Sigma’s 14-24mm F2.8 Art sets a new bar for fast ultra-wide zooms

    We in all probability might have written this assessment on assumptions alone and made solely minor adjustments after truly capturing the brand new Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art. Don’t fear, we didn’t try this — however the level is, we’ve got but to be let down by a Sigma Artwork lens. Every mannequin we’ve examined has been so constantly good that we are able to mainly say if it has “Artwork” on it and it’s a focal size you want, then purchase it.

    Sigma has at all times been about worth, however the Artwork sequence has redefined what which means. It’s not about being low-cost; it’s about being one of the best whereas doing it at a cheaper price than the competitors. Sigma Artwork lenses stack up side-by-side with the equal first-party Canon and Nikon glass and sometimes carry out even higher in goal measurements. Not solely that, they offer high-end specialty lenses like these from Zeiss a run for the cash.

    The 14-24mm F2.eight Artwork is likely one of the extra fascinating lenses to return out of Sigma just lately. It goes up towards the legendary Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, a “holy trinity” lens that has soldiered on for over a decade with out an up to date mannequin or a direct competitor. However as we noticed with the 135mm F1.8 Art, Sigma likes taking up focal lengths which have lengthy been left untouched by first-party producers.

    And naturally, at $1,299, the Sigma is $600 cheaper than the Nikon.

    Design and construct high quality

    Like all Sigma lenses, the 14-24mm is offered in three mounts: Nikon F, Canon EF, and Sigma’s personal SA. With an adapter, the lens will also be used on Sony E-mount cameras with full compatibility. Canon customers who’ve regarded longingly on the Nikon 14-24mm will be the most excited, as they now lastly have entry to a really comparable lens.

    Sigma claims the optical design is meant to all however remove distortion, a standard flaw in ultra-wide-angle lenses. It makes use of 17 components in 11 teams, with three aspherical components and three every of FLD and SLD low-dispersion components. The aperture spans a variety from f/2.eight to f/22 and makes use of a nine-bladed iris — the identical specs because the Nikon model.

    At 40 ounces, this can be a beast of a lens, however it feels very strong and properly made. It’s weather-sealed and dust- and splash-proof, so adventurous panorama photographers can shoot freely in no matter components they discover themselves in. The main target and zoom rings are completely weighted to rotate easily and exactly. The built-in lens hood helps shade the entrance component — as a lot as potential on such a large lens — to forestall flaring, and the hard-plastic lens cap that matches over it’s reassuringly strong.

    It’s not about being low-cost; it’s about being one of the best whereas doing it at a cheaper price than the competitors.

    If the corporate skimped on something to hit such a low value level, we actually can’t inform what.

    Picture high quality and consumer expertise

    If there’s one apparent unfavorable concerning the 14-24mm Artwork, it’s merely how large and heavy it’s. That is unavoidable on a full-frame, ultra-wide zoom with a quick most aperture, however the Sigma does carry a further 5 ounces over the Nikon. Whereas it’s not altogether tough to shoot handheld, your again, neck, and arms will certainly thanks in the event you use a tripod.

    Sigma 14-24mm
    Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

    At lower than a 2x zoom, 14-24mm doesn’t sound like a whole lot of vary to work with, however the distinction between the huge and telephoto ends is definitely fairly noticeable. That mentioned, that is considerably of a extra restricted lens in comparison with many different ultra-wide-angles, like Sigma’s personal 12-24mm F/four. Most shooters in all probability don’t want an f/2.eight aperture on a large zoom, so it could make sense to go together with a lens that offers you extra vary. Furthermore, panorama photographers who need to use a filter on this lens are out of luck, except they spring for an costly adapter and enormous sq. filters. When you’re set on an ultra-wide zoom with a quick aperture, although, you’ll be proud of the potential this lens delivers.

    Autofocus efficiency was quick and almost silent because of the ultrasonic focusing motor. We did run into some occasional points when making an attempt to give attention to small topics near the digital camera, like blades of grass. Nonetheless, we’re pretty assured this was no less than partially because of the AF limitations of the digital camera.

    We’re happy to see that after greater than 10 years, the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.eight lastly has some robust competitors.

    We examined the lens on a Nikon D750, an older DSLR that is still certainly one of our favorites. The 51-point AF system on the D750 merely doesn’t match the efficiency of the newer 151-point system discovered on the D850 and a pair different Nikons. Past that, the D750 is constructed to be extra compact than different full-frame DSLRs, however when paired with such a large lens, we discovered ourselves wishing for a bigger digital camera physique. It’s a little bit of a conundrum — minimizing weight is usually most well-liked, however the steadiness would have seemingly been higher with the bigger D850.

