SIGMA 23mm F1.4 Lens Review

SIGMA 23mm F1.4 lens for Fujifilm
SIGMA 23mm F1.4 lens for Fujifilm


A month ago, I had received a new prime lens from SIGMA India – the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary lens for Fujifilm X-mount. It was given to me on trial for a few weeks by SIGMA India. So, here is my review of this lens. If you are on Instagram, you may a see quick unboxing reel of this lens on my Insta page – @nishantratnakar

SIGMA makes great third-party lenses for all the major camera brands that have interchangeable lens system. In the past, I had received few other Sigma lenses for review like,

It has been years since I moved on from Canon and as well as the entire Digital SLR ecosystem. Since then, I have been a longtime Fujifilm X mount mirrorless camera system user. I have never looked back since I made the switch to the mirrorless cameras.

Fujifilm makes some great prime lenses for their own cameras. I own and use the XF 23mm F2, XF 35mm F2 and the XF 50mm F2 lenses and they pretty much cover my work requirements on a given day. I largely do portraits and editorial work, and tend to use the XF 50mm F2 lens the most in my commissioned portrait photo-shoots. The 23mm and 35mm lenses are what I use for environmental portraits. Also, 23mm lens is what I carry with me when I travel on vacations.

For a longtime, the Fujifilm camera owners had very limited choices of third-party lenses, and they were all manual focusing lenses. Now the market for third-party lenses designed to be used with Fujifilm X series system has plenty of high quality auto-focus lenses made by global brands link SIGMA.

SIGMA prime lenses for Fujifilm X Mount Mirrorless Cameras

At the time of writing this review, SIGMA has the following four prime lenses for Fujifilm X series camera users.

  • The wide-angle, 16mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
  • The standard prime, 30mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
  • The telephoto, 56mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary
  • The 23mm F1.4 DC DN | Contemporary

The 23mm F1.4 lens is the latest addition to this lineup. I tested this lens on my current primary camera, the Fujifilm XT2. So, this post would only discuss the lens as used on this camera model.

Build Quality

Sigma Contemporary 23mm F1.4 DC DN lens for Fujifilm X Mount mirrorless cameras. Photograph by Nishant Ratnakar

SIGMA 23mm F1.4 lens has a nice build quality like both of its predecessors, the 56mm F1.4 and 16mm F1.4. The SIGMA website does mention that the lens has a rubber sealing, but I am not sure how much of weather resistance it can withstand. I did use it at a windy Tannirbhavi beach in Mangalore, on a ferry ride over Gurpura (Phalguni) river near Sultan Batteri, and also under a very little drizzle at a farm on the outskirts of Bengaluru. I didn’t face any issues in these situation. But, I wouldn’t be able to tell if the lens can withstand heavy rain or splashes.

The lens is lightweight even with the lenshood on. It doesn’t feel front heavy on the camera when used. Maybe the 56mm was a little more lighter in comparison to this.

Sigma Contemporary 23mm F1.4 DC DN lens on Fujifilm XT2 camera. Photograph by Nishant Ratnakar

The lenshood of 23mm F1.4 lens was good fit on the lens. It snapped tightly on to the lens without any issues.

Ergonomics when used with Fujifilm X-series

This is probably the only challenge or notable issue for photographers like me who are used to Fujifilm’s design of premium camera lenses. All Fujifilm prime lenses have a dedicated ‘Aperture ring’ on the lens itself for photographers to change the aperture values. Also this design principle extends to the Fujifilm XT2 (and its successors) camera body too. There is a dedicated ring each to change the shutter-speed and ISO settings respectively on the XT2 camera body.

So our muscle memory to change the depth/aperture, shutter speed and ISO light sensitivity has the dedicated rings in place.

However the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN contemporary lens for Fujifilm cameras doesn’t have any dedicated Aperture ring. Even its predecessors from this Contemporary series for APC cameras which I had reviewed in the past (16mm and 56mm) also didn’t have any dedicated Aperture ring. So, naturally while using this lens, initially my muscle memory would force me to look for that non-existing mechanical ring on the lens. But, the aperture can be easily changed using a dial on the camera body.

It will take a little while to get used to it if you have spent a lot of time using the Fujifilm prime lenses.

This is not a deal breaker to be honest. But, many of the Fujifilm users I know of, are using this camera system primarily because of the design and ergonomics. I hope SIGMA can someday create more fine-tuned lenses for Fujifilm users where the lenses will have that dedicated Aperture ring.


This is where SIGMA has an upper hand when compared to Fujifilm lenses of similar focal length and maximum aperture value.

As of writing this review, the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R LM WR Prime lens is priced around 89,000 Indian rupees. Whereas the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 lens would cost about 45,000 Indian rupees.

It is not hard to notice that SIGMA lenses of similar focal length as Fujifilm lenses are available for less than half the price of their Fujifilm counterparts.

This makes a strong case of SIGMA lenses being a real value for the money you pay.

Image quality

One might suspect that since these lenses are available at an attractive price point, the quality may not be that great.

But, that’s not the case. I used the lens in different lighting conditions and it performed well.

The widest aperture would allow one to work well in low light conditions. The bokeh you notice is quite nice for this focal length as generally wider the focal length of the lens, greater is the depth. My Fujifilm XF23mm has its widest aperture at F2 so it tends to have less bokeh and more depth. But at these shallow depth of fields, one must be really sure of where the focus is locked.

Beyond the bokeh at F1.4 , I notice that the lens does produce sharp results, especially at a sweet spot of aperture around F4.

Focusing speed was good.

But, in low light and backlit conditions, the auto focus mechanism would hunt for a bit before locking focus. Maybe, this could also depend on the camera model. I was using an older Fujifilm XT2 for these tests. The newer Fujifilm XT4/XT5 might give a faster result for auto-focus with these lenses under similar lighting condition.

The results

Image quality can be best told by the actual images. Here is a sample gallery of some of the work that I made using the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN lens. Please take a look at it and be the best judge.

I am primarily a Portrait and Editorial photographer based in Bengaluru city. The 23mm is not my go-to choice lens for closeup portraits. But, I do use this focal length for environmental portraits in my line of work.

But, if I find myself in a situation where I am allowed to carry only one prime lens with me, then it would be a 23mm focal length lens. As nothing comes close it for general purpose photography to create a mix of candid shots, landscapes and some environmental portraits. Whenever I travel light on vacations it is always one body and one 23mm lens.

So, the photographs you see in this gallery are from my recent travels with a mix of different photography styles from candid moments of people to landscapes.

Click on any thumbnail to view in a full-screen slideshow

If you photograph using Fujifilm cameras, would you buy SIGMA lenses? Also, do you have any questions about these lenses?


SIGMA has made a great series of quality prime lenses for Fujifilm X Mount cameras available at an attractive price point. If one is comfortable using third party lenses or has budget constraint to get the more expensive Fujifilm 23mm F1.2 lens, then the SIGMA 23mm F1.4 DC DN contemporary lens is a great choice. The ergonomics will change though if one is accustomed to using the Fujifilm XF prime lenses. There won’t be a dedicated Aperture ring on lens. But, that’s a trade-off for using third party lenses.

Would you buy SIGMA lens for Fujifilm mirrorless cameras? Or do you have any questions about these lenses? Do let me know in the comments.

Nishant Ratnakar
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By Nishant Ratnakar

Nishant is a Bangalore, India based Wedding, Portrait & Editorial Photographer. He is available for assignments across India. He also conducts photography workshops and offers personal photography mentorship.

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