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Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Review

Gary Wolstenholme puts one of Sigma's top of the range lenses to the test. Read on to see how it scores.


|  Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art in Interchangeable Lenses
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Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Sigma 24mm F1 4 DG Art Lens (3)

This lens is the latest addition to Sigma's 'Art' line of lenses that promise excellent optical quality and increased creative options thanks to a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture. Being one of Sigma's top of the range lenses, it sports a hypersonic focusing motor, brass lens mount and build quality you’d expect from a top of the range lens. At launch, this lens costs around £800, which seems quite reasonable for a lens of this specification. In this review, we’ll take a look at how it performs.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Handling and Features

Sigma 24mm F1 4 DG Art Lens (9)

Weighing around 665g, has a fair bit of weight to it, which coupled with the high quality matt finished plastics used for much of the construction, and brass lens mount, add to the overall robust feel of the lens. The lens balances well on the Canon EOS 5D MkIII used for testing but may feel a little lens heavy in combination with some of the more compact SLR bodies available today.

Autofocus is powered by a silent HSM motor, which provides quick focus speeds in a wide range of conditions. Focusing is performed internally, so the 77mm filter thread does not rotate, making this lens ideal for use with polarising and graduated filters.

Full-time manual focus adjustments are supported by turning the focus ring at any time. The focus ring is well damped and smooth to operate, which makes applying fine focus adjustments a pleasure. The close focusing distance of 25cm is fairly typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture. A petal shaped hood is supplied with the lens that fits onto the front via a bayonet fitting.

Sigma 24mm F1 4 DG Art Lens (5)
 

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Performance

At maximum aperture, sharpness in the centre of the frame is already excellent, but as you may expect from a fast wide angle lens, performance towards the edges of the frame is only fairly good. Stopping down improves clarity towards the edges, retaining high levels of sharpness in the centre. Peak performance is achieved between f/4 and f/5.6. Here sharpness is outstanding in the centre and excellent towards the edges of the frame.

 
MTF

 

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 5D MkIII using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are extremely well controlled, staying well below half a pixel width at any aperture. This extremely low level of CA should pose no issues, even in large prints, or harsh crops from the edges of the frame.

 
CA
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 5D MkIII using Imatest.

As is typical for a lens with a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture, falloff of illumination is quite pronounced. At f/1.4 the corners are 2.83 stops darker than the image centre and visually uniform illumination isn't achieved until the lens is stopped down to f/4 or beyond.

There is only 0.534% barrel distortion, which should pose few issues in normal use. If absolutely straight lines are paramount, then you'll be glad to hear that the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, which should make applying corrections in image editing software fairly straightforward.

A petal-shaped hood is supplied as standard with the lens, which does a fair job of protecting the front element from extraneous light that may cause unwanted flare and loss of contrast. During testing, there were no issues with flare and contrast holds up well, even when shooting into the light.


Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Sample Photos

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Value For Money

Priced at around £800, this 24mm f/1.4 lens from Sigma appears to offer great value for money when compared to equivalent lenses from other camera manufacturers. For example, Canon’s 24mm f/1.4L USM II lens costs £1200 and Nikon’s AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED lens costs even more at £1450.
 

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Verdict

To date, other lenses in Sigma’s ‘Art’ series of optics have been well received, thanks in part to the optical quality they deliver and for very reasonable pricing when compared to manufacturer’s own equivalent lenses.

This 24mm f/1.4 looks to continue this trend. It delivers high levels of sharpness, with low distortion and CA, is built well and is reasonably priced. As a result, it is well worth considering if you’re in the market for a fast wide angle lens.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Pros

Excellent sharpness
Very low CA
Low distortion
Well built
Fast focusing
Keenly priced

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A Cons

No weather sealing
Falloff at maximum aperture (although typical for the type of lens)

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

If you're in the market for a fast, wide-angle lens then the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM A could be the lens for you. 


Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Specifications

ManufacturerSigma
General
Lens Mounts
  • Nikon AF
  • Canon EF
  • L-Mount
  • Sony E Mount
  • Sony FE Mount
Lens
Focal Length24mm
Angle of View84.1
Max Aperturef/1.4
Min Aperturef/16
Filter Size77mm
StabilisedNo
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Focusing
Min Focus25cm
Construction
Blades9
Elements15
Groups11
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight665g
Height90.2mm

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Comments


gulch 4 Ukraine
27 Mar 2015 6:51PM
Amazing lens! Can you share raw files?

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30 Mar 2015 4:21PM
Looks PDG to me especially wide open

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