Testing the Sigma 65mm f/2 for Portraits

If you're a portrait photographer, you'll know the feeling of getting a new lens and going on your first portrait shoots with it. That feeling was strong for me over a decade ago and it's just as strong now!

The first time I ever felt that surge of motivation to shoot non-stop portraits with a lens was probably the cheap nifty-fifty I found on eBay a few weeks after I bought my first camera. However, since then, I have had the same reaction — some markedly stronger — to a number of lenses; the original Lord of the Red Rings, Canon's 135mm f/2 L, Fujifilm's GFX monster, 110mm f/2, and almost every 85mm f/2 or faster that I have ever used. It would seem that I can even get that feeling vicariously as I did with Mitch Lally in this very video.

In this video, Lally is shooting with the Sigma 65mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary, which is a deliciously affordable, versatile lens. Sigma has built a reputation for creating excellent lenses and their Contemporary range has been well-received to say the least. As you can see from Lally's shoots, the results can be stunning with a focal range that straddles the middle ground between a telephoto prime, such as those 85mms, and a wider-angle prime, such as the 35mm.

Have you tried the Sigma 65mm f/2? What did you think of it?

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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I wish they would make this for the Fuji’s, the aesthetic fits them perfectly, idk why they went for a more “modern” look on the fuji lenses :(

I just picked up a used copy of this lens. It's significantly heavier than the Sony 55mm 1.8 and although the total weight is about the same as the 20mm 1.8 G, it's pretty front-heavy. However, when it comes to Image quality and AF performance, there is really little to complain about. This lens is bordering on being too sharp even wide open. The CA that plagues the 55mm is basically nonexistent. AF is super fast, not as fast as the 55mm, but more than fast enough for anything, even my crazy 18 month old son. There is some distortion at the corners and my Capture One doesn't have the lens profile on it, but I haven't even bothered fixing it. The focal length is different, I use it more like a short 85 than a long 50, but it's a neat little lens.