Most Underrated Wide Angle Lens For Canon Mirrorless The Sigma EF-M 16mm F/1.4
A fast, prime wide angle lens isn’t something you typically associate with a pocket friendly mirrorless camera. But with the 16mm F/1.4, Sigma have produced something that is not just fitting of the miniature Canon EOSM Range, but that also performs well beyond it’s price point.
Released at the end of 2019 as part of a trio of Contemporary Range lenses, the EF-M mounted Sigma 16mm F/1.4 can be found for £400. For that fairly reasonable price point your getting a fantastic quality prime lens, that in many respects is a vloggers best friend.
Sitting in front of the EOS-M’s APS-C sized sensor you’re getting an effective focal length of around 25mm which for any front facing, selfie style vlogging is almost perfectly wide for getting everything in focus.
It features a F/1.4 aperture that can stop all the way down to F/16. With a minimum focus distance of 25CM and weighing just 405g, this lens in many ways is not just great for vloggers but could also be the lens that rejuvenates the entire EOS-M range of cameras, in a time where the industries focus seems to be pointed elsewhere. But enough of the specs, lets jump in and look at the good bits of this lens.
First up is the build quality. Sigma’s more premium Contemporary & Art range of lenses are well known for their fantastic build quality and this lens doesn’t let the side down. It is weighty enough to feel premium in hand and has the reassuring feel of a piece of glass that will stand the test of time.
Optically it is a supreme choice for the EF-M mount. In fact all three of these new sigma EF-M mounted lenses have been optically the best I’ve ever used on any EOS-M camera. The fast aperture when wide open gives so much more creative scope than is normally available on these cameras, it’s genuinely exciting to use.
I’d go as far as to say that these lenses breath a new life into this slightly older range of cameras and truly bring even the older ones like the EOS M3 back into relevance for video.
Having a fast, wide & prime lens for video is a great option and at this quality & price point is incredible. Although not as cheap as the other two lenses in this range, it is still really competitively priced, especially for existing EOS-M users, looking to continue to upgrade their options.
Finally, for video is the auto-focus. And I was surprised at how quiet & quick it actually is. It’s definitely useable with an on-body or in-body microphone and fast enough to keep up with the demands of run n gun or blog style filming.
The only real downside with this lens become apparent from when I’m being super critical. First up there’s no Image Stabiliser in the lens. This will be an issue for users of the older EOS-M & M3 cameras, that offer no stabilisation from the camera bodies.
Beyond that would be purely to pick at the weight of the 16mm. Being 405grams does make it incredible lightweight and small for a fast, prime wide angle lens – and it is incredible compact and well built. However when attached it is noticeable how much of weight shift occurs toward the lens, as it becomes the heaviest part of the set-up. This isn’t really a criticism, just more of a cautionary observation for new users.
All in all, this is a lens that not only offers incredible value, versatility & optical quality but is one that goes beyond being just a piece of glass. It is a lens that breaths new life into a almost forgotten range of cameras and does so with real elegance & quality.
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