Lens review

Sigma C 45 mm f/2.8 DG DN

28 February 2020
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary

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  • very solid, sealed casing,
  • excellent image quality in frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the APS-C sensor,
  • acceptable image quality on the edge of full frame,
  • very low lateral chromatic aberration,
  • slight longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • sensible coma correction,
  • moderate astigmatism,
  • low vignetting on APS-C/DX sensor,
  • sensible performance against bright light.


  • not especially accurate autofocus,
  • high vignetting on full frame which, additionally, decreases slowly on stopping down.
C series f/1.4 prime lenses, produced by Sigma for mirrorless APS-C cameras, so far have had sensible dimensions and offered excellent image quality for a quite affordable price. In the case of the Sigma C 45 mm f/2.8 DG DN you get a much slower aperture and a higher price tag, amounting to almost $500, small wonder our opinions after the test aren't especially enthusiastic. We also don't catch the idea behind that launch. In a perfect world a renowned producer should have in their line-up an array of f/1.2-1.4 primes, instruments that aren't strongly limited by dimensions and weight because their priority is a superior image quality. Still, that line of top-of-the-range, fast primes should be supplemented by a series of f/1.8-2.0 lenses aimed at less affluent and/or amateur photographers. These instruments should have strict limits concerning dimensions and pricing. Additionally, another series of 2.4-2.8 primes would be a nice addition but, in my opinion, their release would be justifiable only if they were small instruments, pancakes preferably, and optically very good, especially in the frame centre.

How the Sigma C 45 mm f/2.8 DG DN fits that scenario? Not in a perfect way, to be sure. It is a bit too big, too expensive, and its optical performance is not outstanding. In objective terms it is a well-put-together lens, with just one serious flaw, high vignetting, and a lot of serious assets. You can have some slight reservations concerning sharpness at the very maximum aperture but from f/3.2–3.5 images are of really good quality even on the edge of full frame. I suppose if you decide to purchase the tested lens you will enjoy it for sure.

After running the full test and composing descriptions for all the chapters I started to wonder whether or not I was being too fussy. On the one hand I complain that I am bored with testing ordinary, run-of-the-mill lenses, and, on the other hand, when I finally get a very original device I complain again that it could have been more typical. I suppose I am getting old...