Sigma AF 19mm f/2.8 EX DN (Sony E mount) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony NEX

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2013


In early 2012 Sigma released a couple of small prime lenses targeting the Sony and Micro-Four-Thirds mirrorless systems - The Sigma AF 19mm f/2.8 EX DN and AF 30mm f/2.8 EX DN. Such mirrorless lenses are marked as "DN" or Digital Neo for whatever reason. The Sigma AF 30mm f/2.8 EX DN impressed us quite a bit on the Sony NEX 7 so this time it is about its shorter cousin. Admittedly we are a little late with our review of the Sigma AF 19mm f/2.8 EX DN because Sigma already announced its successor: the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 DN. However, the good news is that the optical design remains unchanged so our findings will also be valid for the mk "II" - at least with respect to the optical characteristics. The new version features a different metal finish and Sigma decided to skip the "EX" (Excellence) designation. Anyway, as you have already concluded for the paper-specs it is a moderately fast prime lens. In Sony's APS-C scope the field-of-view is equivalent to a 28mm "normal" lens on full format cameras.

While the Sigma lens is pretty compact it misses the mark for a "pancake" lens by quite a margin - just to provide a size reference: the Sony E 16mm f/2.8 is almost half as "long". The build quality is on a very high level thanks to a body made of quality plastics based on a metal mount and a smoothly operating, rubberized focus ring. A slightly disturbing issue is some "rattling" if you shake it a little - a characteristic that it also shares with the Sigma AF 30mm f/2.8 EX DN. However, we didn't experience any negative side effect from this during shooting. The physical length of the lens remains constant regardless of the focus setting. A small barrel shaped hood is part of the package.

Sigma introduced a new linear AF motor optimized for mirrorless systems (thus contrast AF). The AF is fast and basically noiseless. Manual focusing works "by wire" so you actually drive the AF motor by turning the focus ring. This works reasonably well but it may not be everybody's darling.

Finally an outlook of the things to come - here's the "new" version of the lens. According to Sigma it is a member of their "A" or Art series which refers to lenses with a large max. aperture. Looking at this photo from the press release it remains a bit unclear whether this version has a manual focus ring at all.

Equiv. focal length28.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction8 elements in 6 groups inc. 3x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.20 m (1:7.4)
Dimensions60.6 x 45.7 mm/td>
Weight140 g
Filter size46 mm
Hoodbarrel-shaped, bayonet-mount, supplied
Other features-