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Quick comparison between Lumix 14-28 f4-5.6 and Sigma 16-28 f2.8

pdk42

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LMF-Patron Gold
I've been a serious amateur photographer since my teens back in the 1970s. I'm mostly into landscapes. You can see some of my work here:

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_kaye (usually fresh images)
Adobe Portfolio: https://paulkaye.myportfolio.com/ (usually quite a bit out of date)

I've used a lot of gear over the years and whilst I'm not a total gear-head, I do from time to time re-evaluate my chosen system. For the past decade I've been an Olympus m43 user and whilst mostly happy with the results, I've always thought FF would be a better destination given what I shoot. Some brief forays into Sony E and Nikon Z didn't really do it for me, but late last year I gave Panasonic S a whirl - and I liked it!

So I needed lenses, including (especially) a good UWA zoom. The options at the time were the Lumix 16-35 f4, Sigma 16-28 f2.8, or the Leica 16-35 f3.5-4.5. Dismissing the latter for the obviously poor price/performance mix (!), it left the Lumix vs the Sigma. It didn't seem from the various reviews I read that the Lumix was optically any better than the Sigma but the Sigma new was still cheaper than the Lumix used, so the choice was easy. The max aperture really wasn't a consideration since I shoot nearly everything at f8 or f11.

But then Panasonic announced the 14-28. On the face of it, this would be my ideal UWA - 14mm at the wide end (I like W I D E) and actually smaller and lighter than the Sigma. So I pre-ordered the 14-28 and waited, and waited. With a Scotland photo trip looming and still now without a UWA, I did a panic buy of the Sigma; and then the Lumix arrived the day before I left!

So, I've currently got both of them in my possession. I'll probably sell the Sigma, but I thought before I did I'd do some quick comparisons.

1) Sharpness

I'm quite picky with across-the-frame sharpness for UWA lenses, esp at infinity focus; it's a really an important attribute for shooting landscapes. And by this measure they both do an excellent job. Here are two images both on the S1R, one with each lens. Both are shot at f11 (which is where I shoot landscape 90% of the time). The images are shot in raw, on a tripod, and processed in LR. In LR I set the WB to "Daylight" for both and also pushed shadows +100 and pulled highlights -100 (it was a very contrasty scene). Other parameters are using LR defaults. Unfortunately, the lighting was changing very rapidly that day so although the exposure is the same on both, the light is actually a little better (more contrast) with the Sigma image. C'est la vie!

Sigma 16-28
PS1R1142_1024.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S1R
  • 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary 022
  • 16.0 mm
  • ƒ/11
  • 1/80 sec
  • Pattern
  • Auto exposure
  • -0.7
  • ISO 100


Lumix 14-28
PS1R1147_1024.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S1R
  • LUMIX S 14-28/F4-5.6
  • 16.0 mm
  • ƒ/11
  • 1/80 sec
  • Pattern
  • Auto exposure
  • -0.7
  • ISO 100


You'll notice that there are some colour differences. The Sigma renders with a slight magenta cast, the Lumix slightly greener. I think the Lumix is the more natural/real, but you could easily get any result you want by an appropriate profile/tweak in LR so I don't think these differences will bother most people.

Here are some crop comparisons to assess sharpness:

Centre:
1679514689805.png


Left edge:
1679514429603.png

Right edge:
1679514509910.png

Bottom left:
1679514589552.png

Bottom right:
1679514644439.png


Remember that these are 100% crops from the 47Mp S1R. Overall, I think this is really an excellent result from both lenses. I'd be very happy with either.

Although these are shot at f11, neither lens displays significant deterioration as the aperture opens up. Even the Sigma at f2.8 shows good sharpness right out into the corners. I'd be happy to shoot with either wide open if I needed to without worrying about mushy corners.


2) Flare

These two shots are into sun. They both show a little flare, but it's not a lot for either. I also had a UV filter attached to both so I can't rule out effects from that. I think they both do well in handling flare.

Sigma 16-28
PS1R0964_1024.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S1R
  • 16-28mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary 022
  • 16.0 mm
  • ƒ/11
  • 1/50 sec
  • Pattern
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 100


Lumix 14-28
PS1R0958_1024.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S1R
  • LUMIX S 14-28/F4-5.6
  • 16.0 mm
  • ƒ/11
  • 1/50 sec
  • Pattern
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 100


3) CA / Fringing
It's hard to spot, but there is a tiny amount of CA and fringing on the Sigma, but virtually nothing on the Lumix. What little there is on the Sigma can be easily tidied up in LR, so I have no complaints with either.
1679515464348.png


4) Sunstars
The Sigma is a clear winner here. Both shot at f16:
1679515609836.png


