Hands-On Review: Sigma 14-24mm f2.8 DG DN ART Zoom Lens

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The first thing that crossed my mind when I was handed the new Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN ART lens was “Doesn’t Sigma already make an ART-series 14-24mm f/2.8 zoom?” Long story short, yes, it does… but this one’s different.

Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 ART DG DN ultra-wide zoom differs from the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM ART lenses in that, unlike Sigma’s DG HSM-series ART lenses, which are designed for use with DSLRs from Nikon, Canon, and Sigma, the new lens is designed for mirrorless cameras. Currently available for Sony E-mount and Leica L-mount cameras, Sigma’s newest 14-24mm zoom has been optimized for the smaller flange size of mirrorless cameras. As a result, it’s about a half-inch narrower (3.3 × 5.2" vs 3.8 x 5.3") and three-quarters of a pound lighter than its DSLR counterparts (28 oz vs 40.5 oz).

Photographs © 2019 Allan Weitz

Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN was a perfect lens for capturing the riot of textures surrounding this abandoned home.

The optical design of the newer zoom incorporates the latest advances in optical glass and coatings technologies, and for smoother bokeh, the lens’s diaphragm incorporates 11 rounded diaphragm blades (earlier models contain 9 blades). The lens’s 14mm to 24mm ultra-wide to wide-angle focal range takes in a broad 114.2 to 84.1° AoV, which makes it optically ideal for architecture, landscapes, and when shooting in tight spaces. In terms of weight, size, and balance, this lens is an excellent match for E and L-mount mirrorless camera systems.

Inside of this weather-sealed ultra-wide zoom reside three aspheric elements, five SLD elements, and a single FLD lens element. There are Super Multi-Layer coatings across the board with Nano Porous coatings on the front lens element that serve to reduce the refractive index of the glass, more so, compared to conventional anti-reflective coatings. The minimum focusing distance is a respectable 11", which provides a maximum magnification ratio of 1:7.3.

The left image, which was taken at 14mm, displays readily visible pincushion distortions. After moving the lens farther from the subject and zooming in to a longer 24mm focal length, the distortions become a non-issue.

The autofocus system of Sigma’s latest wide zoom is quick, quiet, and quite accurate—I seldom missed my mark regardless of whether my subject was at infinity or close to my camera position. For trickier framing and focusing, there’s a handy Autofocus-Lock (AFL) button that can be engaged, as well, customized to fit your shooting needs better. You also have the option of switching to manual focus with the flip of a switch.

If bokeh is your thing, Sigma’s 14-24mm ART zoom will make you happy, thanks, in part, to the lens’s 11 rounded aperture blades. When focusing on close subjects at wider apertures, the background swirls into a pleasing blend of color and form.

At wide apertures, the bokeh qualities of Sigma’s 14-24mm ART DG DN ART are simply lovely.

Even though it’s relatively easy to stop the lens down to maintain great depth of field when shooting with wide-angle lenses, I found myself using my camera’s focus magnifying function to check focus, especially when set at wide apertures.

The large front element on Sigma’s 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN ART isn’t filter-friendly. To make up for the lack of filter threads up front, a rear filter holder at the back of the lens accepts gel filters.

Sigma’s new 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN ART zoom is versatile for architecture and landscape photography.

Designing an ultra-wide lens with low degrees of barrel and/or pincushion distortion is a challenge and, in the case of this lens, the results are mixed. At the longer end of the focal range, straight, vertical lines remain parallel to one another—even at the edges. As you zoom wider, barrel distortion starts to kick in. When shooting landscapes, this isn’t much of an issue, but for shooting architecture I would strongly recommend sticking to a better-corrected fixed focal length lens in the 12mm to 14mm range. However, for less critical work I would have zero considerations about purchasing this otherwise notable lens.

Are you a wide-angle fan? If so, how would this lens suit your needs? Let us know in the Comments field, below.

2 Comments

I think Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 is definitely better in terms of use and  quality, also for mirrorless design.

Yes a ultra wide user for many years. Your examples are good but do not cover the real uses. MOST photographers will want the lens for astro Milky Way (on sony). Most already have a 14mm f/2.8 like the Samyang/Rokinon but they have a mustache (it took two years to edit MW images) and only Lr has the lens correction. Yes the  Sigma 14mm f/1.8 is awesome. Now for landscape use you will be at f/11 or such but for night f/2.8. BUT Sony has a one up the SEL1224G f/4,sharp/no coma even the SEL1018 f/4 can be used from 12mm to 18mm in full frame mode (for 18 remove the light shield) and you can use filters on it also very small and IS - great for indoor church and such or street but shines at night also (was around before ultra wides). Remember f/2.8 lenses most times have to be set at f/4 anyway due to coma (little dove stars). I also really like the Voigtlander 10mm f/5.6 even for Milky Ways shoot at 30 secs. If I may mention 16mm is a super wide and a staple for many the Sony SEL1635Z f/4 is awesome but also the SEL1635GM f/2.8 great zooms for all most anything with screw on filters and IS and AF.

Ok lastly f/2.8 is a holdover from the film days (before there were Sony lenses I used Canon FD f/2.8/4 lenses [with adapter] (yes Boheh is a want), today with new Sony sensors not really needed, even on my old (2014) Sony A7S with high ISO's unlike Canon/Nikon limits of ISO 6400 and noisy. Newer cameras also are ISO Invariant meaning shooting at lower ISO you get more dynamic range exp. a sunset shot at almost blue hour can be shot at ISO 50 getting a somewhat dark image but in post increase shadows then exposure you get a noise free bright image. Even for night Milky Way's captures look like daytime with the new A7M3 in the darkest of places (star light is amazing). But if you do a night star shot to test this lens please look at PhotoPills Spot Stars to get the best SS so you get no coma or trailing stars to spoil a review.

What this lens may be good for is some MW blogeres use two cameras one with a 24mm f/2.8 for live blog video and another with a 14mm to shoot night shots, this may save weight for those long treks into natures darkness. (never change lenses outside)

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