Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Review

September 15, 2022 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary is an amazingly lightweight and very compact ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Sony Alpha and L-mount full-frame cameras.

Compared to its big brother, the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art, this Sigma 16-28mm is significantly shorter and almost half the weight, but it has to give up a lot in order to achieve that.

It isn't as wide, has a much simpler design with fewer external controls, isn't as well-constructed or well-sealed, and doesn't ship with either a lockable lens hood or a lens bag.

It is longer though, is just as sharp, features an internal zooming mechanism and importantly can be used with 72mm front filters rather than the rear-mounted filters that the 14-24mm uses. Oh, and did we mention yet that it's much smaller, lighter and cheaper too?

In terms of its optical performance, the Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary is tack-sharp in the centre throughout all of the zoom range, with sharpness only falling off a little at the very edges of the frame. It also produces some nice bokeh effects thanks to the 9-blade iris diaphragm.

There's some obvious vignetting at wide-open apertures, barrel distortion at 16mm and slight pincushioning at 28mm, but all of this can be corrected either in-camera or during post-processing. Importantly chromatic aberrations, which are much harder to correct, are well-controlled.

Auto-focusing proved to be quick on the Sony Alpha A7 IV that we tested the lens with, and manual focus over-ride at any time is a great feature.

Build quality is excellent, with the brass lens mount and sober all-black design adding to the premium feel, and Sigma have also included a good lens hood. The Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens is usefully weather-sealed, but only at the mount and not also throughout the barrel as on the Sigma 14-24mm.

This lens doesn't have a built-in optical image stabilisation system, instead relying on Sony's in-camera system, which will be fine for everyone except those who own a first generation Alpha camera (which don't feature built-in OIS).

Overall, the new Sigma 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary is a well-built, fast wide-angle zoom lens that delivers excellent image quality in a very small, lightweight package.

Depending on your particular priorities, it's definitely a viable alternative to the bigger, more expensive Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art and Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM lenses.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 5