Raviraj Kande : Today’s post is about my user experience and review of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens with variety of pictures clicked using the Olympus OMD E-M10 mirror-less camera.
The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens was first revealed in the year 2013 at the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show held in Japan. The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens adds a new focal length in the Sigma line up for Micro Four Thirds camera systems. It joins Sigma’s other DN lenses: the 19mm F2.8 DN and the 30mm F2.8 DN.
1)Taking the crop factor into consideration, the 60mm focal length of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens on a micro four thirds sensor gives 120mm equivalent field of view of a 35mm full frame sensor.
2) There are highly reputable websites that provide an in depth technical review of lenses. This however, is a user experience based review of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens and hence the reader can expect more thoughts on what I like and dislike about the lens and how it performs in day to day use rather than technical details and analysis.
After using the bundled Olympus 14-42ez kit lens with my Olympus OMD-E-10 for quite some time (my opinion about the Olympus 14-42mmez kit lens can be found here) I decided it was time to buy a nice prime lens. Since i shoot a lot of street portraits, I thought a nice fast prime lens like the Olympus 45mm f1.8 will meet my needs perfectly.
It was because of my photographer friend Rahul Dutta that I came to know that Digi-Direct store in Melbourne-Australia was running a great offer on Sigma lenses for micro four thirds camera systems.The price was extremely tempting for the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens which was around 150$ Australian. After researching it came to my notice that the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens was cheaper by good 100$ compared to the Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens. I thought since its a great deal why not buy the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens first and in case I dint like the rendering of the lens I can always sell the lens and buy the Olympus 45mm f1.8.
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens VS other options
For portraits and in similar focal range as the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens there are good options in the micro four thirds world.The Olympus 45mm F1.8, Olympus 75mm F1.8 and the Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro lens are all fantastic options and deliver superb image quality.The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is sandwiched right between the Olympus 45mm F1.8 and Olympus 75mm F1.8 lenses (exactly 15mm between each) and shares the exact same focal length with the Olympus 60mm F2.8 macro lens.
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens VS Olympus 75mm F1.8
To be completely honest, the Olympus 75mm F1.8 lens is star lens in the micro four thirds world, it is sharp and renders beautiful colours but is also a expensive lens.The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is 1/4 the price of Olympus 75mm F1.8, it is also 15mm shorter and not as fast as the Olympus 75mm F1.8. When it comes to performance the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens holds quite good on its own since it is equally sharp and delivers punchy colours and contrast.The bokeh is good with the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens but cant be compared to the Olympus 75mm F1.8 which at faster aperture of F1.8 and 15mm more focal length delivers more beautiful bokeh.
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens VS Olympus 45mm F1.8
The Olmpus 45mm F1.8 lens is popular as the most value for money lens delivering sharp and beautiful images. In my opion the Sigma 60mm Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is equally sharp and has added advantage of 15mm more reach in case you want more compressed field of view. The only advantage i see with the Olympus 45mm F1.8 is, being a F1.8 lens it is faster then Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens. So in case you need the extra 15mm reach which the Sigma lens delivers and don’t shoot exclusively in low light scenarios the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens can be a excellent choice to opt for.
Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens VS Olympus 60mm F2.8
Both the lenses have similar focal length and Fstop numbers.The performance is also almost similar between both the lenses.The Olympus 60MM F2.8 has a additional advantage of being a macro lens and in case you shoot a lot of macro stuff then the olympus 60mm F2.8 is clearly a better choice. Also consider that the Olympus 60mm F2.8 is more expensive then Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens. So in case you are not keen about macro capabilities you can consider the sigma 60mm lens which delivers great performance for the asking price.
Design and build quality of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens
The overall build quality of this lens is very good. The mount and exterior is made of metal and it feels good to handle.The lens also balances and looks nice on the Olympus OM-D E-M10. There are 2 colours available black and silver, my suggestion would be to opt for the black one since the silver lens gets scratches very easily making the lens look ugly over the period of time. The lens when the camera powered off rattles a lot. It sounds like the lens is seriously broken, but it isn’t. As soon as you turn the camera on the rattling is gone and it does not affect the performance of the lens in any way so nothing major to worry here. Manual focus lovers must also keep one thing in mind, the focus ring is very smooth and has no texture making it a challenge to focus manually. I never faced any issue regrading the smooth focus ring as i always prefer shooting with auto focus setting in general.
Auto-focus performance of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens
The auto-focus performance of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is fast. It locks focus fast, accurately and without hesitation. Having used this lens in day light and low light situations equally, I have never faced any auto-focus related issues. In short the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is a very reliable lens when it comes to auto-focus performance.
Image quality of the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens
The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is an amazingly super sharp lens right from its widest aperture of F2.8. The lens delivers punchy colours, great contrast and beautiful smooth bokeh. The image quality you get from the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is nothing short of stunning.
Is the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens value for money ?
ABSOLUTELY. I think the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is an excellent alternative and surely gives incredible value for your money.The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens is the cheapest option available for micro four thirds system users and delivers great performance. In my opinion the the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens scores 10/10 as a value for money lens.
The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens was my first prime lens that I bought for my Olympus OM-D E-M10. The lens has a focal length which is traditionally popular for shooting portraits but as you will see in the pictures posted below, along with portraits I have shot variety of subjects from food, flowers, products, animals, concert and fashion with this lens and every time it has delivered consistent results with amazing sharpness, beautiful colour rendition and excellent image quality.
In case your are looking for a cheap lens for your micro four thirds system which delivers excellent image quality and overall performance, look no further, you will seriously love this lens.The Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens in my opinon is the most under rated star performer of the micro four thirds system which deserves a huge applause for its optical performance.
The pictures below have been shot by me with the Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN ART lens mounted on the Olympus OMD E-M10.