    The 14-24mm Artwork can be constructed with trendy high-resolution sensors in thoughts, and it had no hassle producing sharp photos on the 24-megapixel D750. In reality, it in all probability out-resolved the sensor. Even huge open at f/2.eight, sharpness within the middle of the body was immaculate and chromatic aberration was merely nonexistent. The perimeters had been softer, however sharpened up significantly by f/5.6. Vignetting can be fairly heavy at f/2.eight, significantly at 14mm, however that is to be anticipated for such a lens. In a real-world setting, vignetting was basically unnoticeable by f/four.

    As impressed as we had been, it might be much more so with a higher-resolution digital camera, just like the 46MP D850.

    Daven Mathies/Digital Tendencies

    As for distortion, there may be some curvature close to the sides however it’s fairly minimal and positively throughout the vary of what might be corrected digitally with out sacrificing too many pixels. Simply with the ability to render straight strains as straight strains is just one problem, nevertheless; wide-angle lenses “stretch” something that ventures too removed from the middle of the body, so this actually isn’t a portrait lens (not that anybody was anticipating it to be). However even for landscapes, this may pose an issue as objects close to the periphery of the body received’t look utterly pure. This isn’t a difficulty with this lens — it’s simply one thing to pay attention to with ultra-wide-angles generally (and typically, this impact can truly be fascinating).

    Sharpness within the middle of the body was immaculate and chromatic aberration was merely nonexistent.

    The one actual fault we discovered was when capturing virtually immediately towards the solar. Right here, inside reflections instantly grew to become very obvious, inflicting a substantial quantity of lens flare. This was most noticeable at 14mm. Nonetheless, we must always make clear that this solely confirmed up in a single specific setting — within the majority of instances, flaring was impressively properly managed. If the solar goes to be in your shot, simply attempt to place it away from the middle and also you’ll get a clear publicity.

    Subjectively talking, we had been more than happy with how this lens renders out of focus areas. You received’t typically have a shallow depth of area on such a large lens, however at f/2.eight and capturing near your topic, it’s potential to create a good quantity of background blur. Once more, the wide-angle look means it’s unlikely — although actually not inconceivable — that you just’ll use this lens for portraiture, however there are different instances when with the ability to separate your topic from the background may be helpful, and few wide-angle zooms have that functionality.


    Sigma gives a four-year warranty on all new lenses.

    Our Take

    The Sigma 14-24mm F2.eight Artwork brings a brand new sort of lens to Canon and Sony shooters whereas giving Nikon customers a powerful cause to think about a third-party choice over the venerable Nikkor 14-24mm. This can be a very well-made product with wonderful efficiency and excellent worth; in brief, it’s precisely what we’ve got come to anticipate from the Sigma Artwork line.

    Sigma 14-24mm F2.eight Artwork In contrast To

    That mentioned, this specific lens is restricted in its attraction. It’s tougher to work with than another ultra-wide-angles because of its bulk, lack of filter assist, and restricted zoom vary. It’s a specialised device with restricted functions, and it received’t be a lens that everybody wants. Nonetheless, we’re happy to see that after greater than 10 years, Nikon lastly has some robust competitors.

    Is there a greater various?

    Nikon customers are the one photographers who’ve entry to a direct competitor, and whereas we didn’t check the 2 14-24mm lenses side-by-side, there was no apparent cause to see how the Nikon might be $600 higher. Based mostly on previous expertise with the Nikon model, we might argue that the construct high quality of the Sigma is superior, though we are able to’t undoubtedly say whether or not or not the picture high quality is.

    Nonetheless, in the event you’re on the lookout for a very good wide-angle for landscapes, you could be higher off with one thing that offers you extra vary on the expense of a large aperture. The aforementioned Sigma 12-24mm F4 Art could also be a very good choice, though it’s barely dearer.

    How lengthy will it final?

    This can be a very well-made lens that ought to endure skilled use for years to return — simply be careful for that big entrance component. Moreover, given the area of interest attraction of this kind of optic, it’s unlikely it is going to be changed any time quickly. The Nikon 14-24mm, in any case, has been going robust since 2007.

    Must you purchase it?

    This can be a very distinctive lens that received’t essentially match a necessity for many photographers, however in the event you demand the mix of a quick aperture, an ultra-wide area of view, and the power to zoom, then sure. This can be a high-performance, exceptionally well-crafted product that additional cements Sigma’s place as a frontrunner in photographic lenses.

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