmaphoto.com

In love with Fuji­film, but glass prices have not been encour­ag­ing late­ly? Looks like you have good news! And we’re not talk­ing about the “Chi­nese”.

Fujifilm and third parties

Alter­na­tive lens­es for Fuji­film X are not a very com­mon sto­ry. Main­ly because the com­pa­ny itself already has an exten­sive col­lec­tion of glass­es for every taste and bud­get, and it is dif­fi­cult to squeeze into this niche. By the way, you can read about the best Fuji lens­es here.

Of course, there are excep­tions, such as ZEISS, which we often remem­ber about late­ly. About ten years ago, the Ger­mans released a line of Touit fix­es. A few more aut­o­fo­cus glass­es are avail­able from Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers, for exam­ple, Vil­trox.

But recent­ly, such giants have decid­ed to enter this ter­ri­to­ry, which you usu­al­ly remem­ber when talk­ing about “third-par­ty lens­es”: Tam­ron and Sig­ma. And if Tam­ron has just announced the devel­op­ment of its first zoom for Fuji­film cam­eras — Tam­ron 18–300mm f / 3.5–6.3 Di III‑A VC VXD Fuji­film X, then Sig­ma has already made the first move.

The com­pa­ny has released a trio of prime lens­es: Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN, Sig­ma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN and Sig­ma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN. These are well-known opti­cal designs that have been on the mar­ket for quite some time — such lens­es were avail­able for Sony E (16mm, 30mm, 56mm) and Canon M (16mm, 30mm, 56mm), and now they are adapt­ed for Fuji­film.

Analogues of the new Sigma in the line of Fujifilm lenses

The entire set from Sig­ma fits in a small pho­to bag along with the “car­cass”. Pho­to: blog.sigmaphoto.com

For the Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN, the direct com­peti­tor is the Fuji­film XF 16mm F1.4 R WR, a lens with the same focal length and aper­ture.

As for the Sig­ma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, there is no 30mm lens in the Fuji­film line, but there is a brand new 33mm lens — Fuji­film XF 33mm F1.4 R LM WR.

And of course Fuji­film has the famous XF 56mm F1.2 R — it’s not exact­ly the same glass as the Sig­ma, but very sim­i­lar.

Case and design

Fuji­film 56mm f / 1.2, like oth­er native fix­es, is equipped with both a focus ring and an aper­ture ring … Pho­to: Reviewed.com / Kyle Looney0

All three Sig­ma lens­es are part of the well-known Con­tem­po­rary line — all three have a cool met­al body and a nice design.

Fuji­film lens­es also have an all-met­al body and an equal­ly inter­est­ing design, but in a retro style that is char­ac­ter­is­tic of the com­pa­ny.

Sig­ma mod­els have basic dust and mois­ture pro­tec­tion in the form of a rub­ber ring around the bay­o­net. All three Fuji­film “glass­es” also have pro­tec­tion against dust and mois­ture, as indi­cat­ed by the let­ters WR (weath­er resistеnt — “weath­er pro­tec­tion”) in the title.

The lens­es of the Sig­ma Con­tem­po­rary line are quite com­pact for their focal lengths and aper­tures. Let’s com­pare them with Fujika­mi in terms of weight.

  • Fuji­film 16mm f/1.4 — 375 grams.
  • Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 — 405 grams.

Here Sig­ma los­es slight­ly, and in prac­tice you are unlike­ly to notice a dif­fer­ence in weight.

  • Fuji­film 33mm f/1.4 — 360 grams.
  • Sig­ma 30mm f/1.4 — 275 grams.

Fuji­film is already “thick­er” here, a more com­plex opti­cal design affects: 15 ele­ments in 10 groups for Fuji­film ver­sus 9 ele­ments in 5 groups for Sig­ma. How this affects the qual­i­ty of the pic­ture, we’ll talk below.

  • Fuji­film 56mm f/1.2 — 405 grams.
  • Sig­ma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN — 280 grams.

Here the dif­fer­ence is even more notice­able, but this is com­plete­ly log­i­cal — Fuji­film is more aper­ture, which inevitably leads to an increase in weight.

… which, unfor­tu­nate­ly, can­not be said about Sig­ma. Pho­to cred­it: fujilove.com

And now an impor­tant gen­er­al point that applies to all pre­sent­ed Sig­ma and Fuji­film lens­es. Sig­ma glass­es have no con­trols on the body except for the man­u­al focus ring: there is no aut­o­fo­cus / man­u­al focus selec­tion but­ton, there are no cus­tom but­tons, but the main prob­lem is there is no aper­ture set­ting ring. And this is one of the big prob­lems: it is always dif­fi­cult to get used to when you switch from a lens that has a man­u­al aper­ture set­ting to a mod­el that does not.

