Early today, Sigma officially announced a new 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, the most recent in a string of wide-angle Art lenses from the company. While there has been no price released at this point, it is reasonable to hope that this lens will offer the high-quality performance that Sigma’s Art lineup is known for, yet still retain a lower price than something like the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. Keep reading for more details about the new lens, including some of our initial thoughts and expectations.
The first thing that will stand out to many photographers is that this is not a small lens — much like Sigma’s other recent wide-angle options. It’s the same size as the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, and it weighs 1/3 pound more. There was a time when the Nikon 14-24mm was considered extremely large and heavy for a wide-angle lens, although today it has been surpassed by several others (such as the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 12-24mm f/4).
The high weight of the Sigma lens is a result of the complex optical formula, with 17 elements in 11 groups (and 3 aspherical elements). Six of those elements are FLD or SLD glass, which are Sigma’s elements for improving chromatic aberration. The official name of the lens is the “Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art.” (You can read here about some of Sigma’s lens abbreviations.) Here are the new lens’s specifications and features:
- Lens construction: 17 elements in 11 groups
- Special elements: 3 aspherical elements, 3 SLF-coated elements, and 3 FLD-coated elements
- Diaphragm: 9 aperture blades, rounded, electromagnetic control (akin to Nikon’s E lenses)
- Distortion: “Near zero” (less than 1% claimed)
- Minimum focus: 0.24 meters, or 9.5 inches
- Maximum magnification: 0.18x (1:5.4)
- Aperture range: f/2.8 to f/22
- Compatible mounts: Nikon, Canon, and Sigma (as well as Sony, with Sigma’s MC-11 converter)
- Weight: 1150 grams (2.5 lbs)
- Size: 5.3 inch (length) × 3.8 inches (diameter)
- Weather sealing: Yes, splash proof construction and additional sealing at the mount
Interestingly, Sigma also announced a new Front Conversion Service for this lens, which simply removes the built-in petal hood and replaces it with a smaller, rounded hood that won’t be as useful for flare prevention. They claim that this option “allows the lens to be used in various virtual reality (VR) scenarios without the risk of interfering with other lenses in the virtual reality rig, or undesired shadows in the content.”
Are these actually common issues when shooting VR content? A cursory Google search didn’t turn up anything, so I’m not sure what is going on. For photography — the non-virtual-reality kind — there aren’t many reasons I can imagine for wanting to replace the hood. Perhaps if you often shoot with your camera’s built-in flash (or a low profile on-camera flash), removing the hood will minimize shadows at the bottom of the frame, although that’s quite a rare scenario for people who buy this type of lens.
Or, maybe, the smaller lens hood will make it easier to attach a filter kit. A fascinating possibility is that Sigma (which does sell filters already) is planning to release a smaller filter holder system that would work with the hood removed, while being far smaller than something like the FotodioX or Lee systems that are necessary for other ultra-wide lenses. That’s pure speculation, but if this lens does eventually allow for almost-normal size filters because of the hood removal option, count me a fan. Even if that doesn’t happen — and it probably won’t — it isn’t harmful that Sigma is offering the hood removal service. It’s just unexpected.
No pricing has been announced yet for the 14-24mm f/2.8 (or for the hood-removal service), but you can look at some of Sigma’s other recent lenses to have a good idea of where it might fall. The new 14-24mm shares a lot of DNA with Sigma’s other recent wide-angle lenses, the 14mm f/1.8 and the 12-24mm f/4. Take a look:
|Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8
|Sigma 12-24mm f/4
|Sigma 14mm f/1.8
|1150 grams (2.5 lbs)
|1150 grams (2.5 lbs)
|1170 grams (2.6 lbs)
|17 elements, 11 groups
|16 elements, 11 groups
|16 elements, 11 groups
|Not yet announced
Sigma clearly found a wide-angle design that they like, and as you can see from our recent 14mm f/1.8 review, the image quality has been very impressive so far. If the new 14-24mm f/2.8 approaches the performance of the 14mm f/1.8 — no small feat, considering it is a zoom lens — it will rank as one of the highest-quality wide angle zooms available today. We’re already gearing up to test this lens when it arrives on market, so stay tuned.
Here is Sigma’s press release:
February 9, 2018 – Sigma Corporation today announced the brand new 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art wide aperture zoom lens. In addition to the new Global Vision full-frame lens model, Sigma also announced a new front conversion service for the 14-24mm F2.8.
Outstanding Art Lens Performance
Designed for 50-megapixel plus cameras, the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art achieves the legendary Art lens sharpness with three FLD glass elements, three SLD glass elements, and three aspherical lens elements, including one 80mm high precision molded glass aspherical element. With near zero distortion (less than 1%) and minimal transverse chromatic aberration, flare and ghosting, the new Sigma 14-24mm offers constant F2.8 brightness throughout the zoom range and delivers optimal image quality at every focal length and shooting distance. The high-speed, high-accuracy autofocus allows photographers to capture incredible, in-the-moment images.
In addition to outstanding optical performance, the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art features the Sports line level dust- and splash-proof design with special sealing at the mount connection, manual focus ring, zoom ring and cover connection, allowing for the lens to be used during varying weather conditions.
Versatile Camera System Mount Support
The new Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mount features brand new electromagnetic diaphragm, whereas the Canon mount is compatible with the Canon Lens Aberration Correction function.
Pricing and availability for the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art lens will be announced later.
Front Mount Conversion Service for Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art
Addressing the rising popularity of multi-camera productions, especially using ultra wide-angle lenses in shooting virtual reality (VR) content, Sigma has introduced its Front Conversion Service. Converting the petal-type hood of the 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM Art to an exclusive round component allows for the lens to be used in various VR scenarios without the risk of interfering with other lenses in the VR rig or undesired shadows in the content.
The availability of this fee-based service for Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 Art will be announced at a later date.