Sigma 60mm F2.8 Review

Although every Sony photographer today knows about the Sigma trio of lenses, many people are unaware that Sigma actually produced a different trio of lenses many, many years prior (19mm, 30mm, and this 60mm) for NEX cameras.

In this particular article, we’ll be looking at the telephoto lens from that series, the Sigma 60mm F2.8, a low-budget portrait lens.

It’s a decade old and is also dirt cheap, but can this antique Sigma still stack up against modern competitors? Is it worth considering for your next budget lens purchase?

Let’s find out.

Looking for a quick summary before jumping in?

Sigma 60mm F2.8

- Sharp and consistent images

- Small and compact

- Dirt cheap and a good budget option

- Old but still a decent lens

portrait of a woman sitting in car
Can this old lens still be an epic portrait-capturing machine?

Build Quality

Size & Weight

First off, let’s talk about size and weight. Although not incredibly small, the Sigma 60mm F2.8 is actually fairly compact.

Weighing 6.7oz (190g) and measuring only 2.2 inches (5.5cm), it’s decidedly below average as far as APS-C mirrorless lenses go.

When I tossed it on my a6000, it balanced pretty well. Admittedly, the low weight did make the setup feel a bit “back-heavy” (camera heavy) but the small size felt like a natural fit.

It’s not quite the right size to be easily pocketable, but I had no issues stuffing it in my small camera insert.

Is the lens well-built?

As for build quality, this old Sigma kinda falls flat a bit. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t feel particularly high quality either.

To be completely honest, I’ve typically found that NEX-era lenses tended to just feel a bit cheap and flimsy. Holding this ultralight lens in the hand makes it feel more like a toy than a tool.


Still though, it’s made out of a sort of plastic compound, and although it feels cheap, I don’t think it’ll necessarily have any issues with durability.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of lenses that “feel bad” in the hand, but have survived drops, bumps, etc. just fine.

Rattling Noises

Besides that, the lens makes some sort of rattling noise when it isn’t powered on.

Upon doing some research, I discovered that it’s some sort of electromagnetic thing apparently linked to the focusing system, so it doesn’t indicate a problem, it just makes the lens feel a bit more flimsy and cheap.


As for ergonomics, I mentioned earlier that despite the low weight, the lens still feels pretty well-balanced on my camera (despite feeling a little cheap).

When out on a long shooting/adventure session, I found that it was fairly comfortable to hold onto for an extended period of time. I didn’t have any issues with hand fatigue or anything like that.


As for aesthetics, I think the lens looks very boring but functional. The barrel is sleek metal (coming in either black or silver) and features very little besides the text engraving and Sigma “A” logo.

I found that the silver version, while (objectively) looking a little cooler, was a huge attractant for smudges and fingerprints.

Image Quality


Next up, sharpness. My tests don’t tend to get very scientific, so don’t expect any complicated charts or measurements. I generally just pixel-peep to the extreme.

Sigma has a great reputation for creating extremely sharp lenses, and the 60mm F2.8 is no exception (even despite its age).

Wide Open

Even when wide open at F2.8, centers are razor sharp and corners come pretty darn close.

Performance wide open is absolutely more than adequate for anything you’d ever need it for.

Stopped Down

If you’re looking to get a bit more depth of field, stopping down also shows similar performance.

When shooting at, say, F5.6 or F8, the entire frame just looks incredibly crisp from edge-to-edge. Really impressive.

portrait of a man with sun
Sharpness is pretty dang solid.

Optical Quirks & Flaws

Alright, so sharpness is fabulous, but how does the lens handle various optical quirks such as distortion, vignette, CA, and flaring?


To start off, distortion is entirely non-existent.

Seriously, you’ll need to do absolutely zero corrections in post.


Vignette, on the other hand, is a bit more noticeable, but only at low apertures.

It’s easily fixed in post or by just stopping down slightly.

Chromatic Aberration

I couldn’t find any flaws when it came to aberrations, the lens handles CA like a champ.

Even in some of my more intensive tests (such as branches against a sunny sky), there was virtually nothing.

Flare Resistance

Finally, although the lens suffers from a minor bit of ghosting and loss of contrast when shooting directly into the sun, flare resistance was strong.

You shouldn’t have any issues shooting backlit portraits with this thing.


As for bokeh, the tight focal length certainly creates some decent results, but the F2.8 aperture dampens them a bit.

You’ll still get pretty strong bokeh, but nothing like you’d get with a bokehlicious beast such as the newer Sigma 56mm F1.4.

But hey, this lens is small and cheap, so there have to be at least some trade-offs.

Overall Optical Performance

All told, I’m actually really impressed with the optical performance of the Sigma 60mm F2.8.

Yeah, it’s an older lens, but it still is just as sharp as its newer competitors. Like I mentioned earlier, I think my only complaint would be that the F2.8 aperture just isn’t quite enough for creating delicious blurred-out backgrounds.

Already interested in buying?
Sigma 60mm F2.8
Despite the low price tag, the Sigma 60mm F2.8 isn't lacking in terms of image quality.
man in suit
Overall optical performance is rather fantastic (and the bokeh is pretty decent too).

Focusing System


Next up, let’s focus on focusing (pun intended).

Stills AF

Frankly, there’s not a lot to say for autofocus. The Sigma 60mm F2.8 has decent AF that is reliable, but not particularly fast.

It works decently well with Sony’s excellent focus systems such as EyeAF and AF-C, it just won’t blow you away in terms of speed.

Video AF

Video AF is similar.

It’s reliable and quiet, but just slow.

Manual Focus

Manual focus is where things get weird. Almost every other lens in history has had a nice, ribbed focus ring, but this lens (like the others in the trio) doesn’t.

The focusing ring is sleek, slippery metal. It can be hard to grip, especially with sweaty (or cold) hands, and the focusing ring itself isn’t even well-dampened.

I wouldn’t expect to use manual focus a lot on this lens, it’s just straight-up weird.

My Final Thoughts


Finally, before I round out this article, I’d like to offer a few (very strong) competitors.

Sigma 56mm F1.4

First off, the Sigma 56mm F1.4.

It’s essentially the more modern version of this lens, and it’s just incredible. Razor sharp, F1.4 aperture, blazing fast autofocus, a robust build.

Can’t go wrong. It’s just a lot more expensive (and larger).

Sony E 50mm F1.8

Second, the Sony E 50mm F1.8.

Sony’s “nifty fifty” offers stabilization, respectable sharpness and fast AF.


So, should you buy this lens? I’d say it really depends. Newer, modern competitors are better in almost every way except two: cost and size.

The Sigma 60mm F2.8 offers solid sharpness, AF, and an incredibly low price tag. It’s a fabulous option for photographers on an extreme budget who want to get a respectable tight focal length lens without spending a lot of money.

If you’re interested in picking it up yourself, I’ll leave purchase links below.

Cheap & Powerful
Sigma 60mm F2.8
Although lacking in some regards, the Sigma 60mm F2.8 offers great performance for the price.