5) 14mm vs 16mm

14mm

PS1R1146_1024.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S1R
  • LUMIX S 14-28/F4-5.6
  • 14.0 mm
  • ƒ/11
  • 1/80 sec
  • Pattern
  • Auto exposure
  • -0.7
  • ISO 100


16mm
PS1R1147_1024.jpg
  • Panasonic - DC-S1R
  • LUMIX S 14-28/F4-5.6
  • 16.0 mm
  • ƒ/11
  • 1/80 sec
  • Pattern
  • Auto exposure
  • -0.7
  • ISO 100



6) Build, size, weight, handling, operation etc

IMG_3774.jpeg

IMG_3775.jpeg

Best expressed as a table:

Lumix 14-28Sigma 16-28
ControlsZoom, focus, AF/MF switchZoom, focus, AF/MF switch
Zoom actionClockwise min-max. Internal zooming (or more correctly, the front element moves, but within the outer barrel so size doesn't change). Anti-clockwise min-max. Internal zooming.
Length / width89.9mm / 84mm100.6mm / 77.2mm
Filter size & vignetting77mm. No vignetting at 14mm with a slim filter. Some vignetting with two. No vignetting at 15mm with two filters.72mm. No vignetting at 16mm with two slim filters.
Build & feelAverage. The focus and zoom rings are typical Panasonic S - rubberised and dust traps. The build is all plastic and feels it. It's OK, but it doesn't feel special.Above average. The focus and zoom rings are typical Sigma "Contemporary" but are nice to handle and operate. The build is plastic but it feels better than the Lumix.
Weather sealingWeather sealed against splashesNot weather sealed
Weight372g480g
Close focussingVery close (semi macro, but goodness knows why anyone would buy a UWA for macro).Not so close.



7) Conclusion

There's little to separate these two lenses so far as basic IQ is concerned. I'd be very happy with either. If I had to separate them, I'd say this:

Lumix 14-28Sigma 16-28
Field of viewExcellent range. Uber wide at 14mm. 2x zoom range.OK. 16mm might be wide enough for most, but 28mm at long end means only a 1.75 zoom range which isn't a lot.
Max aperturef4-f5.6. Not great for low light. Probably not the best internal architecture lens. Ideal for landscapef2.8 - much better for internal architecture
Sun starsAverage for a zoom. Not well defined.Really excellent for a zoom.

So, it would seem to me that the Sigma is really a better lens for interior architecture/low light lens (night cityscapes etc) rather than landscapes (faster, nice sunstars), whereas the Lumix is better for landscape (wider, weather-sealed, small/lighter). But either would I'm sure suit both genres is needed.

Hope this little comparison has been helpful!
 
Last edited:
Wow, what an excellent review! Daumenhoch Smilie

I have the Sigma 16-28/2.8 and I am really happy with it.

Bought it last summer before the Lumix 14-28 was even announced. So my choice was easier :)

If I had to buy one UWA today, I would still buy the Sigma 16-28/2.8 because of its smaller size (length and filtersize), but I do seldom landscapes, so no need for wider than 16mm.

If Sigma would offer for example an even smaller & lighter 18-28/4.0, I would probably go for that one.
 
Thanks for the excellent detailed comparison. You probably have diffraction kicking in by f11, me I would likely shoot those at f8 max.

Looking forward to getting the Sigma 16-28mm love its constant f2.8 as the ideal lens for indoor and outdoor architecture in all lighting conditions. 16mm is more wide than I would ever want, especially with the challenges on perspective convergence when ultra wides are tilted slightly up or down when shooting architecture.
 
Great review Paul! Thanks for posting.

I received my Lumix S 14-28mm last week and have only taken a few shots with it so far. My raw processor (DxO PhotoLab) unfortunately does not support the lens yet so I may not be getting the best out of it until that happens.
 
Thanks Paul for your detailed review.

You help me a lot to decide pair S1R with Sigma 16-28mm /f2.8 . I will use it mainly for landscape but also for architecture in difficult lighting conditions and I don’t want to push S1R above 3200/6400 ISO. Also I own all kind (ND,CPL,IR…) of 72mm filters so I don’t have to buy them again.
 
Thank you for the review!
I've been undecided between lenses... There are good options. I used to use 7-14mm on m43, so this is the same range! I've been debating between the 14-28mm or the 18mm F1.8. I like 18mm F1.8 to use in low light, but the zoom range would be nice. I'm also waiting for the Sigma 17mm F4. A small lightweight lens would be nice to have.
 
Thanks Paul for your detailed review.

You help me a lot to decide pair S1R with Sigma 16-28mm /f2.8 . I will use it mainly for landscape but also for architecture in difficult lighting conditions and I don’t want to push S1R above 3200/6400 ISO. Also I own all kind (ND,CPL,IR…) of 72mm filters so I don’t have to buy them again.
It is a super lens. I sometimes feel I should keep it just for the sunstars - but there's obviously a big overlap between them so it's a bit of a luxury to keep both.
 
