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Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens review: Tack sharp with a bit of character


Ever since Sigma first introduced their Art series of lenses, photographers have been clamoring for the lineup to continue expanding. Over the years, we’ve gone from a simple 35mm Art lens to a plethora of lenses in the standard and telephoto range.

This morning, the company introduced two additions, specifically at the wide side of things — the 20mm and 24mm Art lenses. These lenses replace the previous DSLR-oriented HSM versions that were adapted for L and E mounts.

Throughout my time with both lenses, I was impressed with what I was able to capture, and it further solidified my view of Sigma’s Art series as being one of the best for professionals out there.

With the 24mm f/1.4 Art lens specifically, Sigma’s developed a lens that will suit multiple genres — everything from environmental portraits and architecture to astrophotography and even street photography. I took the lens for a spin, and needless to say, the Sigma 24mm definitely had me impressed.

Pros

  • Gorgeous optical quality
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Weather sealing
  • Sharpness throughout the frame, even in the corners, is stunning
  • Smallest Sigma Art f/1.4 prime lens

Cons

  • No image stabilization
  • Significant ghosting with sun stars

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens — Technical specifications

All technical specifications for the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens have been provided by Sigma:

  • Aperture range: f/1.4–f/16
  • Angle of view: 84.1°
  • Aperture ring: Yes, with click and lock switch
  • Minimum focus distance: 25cm / 9.9 in.
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:7.1
  • Optical design: 17 Elements in 14 Groups
  • Diaphragm blades: 11, rounded
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Filter size: 72mm (Front)
  • Rear filter holder: Yes
  • Dimensions: 75.7 x 95.5mm / 3.0 x 3.8 in.
  • Weight: 520g / 18.3 oz.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens — Ergonomics and build quality

If you’ve ever used a Sigma Art lens, you’ll immediately feel right at home with the 24mm f/1.4 Art. The big difference here is that this is actually the smallest of Sigma’s DG DN Art f/1.4 lenses. Featuring a clickable and lockable aperture ring, this lens will do great with photographers and videographers alike.

The lens is equipped with a petal-shaped hood. The side of the lens includes an AFL button, a manual focus lock (MFL) switch and a focus mode switch. The rear of the lens is also compatible with rear filters, and Sigma includes a template right in the box.

The focus ring is large and smooth. Overall, the lens feels very nice in the hands, and was well-balanced on the Sigma fp L camera.

The 24mm f/1.4 Art is also dust and splash resistant, but it does not include image stabilization, instead relying on the camera body for stabilization.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens — In the field

Sigma’s Art line is known for its character and optical quality, and the 24mm f/1.4 is no different. While this lens isn’t perfect — there’s a few issues, specifically with ghosting — it was nice to use and provided great results.

While the lens doesn’t have image stabilization, I didn’t seem to notice. Still, it’d be nice to have for older cameras without the modern levels of in-body image stabilization.

I used the 24mm to capture some architecture and street photography, and it performed admirably. With little to no distortion present, I was able to capture wide scenes without worrying about straight verticals or any other lens quality issues.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens — Autofocus performance

If there’s one thing that kind of surprised me with the 24mm, it was its autofocus performance. In a word, it was simply stunning. Fast and accurate, the 24mm locked on to subjects with ease, even in tricky lower-light situations.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens — Image quality

I continue to be amazed at the image quality that Sigma packs in its Art lenses — especially its primes. Images from the 24mm come out gorgeous, with very little editing required.

Distortion control and vignetting

Testing on the Sigma fp L, the distortion control on the 24mm f/1.4 Art lens was excellent. Vignetting was also very minimal and well-controlled, even in the corners.

Ghosting, flaring and chromatic aberrations

I was impressed with the 24mm’s lack of chromatic aberrations. Rarely do I find a lens where chromatic aberration simply doesn’t exist — this was one of those times. Architecture photographers will simply love using this lens.

There was some flaring present, but it was more than acceptable.

Where I was really caught off guard though was the poor performance when it came to ghosting. Shooting a sun star, I saw a ton of ghosting present, making the photo almost unusable without some hefty Photoshop work.

The red ghosting patterns were surprising to see, as were some of the prominent rainbow patterns. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re an architecture or landscape photographer. I can’t help but wonder if the smaller size of the 24mm — compared to its 20mm, 35mm and 85mm counterparts — has something to do with this.

Sharpness

Sharpness was simply stunning throughout the field of view. This surprised me, as I expected some softness in the corner (which I can get with Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 Art lens, zoomed all the way in). But it was tack sharp no matter what focal length I was shooting at.

Bokeh

I don’t know many photographers who would want a 24mm for its bokeh qualities, and there’s not much here. However, like other Sigma Art lenses, the depth of field is gorgeous, providing a nice shallow falloff when shooting more open.

Color rendition

Colors were a bit warm using the fp L’s Camera Neutral color profile — especially in the greens. However, I used this lens mainly at Golden Hour, which may have accentuated the colors a bit. Despite that, I found the colors to be very pleasing.



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Rafael Jones

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