Is the Sigma 16mm f1.4 Worth Buying in 2021?
The Sigma 16mm f1.4 is a hugely popular lens for APS-C mirrorless cameras for a while now and its easy to see why. Lets take a quick look at the specs.
This is a prime 16mm lens which is fairly wide angle.
In has a maximum aperture of f1.4 which means its good in low light and for out of focus backgrounds
It has autofocus built into the lens but it doesn’t have image stabilisation built in.
So lets have a look at what you get in the box –
The Sigma 16mm comes packaged in a fairly small box with the lens hood and lens wrapped in plastic. The lens hood is plastic and the lens is metal and very solid feeling
It has a plastic lens cap cover the glass element which is fairly large, and has a 67mm filter thread.
It has a plastic rear cap covering the electronic connections
The focus ring is very wide and has a rubber grip, its very smooth, feels very premium.
And on the lens again the ring around the lens is metal and it does have all the lens information written on it sigma 16mm f1.4 made in japan but that is in black so a might not show up in this light.
Overall a very nice if not a bit weighty feeling lens.
So what’s great about this lens? Well its fast aperture, wide 16mm focal length and autofocus means it does a lot of things much better than the alternatives. There are plenty of wide angle wide aperture lens, but not many with autofocus. Likewise there are plenty of autofocus lenses but not many with fast aperture and wide angle.
This positions the sigma 16mm uniquely, its extremely sharp and provides excellent image quality for video and photography. A great lens for wide angle photography such as landscapes and amazing low light performance great for astrophotography. It’s great for any type of shot where you want really out of focus backgrounds giving a real professional edge to your shots look very professional.
But the reason I bought this lens is for video and especially YouTube and streaming. The low light performance, the wide angle and those blurry backgrounds makes studio look very high quality. I use the Sigma 16mm for my YouTube videos and the results are very good even when paired with an older camera, I record on the Sony a5100 and I think the difference over the likes of the kit lens is huge.
Small downsides are the weight can be quite heavy on the lens weighing, the lens can make your camera feel quite front heavy especially if you’re used to smaller lenses such as the kit lens.
The lack of in lens stabilization is a bigger issue and is worth bearing in mind for any handheld video you may be doing on a camera with no in body stabilization (such as the Sony a6000 or Sony a5100) If you’re planning on doing a lot of video work with this lens then you may want to consider a gimbal.
Also the autofocus can sometimes be heard especially if you’re using the cameras built in mics. But staying on the subject of the auto focus it is very responsive and I’ve found it to be very smooth and pick out your point of focus well. This is a big plus as often third party lenses auto focus can be much worse than Sony’s own lenses.
SO lets talk about the price, unfortunately this isn’t the cheapest lens currently costing $370/£340 on amazon. This is a problem for the budget user, But deals are out there I got this lens a lot cheaper 2nd hand so if you shop around deals are out there. But If you want to pick up this lens new I’ll leave amazon links in the description.
So the Sigma 16mm f1.4 is an amazing wide angle lens which I think is the perfect upgrade from the kit lens for people who don’t need zoom and want a sharper image, brilliant low light performance, and cinematic and professional looking blurry backgrounds and bokeh.
This along with the sony 18-105mm are my main two lenses at the moment and the sigma 16mm will be my go to for my YouTube videos for the foreseeable future.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you.