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Friday, February 26, 2016

Prime Killer: The New Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC Art Lens

Wow, that was unexpected. And sorely needed, too. Sigma has announced a 50-100mm f/1.8 Art lens for cropped sensors (DX, in Nikon lingo). Oh, Nikon, Nikon... These are the kinds of lenses you ought to be producing.

Today's article is neither a review (obviously enough) nor a speculative review (how can you be speculative about something that has been officially announced?) but it is the starting point of a conversation about scope.



The title above is indicative. This is a prime killer lens, no questions about it - provided that the optical quality is worthy of the 'Art' designation. The 18-35 f/1.8 was excellent, so one should be hopeful about it. Here's a list of the primes this lens renders irrelevant (sort of):



- 50mm f/1.8
- 85mm f/1.8
- 105mm f/1.8

Fair enough, it's 100mm and not 105mm, but hey, at least it has autofocus (good luck trying to manually focus the Nikkor AIS 105mm f/1.8 on your D3300).

Three primes - the first two arguably the most popular primes out there - just went 'poof'. Of course I'm somewhat exaggerating. There are downsides, too. Here are two that we know about already:

- price around $1000. 
Actually, the price is not bad. But still, consider the price of the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and that of the 85mm f/1.8. Both of these together are about half the price of the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 Art. Not to mention, they are small and light, and the Sigma is...

- big, chunky.
To be expected, of course. Still, seeing the tripod collar on the Sigma press release photos creeps me out. 

In conclusion, this can be an absolutely stellar lens. Needless to say, it's an awesome pair with the 18-35mm f/1/8. Thinking in terms of 35mm-equivalent focal length, these two lenses give you a 28-50mm & 75-150mm combo. Not bad at all - and the only zoom with f/1.8 constant aperture. About the 50-100mm in particular, notice how - in all effect - it's a modern, faster version of the Nikkor E 75-150mm f/3.5 lens. Once again, I cannot help but wondering: Why hasn't Nikon made this lens before Sigma?


 

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