What Is an Art Lens?

What Is an Art Lens featured photo

If you are shopping for a new lens, you probably heard about the Sigma Art lens. You might wonder why it is called so and what makes it different from other lenses. This article will cover this product in more detail.

An Art lens is a type of Sigma lens designed for artistic and creative photography, hence the name. It uses high-quality optical elements and advanced technology to produce impressive images.

The Sigma Art lens offers other benefits, which we will explore below. You will also learn about the other types of Sigma lenses you can buy in this article. But first, we will teach you the definition of a Sigma Art lens.

What Is an Art Lens?

The Sigma Art lens

The Art lens is a type of Sigma lens. It offers stunning image quality and unique artistic capabilities. It is a popular lens for art photographers who want to capture fine details.

The Sigma Art lens also features a wide maximum aperture. It allows more light to enter the image sensor, making it easier to shoot in low-light conditions. The large aperture also creates a shallow depth of field and a beautiful bokeh effect. It can isolate the subject from the background. It is suitable for portrait and wildlife photography.

Plus, Sigma Art lenses use high-quality optical elements and advanced technology. They can offer minimal distortion, maximum image detail, and fast autofocus performance. They can take your photography game to the next level, whether you are a professional or a hobbyist.

Some Sigma Art lenses even have built-in image stabilization. It lets you take sharp photos, even when shooting handheld or using slow shutter speeds.

Finally, Sigma Art lenses come in different kinds. Feel free to choose from ultra wide-angle lenses to super telephoto lenses. You can also buy either prime or zoom lenses, depending on your needs and preferences.

What Are the Benefits of an Art Lens?

Sigma Art lenses offer several benefits you can take advantage of as a newbie or professional photographer. 

Sharp Images

A Sigma Art lens uses advanced optical technology to provide exceptional focal plane sharpness and vibrant colors. It can help you capture sharp and extremely detailed photos.

This type of Sigma lens also has low-dispersion glass elements and coatings. Hence, it can reduce chromatic aberration or purple and green fringing often appearing in high-contrast images.

Large Maximum Aperture

Sigma Art lenses usually have a large maximum aperture ranging from f/2.8 and greater.

The aperture determines the amount of light that enters the image sensor. It can also affect the depth of field or how much of the scene is in the focused area within an image.

Since the Sigma Art line has a large aperture, it allows more light to hit the camera sensor. It can capture clear images, even at night or in low-light situations. 

The Sigma Art lens can also separate the subject from the background. It is ideal for portrait and wildlife photography.

Stunning Bokeh Effect

Many lenses can create a blurred background or a shallow depth of field. However, only a few lenses can produce stunning bokeh. 

Bokeh describes the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas within an image. It adds depth to your photos and highlights the subject.

Sigma Art lenses can capture images with a beautiful bokeh effect in the background. They have several internal rounded blades that produce circles in out-of-focus areas. Unlike the effects in other lenses, these bokeh balls do not become distorted when shooting at maximum aperture.

Durable Build

The Sigma Art lens line is also known for its high-quality construction materials. It feels premium in the hands, which both hobbyists and professional photographers can appreciate.

This type of Sigma lens can also withstand daily use and harsh weather conditions. It can last you several years with proper care and maintenance. 

Image Stabilization

Some Sigma Art lenses have built-in image stabilization. This technology can minimize camera shake and unnecessary movement. Hence, it enables you to take sharp photos when shooting handheld or at slower shutter speeds.

Custom Settings

Certain Sigma Art lenses also come with special features and advanced lens elements. These allow you to adjust the lens to fit your photography needs and preferences.

For example, Sigma lenses with SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements can prevent chromatic aberrations. These are especially handy for those with high-contrast areas in their photos.

What Are the Best Art Lenses to Buy Today?

Sigma offers hundreds of Art lenses. It could be overwhelming to choose the right one at first. But here are just a few popular Sigma Art lenses worth considering, regardless of the photography type that you do.

  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens
  • Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
  • Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art DC HSM Lens
  • Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art Lens
  • Sigma 20mm f/1.4  Art Lens

What are the Other Types of Sigma Lenses?

