Sigma has just announced world’s first large aperture full-frame wide-angle zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/2, the Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art. Built on the concept of the already successful Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens for APS-C cameras, the 24-35mm f/2 Art offers similar advantages to full-frame camera shooters. With this announcement, Sigma challenges other prime lenses between from the 24mm to the 35mm range, claiming that this one lens can replace them all and offer the same quality and sharpness in a single, versatile and convenient package. The lens will be available for Nikon, Canon and Sigma mounts and at this time, there is no word yet on the pricing.
Like other Sigma Art-series lenses, the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM will be compatible with Sigma’s USB dock. It is definitely an interesting announcement, but I wonder how useful such a small zoom range would be in practice, since there are other lenses such as 16-35mm f/4 and 17-35mm f/2.8 that have wider coverage (and some even feature image stabilization). The lens does not seem to be simply a repackage of the 18-35mm f/1.8 Art (which does provide full-frame coverage starting from around the 24mm mark), because Sigma is using more SLD glass in the construction, so it is optically a bit different. If the lens is sharp from the center to the corners, it might be a good choice for those who own several primes in the 24mm to 35mm range and want to replace them with a single lens. Unfortunately, Sigma has not yet provided any MTF charts for the lens.
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release:
The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce that we are going to introduce the SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art, the world’s first(1) large-aperture full-frame wide-angle zoom lens offering F2 brightness throughout the zoom range.
While offering the premier optics of the Art line, this lens covers 24mm, 28mm and 35mm focal lengths. Incredible performance overturns the conventional perception of a zoom lens.
SIGMA was determined to create a zoom lens that offers the same brightness and resolution as a fixed focal length lens: in other words, the highest level of optical performance. The result of this challenge was the SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art, the world’s first zoom to offer a fast F1.8 aperture value throughout the zoom range. Building on this concept, SIGMA has developed the new SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM | Art for 35mm full frame sensor. It allows photographers to carry one lens to do the work of three fixed focal length lenses, a 24mm, 28mm and 35mm — with F2 brightness and top optical performance. One package delivers flexible functionality and high convenience. In particular, at the 24mm and 35mm focal lengths, this lens offers the performance that is equivalent to that of two prime lenses in the Art line. Instead of changing one high-performance fixed focal length lens for another, simply zoom. This is a new zoom lens for 35mm full frame sensor SLRs that offers the quality of a fixed focal length lens at various angles of view.
1. The world’s first large-aperture full-frame zoom lens offering a wide open aperture of F2 throughout the zoom range
A large-diameter zoom lens covering the full frame image sensor. Optical performance equivalent to a fixed focal length lens throughout the entire zoom range. These are the concepts the SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM embodies. It covers three of the most commonly used prime lenses, 24mm, 28mm and 35mm all in one lens. In order to achieve an attractive bokeh effect at wide aperture, we have developed the world’s first zoom lens for the 35mm full frame sensor with an F2 aperture value throughout the zoom range(1).
2. Outstanding optical performance of the fixed focal length lenses in SIGMA’s Art line
The SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM builds on the concept of the SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art, the world’s first zoom lens to offer F1.8 brightness throughout the zoom range. Thanks to the outstanding optical performance, the lens provides the quality of high performance fixed focal length lenses in the Art line.
3. Covering the range of three fixed focal length wide-angle lenses
Delivering excellent functionality and convenience, one lens offers the equivalent quality of three high-performance fixed focal length lenses at F2 brightness: 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. With a minimum focusing distance of 28cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.4, this lens is suitable for close-up shooting, portraits with an attractive bokeh and deep-focus landscape photography. Photographers have access to the angle of view equivalent to that of three wide-angle lenses without having to switch them. While achieving the desired background effect can be difficult with a conventional wide-angle lens, the large diameter of this lens allows photographers to open the aperture wide and use the shallow focus to achieve stunning results.
4. Incorporating SIGMA’s latest technologies
To realize a large-diameter zoom lens for full frame cameras with F2 brightness, SIGMA designed each and every part with uncompromising care and quality. The lens incorporates large-diameter aspherical lens elements, which require advanced technologies to manufacture, one FLD (“F” Low Dispersion)(2) glass and seven SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, of which two are aspherical lenses. The advanced optics and optimized lens power distribution minimize spherical aberration, axial chromatic aberration and field curvature, resulting in outstanding optical performance. Even at widest aperture, this lens delivers breathtaking image quality.
5. Convenient handling
The inner focusing system eliminates front lens rotation, enhancing the lens’ stability and allowing use of Circular Polarizing filters. This specification is particularly convenient for shooting video.
