The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG DN Art is a completely newly developed super wide-angle zoom for mirrorless cameras from Sony, Leica, Panasonic and Sigma. So this is not an already-existing lens with an adapter built onto it. The difference is immediately clear. The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG DN Art is smaller and lighter than all other Sigma zooms with a similar range. And, we’ll cut to the chase: it is also optically fantastic.
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TEST RESULTS: Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN Art:
The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is one of the most attractive super wide-angle zooms available today.
The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG DN Art is the little brother of the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art. The latter is the version for SLR cameras. The difference is in the letters: DN. They indicate that the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG DN Art is made for system cameras without a mirror. And it is a completely new design. So it is not the HSM version with a converter added on that would make the lens even bigger. On the contrary. The new Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG DN Art is more than 350 grams lighter than the SLR version as well as slimmer and slightly shorter. The autofocus motor is also optimized for use on SLR cameras.
Ultra-wide-angle lenses have recently become very popular in landscape photography and astrophotography. The ability to capture a lot in images, from vast landscapes to the universe, has created completely new images. These are types of photography that put high demands on image quality. In landscape photos, you prefer to be able to see every detail, every blade of grass and every vein in leaf. This ensures that you get the feeling that you could really step into the landscape. In astrophotography, you are photographing bright spots infinitely far away. Less good lenses transform these into wings or blurry, colored spots. Only with a really good lens does a star continue to look like a star out to the corners of the image. Astrophotography is even trickier than landscapes for wide-angle lenses. With a landscape, you can still stop down considerably, which ensures better image quality. Because in astrophotography you have to work with low light and a moving starry sky, you often have to shoot with an open aperture. Sigma highly praises the quality of the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art as an astro lens. And if it can do that well, then it is also excellent for all other types of photography.
The build quality of the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG DN Art is at a high level. The lens has gaskets around all the moving parts and an additional gasket on the mount to seal the connection to the camera body. Sigma claims that the lens is dust and splash proof. If we look at the brightness and the zoom range, it is a strikingly compact and light lens. At 795 grams, it is clearly lighter than the 1150 gram Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art. With a diameter of 85 mm and a length of 131 mm, it is also more than an inch slimmer and 4 mm shorter than the SLR version. In terms of dimensions and weight, this is what you expect on a mirrorless camera. Nice and handy and ideal for working with on the road for a whole day.
The optical design is slightly more complicated than with the SLR version, with 18 lens elements in 13 groups, and the diaphragm has 11 blades, which is two more than on the SLR. This keeps the aperture opening nice and round at full aperture. It is clear that Sigma has done everything to turn this lens into a real Art lens. The only thing where the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art has to give up some terrain compared to the version for DSLRs is the shortest setting distance. That’s 28 cm on this lens, compared to 26 cm on the HSM version.
The autofocus of the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is clearly optimized for mirrorless cameras and worked well in our tests. We have experienced this differently in versions with adapters. The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art also has a separate switch to switch between autofocus and manual focus and an AFL (Auto Focus Lock) button to lock the focus. Incidentally, that button is programmable, so that you can also assign other functions to it. At the rear, the lens also has a holder for gel filters. You cannot use screw filters on the front. Whoever wants to use gray filters, for example, will have to look for a separate filter holder for large square filters. The front element fortunately not only has a completely new NPC (Nano Porous Coating) that is supposed to benefit the refractive index of the glass elements, but also with a coating that ensures that dirt and moisture can hardly adhere to the glass surface.
Given Sigma’s claim that the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is particularly suitable for astrophotography, we had high expectations for this lens. The Sigma fully meets those in both the test lab and in the sample images. Especially at the largest field of view, at 14 mm, the center sharpness is already extremely high at full aperture, and the gradient to the corners is small. For a moderate wide angle, this would already be very good performance, and for a 14mm super wide angle, it is extraordinary. Stopping down results in a noticeable increase in the center and a slight improvement of the corners, and at f/5.6, the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art reaches its peak. If you zoom in, you will see more or less the same image, although the performance is just a bit lower than at 14 mm. At 24 mm still good, but slightly less than we see over the rest of the range.
We expect vignetting with every bright lens and certainly with bright wide angles. The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is almost an exception. The RAW values are not too bad. We even measured slightly more vignetting in jpeg than in RAW, which is rare. This is often due to an increase in the application of the standard image profile, which increases the contrast. The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art uses the corrections in the camera, but in this case they don’t have to do much. If you crank up the contrast, the vignetting appears to increase. That is not so favorable for astrophotography, but it’s easy to solve with a slightly less spicy profile or your own settings in the RAW processing.
We see the same thing for distortion as for vignetting. That too is already quite low in RAW, with the 24mm position as the only outlier. The camera corrections ensure that the distortion over the entire range in jpeg becomes more even, but not necessarily less everywhere than in RAW. For a super wide-angle zoom, this is an extraordinary achievement.
Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art SAMPLE IMAGES
Curious about the performance of the Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art in practice? Click on the button below and visit our renewed web gallery with sample images. The images can be downloaded in full resolution to be viewed at 100%.
ConclusiON: REVIEW Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art oN Sony A7R III
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The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is a good reason to buy a mirrorless camera.
The Sigma 14-24 mm F2.8 DG HSM Art is an excellent super wide-angle zoom. The lens is incredibly good. The brightness and sharpness are high, the vignetting and distortion are low, and chromatic errors are barely perceptible. The fact that the lens hardly needs any corrections in the camera to achieve those results is an impressive achievement from Sigma. Add to that the compact build, the low weight and the good workmanship, and you have one of the most attractive super wide-angle zooms of the moment. If you like to work with a compact and light super wide angle but you don’t have a mirrorless camera yet, then this lens might be a reason to buy one soon.