Sigma is fast becoming a revered brand and a popular choice when it comes to premium quality lenses. Sigma’s ART, Contemporary and Sport series lenses have continued to win accolades across the globes, and won the hearts of all kinds of photographers and cinematographers. These lenses have proven themselves to be at par, or at times even better than the Canon or Nikon counterparts, especially considering the much lower capital investments required for them. I have been shooting with Sigma lenses for a long time now and much like Akshay and Riddhesh, I personally enjoy shooting with them far more than the other popular lenses out there.
Sigma’s ART series lenses, marked with a white/silver ‘A’ on the hardware, are immensely popular for their premium build quality, exceptional bokeh, superb sharpness already. But more importantly, my favorite thing about these lenses have a sense of character to themselves. It’s hard to put this into words, and must be experience when you use these lenses. The ART series is easily one of the finest suite of lenses out there.
A few months ago, the folks at Sigma India / Shetala Agencies were kind enough to send over the Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART series lens for review for a couple of weeks. Although I’ve used the Sigma 35mm extensively before, the 24mm was new to me. I had been eyeing the lens for a while and was excited to try it out. Over the 2 week period, I tried to thoroughly and extensively use the lens for various kinds of shoots, but there’s only so much you can achieve, right? However, the lens managed to impress me enough that we decided to rent it out and use it for the 2017 Malad Gudhipadwa Shobha Yatra event.
Announced in February 2015, the Sigma 24mm f1.4 is already a popular lens, and you’ll find a bunch of long, extensive and in-depth reviews of the lens out there, so I’m not going to bore you with tech specs or features. Instead, read on to find out what I think about the experience of using the lens, and is it really worth it.
The Sigma 24mm f.14 lens is built very much like the others in the group. It’s built out of the same metal and plastic composite as the 35mm and 55mm ART lenses and feels incredibly sold in the hands. There’s no “cheap plastic” feeling here. The weight and mass of the lens is sturdy and overall, it feels like a fantastically built lens.
The lens packs 15 elements in 11 groups inside it in order to minimize chromatic abberation, and uses both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass. It ships with a petal-type lens hood, which I wish was The focus ring is wide, allowing for a comfortable grip when moving it. It’s also incredibly smooth and firm. You’ll find a AF/MF toggle switch in the center, and the filter thread size stands at 77mm.
The 24mm incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in a design of 15 elements in 11 groups to minimize chromatic aberration of magnification especially in the edge of the image field.
Image Quality & Performance
The Sigma 24mm f1.4 lens has arguably the best quality result compared to other 24mm options. Photos come out short and detailed. The lens is incredible sharp in the center, and does surprisingly well at the corners too.
The unit I had received was a Canon mount, and so I couldn’t use it with my Sony a7r2 at first. So I had to pair it with Akshay’s 5D Mark III for the first few days. Eventually, I ended up ordering Sigma’s MC-11 Adapter ! ₹17,999 off Amazon that lets me use the lens with Sony mirrorless camera.
The autofocus of the lens is outstanding. Even with the MC-11 Adapter in the middle, it does a remarkable job of focusing quickly and exactly what you want. To me, its performance is almost as good as native Sony G series lenses.
The Sigma 24mm f1.4 also produces some of the most delicious Bokeh I’ve seen.
Much more than photography, I was largely curious how this lens would do for video and as it turns out… it works exceptionally well.
As I mentioned earlier in this review, we ended up renting and using the lens again in March for the 2017 Malad GudhiPadwa Shobha Yatra and this is the video that we ended up with.
Most of the wide-angle shots in the video are taken with the Sigma 24mm f1.4, and I was pretty happy with the results.
Overall, the Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART lens is killer piece of hardware. It’s like a fine glass of wine and you enjoy using it. It produces exceptional results, both for photos and video, and that’s exactly what you’ve come to know and love from Sigma’s ART series of lenses.
Now that I have the MC-11 adapter with my Sony a7r2, the Sigma 24mm f1.4 is probably next on my purchase list.