Sigma 24-105mm F4.0 DG OS HSM | Art lens has been generating a lot of excitement since its announcement just before PhotoPlus Expo 2013 in late October. And now, the lens is shipping in Canon mount, with other available mounts to begin shipping soon. I’ve already talked about the build and feel of the lens based on one of the pre-production samples we were displaying at the show, and you can read this companion blog posting for my first impressions. Mint Martini seen through the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | A on a classic 5D. 1/15 F5.6 ISO 100. Camera was on a tripod, with slow shutter speed to expose for background Christmas lights wrapped around the legs of a tall tripod. Very low-powered strobe with barndoors and grid was aimed at the rim of the glass. This is near the close-focusing distance and magnfication at 105mm.
Here we’re going to focus primarily on the photos this lens can create when paired with both a full-frame and APS-C DSLR. For photographers looking for a one-lens workhorse covering wide angle to short tele, with Optical Stabilizer, this lens is all kinds of amazing.
Here we are zoomed in all the way to 105mm, but on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, an APS-C DSLR. We bounced a shoe-mounted strobe off the ceiling for this shot and stopped down to F10 for increased depth of field. 1/200 F10 ISO 100. To give a feel for the overall range, here’s a view of a town Christmas Tree at 24mm on the Rebel T3i. 4/10 sec F4 ISO 100 on a tripod. And here’s the same tree, zoomed almost all the way in, to 95mm on the Rebel T3i. Same settings as above 4/10 F4 ISO 100 on a tripod. This shot is handheld, 1/25 second, at 95mm with Optical Stabilizer activated. It is perfectly sharp at two stops below the reciprocal of the focal length. Canon 5D classic. 1/25 F4 ISO 100. At 105mm at F4, there’s still a nice big of background softening, even when focal distance isn’t right in front of the lens. Classic 5D, 1/200 F4 ISO 400. Now, here we are close-focused at 105mm, about the same overall distance from that tree, zoomed in on lights wrapped around a streetlamp. Notice how abstract the background is rendered. 4/10 secon F4 ISO 100 on tripod, Canon Rebel T3i.
And here’s that same scene captured at 24mm, again close-focusing on the lights wrapped around a streetlamp. The background is a bit more recognizable, but still simply beautiful in its softness. Notice how wonderfully round all the circles of light are! 1 second exposure, F4, ISO 100, on a tripod, again with the Rebel T3i.
At 24mm at F4, both the tree and the courthouse are in sharp focus in this image made from a distance to frame both nicely. 3.2 sec F4 ISO 100, tripod, obviously. Canon Rebel T3i. At 105mm the tree branches in front of the column are the exact focal point, and are nice and sharp, but the courthouse in the background is softened up a bit. Remember, depth of field gets shallower as focal length increases. Same settings as previous shot. Only variation is zooming in.
Here, at 87mm, we are close-focusing on the edge of the mirrored red ornament a few inches in front of the camera, a full-frame 5D. The people walking are only about twenty feet in front of the camera, but are very nicely soft. 1/50 F4 ISO 400, OS activated. Here, at 80mm, we’re focused a bit farther away from the lens, and again, the background, even though it is farther away than the people in the last frame, is much less softened due to the overall focal distance. Sometimes a bit of softness just what is called for. But with a 4x zoom range from wide to short tele, there is a ton of compositional creativity and variations that can be applied to the scene in front of the 24-105mm F4!
Fancy Chocolates in a display case at 105mm just a few inches from the lens. It’s very nice as the pattern repeats off the focal plane. 1/100 F4, ISO 400. Now here’s a skewed angle to a repeating pattern that is much more distant from the lens at 105mm, and the brickwork shows the edge to edge sharpness of this lens, even wide open on a full-frame camera. 1/125 F4 ISO 200, classic 5D.
Nine rounded aperture blades, Optical Stabilizer, 4x constant-aperture zoom for creativity and quick one-lens recompositing all add up to a rock-solid new member of the Sigma Art line of lenses. For photographers looking for a constant-aperture one-lens solution from wide to short tele, the new
24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM | A, this lens is a serious new player. Read Jack’s First Impressions posting for more on the in-the-hands experience with this great new lens!