About The Reviewer: Sanket Khuntale is a Mumbai-based, award-winning photographer. Sanket has received many national and international awards that includes ‘Sony World Photography Awards, London (2012-Winner in Arts and Culture Category), Indiaafrica – A shared Future, Mumbai Metro.
Sigma Art series has been undoubtedly one of the best lensing equipments so far and such is 24mm, freaking f/1.4..! I had this lens for a while and I must say I am very much impressed with the image quality it delivers. It competes tightly with my personal favoutrite wide angle lens, Nikkor 14-24, but both have dierent jobs to do. Astro or Night photography is what everyone thinks this lens suits best. But I am so not into it. Rather, I loved taking wide portraits and street shots using this lens.
Talking about the Build Quality of Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art Lens, its very similar to other art series 50mm and 35mm lenses, a bit heavier and premium looking body which is very tightly packed with some amazing optics. I have always loved the sigma focusing rings which are smooth and wide that makes them good for shooting videos as well. For this price point, I was hoping for the lens to be weather sealed, but unfortunately its not. I have to give it a thought whether to use it outdoors or not while you are in Mumbai’s Monsoons!
I used it on D810 and D90. I gives almost 35mm field of view while using it on the cropped camera bodies which is best suited for portraits and low light situations with that f/1.4 for buttery bokeh. 35mm has been my favourite focal length. Its almost to see from an human eye actually!.I feel comfortable using it for almost any scene. Field of view on a fullframe is pretty wide with the same shallow depth of field that allowed me to shoot my favourite thing, Environmental Portraits! Streets, Landscape, Architecture and Interiors are also few other things which this lens serves the best.
The autofocus on this lens is decent. The lens features HSM, which is Sigma’s version of an ultrasonic drive that is silent and quite fast than older sigma lenses. Its as fancy as it reads. It takes a bit longer to focus onto objects in the darker scenarios but such is the case with every other lens in the market. One odd thing I noticed about the focusing ring is that I can go past the infinity mark. I am not sure what is it about.
Image Quality is an important factor of any lens and when it comes to this one, Sharpness is fantastic, particularly at its brightest apertures, which is essential for a lens of this stature. Everyone would be tempted to go full open at f/1.4, but I usually avoid shooting wide open because lenses tend to be softer and not sharper when wide open. I usually shoot 1 or 2 stops down the full open aperture to have a tack sharp focus on my subject’s eyes. But trust me, I have shot most of the images wide open on this lens and its crazy sharp! There is an obvious vignetting while you shoot wide open (as you see in these images) that can ofcourse be fixed later in post. Minimal focusing distance bein very less, I could move up close to my subject and still have that wider, interestingly shallower depth of field.( my subject is going to be distorted while I am doing so, but never mind!)
Serious professionals shooting in Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes and People, this is a great choice to go with. Despite having improved the overall quality, Sigma managed to keep the price tags on a really fair level which is surely a relieve for many potential customers! Here are few of the sample images I shot using this lens.
For more images, visit http://www.sanketkhuntale.com/blog/blog-5-hands-on-sigma-24mm-f1-4-art/