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Sigma’s mirrorless ultra-telephoto is so light you’ll actually want to use it

Sigma’s venture into lenses made solely for mirrorless fans just took a leap forward with the brand’s first full-frame, telephoto zoom for L-mount and E-mount cameras in Sigma’s Contemporary line. Announced during an online event on June 18, the Sigma 100-400mm F/5-6.3 DG DN OS brings optically stabilized, long-zoom performance to Sigma, Panasonic, Leica, and Sony mirrorless cameras for a relatively affordable price of $950. The fifth lens in the company’s mirrorless-only DN series is made with portability in mind — as much as a 100-400mm can be.

Weighing 2.5 pounds, it isn’t exactly a lightweight, but it’s lighter than some competing ultra-telephoto lenses, aided in part by the relatively slow f/5-6.3 variable maximum aperture. Canon’s 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DSLR lens weighs over a pound more.

The Sigma 100-400mm fully extended Sigma

Sigma says that the lens also kept the weight off with “careful selections to utilize the right materials in the right place” — such as using magnesium alloy only for the area of the lens that takes the abuse of a tripod socket (sold separately) instead of throughout the entire lens.

Despite being part of the lower-priced Contemporary series, Sigma says the new lens offers quality similar to the 24-70mm F/2.8 DG DN Art (the Art line holds Sigma’s best lenses). The design tailored specifically for mirrorless allows the lens to capture high-resolution detail out to the edges. Even with a small aperture, the extreme telephoto focal length helps the lens to still create a blurred background.

The lens builds in a three-axis stabilization system that’s rated to four stops. When mounted with a camera body that also features stabilization, that system improves to five-axis. The lens is also built with a stepping motor autofocus system that Sigma says even works well with eye-tracking and video.

Sigma also announced that the previously launched Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN, 30mm F/1.4 DC DN, and 56mm F/1.4 DC DN Contemporary lenses are now available in the L-Mount. Being designed for smaller APS-C sensors, these lenses support a cropped sensor mode on full-frame bodies.

The company also announced the Sigma USB Dock UD-11, a lens dock designed for the Contemporary, Sports, and Art-series mirrorless lenses that handles firmware updates and focus and settings customization.

The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Contemporary is expected to start shipping in July, and will retail for $950.

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
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