Sigma 24-105mm F/4 Lens Announcement

Sigma has no intention on stopping with its highly regarded 35mm f/1.4 and 18-35mm f/1.8 lenses. Today, the Japanese manufacturer has announced a new addition to its “Art” lens line-up – the full-frame compatible 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM lens set to compete directly with Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS and Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR lenses.

Sigma 24-105mm f4 DG OS HSM Lens

1) Overview and Key Specifications

The new Sigma 24-105mm f/4 lens is very similar to the Nikkor and Canon alternatives, but is bigger and noticeably heavier than either one. It starts with a metal mount and is designed according to Sigma’s new design language with a premium-feeling barrel similar to that of the two other Art lenses mentioned previously. Sigma also made the decision of placing the focus ring closer to lens mount and the zoom ring further away, while traditionally professional-grade lenses had their focus rings further away from camera body. Nikkor placed its focus and zoom rings the same way, while Canon stuck with the old lens design formula. Which is better for you is a personal matter. Thankfully, there’s still a focus distance scale, but the focus ring itself is very narrow – likely because most photographers use manual focus less and less. Personally, I would prefer the focus ring to be a bit chunkier. Focal length markings have been moved further away still and are placed right before the hood mount. Normally, I would not even bother mentioning small details like this, but the fact Sigma has moved some bits around from their usual, de-facto locations and that made it worth mentioning.

On to more important parameters. Historically, Sigma used to offer a very good price/performance compromise, but while the price aspect remains true to this day – most of Sigma lenses are cheaper than their brand alternatives – the performance part has greatly improved. As we’ve said before, third-party manufacturers are on the rise, so there is reason to believe this 24-105mm f/4 lens will perform on a high level. Optical formula of the new lens is quite complex and consists of 19 elements in 14 groups versus 17 elements of the Nikkor and 18 elements of the Canon equivalent. The glass used in the Sigma is also of high quality with some elements being similar to exotic fluorite. The aperture consists of 9 rounded blades.

The lens features internal focusing, so the length remains constant regardless of focus distance and the front element does not rotate. Speaking of distance, the lens can focus down to a respectable 45cm and achieve magnification of 1:4.6. The barrel extends when zooming towards the long end of the zoom range which covers wide to medium telephoto angle of view. The constant f/4 aperture throughout is on par with its rivals, and the new Sigma is also optically stabilized and features Sigma’s own HSM AF motor for snappy focusing performance. It is worth mentioning that the lens uses a rather large 82mm filter size, which, for many, means purchase of new filters. On the other hand, the front elements is also rather big, which, according to Sigma, should reduce vignetting wide-open.

Here is the list of key specifications:

  • Lens Construction: 19 elements in 14 groups
  • Minimum aperture: F22
  • Filter size: ø82mm
  • Angle of view (35mm format): 84.1°-23.3°
  • Minimum focusing distance: 45cm/17.7in.
  • Dimensions (Diameter x Length): ø88.6mm x 109.4mm/3.5in. x 4.3in.
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9 (Rounded diaphragm)
  • Maximum magnification ratio: 1:4.6
  • Weight: 885g/31.2oz

If the recent Sigma lenses are of any indication, the new 24-105mm f/4 OS should perform admirably and at least on par with competition. We will find out as soon as a copy reaches our hands.

2) Official Press Release

Here is the official Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM lens press release:

Sigma Corporation announces new, optically stabilized 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

Standard zoom with versatile focal range, features stabilization, outstanding image quality

RONKONKOMA, NY — October 16, 2013 — Sigma Corporation of America (www.sigmaphoto.com), a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today announced its newest addition to the Sigma Art line of lenses for full-frame cameras, the 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM.

True to its categorization as a Sigma Art lens, the new 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is designed for artistic expression and top-notch image quality. This versatile lens covers the basic shooting range from wide to medium tele with an inner focusing system that eliminates front lens rotation, enhancing the lens stability and allowing the use of circular polarizing filters. It also boasts a constant aperture of F4, and contains Sigma’s proprietary Optical Stabilizer (OS) technology to compensate for camera shake. Moreover, it was designed to surpass the required quality inspection of every Global Vision lens with Sigma’s own modulation transfer function (MTF) “A1” measuring system to create new optical standard to align with the high-spec cameras on today’s market.

“For many years, Sigma users have been seeking a standard zoom lens in this range,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “The 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is yet another example of Sigma listening to its users and delivering new and innovative products with the highest image quality.”

