Pho­to: naturettl.com

“Native” lens­es for cam­eras are expen­sive. Some­times very. But there is a sal­va­tion for your bud­get and psy­che — Sig­ma with its high-qual­i­ty and inex­pen­sive “glass­es”. For exam­ple, the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 will cost 130 thou­sand rubles, but the ana­logue from Sig­ma, which is not much infe­ri­or to Sony’s super por­trait, is one and a half times cheap­er. In our rank­ing you will find the best Sig­ma lens­es for any task — from astro to macro pho­tog­ra­phy!

What is important to know about Sigma lenses

Sig­ma optics are com­pat­i­ble with pop­u­lar brands of cam­eras includ­ing Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pen­tax, Leica, as well as var­i­ous cin­e­ma cam­eras. But when choos­ing a Sig­ma lens, make sure that the mod­el you are inter­est­ed in has the mount nec­es­sary for your cam­era.

Most often, Sig­ma releas­es vari­ants of the same mod­el for dif­fer­ent mounts. At the same time, some mod­els for SLR and mir­ror­less cam­eras may have the same name, but dif­fer some­what in terms of optics. In terms of mir­ror­less cam­eras, Sig­ma has focused exclu­sive­ly on Sony and the L mount (Leica, Pana­son­ic and Sig­ma), but with the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of full-frame mir­ror­less cam­eras among oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers, we may soon see spe­cial lens­es for the Canon EOS R and Nikon Z.

In this rat­ing, we have col­lect­ed for you the best Sig­ma glass­es of sev­en main types — por­trait prime, uni­ver­sal prime, stan­dard zoom, wide-angle zoom, tele­zoom, macro and cin­e­ma lens­es. In addi­tion to the win­ner, in many nom­i­na­tions you will also find alter­na­tive options: mod­els with a dif­fer­ent choice of focal lengths or with oth­er mounts.

We rat­ed each mod­el on a ten-point scale: this score reflects not only the lev­el of the lens itself (strong assem­bly, beau­ti­ful pic­ture and addi­tion­al good­ies), but also how good it is in terms of price-to-qual­i­ty ratio, because attrac­tive price is one of the main argu­ments for in favor of lens­es from third-par­ty man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Best portrait: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Of course, the Sig­ma 85mm f/1.4 is not the small­est lens, but the pic­ture qual­i­ty and high aper­ture more than com­pen­sate for all the incon­ve­niences. Pho­to: blogdozack.com.br

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sig­ma SA, Sony FE
— Excel­lent sharp­ness
— High aper­ture
— Fair­ly large and heavy
— No sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem
Rat­ing: 9/10

Accord­ing to many experts and pho­tog­ra­phy enthu­si­asts, the Sig­ma 85mm f/1.4 Art is one of the best por­trait lens­es for any sys­tem.

Launched in 2016, the mod­el has cap­ti­vat­ed users with its excep­tion­al opti­cal per­for­mance and abil­i­ty to cap­ture the finest details even at wide open aper­tures. The qual­i­ty of the body and build of this lens is on par with its optics, even though it is at a low­er price point than com­peti­tors from Canon and Nikon.

The por­trait lens from Sig­ma is quite large and heavy, but its main draw­back is, per­haps, the lack of opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion. But, if your cam­era is equipped with a built-in sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, this prob­lem does not con­cern you.

In 2020, the DN (Dig­i­tal Native) series, devel­oped specif­i­cal­ly for Sony FE and L (Pana­son­ic / Leica / Sig­ma) mir­ror­less sys­tems, released a mod­el with iden­ti­cal focal length and aper­ture — Sig­ma 85mm f / 1.4 DG DN Art. How­ev­er, this is the only sim­i­lar­i­ty between the two lens­es, oth­er­wise they use com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent optics. The new por­trait lens also received a fair­ly high rat­ing from pho­tog­ra­phers, but it is still far from the leg­endary sta­tus of the Sig­ma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art.

