Sigma Lenses For Leica
Looking at Sigma lenses for Leica cameras. Specifically L mount lenses from Sigma. This article gives an overview on what Sigma offers to Leica users and does a deep dive on two lenses for YouTube . Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN and Sigma Art 50mm f1.4.
Does Sigma make Leica lenses?
Yes! Sigma is part of the “L-Mount Alliance” along with Panasonic and Leica so Sigma makes lenses for Leica cameras that have the Leica L mount. Full frame cameras like the Leica SL, Leica SL2 and Leica SL2-S and crop sensor cameras like the Leica CL.
What is Sigma L mount?
L mount Sigma lenses are autofocus lenses, both primes and zooms and offer a cheaper alternative to Leica SL lenses. Sigma L mount is the same as Leica L mount or Panasonic L mount.
Both! Sigma APS-C lenses + Sigma full frame lenses
Both crop sensor and full frame lenses are available from Sigma in L mount. Sigma DC DN lenses are for APS-C cameras such as the Leica CL. Sigma DG DN lenses are designed for full frame cameras but can be used on APS-C camera bodies too. Full frame lenses tend to be larger and heavier than a crop sensor equivalent lens.
Are Sigma lenses bad?
It depends who you ask! I think historically the build quality especially was said to be worse than other third party brands. In my first 10 years of photography I avoided Sigma but shot with brands like Tamron and Tokina quite happily (on Nikon cameras). Sigma even collaborated with Leica with some of the Leica R lenses and these are much cheaper than Leica designed optics. A common example is the Leica R 28-70mm f3.5-4.5zoom lens made in collaboration with Sigma. That is much cheaper than the Leica designed version that I use –
In recent years the build quality of Sigma lenses seems to have vastly improved. The new Sigma Art lenses and Sigma Contemporary lenses are metal and glass (mostly) and feel very smooth and well made from my testing (see below).
Sigma Contemporary vs Sigma Art lenses
Generally speaking Sigma Art lenses are big and Sigma Contemporary lenses are more compact. Sigma Art lenses tend to offer a faster maximum aperture whereas Contemporary lenses mostly start at f2 or f2.8 lenses. Sigma Contemporary lenses offer the best middle ground for me, both compact yet fast enough for most types of photography.
Sigma lenses for the Leica CL
The Leica CL is L mount even though I normally use it with small M mount lenses via an adapter. The Sigma Art lenses are too big and heavy to use on this compact APS-C body but they will work if you pair them together. Sigma Contemporary DG DN full frame lenses are more compact and pair better to the small CL body. The best option is to use the Sigma DC DN crop sensor lenses on the CL. Sigma DC DN lenses are the smallest and lightest solution but if you then use them on full frame cameras the camera will only work in APS-C mode at half resolution.
Leica CL + Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN lens
On my recent photography trip to Poland I used the Leica CL with the new Sigma 24mm f2.8 DG DN lens. With the 1.5x APS-C crop factor this gave me a 36mm autofocus lens equivalent. Here are some sample photos with this combination. All photos are RAW files plus my MrLeica Leica SL preset pack applied.
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Portraits with the Leica CL
24mm is often too wide for portraits but with the crop factor of the Leica CL camera it was less difficult. Photos below are 36mm lens equivalent portraits. All photos are RAW files plus the MrLeica Leica SL preset pack applied.
Leica SL + Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN
As the Leica SL is a full frame camera I could enjoy the full 24mm focal length for photowalks in Poland. I really enjoy 24mm – 25mm lenses for travel photography and I can capture most of what my eyes are seeing. All photos are RAW files plus my MrLeica Leica SL preset pack applied.
24mm portraits with the Leica SL
As a portrait photographer I was keen to try some portrait photography with this setup even if most of my model photography is shot with 50mm or often 90mm.
(See the Voigtlander Heliar 50mm f1.5 lens and Voigtlander APO-Skopar 90mm f2.8 lens posts to see photos with the same models using longer lenses).
Panasonic Lumix S5 + Sigma lenses
If you are a Pansonic Lumix S5 user (or any Lumix S camera) you can also enjoy the Sigma L mount lenses. I use my Lumix S5 for photography but moreso for video. The Pansonic Lumix S5 replaced my Lumix GH5 as my main YouTube camera.
Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN for video
The reason I discovered Sigma L mount lenses is because I was looking for a autofocus wide lens for vlogging. I find 28mm a little too tight so 24mm seemed perfect. It does a great job but I realised I tend to shoot static position video so longer lenses with a fast aperture are probably better suited.
24mm Sigma lens for Leica
Full review from Poland testing the 24mm Sigma DG DN lens on the Leica SL and Leica CL cameras.
Sigma Art 50mm f1.4 lens for Leica
If you don’t mind big lenses the Sigma 50mm Art lens is optically a great performer for Leica L mount. See the full review with sample images on YouTube –
50mm Sigma Art lens portraits
Here are a few full res Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens portraits shot with Leica cameras. First photo (colour) captured with the APS-C Leica CL mirrorless camera. Second photo (B&W) shot with the full frame Leica SL camera. Both images are RAW files plus the MrLeica Leica SL preset pack applied.
Are Sigma lenses worth it?
So in summary, do I think Sigma lenses are worth it? (Verses all the other lens brand lenses I use on Leica cameras). Yes if you like the sharp modern look and yes if you want to have autofocus. They offer Leica L mount users a much cheaper alternative to Leica SL lenses. For me, Sigma is doing a great job with their new compact affordable DG DN lenses. Smaller size is important to me so I have no interest in the large fast Sigma Art lenses, even if they can make nice photos.
Other Sigma lenses for L mount
In this mini review I only covered one Sigma Art lens and one Sigma Contemporary lens. To see all the Sigma lenses available visit –https://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/lenses/
Affordable Sigma lens for Leica
Sigma offer something for everyone and at an affordable price, especially if buying used. If I was looking to buy lenses for the Leica CL I would consider the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN and the compact 56mm f1.4 DC DN. For the Leica SL and Lumix S5 I like the compact 45mm f2.8 DG DN lens plus the 65mm f2 DG DN which should be great for portraits. To summarise, you can chose from Sigma Art fast prime lenses, the smaller compact slower (many are f2) Sigma Contemporary lenses and APS-C lenses for cameras like the Leica CL and TL.
Buying New and Used
New: Amazon etc –
- Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN (FF) – https://geni.us/hk8JF
- Sigma Art 50mm f1.4 (FF) – https://geni.us/527E
Used: eBay –
- (US) https://ebay.to/2F0HoxY
- (UK) https://ebay.to/3ijzle2
- (DE) https://ebay.to/3iqDNYs
- (FR) https://ebay.to/2ZJ3E75
- (HK) https://ebay.to/32A8xBu
Sigma or Panasonic Lumix L Mount?
One question you may have is how do these Sigma lenses compare to L mount lenses from Panasonic Lumix? I’ve not tested any L mount Lumix primes but I recently had the chance to test a Pana-Leica prime lens (Lumix lens with Leica badge on). I was really impressed! I also own the Lumix 20-60mm kit zoom and it’s sharp and offers a less common wider zoom range.
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2 thoughts on “Sigma Lenses For Leica”
Great information on the Sigma lenses Matt. Many thanks . Steve. Bournemouth