Inspiration

What a perfect little lens. My constant travel companion.

What a perfect little lens. My constant travel companion: SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | C

- Jim Koepnick

Traveling to a major city is my type of vacation, giving me a chance to get lost in the sights and sounds around me. The dilemma, of course, is how much camera gear am I going to take. And specifically, what lenses. I know I will take pictures, but I don’t want the gear to weigh me down or limit my creativity.

Enter the perfect solution – the new SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary for Sony E-mount and L-Mount mirrorless cameras.

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 250, F6.3, 1/500s

This is the smallest and lightest F2.8 zoom I have ever used, so it is perfect as a single travel lens. It makes a great combination not only with my Sony α6600 crop sensor camera, but equally performs with my full-frame Sony α9 II body. It has the classic SIGMA Contemporary line design and quality build. And did I mention it is the smallest and lightest F2.8 zoom lens I have ever used?

* The images without photograph data have been created with lenses other than SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary.

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 400, F6.3, 1/1000s

While the “street photographer” in me usually carries prime lenses, I often find myself wishing for a different focal length just when that special opportunity appears. This is where the new SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary lens shows off its versatility. The 18-50mm focal length (27-75mm full-frame equivalent) lets me shoot wide for scenic photographs, as well as tighter for portraits, in one small package. And the fact that it has a maximum aperture of F2.8 through the whole zoom range lets me shoot in dimly lit situations, something that typical “kit zooms” don’t offer.

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 100, F14, 1/15s

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 800, F4, 1/1250s

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 1600, F2.8, 1/1600s

A trip to Chicago gave me the chance to shoot the lens in real life. While my bottom line is always image quality, the small size of this lens is the first thing you notice. It fits so easily into my backpack. It fits in a jacket pocket. Rather than a neck strap, I opted for a wrist strap because the α6600 and 18-50mm combination is so small, light and easy to carry. And being small and light means it was always ready to capture the next idea.

The SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary was with me for 12 miles (that’s 29,848 steps) as I walked around downtown Chicago. Weighing so little, while being so versatile, it never left my side. And that just might be a great definition for a travel lens – always there when you need it. A few thousand photos later, from sunny exterior landmarks of Chicago, to portraits at night, the lens surpassed my expectations. And a pleasant surprise was how close it focuses. While moving the camera closer and closer to a flower along a Chicago street, I was able to photograph a tiny honeybee as it landed.

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 3200, F5.6, 1/400s

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 250, F8, 1/160s

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 1600, F2.8, 1/30s

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 400, F5, 1/250s

Of course, the final test was looking at the images on the computer and picking my favorite memories. And this little SIGMA lens didn’t disappoint with image quality. Yes, it’s a very small lens that is perfect for travel, but it also produces professional-quality images. It creates a nice bokeh when shooting portraits wide open. It works very well with Sony’s in-body stabilization. And looking back, it’s so small and light that I never even thought of reaching for my phone to take a picture (even for those food shots!). What a perfect little lens, especially paired with a small camera like the Sony α6600 or the SIGMA fp L to be your constant travel companion.

SIGMA 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN | Contemporary, Sony α6600, ISO 1600, F7.1, 1/80s

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Jim Koepnick
Photographer

SIGMA America Ambassador Jim Koepnick is one of the leading aviation photographers today, photographing for Cirrus Aircraft, Plane and Pilot Magazine and Air and Space Smithsonian. He also specializes in sports and action for local newspapers and colleges. His 40 years as a professional photographer also include 28 years as Chief Photographer for the Experimental Aviation Association. In that role, he photographed over 1,000 aircraft while on air-to-air missions and supplied over 500 cover images for EAA Publications. Koepnick is also recognized for his decades of exceptional work in photojournalism, as well as sports, street, macro and travel photography.

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