Tips & How-Tos

SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art: First Look Hands-On Review

The SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens is an outstanding fast-aperture, constant aperture ultra wide to wide angle full-frame zoom lens. Designed for today’s super-high resolution megapixel DSLRs, this new 1.7x zoom ratio Art lens is designed for edge to edge sharpness for 8K monitors, and large-format prints.

This is simply a fantastic lens. It is razor-sharp on the focal plane at all focal lengths, and from edge to edge. And the rectilinear correction is simply outstanding—straight lines stay straight—from 14mm to 24mm, from sweeping fields of view covering 114.2º to 84.1º, the lens exemplifies pro-caliber wide angle imaging.

In the hands, it certainly has heft at two and half pounds, but it is well balanced and the zoom and focusing ring is well damped—it is an Art lens, and we have talked about this line’s build quality so many times before. It wears this badge well. And it adds a level of splash proofing and weather sealing comparable to the Sports line, which should make photographers who work in the harsher elements very, very happy.

Another first for this lens is the compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Peripheral Illumination Correction settings, however, in my test images, I did not enable this in the Canon ESOS 6D, and quite honestly, based on my tests, I’m super-impressed with the edge-to-edge illumination results at all apertures and focal lengths, even without this at-capture tweak.

The photos posted in this article are captured in RAW mode, and are toned in Adobe Camera RAW 9.1.1. I have made some Basic Adjustments for exposure, Shadows, Highlights, and such. No Lens Profile has been assigned (this lens is so new that Adobe doesn’t have it in the database yet); and no Lens Correction actions have been taken on any of the images posted here. The edge-to-edge performance you see in terms of rectilinearity, sharpness, and illumination speak to the strengths of this lens.

As soon as I heard about this lens, I wanted to experiment with the Pixelstick on the local pedestrian mall that offers a great one-point perspective. Using a tripod and a timer, I set the exposure to 8 seconds, the aperture to F14 and the ISO to 100, which is the basic exposure for the buildings. I then shot a ton on frames on interval shooting with the Pixelstick with a variety of patterns.

Another Pixelstick experiment. This time I “painted” Van Gogh’s Starry Night into the center of the frame, flanked by lamplight starbursts and the façade of Yestercades, a vintage arcade on the pedestrian mall. 4 seconds F11 ISO 100 at 14mm. The overall imaging performance of this lens makes it fantastic for long-exposure nightscape work!

This is, quite simply, an outstanding ultra wide to wide angle fast-aperture, constant aperture zoom lens. I had the lens for a week, and begrudgingly shipped it off to SIGMA Ambassador Jack Fusco this afternoon—who is hoping to catch the Milky Way rising over the Pacific this weekend with this lens! Stay tuned for his photos and much more team coverage in the coming weeks.

The SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art lens will arrive on store shelves in Mid-March, and has a retail price of $1,299. Learn more/Where to Buy

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