It is a super lens. I sometimes feel I should keep it just for the sunstars - but there's obviously a big overlap between them so it's a bit of a luxury to keep both.

Resistance is futile. Nowaday it is hipp to have overlapping lenses. Do not listen to your wife or your bank. Just keep them both! Z04 Flucht
 
As a newbie to the L Mount and my new S5 II camera, this is excellent information and is an excellent and comprehensive review. I am just getting used to the S5 II and received it with the 20 to 60 mm 'kit' lens. I have added the matching 70 to 300 mm and ordered the 14 - 28 mm. I have a Sony A7 RIVa for which I have a range of f/2.8 lenses (and f/1.4 primes) , so was looking for light and reasonably sized lenses to start with hence my decision to try the Panasonic solution here (it is quite a lot lighter and shorter than the Sigma). The variable and poorer aperture are not a concern at the moment. It seems that this is not a bad choice within the constrains of the aperture restrictions from your review and I will report back when I have received it and had chance to shoot with it. Had you reported a significant difference in quality I would have definitely have given the Sigma a try.

I must admit to having had some not quite optimal experiences with Sigma lenses in the past, so I am starting from a biased point of view (slow auto focus, sticking zooms and unreliable connection to the camera - back in the days of my Canon EF mount cameras). I think they have improved a lot now so happy to give them a chance, especially the new DG DN Contemporary and Art lenses once I am comfortable with the S5 II.
 
Hi wh1tby,

there is a difference like night and day between the old Sigma lenses a decade ago and the new DG DN lenses since 2018.

I have many of them for L-Mount now (16-28, 24/3.5, 35/1.4 Art, 35/2.0, 45/2.8, 65/2.0, 90/2.8 and 105/2.8 Macro Art) and I love them all, especially the i-series for its leightweight and compact size. And they have an APERTURE RING! Can you believe this? I love this! Z04 Herz
 
there is a difference like night and day between the old Sigma lenses a decade ago and the new DG DN lenses since 2018.
I'd totally agree with that. I remember having a Sigma 75-300 zoom for Canon DSLRs back in the day - absolutely terrible lens!

More recently I've used the Sigma 30mm f1.4 for MFT, and the Sigma 16-28 f2.8 for FF and they are both extremely good lenses.
 
To be fair, it is not only Sigma. For what I can see, all manufacturers have levelled up the lens design significantly with the introduction of the new mirrorless systems.

Nikon Z lenses are all significantly better that the DSLR versions. Fuji was already good in 2012, but now they took another step with the newest designs (unfortunately also the size and weight), Panasonic brought out lenses lile the 9/1.7, 10-25/1.7 and 25-50/1.7 MFT lenses and of course all the L-Mount lenses etc pp.

So you see this improvement in the whole industry. It is almost difficult to buy a bad lens, if it was designed around 2018 or later from one of the big names.
 
An interesting observation here. I am using a lot of Tamron lenses for my Sony setup as they are well priced with an excellent performance and fit neatly between the cheaper lenses and the expensive Sony GM lenses. I do not need the robustness of the professional lenses but want good performing medium priced lenses that are a reasonable size so I can take them with me.

One of my reasons for looking at Panasonic (after they added PDAF to their S5) was that they have a range of non Pro lenses that are light, high performance and reasonably priced. They are not of the same quality as the Pro series but they do offer weather sealing and defined wide range temperature ranges. This makes looking at Sigma less of a cost saving exercise but one based on quality etc. Hence we are all benefiting from choice which is always a good thing.

So far I am impressed with the Panasonic S lenses. The 20 - 60 mm is remarkable as it is light, has a very useful focal range and is not too slow (f stop wise). And it is weather sealed. That is remarkable in this day and age (look at the Canon RF range and you will see either very expensive, fully weather sealed, large and heavy L series lenses or their cheap, low performance, not weather sealed lenses). Canon shot themselves in the foot by not opening up their mount to 3rd parties such as Sigma and Tamron. I am beginning to suspect that this is because part of the lens design is incorporated in their camera firmware which makes opening up the mount to 3rd parties more complex and opens them to problems of quality image delivery which will, inevitably, be attributed to Canon and not the lens/body combination. A subject for another day.

I appreciate the feedback here and I will start to give the Sigma range for the L mount serious consideration. Especially when I start looking at primes (35 mm f/1.x or 24 mm f/1/x being my favorites). Any comments on the Sigma choices as compared to the Panasonic f/1.8 series in these focal lengths would be more than welcomed.
 
Any comments on the Sigma choices as compared to the Panasonic f/1.8 series in these focal lengths would be more than welcomed.

This will be out of the subject of this thread, so we should talk about this in an extra thread to make it easier for others to find it.
 
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