Amir-Hamzeh added that this new lens combines the largest possible fixed aperture to zoom ratio that will maintain optimal integrity for many kinds of photography, including landscapes, architecture, portraiture and still-life. With a minimum focusing distance of 45cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.6, this lens is also excellent for close-up photography.

High-performance glass elements, including SLD, FLD, which is equal to fluorite, and glass-molded single- and double-sided aspheric lenses have been included into the optical system to prevent aberration, field curvature, distortions and color aberration. The 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens is also able to suppress chromatic aberration very effectively at the telephoto-end, and can achieve superior image quality throughout the zoom range. Unlike lenses with similar specifications, this lens overcomes low peripheral brightness. Although it is designed for full frame cameras, it also works with APS-C sensors, giving an increase to focal length.

The lens’ Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures a silent, high-speed auto focus function and enables full-time manual focusing capability. The 24-105mm is also compatible with Sigma’s USB dock allowing photographers to update its firmware and change focus parameters using Sigma’s Optimization Pro software. It is also compatible with Sigma’s recently announced Mount Conversion Service.

3) Pre-Order Information

Click one of the following links to pre-order the new Sigma lens for Canon, Nikon, Sigma or Sony mount:

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Marco
    October 16, 2013 at 6:50 am

    I don’t think they are marketing this right. It’s a (relatively) slow zoom. Why label it as part of the Art line?

  2. 2
    ) Frank Jr.
    October 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

    82mm filter size? I do own a few, but……. Will be looking forward to your hands on evaluation of this lens for both DX and FX.

  3. 3
    ) Sebastiano
    October 16, 2013 at 7:34 am

    There’s still someone that trust on one of Nikon’s “best deals”, 28-105 AF-D IF … But I’m a little bit disappointed why also Sigma hasn’t tried a “macro” option on it.

    My 28-105 is “macro” (1:2 RR) from 50 to 105, and allows me to do nice flower “close close” -ups

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/seba_f80/7322070734/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/seba_f80/7349386484/

    Anyway, great work for Sigma!

    Seb

    • 11
      ) PAUL
      October 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      24-105mm F/4 is a kind of light weight consumer kit lens for FF camera in my opinion. If macro is added, it should be too long and too heavy for most travel photographers including myself. I believe Sigma 24-105 has better optics than 24-105 Canon kit or 24-120 Nikon, and superior to 24-85 Nikon kit I own. I will buy this lens if it has better optics than competitors and won’t if it is similar to them. I own both Nikon and Canon.

      • 23
        ) Sebastiano
        October 18, 2013 at 5:57 am

        ” If macro is added, it should be too long and too heavy for most travel photographers including myself”
        not necessarily

        I agree with you if you mean a real macro (1:1 RR), but 28-205 Nikon is 1:2RR, which is not so bad really

        photographylife.com/lenses/nikon-af-nikkor-af-28-105mm-f3-5-4-5d-if
        “Lens Description: Provides maximum 1:2 reproduction ratio from 50-105mmrn. Hybrid-type aspherical lens element for minimized distortionrnI-F (Internal Focusing) technology for fast AF operationrn. Nine-blade rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural”

        BR, Seb

  4. 4
    ) Roberto
    October 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I hope 899 $ or less street price

  5. 5
    ) Ricardo Vaz
    October 16, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I hope sigma keep up with the quality of the 35mm 1.4, I wish they made a good angle zoom to beat the nikkor 16-35 f/4 with a lower price tag.

    • 25
      ) tedtedsen
      October 27, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Nikon have one lenses that is better than 16-35 the 14-24 2.8 you dont need vr on 14-24 unless you are drunk and even tokina 16-28 2.8 is better than Nikons 16-35f 4 vr

  6. 6
    ) Vie
    October 16, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Just a little disappointed that Sigma did not release or announce the 18-35/F1.8 equivalent for FX. I would even settle for the 24-70/F2.

    Echoing Marco, I would be drooling over a faster lens and just a longer reach (24-120/F2 or F2.8). One can dream. Otherwise, I’m sticking with my current Nikkor 28-105 AF-D.

    • 10
      ) Sebastiano
      October 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

      But a 24-70 f/2 would be very expensive. Do we need it? really?

