The announcement of the new 24mm f/1.4 Art lens by Sigma comes as no surprise. It is a very obvious, and a very delightful move by the lens manufacturer, and is certainly a fitting addition to the renewed lens lineup. Featuring a wide-angle focal length of 24mm and a very wide aperture of f/1.4, this lens sits comfortably next to such highly-regarded siblings as the 35mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.4 Art lenses. It will also directly compete against such brand lenses as the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G and the Canon 24mm f/1.4L II, both of which are renowned for their optical performance as well as build quality. Quite the competition, then, but if previous Sigma Art lenses are anything to go by, the new tool should be remarkable.
Overview and Key Specifications
It certainly looks the part, doesn’t it? If ever third-party lenses were considered cheap in pretty much all senses of the word, the new 24mm f/1.4 Art seems anything but. This is a properly premium-looking lens with simple, understated design, one that would not look out of place next to the expensive brand alternatives. Thankfully, optical performance of recent Sigma lenses back-up the professional look with ease.
The lens consists of 15 elements positioned in 11 groups (against 12 elements in 10 groups of the already complex Nikkor). There are FLD and SLD elements to help counter aberrations, as well as aspherical elements (read our “Sigma Lens Abbreviations” article to learn what FLD and SLD means). Sigma also promises well-controlled vignetting and distortion, but such claims are expected. We are really curious to see how this lens performs to draw definite conclusions.
Take a look at the short list of key specifications that are know thus far:
- Designed for 35mm cameras, available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts
- Focal length of 24mm
- Maximum aperture of f/1.4
- 15 elements in 11 groups with aspherical, FLD and SLD elements
- Minimum focus distance of 0.25m (9.8″), maximum magnification of 1:5.3
- Price: $849
I should also mention that, along with the new lens, Sigma has also announced a new camera. Called the dp0 Quattro, it’s as weirdly-styled as some of the latest Foveon sensor cameras by the Manufacturer. It features a 4.9 megapixel Foveon APS-C sensor (which, given all the layers of the sensor, works out as a 19.6 megapixel unit), but more importantly comes with a fixed wide-angle lens with the focal length of 14mm (21mm full-frame equivalent) and maximum aperture of f/4. There is no information about pricing and availability of this camera yet.
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release by Sigma:
Sigma Corporation of America Introduces New 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens at CP+ Imaging Show
Latest Global Vision Art lens offers highest-quality optical performance in its class
YOKOHAMA, Japan — February 10, 2015 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading researcher, developer, manufacturer and service provider of some of the world’s most impressive lines of lenses, cameras and flashes, today announced the new Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens, the ninth Global Vision lens to join the company’s iconic Art line-up. The announcement comes at the start of the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2015, which begins on Feb. 12 in Yokohama, Japan.
The much anticipated 24mm F1.4 Art wide angle lens is designed for full-frame DSLRs, and when used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, it effectively becomes a 38mm. The lens is ideal for capturing a variety of photography subjects, including cityscapes, mountain ranges, astrophotography and weddings and is great for videography work as well. The 24mm also excels at indoor photography in low illumination thanks to the combination of exceptional focal plane sharpness, and gorgeous bokeh rendered by nine rounded aperture blades. The lens achieves a maximum magnification of 1:5.3 with a minimum focusing distance of 9.8 inches. The 24mm incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in a design of 15 elements in 11 groups to minimize chromatic aberration of magnification especially in the edge of the image field. