Home L-Mount Sigma announces three Contemporary fast APS-C primes for L-Mount

Sigma announces three Contemporary fast APS-C primes for L-Mount


The L-Mount Alliance took a new turn this afternoon as Sigma entered the APS-C L-lens market for the first time. Three fast primes – 16, 30 and 56mm – will add some exciting possibilities for owners of Leica TL and CL cameras. They will provide f/1.4 full-frame equivalents of 24, 45 and 85mm at very reasonable prices compared with Leica’s existing glass. The lenses range from £330 to £450 in the UK.

The three primes are similar to the lenses already available for Sony E, Canon EF-M and micro four-thirds. They incorporate optimised autofocus for L-Mount, including AF-C mode, and are compatible with in-camera image stabilisation, with the camera automatically detecting the focal length and optimising image stabilisation performance. The mounts on all three lenses are dust and splash-proof.

The Sigma mount-conversion service is available to change the mount as an alternative to selling and re-buying if you are planning to change your system.

When I read details of these lenses I at first assumed they were full-frame optics complementary to the popular 45mm f/2.8 which was launched alongside the Sigma fp camera. However, this announcement comes as a surprise and begs the question of whether we will see other APS-C cameras with L-Mount.

Panasonic has already stated clearly that it is not interested in APS-C, so this leaves only Sigma. In the meantime, the Leica CL and TL2 have just got a new lease of life with some exciting fast glass to add to the rather long-in-the-tooth and expensive optical offerings from Leica. Interestingly, however, the emphasis in the press release on compatibility with in-camera stabilisation systems is odd, given that Leica’s APS-C cameras do not feature IBIS.

These lenses will be available from July 2020.

SIGMA 16mm F1.4 DC DC Contemporary

  • Construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
  • Minimum focus distance: 25mm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:9.9
  • Filter size: 67mm
  • Maximum diameter: 72.2mm
  • Length: 90.3mm
  • Weight (tba)
  • Price: £449.99

SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

  • Construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
  • Angle of view: 83.2deg. APS-C
  • Aperture range: f/1.4 – f/16
  • Minimum focus distance: 30cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:7
  • Filter size: 52mm
  • Maximum diameter: 65.4mm
  • Length 71.3mm
  • Weight: 280g
  • Price in UK: £329.99

SIGMA 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary

  • Construction: 10 elements in 6 groups
  • Angle of view: 28.5deg APSC
  • Aperture range: f/1.4 – f/16
  • Minimum focus distance: 50cm
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:7.4
  • Filter size: 55mm
  • Maximum diameter: 66.5mm
  • Length: 56.5mm
  • Weight: 285g
  • Price in UK: £399.99


  1. A late comment — my Panasonic L 16-35/4 works beautifully on the CL, is well balanced, and much better than the TL 11-23 – probably because stabilized and newer optics.

  2. Yes I am seriously considering buying myself either a secondhand SL, or more likely a new Panasonic S1-R to use this lens on. The S1-R incidentally because with 47+ M/pixel I would also still get about 20M/Pixels from it if I also used it with my other Leica T type lenses. However I would not even begin to consider buying a SL2 instead as I regard it as being far too expensive by comparison to the better specified S1-R

    • You are right. This week I had an email from a regular reader who has just bought a used SL for £1,850 (from Ffordes) and he’s delighted with it. Add some of the Panasonic or Sigma lenses and it makes a very attractive buy. I also agree that the S1R makes more sense financially than the SL2. I just checked and see that the S1R body is now selling for £2,698, which is about 2/3rds of the list price. And you can get the kit (complete with your 24-105 lens) for only £200 more. Crazy prices and that lens is a steal for a couple of hundred.

      If you wish, of course, you can buy the SL2 for £5,298 and the 24-90 Vario Elmarit for £3,845. That’s a cool £9,143 which compares directly with the S1R kit at £2,899. But even the boldest Leica fan has to stop and think. The Leica rig will depreciate more slowly, of course, but that’s little consolation when you are tying up three times as much cash. The Leica does have an advantage with the in-built profiles for M lenses, however.

      I’ve owned the S1 and thought it was an excellent camera. I prefer the ergonomics of the SL2, though, and am very happy with the camera. But, faced with your choice, I think I would go for the Panasonic. I’d also buy the kit, with a second 24-105, and flog the lens on eBay for £499. So the S1R comes down to about £2,400. Since you are using crop lenses, the effective 20MP you get on the SL2 or S1R makes the higher-resolution sensor a sensible choice.


    • Incidentally, Don, all this makes for a very interesting article. I would be very glad to receive your long-term views of the Panasonic 24-105. It is discounted in most people’s minds as a “kit lens” but, to me, it is a solidly built good performer. It certainly performs well above its price bracket. What it loses to the Leica 24-90 in absolute image quality and sharpness, it makes up for with the more sensible focal-length range, built-in stabilisation and smaller size. If you do get an S1R, again, send me some notes and I’ll knock them up into an article.

      If you have any sample shots from the 24-105 on the CL I would be interested to see them now. I don’t have access to a CL or TL2 at the moment, so can’t do any of my own samples. I am also interested in doing something on TL lenses used on a 47MP full-fame camera such as the SL2 or S1R.


  3. Not only Sigma, I am using a full frame Panasonic 24-105mm L fitting zoom lens on my CL and TL2 in preference to my genuine Leica 55-135 APO lens because not only does the Pan lens gives me a longer telephoto length but it also remains a circa 35mm at the wide angle end.

    More importantly even than the Pan lens giving me a genuine wide angle to longer telephoto in one hit on such as the CL and TL” etc is the fact unlike my Leica zoom the Panasonic 24-105 also has IS which really does work, meaning although the Leica APO in perfect conditions MIGHT be just a tad sharper (Very little in it though), I in fact find I get more sharper shots with the Pan lens due to its IS facility removing my human camera shake,

    • I also own this lens, Don. It came as part of the kit with the S1, but I decided to keep the lens because I like it a lot. It works well on the SL2 as well as the CL. As you say, the Leica lenses might have the edge but there is cost, convenience and OIS to be taken into account. On the SL, I prefer the 105mm focal length to the Leica 24-90, although undoubtedly the Leica is a better lens. But at four times as much — as well as being bigger and heavier — it’s not so much a close call. The good thing is that we now have a choice!

  4. I wonder whether these lenses will work on the TL2 given that the TL2 never received the firmware update that ensures compatibility with all current and the future L-mount lenses…

      • The 45mm Contemporary lens works fine as does the 35mm f1.4. These are the two I’ve purchased and use. My belief is it would be similar with the new ones.

        What is common to both lens is that switching on the lens from AF to MF does nothing at all. Switching to MF in the TL2 itself does allow manual control though. Likewise on the 45mm, the lens’s manual aperture ring is non-functional — it doesn’t matter what you dial in, control always sits with the TL2.

        • I should add that the exif data for both lenses is correctly read in the TL2 and that operating the manual focus ring on the lenses when in MF mode on the camera automatically brings up the focus aids in the same way it does with Leica lenses. Hope that helps.

        • Hi Steve, that actually makes a lot of sense, thanks for clarifying, I guess overall the lens works well but there is no full compatibility, ie. not all Sigma lens features (like the AF/MF switch) are 100% supported. Have you experienced any battery drainage issues with the Sigma lenses on the TL2?

  5. A relatively fast wide angle prime like the 16mm was desperately needed I would say, after all the APS-C L-mount is not really a brand new mount anymore having been around now for 6 years… And also the fast 56mm is very much appreciated. The 30mm IMO will have a tougher time competing with the Summilux-TL 35mm although the price (1/8th of the price of the Leica in the US) certainly helps… Glad these lenses finally have been officially announced! It was a long wait.

  6. Well, you could use these now on your stabilized SL2 in APS-C mode and still have quite a few mega pickles at your disposal. And, this maybe probably confirms that the CL2 will have some sort of IBIS?

  7. Sigma is sure helping out Leica and their l-mount being a success. This should do CPR and breath life into the CL system. Also, they will be readily available unlike Leica product announcements. Are those Leica SL wide angles real?
    The Sigma L-mount 100-400mm just announced I have my eyeballs on. I am still waiting for my SL2 but I have my gorgeous Sigma Fp creating lovely images. Panasonic and Sigma have supercharged the Leica L mount system. We can pick our poison!

      • also, the quite compact and light Panasonic S Pro 16-35/4 would be a fabulous zoom on the CL. I find the image sharpness wonderful from wide open.

        • Interesting, I hadn’t considered the 16-35 in relation to the CL. But 24-53mm, as it would be on an APS-C ssensor, would be a more attractive range for me. The good thing is that the range of L lenses is now so extensive that mix and match is intriguing.

          • read the review on findingrange. I am in the process of writing a “report” of the lens as I know some people do not like reviews…
            I think this would be a great lens on the CL.


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