      May be better for an optimized 24-50 f/2 (about 2x). A dream lens for street, as it reachs the normal eyes vision, uses the “traditional 35mm view” and enlarges it to wide angle.
      I think each mm after 50mm is difficult to put in the same lens starting from a 24mm wide (in full frame)
      A 50mm with f/2 aperture is an effordable aperture ring (there are cheap primes that are faster), while 70 with f/2 is about 40% larger. That would need more corrected lenses, more glass, so more money to buy.

      Yes, Sigma sells the 120-300 f/2.8, but it’s an unpopular lens, as it is heavy and expensive.
      How many of us can buy it? And do we need it?
      Modern sensors are giving us possibilities that film cameras never have had, so is it a real benefit to have fast tele, like 120-300 f/2.8 for “common” use?

      I don’t think so ;)

  7. October 16, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Well, I’m not sure about this one. Probably, Sony Alpha users might be happy about it, but Canon already has one, and the Nikkor 24-120mm is superb. Also, Sigma neglected a rubber gasket around the mount, which is a stupid mistake in my opinion, especially considering the double-barrel lens design. The MTF charts that I saw briefly, aren’t that promising either.

    Sigma set the bar rather high with their previous Art releases – this lens could be the first dud in the bunch.

    • October 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

      I have a feeling you are right. I saw the specs and felt “Oh well..we’ll have to see how it performs in reality, paired with a D800 we can evaluate thoroughly.”

    • 18
      ) preston
      October 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

      All the tests I’ve seen on the Nikon 24-120/4 suggest that there is a lot of room for improvement.

      • October 17, 2013 at 9:13 am

        Well, it’s curious, isn’t it? Most negative tests I’ve seen are from non-photographers solely relying on questionably focused test charts. On the other hand, see what Nasim has to say about this lens here on photographylife, or check out some reviews from real photographers:
        http://www.ishootshows.com/2010/11/09/review-nikon-24-120mm-f4/
        http://jonathanfleming.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/nikkor-24-120mm-f4-vr-the-street-sweeper/

        Is there a room for improvement? Certainly, there always is. But at this price point, show me another 5x full frame zoom that is better! You won’t find any. There bound to be compromises for any 5x zoom lenses, and what makes the 24-120mm great is that it has the best compromises I can think of. Sharpness is very good in the centre – which doesn’t mean right in the middle, that center area extends to the dx corners easily across the focal range. Not as sharp as prime lenses stopped down, but very much acceptable even on the d800

        However, what makes it really shine is it’s colour reproduction and deep micro contrast – something that is completely ignored in almost all test chart based reviews that only obsess about sharpness, as if nothing else mattered.

        Add to this the relatively small size, decent built quality, a measure of wheather sealing, standard 77mm filter thread, effective VR – what’s not to like about it? And the compromises?

        Relatively soft corners wide open. But again, you can safely place your subjects off-centre, because well, corners are really in the corner, and they sharpen up nicely by f8-9 if you’re keen on doing landscapes.

        Distortions at almost all focal lengths. Well, this is again something you’ll never see, because they are simple distortions (no mustache or wavy patterns), thus easily correctable. In fact, I set up LR in such a way that I don’t have to do anything to correct them. They are corrected automatically during import, so this is “problem” you can safely forget about. Ditto for vignetting.

        Same goes for CAs that are quite well controlled to begin with.

        Oh, forgot to add good flare resistance. This is usually tested shooting at the sun, but I used to get flares at events shooting with strong backlights (with the lights in the frame). Especially LED lights can be quite horrible. When I shot primes (50 & 85mm F/1.8G primes) I often saw a replica of the leds (very ugly) reflected in the frame. This never happens with this lens. Plenty of examples here with light source in the frame: http://z7photo.com/2013/10/magic-marmalades/

  8. 9
    ) Peter
    October 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

    While this lens might compete with the Canon, I don’t think it’ll compete well with the Nikon–which has 15mm more on the longer end–unless the optics of the Sigma compares to the NIkon like their 35/1.4s do.

    Anyways, with that said, if Sigma stands to make the most if they can come up with a solid 24-70/2 or 24-120/2.8 (both with image stabilization). Reason being that the 1-stop advantage and OS will draw the 24-70 users. As for the 24-120/2.8, I think there are enough people who wouldn’t mind the extra weight and larger size of the lens… and that Sigma can do it. I mean, Sigma did do a 120-300/2.8 with OS!