Art lenses are not the only lenses that Sigma offers. It also produces two product lines that suit the specific needs of other photographers.

Sigma Contemporary Lens

Sigma Contemporary Lens

The Sigma Contemporary line offers high-performance yet compact lenses. These all-around lenses have the same latest technology as the Art lenses. Hence, they can capture stunning results, whether group pictures, travel photos, or casual snapshots.

Another advantage of the Sigma Contemporary lenses is their small, lightweight build. They are more portable with fewer buttons and controls.  These make them ideal for photographers who often travel.

However, Sigma Contemporary lenses tend to have a smaller or slower maximum aperture. They might perform poorly in low-light conditions compared to Sigma Art lenses.

Sigma Sports Lens

Sigma Sports Lens

As its name suggests, the Sigma Sports lens can capture sports and high-action scenes. It features a telephoto focal length to help you record the subject’s movement, even at a distance. It also has super optical performance that can suit other types of photography. These include bird, nature, and wildlife photography.  

Plus, the Sigma Sports lens offers several custom functions. Simply use the included Sigma software to adjust the lens settings. 

Finally, this lens has a durable construction. It can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

There are still downsides to the Sigma Sports line, though. First, these lenses tend to be bulky and heavy. They also have a smaller maximum aperture, ultimately affecting their low-light performance.

Sigma Art Lens vs. Contemporary Lens: What Are the Differences?

Sigma’s Art line lenses are among the highest-quality lenses you can get for your camera. However, they are not exactly affordable lenses. That is why Sigma produced another product line, known as Contemporary lenses, that are cheaper.

But besides their prices, you might be curious about the differences between Sigma Art lenses and Contemporary lenses. Below are the primary distinctions you must know.


The Sigma Art lens is designed for artistic expression. It offers high-quality optical elements and solid lens construction. Sigma Art lenses also tend to have large apertures to allow more light in the sensor. At the same time, they can produce a shallow depth of field perfect for portraits and creative shots.

A Sigma Contemporary lens is an all-around lens. It features the latest technology from Sigma, hence its name. It is suitable for almost all kinds of photography.

Construction Build

Sigma Art lenses have rugged construction. They use thermally stable composite (TSC) material. It is a polycarbonate similar to aluminum in terms of thermal expansion rate. These lenses also offer a brass mount. They can withstand temperature and weather changes, ideal for outdoor shooting.

Meanwhile, a Sigma Contemporary lens is less expensive to make. It uses cheaper yet still durable materials. One of these components is thermally stable composite (TSC) polycarbonate.

Image Quality

Sigma Art lenses capture sharp and highly detailed images. They tend to be prime lenses, which have fewer optical elements and no moving elements. These can minimize lens diffraction that causes light to bounce around before hitting the sensor. Art lenses also have a wide maximum aperture to allow more light inside the sensor.

On the other hand, Sigma Contemporary lenses have great image quality. It is not up to par with Sigma Art lenses, but it is decent enough. The reason why these lenses are not that sharp is the glass elements. They are usually versatile zoom lenses with several internal glass pieces. They can decrease the image’s sharpness.


The Sigma Art product line has fast apertures and autofocus features. This type of lens is also compatible with Sigma USB lens docks. It lets you make microfocus adjustments to ensure optimal lens performance.

A Sigma Contemporary lens offers slower apertures than an Art lens. It also tends to have limited customizable features. It is not the slowest lens in the market, though. It can still provide decent night and low-light photography.

Size and Weight

Sigma Art lenses are usually prime lenses. However, they still have a hefty weight because of the solid construction material.

In contrast, Contemporary lenses are compact and portable. They are easy to carry around and store away when not in use. 


Sigma lenses are excellent alternatives to traditional Canon, Nikon, or Sony lenses. They offer a product line called Art to suit creative art photographers.

Sigma Art lenses use high-quality optical elements and advanced technology to capture stunning images. It offers several benefits, such as a large aperture and durable build construction.

Are you planning to buy an Art lens? Let us know by sending a message on our contact page!