The Impressive Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm: a Travel Photographer’s Review

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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount
Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm Review

Are you looking for a Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm review? The Bumper Crew has it covered!

The Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN is touted as a fast portrait prime for Fujifilm’s APS-C X-mount cameras. Portraiture isn’t why I bought the Sigma – I bought it for travel photography. Despite the focal length being an 85mm full-frame equivalent, it’s still a useful focal length with an incredible aperture that can come in handy for travel photography.

At the point of writing this Sigma 56mm review, I’ve used it for some travel photography in Bridgnorth, a wedding, the National Memorial Arboretum and for taking some pictures of our cats for this review. All of these are peppered throughout this post, which you can click to see in full in a new tab. So, how does it perform as a travel photographer’s lens? Read on to learn more about the Sigma 56mm f1.4 for Fujifilm!

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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA)

Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN Fujifilm Review

The Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN is an excellent choice for your Fujifilm camera. It’s smaller, lighter and cheaper than the equivalent Fujifilm XF56mm F1.2 R WR. It’s a great alternative if you’re on a budget or not a hardcore Fujifilm fanboy. The Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN churns out sharp pictures, has a wide aperture and is a bargain compared to the Fujifilm XF56mm. Before we start, below are some pros and cons of the Sigma 56mm. You’ll notice the cons section is short – there isn’t much to complain about with this lens.

Pros

+ Small & light

+ Great image quality

+ Fast f1.4 aperture

+ Cheaper than the Fujifilm equivalent

Cons

– No image stabilisation

– No aperture ring

– No weather sealing

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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm at the Armed Forces Memorial, NMA

First Impressions

I’ve owned Sigma lenses before when I used to shoot on Nikon, so I already had a bit of trust that Sigma would deliver another decent lens. The Sigma 56mm is small and light, and although it’s got an excellent build quality, it doesn’t feel as solid as the Fujifilm lenses I’m used to. It also has a matt finish, which doesn’t look as nice at home on the front of my Fuji, but I can accept that given it’s got the classic finish of a Sigma lens.

The other noticeable thing is the missing aperture ring. Fujifilm X Series cameras are known for their classic look and feel, and something I now really like about the Fujifilm lenses is the aperture rings. I rarely shoot in any mode other than aperture priority and almost always at the widest possible aperture.

Hence, I rely on the aperture ring to tell me the lens is at its widest without having to check anything other than feeling it can’t rotate any further. With the Sigma, I have to use the rear command dial. It’s not a big problem and didn’t take long to adjust, but I prefer the aperture ring. Initially, the lens didn’t feel right without it, but I’m now used to it after some use.

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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount

Build

The Sigma 56mm f1.4 for Fujifilm feels like a solid lens. Still, it doesn’t feel as solid as Fujifilm’s XF lenses because they are made from so-called Thermally Stable Composite material, not metal, and so have a slightly plastic feel. That’s not to say it feels poor quality – they have a matt finish and feel nice, but they don’t feel as solid as the Fujifilm XF lenses. On the lens barrel sits the focus ring, which is relatively broad and super smooth to operate.

Although the Sigma has a different finish to Fujifilm bodies and lenses that I’m used to, it still feels and looks good on the camera. And it’s small, measuring only 60mm (length) x 67mm (diameter) and looks balanced when the lens hood is fitted. As you’d expect for its size, it’s also light – weighing in at a featherweight 280g.

The other noticeable difference with the Sigma is that there is no aperture ring like you come to expect from Fujifilm XF lenses, which is something I very much like about them. The lens is also without a dedicated focus switch. This isn’t a concern for me because I rarely shoot in manual focus; it’s easily overridden to make fine adjustments when in autofocus, and the camera can easily be set to manual with the switch on the body.

The lens glass is coated in Sigma’s Super Multi-Layer coating, designed to reduce flare and ghosting in backlit conditions. A lens hood is also included to help keep those stray light rays out, which can negatively affect rendering performance.

Sadly, the Sigma 56mm isn’t weather-sealed. There is a gasket at the mount to prevent some dust and moisture from getting in, but there is no further weather sealing in the lens barrel, so you might want to avoid shooting in adverse conditions. Talking of the mount – it’s made from brass.

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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm aperture blades

Performance

Optically, the Sigma 56mm f1.4 is as good as I would expect from a modern lens on a mirrorless camera – it’s pin-sharp where it needs to be. I’m not a pixel peeper and don’t pay particular attention to the very edges of the frame because they are rarely necessary to me. What I am concerned about is the autofocus. Thankfully, the Sigma performs as well as I would expect – it doesn’t miss a beat and is rapid. Unless you’re shooting sport at f1.4, you won’t find any issues with the autofocus. The Sigma 56mm f1.4 autofocus is also almost entirely silent.

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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount

Specifications

Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN C vs Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR Specs

Although this post isn’t a Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN C vs Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR comparison, below is a table to compare the two to make a better-informed choice about which lens is suitable for you, should you be considering the Fujifilm lens.

Lens FeatureSigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN CFujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR
Lens typePrimePrime
Focal length56 mm56 mm
Image stabilisationNoNo
Lens configuration10 elements in 6
groups
13 elements in 8
groups
Max apertureF1.4F1.2
Min apertureF16F16
Aperture blades911
Aperture ringNoYes
Min focus distance0.5 m0.5 m
Focus methodInternalExtending front
Full-time manualNoYes
Max magnification0.14x0.14x
Weight280 g445 g
Length60 mm76 mm
Diameter67 mm80 mm
Filter thread55 mm67 mm
Hood suppliedYesYes
Weather sealingYesYes
Lens wrapping clothNoYes

Deciding Factors and Verdict

Before buying the Sigma 56mm, I spent a long time researching the Sigma, and its rival – the Fujifilm 56mm and ultimately opted for the Sigma. The cost and weight led to my decision to buy the Sigma 56mm f1.4 over the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2. The two lenses are so close in almost every area that it’s hard to see any significant differences on paper and in real-world use. However, the cost of the Sigma is significantly cheaper and nearly a third lighter.

Cost is always a factor for me, and the Sigma came in at just under £500 cheaper than the Fujifilm. That’s a lot of money when the lens specs aren’t significantly different. Size and weight are also vital because I travel so much, so my camera’s primary use is travel photography. And I like to travel light because my camera goes almost everywhere with me and the Sigma outperformed the Fujifilm 56mm in weight. It’s 125 grams lighter, which doesn’t sound much, but the weight quickly increases when carrying multiple lenses.

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Nala, shot on the Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount

Sample Images

Below are some sample images taken on the Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm. Click any picture below or throughout the rest of the post to open it in a new tab. Each file has been processed through Adobe Camera Raw with the following save options:

  • 1500k file size limit
  • 12-inch longest side @ 300ppi
  • Sharpened for screen – standard amount
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Stacey, shot on Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm
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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount
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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount
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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount
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Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm X Mount

FAQs

Is It Worth Getting a Sigma Lens?

Yes, that is the short answer to this. Although Sigma lenses aren’t as good as their Fujifilm counterparts, they are a good alternative when considering quality and features against the price. And to be fair to Sigma, the picture quality gap is so close you wouldn’t even notice. So, unless you’re a pixel peeper, don’t worry about the differences in quality.

Is the Sigma 56mm Weather Sealed?

No. The Sigma 56mm features a gasket at the mount to protect against moisture and dust, but there is no weather sealing throughout the lens barrel.

Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm Review

  1. First Impressions
  2. Build
  3. Performance
  4. Specifications
  5. Deciding Factors and Verdict
  6. Sample Images
Sigma 56mm f1.4 Fujifilm Review

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