Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Review

November 25, 2021 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The tiny Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary is the new holder of "best all-round standard zoom lens" for Sony E-Mount APS-C cameras.

It offers a great balance of size, weight, image quality, features, performance and crucially price, and is our choice as the perfect upgrade for the ubiquitous 16-50mm PZ kit lens.

The Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN offers great optical performance throughout the frame and the zoom range, although you'll need to stop down a little at the edges which we found to be a little too soft when shooting wide-open.

It also produces some nice bokeh effects thanks to the constant f/2.8 maximum aperture and the 7-blade iris diaphragm, although there's some obvious vignetting and barrel distortion at 24mm and pin-cushion distortion at 75mm which you'll need to remove in post-processing either manually or using a lens profile.

Despite the system being over 10 years old, unbelievably there still aren't too many options available for Sony's rather neglected APS-C camera range.

The new Sigma 18-50mm goes up against the Sony E 16-55mm f/2.8 G, which offers more reach at both ends of the zoom range and produces slightly better image quality but is much bigger, much heavier and much more expensive.

There's also the Tamron 17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD, which adds an extra 20mm to the telephoto reach plus it has optical stabilisation and is in the same financial ballpark as the Sigma 18-50mm, but it's even bigger and heavier than the Sony 16-55mm.

Which leaves the Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 as the smallest, lightest and cheapest of all three options - sure, it sacrifices built-in stabilisation and full weather-sealing and it has a more limited focal range than the Sony and Tamron alternatives, but we'd happily accept those compromises given all the other stellar attributes of this lens.

Overall, priced at just £429 / $549 in the UK and USA, the new Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary is something of a "no-brainer" if you've outgrown the constraints of the 16-50mm kit lens that ships with the majority of Sony E-mount cropped sensor cameras.

4.5 stars

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