Minimum focusing distance of 28cm
With a minimum focusing distance of 28cm and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.4, this lens is excellent for close-up photography.
Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
From an early stage in the lens design process, flare and ghosting have been measured to establish an optical design resistant to strong incident light sources such as backlighting. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images even in backlit conditions. The included lens hood can be attached to block out extraneous light, which can have a negative effect on rendering performance.
Hyper Sonic Motor ensures High AF Speed
The HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) ensures a silent, high-speed AF function. By optimizing the AF algorithm, smoother AF is achieved. Also, this lens offers full-time MF by rotating the focus ring of the lens while auto focusing(3). Without changing the AF/MF Focus Mode Switch, it allows faster focus adjustment.
The 9 blade-rounded diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image.
Brass bayonet mount
This lens incorporates a brass bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. A special treatment to reinforce its strength is applied to the surface giving it greater strength and making it highly resistant to long-term use.
Applicable for the Mount Conversion Service
As an experienced lens manufacturer that has been creating a diverse range of interchangeable lenses, we have started the innovative “Mount Conversion Service(4)”. With this chargeable service, the mount of your current SIGMA lenses can be changed to another mount of your choice. It gives new life to your favorite lenses when you wish to use them on a different camera body.
Art line delivers high-level artistic expression
SIGMA is organizing all its interchangeable lenses into three product lines; Contemporary, Art, and Sports, where each line has a distinctive concept. Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, our Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. With the astonishing rendering performance that meets the highest standard, along with landscapes, portraits, still-lifes, close-ups, and general snaps, they are perfect for the kind of photography that unleashes the inner artist. Ideal for studio photography, they offer just as much expressive scope when capturing architecture and starry skies and many other scenes.
Customization and flexible adjustment for convenience or a specific purpose is possible. SIGMA USB DOCK that is designed exclusively for the new lens line-ups.
With the optional SIGMA USB DOCK, you can update your lens firmware, adjust focus points and customize Full-time MF function settings as well as the timing to operate the Full-time MF function. By attaching this lens to a SIGMA USB DOCK, which is connected to a computer, the dedicated software “SIGMA Optimization Pro” offers various types of customization and adjustment.
New product lines from SGV concepts that are setting new benchmarks for image quality.
With the new product lines, supplied hoods incorporate rubber for the connected part. Lens caps and AF/MF switches are also newly designed in order to improve usability. For the internal parts, various metals and a new material called TSC (Thermally Stable Composite)(5), which works well with metal, are located to achieve products with high accuracy. The lens barrel includes the year of release, engraved for users to recognize when the lens was released.
Evaluation with SIGMA’s own MTF measuring system “A1”
We used to measure lens performance with an MTF measuring system using conventional sensors. However, we’ve now developed our own proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system (A1) using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Even previously undetectable high-frequency details are now within the scope of our quality control inspections. All SIGMA 24-35mm F2 DG HSM lenses will all be checked using “A1(6)” before they are shipped.
Made in Japan
All SIGMA’s manufacturing – right down to molds and parts – with a few exceptions, are carried out under a single integrated production system, entirely in Japan. We are now one of the very few manufacturers whose products are solely “made in Japan”. We like to think our products are somehow imbued with the essence of our homeland, blessed as it is with clean air and water, and focused, hard-working people. We pride ourselves on the authentic quality of SIGMA products, born of a marriage between highly attuned expertise and intelligent, advanced technology. Our sophisticated products have satisfied professionals and lovers of photography all over the world, because our manufacturing is based on genuine craftsmanship, underpinned by the passion and pride of our experts.
(1) Among interchangeable lenses for 35mm full frame image sensors (June, 2015)
(2) FLD glass is the highest level low dispersion glass available with extremely high light transmission. This optical glass has a performance equal to fluorite glass which has a low refractive index and low dispersion compared to current optical glass. It also benefits from high anomalous dispersion. These characteristics give excellent correction for residual chromatic aberration (secondary spectrum) which cannot be corrected by ordinary optical glass and ensures high definition and high contrast images.
(3) The default setting of Full-time MF function varies for each mount.
(4) This “Mount Conversion Service” is different from a normal repair. In order to apply for the service, please contact your nearest authorized subsidiary / SIGMA distributor.
(5) TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) offers thermal expansion characteristics similar to those of aluminum. Parts made with TSC deform less, making possible lens construction of extremely high precision. As compared to polycarbonate containing 20% glass, a commonly used material, TSC offers approximately 70% higher elasticity. As compared to polycarbonate containing 30% glass, it offers 25% higher elasticity. (Comparison is between SIGMA-produced components.)
(6) A1：Aizu 1