SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art & 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art – First Look

Following the recent announcement of the new SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art and 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art, at Cine Gear 2024, we stopped by the company’s booth to learn more about the world’s fastest full-frame autofocus zoom lens ever made and their new compact, standard zoom directly from CEO Kazuto Yamaki-san.

PLEASE NOTE: in this article we will merely focus on the 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art, as it’s definitely the most disruptive of the two. However, you can still check out our initial coverage of the 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art and watch our show floor interview above.

SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art. Image credit: CineD

Back in 2013, the Japanese lens company introduced to the market the affordable 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom for APS-C DSLR bodies. Over the years, this lens has turned out to be a major commercial success due to its price, excellent optical performance, and versatility. To this day, it still delivers the most value for an APS-C zoom lens, in my opinion.

Built on its legacy, the new SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art seems to be the start of a new era, offering a constant maximum aperture of f/1.8 in a full-frame zoom. Let’s take a closer look!

SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art – overview

Unlike the DSLR-oriented 18-35mm (available in Canon EF, Nikon F, SIGMA SA, Sony A, and Pentax mount options), the new SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art is aimed at full-frame mirrorless cameras. Upon launch, the lens will only be available for Sony E and Leica L mount.

This makes it much less adaptable than its APS-C “predecessor”. However, the reduced flange focal distance design of the modern mirrorless mounts definitely helped SIGMA achieve such a remarkable optical result. As they say – you win some, you lose some.

SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art
SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art. Image credit: CineD

The angle of view is close, but not identical to that of an 18-35mm mounted on an APS-C body – which offers a 27-52mm range (35mm equivalent) when factoring in a 1.5x crop. Also, the 28-45mm range might be a little limiting, so it will be interesting to see if SIGMA will also introduce a full-frame “successor” to their existing 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art APS-C zoom in the future.

Measuring 151.4 x 87.8mm (L mount version) and featuring an 82mm front filter thread, the 28-45mm is also a much larger lens compared to the 18-35mm, but this is to be expected given its specs. However, the lens is not that heavy, weighing around 950g (Sony E mount). This is about 140g heavier than the 18-35mm (EF mount). Also, the lens is built to be dust and splash-resistant.

SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art
SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art. Image credit: CineD

The optical design consists of 18 elements in 15 groups, including 3 aspherical and 5 SLD glass elements. The 18-35mm is well-known for being a very sharp lens, and the optical performances of the 28-45mm are claimed to be on par with those of prime lenses, according to SIGMA. The minimum focusing distance is 30cm across the whole zoom range.

Video-centric features

Besides offering excellent image quality for capturing stills, the 28-45mm packs a list of features that make it particularly suitable for filmmakers, especially independent ones working as solo operators. These include:

  • an all-internal focusing and zoom mechanism that makes it easier to work with gimbals;
  • a fast, silent High-response Linear Actuator autofocus system;
  • a physical, de-clickable iris ring to perform smooth iris pulls;
  • minimum focus breathing;
  • linear operation of the focus ring on compatible L-mount cameras.

Nonetheless, filmmakers working with a crew might still prefer using a cinema lens with proper housing to accommodate lens accessories. Hence, I’m curious to see if SIGMA will ever produce a cine version of this new 28-45mm, as they did with their 18-35mm High-Speed cine zoom.

Quick update on SIGMA RF mount lenses

A few weeks ago, SIGMA also announced that they will soon start producing a Canon RF mount version of their APS-C lenses. According to Yamaki-san, the goal is to launch all of their current APS-C lenses in RF mount by the end of this year. Moreover, he added that they currently don’t have a plan to release full-frame RF mount autofocus lenses, but “they will do their best” to meet customers’ needs.

Price and availability

The new SIGMA 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art is now available to pre-order for $1,349. This is almost twice the price of the 18-35mm at launch ($799), but I consider it reasonable, given the pretty unique selling proposition of this lens. The 28-45mm f/1.8 DG DN Art should start shipping in late June and, at launch, it will only be available for Sony E and Leica L mount.

The SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art is now shipping and retails for $1,199. It’s available in Sony E and Leica L mount.

For more information, please visit SIGMA’s website here.

Have you ever used the legendary SIGMA 18-35mm f/1.8? What do you think of its full-frame “successor”? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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