By this point in the game, it’s common knowledge that Sigma is at the top of their game–the lens game that is. With the announcement of the company’s 24mm f1.4 DG lens, folks were naturally excited. DSLR users now know that their 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm lenses will all be the sharpest on the market for the price. Indeed, they’re all beautiful and are bound to make any consumer or even professionals very happy.
So what makes the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG so special?
Pros and Cons
– Excellent sharpness
– Great bokeh for a 24mm lens
– Solid build quality
– Very fast focusing
– A good price for what this lens is
– Not a single major complaint
– Only minor complaint: the lens exhibits more color fringing than we’d like. But it’s easily removed in post-production and not worth bothering about.
We tested the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG with the Canon 5D Mk II and Canon 6D.
Specs taken from the Adorama listing of the lens.
- Lens Construction
- 15 Elements in 11 Groups
- Angle of View
- Maximum: f/1.4
- Minimum Focus Distance
- 9.8″ (25 cm)
- Maximum Reproduction Ratio
- Diaphragm Blades
- Image Stabilization
- Tripod Collar
- Filter Thread
- Dimensions (Diameter x Length)
- 85mmx90.2mm/ 3.3inx3.6 in
- 665g / 23.5oz.
Taken from our first impressions post
The Sigma 24mm f1.4 Art lens is a lens that is very much like many of the company’s other Art lens offerings. It has a metal exterior, big focusing ring, distance scale, and AF/MF switch. It’s beautiful–and looks something like Hasselblad glass.
The lens has an equivalent size to something about the size of a healthy apple, and this isn’t deniable at all once you hold the lens. It won’t look like the red (or green or yellow) delectable fruits, but it surely will make you think of them after you hold this lens.
The front of the lens has a 77mm front filter thread that can be protected by the lens hood. But otherwise, that’s a whole lot of front element for many photographers.
The Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG feels very solid in the hand and its weight pairs very well with many DSLRs out there–even older film cameras. However, the lens doesn’t have weather sealing and for some odd reason Sigma doesn’t incorporate this into their primes. It’s a pity–as they’d do very well in the hands of photographers that travel to the roughest parts of the world. In fact, I’d pay more for the weather sealing.
During our tests with the Canon 6D and 5D Mk II, we found the focusing to be consistently accurate even in the toughest of focusing conditions such as with glass in a dark area. Further, we had no reason to micro-adjust our copy of the lens as it was accurate and tack sharp right out of the box.
When photographing moving subjects candidly in the streets, the Sigma 24mm f1.4 was able to work with the camera to accurately get subjects in focus. To be fair, we stopped down to around f5.6 at times. Even at f1.4 though, we didn’t face much of a problem.
What this lens (and pretty much any wide angle lens) could have benefitted from is an effective depth of field scale for the photographer that doesn’t necessarily want to autofocus but instead wants to enjoy the image quality of the lens. No DSLR lens makers do this, and we’re not sure why.
Ease of Use
Using the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG is as easy as slapping onto your camera, pointing, focusing, and shooting. The only switch of any sort of the camera is the MF/AF focusing switch. As long as you don’t hit this, then you’ll be fine while shooting.
The 24mm focal length lends itself to being very wide, so you’ll need to get up close and personal to your subjects if you’re shooting on the street but you can also stand far away to get a vaster expanse in the photo. The wide angle coverage is great for over the head “Hail Mary” type of shots like the one above. For these types of photos though, we recommend that you get a feeling of what the 24mm focal length is like and how to think/see in it.
The strongest feature of the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG is that it’s super, super sharp. Not only is the lens sharp but it has beautiful and very saturated colors–if you’re into that look. Beyond this, it’s quite contrasty though not as contrasty as the 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4. For that reason, film photographers may genuinely enjoy this lens. Like many of Sigma’s other more recent lenses under their Global Vision program, the optics are incredible and will breathe new life into old cameras. Indeed, there is a whole lot to love about this lens and if you’re a lover of the 24mm focal length then we’re positive that it will stay permanently affixed to your camera.
Sigma’s Global Vision lenses are some of the sharpest that you can get your hands on today, but the 24mm f1.4 really takes the cake here. It’s not as sharp as the company’s 50mm f1.4 and if we really had to stack it up, it would be only a hair softer than the 35mm f1.4. Still, that’s no small feat. It’s leaps and bounds better than many other offerings including Rokinon’s, Zeiss’s, Nikon’s and Canon’s L version.
Seriously, if you want a 24mm lens then this is the one you’ll want.
As for the bokeh, there is very little to complain about here. You’ll get all the bokeh you want and it will be on the border between creamy and hazy. Indeed, the bokeh will not be distracting at all to the scene.
When it comes to color, very few can do it like Sigma. The colors from the 24mm f1.4 are very saturated–which is great for landscapes, cityscapes, sunsets and all. To be honest, we didn’t have too many qualms about it for skin tones either. If you’re purchasing this lens, know that the colors will be exceptional and you won’t have a single complaint.
We strongly recommend this lens for landscapes because of just how great the colors are–especially if you’ve got an older camera.
One of our minor complaints about this lens has to do with the color fringing. It’s surely there in the most high contrast areas–but it’s easily removed in post-production.
Let’s not dwell on this: it’s 2015 and it can be removed.
Extra Image Samples
– Beautiful image quality
– Great focusing
– Excellent build quality
– Not a damn thing
The Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG HSM has a lot to love: great image quality, a pretty decent size, fast focusing abilities, did we mention the image quality? We’re not as smitten as we are with the 50mm and 35mm offerings, but this one is a very solid choice.
And if you live by the 24mm focal length, it’s also the very best choice currently on the market.
The Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG HSM received five out of five stars and the site’s Editor’s Choice Award. Want one? Check out Adorama for the latest prices.
Recommended Cameras and Accessories
Nikon D810: We recommend this camera for the high megapixel count. You’ll get the most out of the sharpness.
Canon 5Ds R: For the ultimate landscape photographer, go with the 5Ds R.
Sony A99: Sony’s A99 has the best high ISO ability of the three cameras here. It’s a no brainer for event photographers.