Sigma's first Canon RF lens is finally here – and it could be the best zoom for APS-C fans

Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary lens for Canon RF mount, attached to a Canon EOS R5 outdoors on a sunny day
(Image credit: Sigma)

Sigma has officially launched its first-ever lens for Canon RF-mount: the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary. We knew the lens was on its way after Canon finally gave the key to the door of its RF-mount to Sigma and Tamron in April, and now we know that the 18-50mm will hit the shelves on July 11. 

It's about time. Canon's superb crop-sensor (APS-C) mirrorless cameras such as the Canon EOS R7, the EOS R50, and the EOS R10 (which we rank as the best camera for beginners) are hamstrung; up until this point, these cameras have been sorely lacking decent lenses, especially when compared to the best Sony cameras like the A6700 that enjoy a much healthier choice. 

The tide is starting to turn, and the Sigma 18-50mm is an excellent opening third-party addition to the RF-mount. The APS-C lens offers an equivalent 24-75mm focal length with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture – the middle lens of the classic trinity of f/2.8 zooms.

Not only is the classic versatile zoom lens a superb everyday lens for landscapes, portraits, and events, it's immediately the fastest RF-S lens available thanks to its f/2.8 aperture, with the current four Canon RF-S lenses having smaller and variable aperture zooms.

It's also an excellent value lens, launching at $499 / £479 / AU$699.

As things stand, we expect the Sigma 18-50mm to boast the best optical quality of any Canon RF-mount lens for APS-C, although technically you can use Canon's full-frame RF lenses with APS-C cameras, and there are plenty more full-frame Canon RF lenses available.

The proven APS-C lens by Sigma is already available in L-Mount, Sony E-mount, and Fujifilm X-Mount versions, and has been fine-tuned for Canon RF-mount to support Canon's Servo AF, in-camera aberration correction, and to ensure autofocus drive and communication is up to speed with Canon cameras.

It's splash and dust resistant, and only weighs 10.6oz / 300g, which is quite the feat for a f/2.8 zoom lens – and makes the 18-50mm a perfect size match with Canon's APS-C mirrorless cameras.

There are better lenses available for macro photographers: the maximum magnification ratio is just 1:2.8 at the wide focal length and 1:5 at the telephoto setting. However, that doesn't stop the Sigma 18-50mm from being the most versatile lens available for Canon APS-C mirrorless cameras.

There are five more lenses from Sigma in the pipeline, including a quartet of fast aperture f/1.4 prime lenses due later in 2024; the 16mm F1.4 DC DN (with an estimated price $449 / £389), the 23mm F1.4 DC DN (around $549 / £479), the 30mm F1.4 DC DN (for roughly $339 / £319) and 56mm F1.4 DC DN (about $479 / £419).

Canon's camera hardware is unquestionably good, and now the native lenses are arriving to back them up. Thanks to Sigma, it's a new dawn for Canon's APS-C mirrorless cameras.

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.