Best Universal Fix: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

The fast aper­ture clas­sic from Sig­ma is suit­able for shoot­ing land­scapes and atmos­pher­ic por­traits. Pho­to: Youtube chan­nel Christo­pher Frost

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Pen­tax KAF3, Sig­ma SA, Sony/Minolta Alpha, Sony
— Excel­lent optics
— Fast, qui­et and accu­rate aut­o­fo­cus
— No weath­er pro­tec­tion
— Bokeh in the form of “onion rings“
Rat­ing: 9/10

The 35mm prime is one of the clas­sic lens­es in pho­tog­ra­phy and Sig­ma has a real­ly cool option. First of all, the Sig­ma 35mm f / 1.4 DG HSM Art stands out for its optics: “glass” shoots with vir­tu­al­ly no dis­tor­tion and chro­mat­ic aber­ra­tion, with col­or repro­duc­tion at the high­est lev­el. And in terms of sharp­ness, this lens eas­i­ly out­per­forms Canon’s 35mm f/1.4. At the same time, the Sig­ma mod­el is almost half the price. The only sub­jec­tive neg­a­tive in terms of the pic­ture is bokeh with “onion rings” (char­ac­ter­is­tic con­cen­tric rings inside blur disks), which not every­one likes.

The case and build qual­i­ty, aut­o­fo­cus — every­thing is at the high­est lev­el. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, unlike the more expen­sive Canon coun­ter­part, this 35mm lens is not pro­tect­ed from dust and mois­ture.

If 35mm is too “wide” for you, then Sig­ma has a won­der­ful “fifty” — 50mm f / 1.4. This is a great choice for street pho­tog­ra­phy and “envi­ron­ment” por­traits.

Best standard zoom: Sigma 24–70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art

The Sig­ma 24–70mm f/2.8 can be attached to Sony E cam­eras via the option­al MC-11 con­vert­er. Pho­to: cameralabs.com

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sig­ma SA
— Stur­dy hous­ing and pro­tec­tion against dust and mois­ture
— Sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem
— Con­stant max­i­mum aper­ture
— Weak cor­ner sharp­ness at f/2.8
— Mod­er­ate chro­mat­ic aber­ra­tion and dis­tor­tion
Rat­ing: 7/10

Sig­ma 24–70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art is a stan­dard zoom for full-frame cam­eras with an excel­lent opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem. The ver­sa­tile range of focal lengths is quite suit­able for both land­scapes and por­traits. Thanks to a con­stant aper­ture of f / 2.8 through­out the range, in addi­tion to opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion, the “glass” copes with not very good light­ing. Sta­bi­liza­tion also makes this lens a good option for shoot­ing video.

Although the mod­el does not pro­vide such a lev­el of sharp­ness when shoot­ing at a “wide angle” as its main com­peti­tor from Tam­ron, the pic­ture is quite decent through­out the zoom range — the lens is also suit­able for work­ing with high-megapix­el matri­ces.

The mod­el is pro­tect­ed from dust and mois­ture, and the case is designed for long and inten­sive use — there are def­i­nite­ly no com­ments for Sig­ma.

Over­all, the 24–70mm f/2.8 looks like a more bud­get-friend­ly but good replace­ment for the Nikkor 24–70mm f/2.8E and the Canon EF 24–70mm f/2.8L II USM.

If you’re look­ing for a more ver­sa­tile range of focal lengths, check out the Sig­ma 24–105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art. This is a good ver­sa­tile “glass” for trav­el pho­tog­ra­phy. Of course, it has a small­er max­i­mum aper­ture, but like the 24–70mm f/2.8, it has built-in sta­bi­liza­tion.

Best Wide Angle Zoom: Sigma 18–35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

The Sig­ma 18–35mm f/1.8 will han­dle any “wide-angle” tasks — from land­scapes to pho­tographs of stars (which are in the sky). Pho­to: Youtube chan­nel The Hybrid Shoot­er

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF‑S, Nikon F (DX), Pen­tax KAF, Sig­ma SA, Sony/Minolta Alpha DT
— High aper­ture
— Excel­lent sharp­ness for such a zoom
— No sta­bi­liza­tion and pro­tec­tion from adverse weath­er con­di­tions
— Not very reli­able aut­o­fo­cus when shoot­ing wide open
Rat­ing: 8/10

If you shoot with an APS‑C cam­era and are look­ing for a qual­i­ty wide-angle lens at a rea­son­able price, the Sig­ma 18–35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art is one of the best third-par­ty options for Canon, Nikon, Pen­tax and Sony DSLRs.

This mod­el was the first zoom lens on the mar­ket with a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/1.8. In addi­tion, the Sig­ma 18–35mm f/1.8 is very sharp for both zoom and wide angle. This lens cov­ers focal lengths of three primes, main­tain­ing good sharp­ness through­out the range.

