Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art: Hands-On Sneak Peek

The Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art is the world’s first full-frame zoom lens with a constant F2 maximum aperture, and its 1.45x zoom range manages to bridge three of the most popular wide angle fixed focal lengths for lenses: 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. The zoom range is subtle, but the compositional effects are noticeable as the smooth zoom ring shifts the field of view from 24mm through to 35mm. The lens is now shipping with a $999 street price.

An earring hangs on a display rod at an artisan's market. 1/800 F2 ISO 100 at 35mm on a Canon EOS 6D.
An earring hangs on a display rod at an artisan’s market. 1/800 F2 ISO 100 at 35mm on a Canon EOS 6D. All images here are converted from CR2 RAW to highest quality JPEG in Adobe Camera RAW 9, with light tonal adjustments. No lens correction applied to any photo, because this lens is too new to be in the Adobe Lens Profile database.

It is an Art lens—it is designed first and foremost with an eye and intention on total image quality. The build, heft, and hand feel is completely in line with the others in the Art stable. At 33.2 ounces with a 3.4 inch diameter barrel that’s 4.8 inches long without lens hood, it is slightly larger than the 18-35 F1.8 DC HSM | Art lens, due to the larger, full-frame imaging circle.

A reverse-angle variation of the above, again at 35mm. Same tech specs as above.

And it weighs ten ounces more, and is an inch and a quarter longer than the 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens. The design intention of the Art line is focused on total imaging performance, and these lenses do have a presence when mounted to a camera. It has some weight, but it is well balanced and feels great matched with a full-frame DSLR.

Helen Chandler is owner of Whistling Wolf Farm, a transitional organic farm in Pittstown, NJ. She was kind enough to pose for an environmental portrait at a local farmer’s market. ( 1/180 F2 ISO 100 at 35mm with Canon 580EX flash with diffuser down, -1 1/3 FEC.

It is a Sigma Global Vision lens. That means every single unit is individually tested on our exclusive A1 MTF device for sharpness. And it is customizable with the USB Dock. And it can have its mount switched between any released mounts through our exclusive Mount Conversion Service.

Kale from Whistling Wolf Farm as seen through the 24-35mm F2 wide open at 35mm. Both images 1/800 F2 ISO 100.
And here’s the same scene, adjusted to 24mm.
Unstoppable Cabbage captured at 24mm at an F2 F-Stop with the lens focused firmly on the outfolded leaf of the cabbage head.
Stopped down to F11 and focused farther afield yields significant depth of field at 24mm. 1/200 F11 ISO 100.

Through the lens, it feels more like a big fast prime, than a zoom. The F2 maximum aperture shows shallow depth of field, especially when close-focused, and is very sharp and contrasty on the focal plane. And then with a twist of the zoom ring, the scene shifts and the feel of the background blur tells you you’re not at 24mm any more, but instead glided smoothly to 28mm, 30mm, and then to 35mm.

A decorated bike is part of a public arts project, as seen through the 24-35mm DG HSM | Art at 24mm. 1/1000 F2 ISO 100.
Close focusing at 35mm at F2 creates shallow depth of field. We fill much of the frame with the antique fire emergency box, focusing squarely on the raised lettering of the word FIRE. 1/1000 F2 ISO 100.
We are near the abolute close focusing point at 32mm and focused near the bottom edge of the frame here on the 148 ml markings on the bottle of sauce from Hot Sauce 4 Good on display at an Artisan’s market. The repetitive pattern of bottles nicely illustrates the background blur characteristics as distance from focal plane increases. 1/1000 F2 ISO 100.
A city planter captured at 35mm on the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art at F3.5 for a touch more depth of field. Notice, in particular in this image, the buildings in the background compared to the image below at 24mm.
A planter of flowers, captured through the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art at F3.5 for a tiny bit more depth of field on the focus flower. 1/1000 F3.5 ISO 100.

True, this lens is a stop slower than the 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art and 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art prime lenses it matches at the wide and long end of the focal range, and is a third of a stop faster than the classic Sigma 28mm F1.8 prime at the middle; but for photographers who crave the convenience of a zoom lens, that is a very fair trade-off to make.  And looking at the first batch of images I’ve made, the 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art lens delivers the legendary wide-open sharpness that is one of the defining characteristics of this line.

Stay tuned for pricing and availability, and preorder information to get your own 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art lens!

We are doing in-store demos with the Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art lens at camera stores across the country on July 30th, 31st and August 1st.

Published by

Jack Howard

Jack Howard is a lifelong photographer and author of two editions of the how-to book, Practical HDRI. Based in Central Jersey, Jack's go-to photography spots are backroads and beaches of his home state. He loves to travel far and wide with his wife and daughter, visiting national parks, museums, tropical islands and more along the way.

10 thoughts on “Sigma 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art: Hands-On Sneak Peek”

  1. It looks very interesting. Anyone know what the price point will be? I also hope it won’t be as hard to get as the 150-600 Sport! I was on backlog for months with that one

  2. Seems nice if coma is well controlled at full aperture AND IF it is distortion free! Want it but also want something like a 40-60mm f 1/1.4.

  3. Contrary to popular belief, this zoom range could be good for APS-C Pentax cameras if used as a replacement for normal angle of view primes. Would love to see it in Pentax K-mount. There is a dearth of f/2 lenses for this mount (still in production!) except for the 31mm Limited that have pleasing bokeh/3D effect but also usable corners.

  4. Love Sigma! BUT… Where in the world are the FE mount versions? a7 series is re-writing the playbook and Sigma is happy with A-mount versions or EF through an adaptor?! Rubbish! Please give us native full frame E-mount versions of your incredible Art lens.

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