  9. 12
    ) HomoSapiensWannaBe
    October 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    As much as I like the Sigma 35/1.4, I am somewhat disappointed with this lens. The zoom range is fine, the F-stop OK, but the all metal build means it will be heavy, and the 82mm filter size is a bummer. I would like something to replace the Nikon 24-85G VR, but I’m not sure this is it. Price and image quality will be the determining factors.

    About 82mm filters: Perhaps I made a mistake in thinking 77mm was big enough to standardize on? I recently purchased the excellent B&W 77mm 5-stop XS-Pro ND Vario MRC nano filter, and have had a B&W 77mm Kaesemann XS-Pro MRC nano polarizer for a year. Both were expensive and — so I thought — a long-term investment that would allow maximum versatility. With Canon and Tamron’s latest 24-70 zooms having 82mm filters, it would seem that 77mm front elements may not be quite large enough to get the best performance from wide to mid FF zooms.

    • October 16, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      77mm filters have long been the professional standard, but as with most things DSLR, they keep getting bigger. I would not be at all surprised if in a few years the new pro standard would be 82mm. A pity. Here’s hoping that will not happen.

      Any reason why you didn’t go for Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR?

      • 17
        ) HomoSapiensWannaBe
        October 16, 2013 at 6:02 pm

        Romanas,
        I got the D600 with 24-85G VR when it first came out Sept. ’12. It’s an OK lens, but doesn’t have the same image quality as other lenses I use, including the excellent 18-35G. As for the Nikon 24-120/4G VR, I like the range but don’t think the performance difference justifies the extra size/weight/cost, even when it was available for $1000 during the rebate program last February.

        I would prefer a 24-70/2.8 with VR from Sigma or Nikon. However, it now appears this lens may not be forthcoming from Sigma any time soon. I will consider Sigma’s 24-105/4 OS lens if the performance and price are right. I wish it weren’t so heavy (885g, almost as much as the Nikon 24-70/2.8)!

    • 22
      ) Joe
      October 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Even Canon moved to an 82mm front end in the 24–70 2.8 mkII and Sigma has long used the 82mm front end with their 24-70 2.8s for years. I’ve heard this is to minimize the risk of vignetting with filters, I can’t say that’s the reason, but I don’t think the 77mm standard is in jeopardy on pro glass just yet. Canon sure made some waves with the 24-70 2.8 mkII, but people I know that use that lens have adjusted because of how truly amazing that lens is. It’s a nitpicky thing, IMO. This sigma is a more interesting lens due to the fact that if in practice it lives up to its specs and the price is right, there’s going to be a lot of people picking it over canon and nikon’s offerings and if their 17-70 2.8-4 “C” lens is any indication, I’m sure it will.

  10. 14
    ) Agallon
    October 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Pre-order and no price available? What if they decide to charge $5K?

    • October 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Agallon,

      the price is yet unknown, so pre-order does not actually work – those are just active links to product page. Pre-order will be available as soon as price is confirmed.

    • 16
      ) Peter
      October 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      @Agallon… No company’s going to charge $5k for a 24-105/4. Definitely not more than $1.2k for sure.

      Even if the MTF chart did look like the Nikon 300mm f/2.8G VR II or the Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II. ^^

    • 20
      ) Paul
      October 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Take Sigma’s announcement like this: Don’t buy Canon 24-105 or Nikon 24-120 or 24-85 now. Sigma has developed a superior lens at comparable price. We will please you in a month or two.

      Recently, I bought Sigma 150mm macro and Samyang manual 35mm. Both are incredibly sharper than any Nikon and Canon lenses I have except Nikon 85mm. I believe four S (Sony, Sigma, Samyang & Samsung) are challenging high ends of N/C’s Duopoly. Good for consumers.

      • 21
        ) preston
        October 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

        Remember Tokina beat Nikon by announcing their 70-200/4 first! And many people got down on Nikon for this. Only problem is that Nikon’s version has been for sale now for almost a year while Tokina’s still isn’t available.

        If Sigma hasn’t even given it a price yet then I wouldn’t assume it will be available any time soon.

  11. 24
    ) Dan
    October 23, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Coming from someone who owns the Canon 24-105 as well as the Sigma 18-35 and use them on my Canon C100, I will be purchasing this lens as it is released. I absolutely love the Sigma 18-35. The build quality is great, image is fantastic, zoom ring is so smooth, and most of all for me, it does not lose light when zooming, as this lens is promised not to do, like the Canon version does.
    My Canon 24-105 will be for sale when this releases, no doubt about it.

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