Like oth­er lens­es in the Art series, this zoom is equipped with an ultra­son­ic HSM motor, which makes aut­o­fo­cus­ing almost silent. And thanks to the built-in focus motor, the lens works with old­er cam­eras. Some users find its aut­o­fo­cus not reli­able enough when shoot­ing wide open. How­ev­er, this can be fixed by pur­chas­ing a Sig­ma USB Dock that match­es your cam­era mount to fine-tune aut­o­fo­cus.

The max­i­mum aper­ture of f/1.8 is great for shoot­ing in low light and for cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful bokeh. There is no image sta­bi­liza­tion in the mod­el, but this is slight­ly com­pen­sat­ed by its aper­ture (or the cam­era itself, if you are shoot­ing on a device with built-in sta­bi­liza­tion).

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the lens is not pro­tect­ed from dust and mois­ture.

But over­all, the Sig­ma 18–35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art is a great wide-angle zoom for crop cam­eras, suit­able for land­scapes, inte­ri­ors, street pho­tog­ra­phy and astropho­tog­ra­phy.

If you need an even wider angle, Sig­ma has anoth­er old but very good qual­i­ty lens, the Sig­ma 10–20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM.

Best Telezoom: Sigma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary

The Sig­ma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 cer­tain­ly does­n’t look as impres­sive as the mon­strous 200–500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG, but it won’t fit into an aver­age jack­et pock­et either. Pho­to: dpreview.com

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sig­ma SA Bay­o­net, Sony/Minolta Alpha
— Fast focus
— Sharp image
— Excel­lent range (medi­um to super tele­pho­to)
— Nar­row aper­ture
— No weath­er pro­tec­tion
Rat­ing: 7/10

The Sig­ma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM Con­tem­po­rary has an excel­lent tele­pho­to range and impres­sive image qual­i­ty for a more than jus­ti­fied price (con­sid­er­ing its class): at the moment, this pro­fes­sion­al lens costs 80–90 thou­sand rubles.

Even at max­i­mum aper­ture, the pic­ture is sharp from edge to edge. Although, if you shoot at the max­i­mum tele­pho­to dis­tance, you can notice slight­ly soft cor­ners and slight image dis­tor­tion.

How­ev­er, these are minor short­com­ings, giv­en the price of the lens, as well as a fair­ly rea­son­able size and weight. If you need a lit­tle more pro­fes­sion­al optics, the Sport ver­sion will cost about 50 thou­sand more.

Opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion of the Sig­ma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM Con­tem­po­rary is at a very good lev­el, which is not sur­pris­ing, because the lens is designed for shoot­ing mov­ing objects at long dis­tances. The same can be said about the fast aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem.

In gen­er­al, this is an excel­lent in all respects and at the same time a bud­get tele­zoom for sports and wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy.

Best macro lens: Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art

This macro lens did not receive its own sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem, so some­times you have to take a tri­pod with you. Pho­to: thephoblographer.com

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sig­ma SA, Sony FE
— Pro­tec­tion against dust and mois­ture
— Excel­lent optics
— No image sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem
— Dif­fi­cul­ties with focus­ing
Rat­ing: 8/10

The Sig­ma 70mm f/2.8 Macro is a long-estab­lished bud­get alter­na­tive to native macro lens­es like the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM and the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS. A short­er focal length means you need to get a lit­tle clos­er to your sub­ject. It can also be frus­trat­ing that there is no opti­cal sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem.

Nev­er­the­less, this first macro lens in the Art lens series for cre­ative shoot­ing is equipped with very high qual­i­ty optics, has a macro repro­duc­tion ratio of 1:1 and is pro­tect­ed from adverse weath­er con­di­tions. And the angle of rota­tion of the focus ring in this lens has been spe­cial­ly adjust­ed for macro pho­tog­ra­phy.

Some users com­plain about focus­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, how­ev­er, giv­en its price (almost two times low­er than for “native” lens­es), this draw­back can be put up with.

In addi­tion to macro pho­tog­ra­phy, the focal length of this mod­el makes it a good option for por­trait shots.

Best Cinema Lens: Sigma 18–35mm T2 Cine

The Sig­ma 18–35mm T2 Cine has all the nec­es­sary scales for pro­fes­sion­al cin­e­matog­ra­phers. Pho­to: sharedgrid.com

Bay­o­nets: Canon EF, Arri PL, Sony E
— High-qual­i­ty optics
— Com­pact­ness
— Notice­able “breath­ing” of focus
Rat­ing: 8/10

Sig­ma is known not only for its pho­to­graph­ic lens­es, but also for excel­lent zooms for pro­fes­sion­al cin­e­matog­ra­phers. Most of them are com­pact and cost two times cheap­er than sim­i­lar mod­els from Zeiss. We chose the 18–35mm T2 for this rat­ing, but the longer focal length 50–100mm T2 essen­tial­ly dif­fers from the first only in focal length.

