Review: The Photography Blogger on SIGMA 24mm F1.4 | A

The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is another addition to the growing lineup of Sigma Art series lenses. A lens with a focal length ranging from the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, sounds a bit odd? Well, it all comes down to your personal photography requirements.

I have been using the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 lens for the past one month, so I thought of sharing my experience with all you photographers who are planning to buy this lens. I went out to click street and monuments with the Sigma 24mm Art lens mounted on a crop-sensor and later i also used a full frame camera to show the actual focal length of this lens.

Before we get into the details, let’s have a look at some of the key features of Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens:

  • Large aperture wide-angle lens
  • Built-in HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) for fast and quiet autofocusing
  • A rounded 9 blade diaphragm
  • Performance similar to 35mm f/1.4 Art & 50mm f/1.4 Art lenses
  • FLD and SLD glass elements to reduce distortion and chromatic aberration

The first question that might come to your mind is that ‘why should I buy a 24mm prime lens when i can buy a 24-70mm zoom lens at almost the same cost?’ To answer this question, I have written a separate blog post: 7 Reasons Why Prime Lenses are better than Zoom Lenses

Build Quality and Handling

The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens weighs 665g which is marginally on a heavier side when compared to the AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED lens (620g) and the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens (650g). The lens looks strong and sturdy as the body is made up of metal, which completely justifies the weight of this lens. You also get a detachable petal lens hood to get away with the lens flare.

The rubberized grip on the focus ring is just perfect as it moves smoothly when you focus manually and is wide enough to easily make the adjustments. The lens features the AF/MF switch which lets you set the focus of the lens to automatic or manual. The filter size of this lens is 77mm, which is same as the Canon and Nikon variant.

What I loved about this lens is its closest focusing distance, which is 25cm. You can get some really amazing closeups and creative perspective shots using the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens at a closer distance from the subject.

Focusing

The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens features Hyper Sonic Motor which makes the focusing on this lens faster and silent. As i was testing the lens, I was really impressed by the focusing speed as it swiftly focused on subjects located nearby as well as at longer distance. The lens didn’t hunt for the focus and was spot-on, accurately focusing 9/10 times.

If you like shallow depth of field with the subject in focus, then simply aim this lens and within a fraction of seconds your focus will be set on the subject. The auto-focus motor is really quiet that you can hardly hear it move within the lens. This results in no or very minor noise in video recordings.

Sharpness

Sigma ART series is a breed of lenses which provide excellent sharpness, be it 50mm, 35mm, 20mm or this beauty 24mm. This lens will never let you down in terms of sharpness, giving you fine details of your subject. The images clicked at aperture ranging between f/1.4 and f/4 are decently sharp in the center, but a bit softer at the edges, which is expected from a wide angle lens, but is comparatively better than some of its competitors. Using this lens between f/5.6 and f/11 is pure bliss, center to edge sharpness is great, but somehow I noticed slight softness at the extreme edges.

With a price tag of almost one-third of its competitors, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a must-have lens because of the quality of sharpness you get in return is pure bliss.

Low-light Performance

This wide angle lens with the ability to shoot at f/1.4 is surely the king of low-light photography. I simply love the fact that i can easily shoot sunsets and building while the available light is low, that too without the support of a tripod. Using the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art handheld at f/1.4 lets you click the images without increasing the ISO, which results in less grains.

Talking about the focusing of this lens in low-light conditions, I did not face any issues as the focus points were getting locked quite fast without much hunting.

Vignetting

As you can see in the image comparison below, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art creates some serious vignetting around the image at f/1.4. This is usually common among f/1.4 lenses because the aperture is wide open at this aperture value. Vignetting reduces gradually as you start increasing the aperture value. At f/4 you will see very minimal vignetting which is not that noticeable and anything at f/4 or above aperture value will give you images without any vignetting.

As per my experience with this lens, the vignetting is unnoticeable at f/4 and above, and that is the reason majority of my test shots were clicked between f/4 and f/8.

Alternatives

If you look out for other prime lenses with a focal length of 24mm and aperture as wide as f/1.4, there are only two alternatives to the Sigma 24mm Art lens:

  1. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED Lens which costs around $2000 (Rs.1,76,000)
  2. Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens which costs around $1500 (Rs.1,12,000)

As you can see, the Nikon variant costs almost 2.5 times and the Canon variant costs around 2 times compared to the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art which costs only $850 (Rs.60,000).

Conclusion

The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is ideal for wedding and landscape photography as it provides superior quality of sharpness and the ability to use the aperture as wide as f/1.4. Using this lens on a crop sensor camera body you can shoot portraits and street photos with great depth of field. If you like shooting wide angles in low-light conditions, this is the lens you should go for. If you are switching from a f/1.8 prime lens, you might find the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens quite heavy but you should get used to it. I tried finding some minus points about this lens, but i failed as this looks like a perfect wide-angle prime lens for wedding and travel photographers. The only thing I experienced is that the sharpness between f/1.4 and f/4 is not that great at the center, but once you shoot between f/4 and f/11 you will get amazing center-to-edge sharpness.

I tried finding out some minus points about this lens, but i failed as this looks like a perfect wide-angle prime lens for wedding and travel photographers. The only thing I experienced is that the sharpness between f/1.4 and f/4 is not that great at the center, but once you shoot between f/4 and f/11 you will get amazing center-to-edge sharpness.

Link: http://www.the-photography-blogger.com/index.php/2016/05/06/sigma-24mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-art-lens-review/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sigma_24mm_art

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