Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mini-Review: Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens–Yeah, this one is awesome too!

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

After being blown away by the Sigma 35mm and Sigma 50mm Art Series lenses, I wasted no time getting my hands on the all new Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. I’ve had a chance to kick the tires on it for a few hours and have once again been impress with what Sigma brings to the table with their silver dot Art series lenses.

With the same great build quality as the 35mm and 50mm, I’ll have to refer you to my Sigma 35mm and Sigma 50mm Art Series lens reviews for additional construction comments. I love the build of this lens, but my only gripe is the pinch lens cap that loves to fall off frequently. Here a quick video where I go over the construction and this complaint:

Now before you flame me for not getting the cap connected in the video, I would like to point out that YES it is possible to get it connected – with careful care – and if securely locked it stays on most of the time. However, it’s not quite as secure as what I’m used to seeing from Nikon lens caps which outperform the pinch design of both Canon and SIGMA.

Real World Shots

As my readers have come to expect, here’s my 100% unedited real world images with all their flaws and incredible detail. These are all straight out of the camera JPEG’s taken from a Canon 1D X with no cropping, rotating, etc - nothing. 

All images are copyright ® Ron Martinsen – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. You may click to view the in-camera originals, but you must delete them when you are done reviewing them. You may not edit, print, copy, upload or otherwise use or modify these images without written consent – yes, even the ugly ones!


f/4 @ 24mm for 1/400 sec at ISO 320

This is one of those crazy sharp images that make you think – how come this blows away my other lenses that cost twice as much?!!!


f/5.6 @ 24mm for 1/60 sec at ISO 100

This shot should dispel any question about sharpness concerns - you’ll find gobs of sharpness at at f/5.6!


f/2.8 @ 24mm for 1/320 sec at ISO 320

Creamy delicious bokeh and sharp detail – what’s not to love about that?


f/8 @ 24mm for 1/10 sec at ISO 100

f/8 is indeed great with lots of detail on the pilings and the boulders on the right


f/5.6 @ 24mm for 1/60 sec at ISO 500

The nice thing about sharp lenses is that even as the ISO’s start to climb, you get such sharp captures that you get back some detail that might have otherwise been lost by ISO noise.


f/16 @ 24mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 2000

This lens is so sharp that even the diffraction at f/16 isn’t enough to make me fear using it.
This is definitely a very sharp lens!


f/5.6 @ 24mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 160

After a while I started to think that the biggest “con” of this lens is that it is so sharp that it makes everything so hyper-realistic that anything less than perfection looks ugly – you know, kinda like how the news people got real ugly when HDTV first went live?


f/4 @ 24mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 100

I’ll remind you that these are unedited in-camera shots with zero post-processing beyond the Canon Standard Picture Style. I was just shaking my head at how sweet this lens is for such a great price!


f/4 @ 24mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 200

This lens has it all – sharpness, great bokeh, and excellent contrast. If you aren’t happy with your shots, blame the person pushing the button – not this lens!

Click here to see the complete gallery of images.

Bookshelf Shots


f/4 @ 24mm for 8 sec at ISO 100

I had a slight backfocus issue that can easily fixed with the SIGMA USB Dock so the focus ended up being on the green Hobbit book instead of the top center of the Lord of the Rings books like I typically do. This results in more softness on that book so don’t be thrown by that if you are used to looking at my bookshelf shots.

There was some mild distortion at the edges, but overall the center is crisp and sharp. Like most lenses of this type you have a small circle of sharpness at f/1.4 along with some vignetting and that sharpness circle expands to entire top and bottom of the image by f/2.8. f/4 is definitely the sharpness aperture and its still shallow enough to cause some blur on the surrounding books – which I both expect and like for a f/1.4 lens. f/5.6 – f/16 are all excellent so really the only softness is in the f/1.4 – f/2.8 range at the edges.

Click the image above to see the full-size in-camera original to see just how sharp it is while it still maintains a shallow depth of field for adjacent books.Click here to see the rest of the bookshelf shots in the gallery from f/1.4 – f/16.

Conclusion

I’m sounding like a broken record on these Art Series lenses which is why I didn’t do a big review. Once I started seeing the images on the camera I knew that it was going to be more of the same awesomeness that SIGMA fans expected to see from this lens. It’s certainly worthy of the Art Series moniker and definitely worthy of my highly recommended stamp of approval!

Simply put, if you are looking for a 24mm prime lens then is one you should definitely buy and try out before considering anything else.

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order on the B&H web site.

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