The Sig­ma 18–35mm T2 is a wide-angle Sig­ma cine zoom that cap­tures motion, con­trast and col­or per­fect­ly while deliv­er­ing res­o­lu­tions up to 8K. This is a great option for film­ing fea­ture films, doc­u­men­taries, music videos, com­mer­cials and any oth­er pro­fes­sion­al task.

Of the short­com­ings — a notice­able effect of “breath­ing” focus (chang­ing the focal length in the process of adjust­ing the focus). It is most obvi­ous in the long focal length 50–100mm T2 at 100mm, but also in the 18–35mm T2 it shows up to 18mm.

Both lens­es are designed for Super 35 for­mat (and cam­eras with APS‑C matri­ces). If you’re look­ing for a full-frame cine lens, the Sig­ma 24–35mm T2.2 is worth check­ing out.

The best Sigma lenses: ranking results

Our favorite Sig­ma lens looks like this, but it’s just too cool for any tops. Pho­to: hiconsumption.com
Lens Type of Advan­tages Flaws Our assess­ment
Sig­ma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art por­trait fix One of the best por­traits for any sys­tem, with excel­lent sharp­ness and aper­ture Big and heavy 9/10
Sig­ma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Uni­ver­sal fix Clas­sic 35mm prime with excel­lent optics Not every­one likes his bokeh 9/10
Sig­ma 18–35mm T2 Cine Cin­e­ma lens Inex­pen­sive cin­e­ma lens with a cool pic­ture Focus notice­ably “breathes” 8/10
Sig­ma 70mm f/2.8 DG Macro Art Macro A real macro lens with a great pic­ture Some­times it’s hard to focus 8/10
Sig­ma 18–35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Wide-angle zoom Very “sharp” fast lens for land­scapes, street and astopho­tog­ra­phy No sta­bi­liza­tion 8/10
Sig­ma 24–70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Stan­dard zoom Ver­sa­tile lens with robust body, con­stant f/2.8 max­i­mum aper­ture and OIS Imper­fect optics 7/10
Sig­ma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 DG OS HSM Tele­zoom Super tele­pho­to lens with fast aut­o­fo­cus No weath­er pro­tec­tion 7/10

Sig­ma has great lens­es for every genre of pho­tog­ra­phy and every lev­el of pho­tog­ra­phy, from land­scapes to sports, from social media shots to pro­fes­sion­al por­traits. Often Sig­ma “glass­es” are not far behind in qual­i­ty from “native” optics, but at the same time they are much cheap­er than it. The Art series has espe­cial­ly proven itself — it is not sur­pris­ing that five of our sev­en “nom­i­nees” are from this line. And the Sig­ma 18–35mm T2 Cine cin­e­ma lens is essen­tial­ly the same Sig­ma AF 18–35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, only in a spe­cial hous­ing for film­mak­ers.

Our high­est praise was giv­en to two cool Sig­ma primes — an 85mm por­trait lens and a wider-angle 35mm one. Giv­en the high cost of many “native” fix­es, espe­cial­ly with such aper­ture, this is a great alter­na­tive to pre­mi­um mod­els from Canon, Nikon and Sony. The Sig­ma 70mm f/2.8 Macro is also one of the best val­ue for mon­ey macro lens­es avail­able for all sys­tems avail­able.

Among the numer­ous zoom options, we’ve select­ed three sol­id mod­els cov­er­ing dis­tances from wide-angle to super-tele­pho­to. And although some of these Sig­ma lens­es lose to ana­logues from cam­era man­u­fac­tur­ers in terms of pic­ture or aper­ture, but for the mon­ey they are again one of the best mod­els on the mar­ket.

Final­ly, the Sig­ma line of cin­e­ma zooms is real man­na from heav­en for indie film stu­dios and com­mer­cial video­g­ra­phers. At half the price of ana­logues, you get a pro­fes­sion­al cin­e­ma lens with which you can solve the most com­plex cre­ative tasks.

Do you use Sig­ma lens­es? We’d love to read about your expe­ri­ence in the com­ments.