Fuji­film, as you might have guessed, has a man­u­al aper­ture ring on all mod­els. But there are no addi­tion­al cus­tom but­tons either.

Optics

Although the X‑mount Sig­ma glass­es have not hit the mar­ket yet, we are famil­iar with their optics from lens­es for Sony E and Canon M, so we can eas­i­ly com­pare these coun­ter­parts with­out any prob­lems.

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 vs Fujifilm 16mm f/1.4

Sharp­ness in the cen­ter of the frame at f / 1.4. Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 on the left, Fuji­film 16mm f/1.4 on the right. Pho­tos: Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV.
Sharp­ness at the cor­ners of the frame at f / 1.4. Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 on the left, Fuji­film 16mm f/1.4 on the right. Pho­tos: Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV.

Both lens­es are very sharp, but still the Sig­ma has a slight advan­tage in the cen­ter and cor­ners.

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 vs Fujifilm 33mm f/1.4

Sharp­ness in the cen­ter of the frame at f / 1.4. Sig­ma 30mm f/1.4 on the left, Fuji­film 33mm f/1.4 on the right. Pho­tos: Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV.
Sharp­ness at the cor­ners of the frame f / 1.4. Sig­ma 30mm f/1.4 on the left, Fuji­film 33mm f/1.4 on the right. Pho­tos: Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV.

Fuji­film looks a bit sharp­er here, espe­cial­ly around the edges. Keep in mind that Fuji­film 33mm is a new mod­el with the lat­est optics and a large num­ber of opti­cal ele­ments.

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 vs Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2

Sharp­ness in the cen­ter of the frame at f / 1.4. Sig­ma 56mm f/1.4 on the left, Fuji­film 56mm f/1.2 on the right. Pho­tos: Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV.
Sharp­ness at the cor­ners of the frame at f / 1.4. Sig­ma 56mm f/1.4 on the left, Fuji­film 56mm f/1.2 on the right. Pho­tos: Youtube chan­nel DPRe­view TV.

At f / 1.4 (recall that the max­i­mum aper­ture of the Fuji­film 56mm is f / 1.2, and sharp­ness usu­al­ly increas­es with clos­ing the aper­ture) the dif­fer­ence in sharp­ness is almost not notice­able.

In short, the lens­es don’t dif­fer too much in terms of optics, so you need to look at oth­er fac­tors.

Price for Sigma lenses for Fujifilm

The price has always been an impor­tant advan­tage of Sig­ma com­pared to native glass­es. While we don’t have the final price of these lens­es specif­i­cal­ly for Fuji­film X, we can com­pare them with coun­ter­parts for Sony E and Canon M, the price of which is unlike­ly to be sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent.

  • Fuji­film 16mm f/1.4 — $999
  • Sig­ma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN $449

Con­sid­er­ing that the Sig­ma optics look sharp­er, we have no argu­ments why Fuji­film should be cho­sen. Except, of course, for the same aper­ture ring, but does this jus­ti­fy the twofold dif­fer­ence in price? The ques­tion, as you know, is rhetor­i­cal.

  • Fuji­film 33mm f/1.4 — $799
  • Sig­ma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN $339

Yes, Fuji­film is a bit sharp­er here, but again the price is more than dou­ble.

  • Fuji­film 56mm f/1.2 — $999
  • Sig­ma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN $479

Fuji­film is more aper­ture and here the dif­fer­ence in price is more jus­ti­fied.

Lenses for Fujifilm X by Viltrox

Alter­na­tive lens­es from the Chi­nese com­pa­ny Vil­trox can hard­ly be called direct com­peti­tors for native Fuji­film glass­es — their optics are notice­ably weak­er (unlike Sig­ma), they do not have dust and mois­ture pro­tec­tion, but if the price is a deci­sive fac­tor for you, then you can look at such options:

  • Vil­trox XF 33mm f/1.4 XF.
  • Vil­trox AF 56mm f/1.4 XF.

Both lens­es are full met­al, aut­o­fo­cus and have a man­u­al aper­ture ring. There is no direct ana­logue for the 16mm Fuji, and among the wide-angle mod­els there is only the longer tele­pho­to Vil­trox 23mm f/1.4 STM.

Results

We are wait­ing for new mod­els from Sig­ma for Fuji X. For exam­ple, I would like to see a tele­zoom. Pho­to: ivanjoshualoh.com

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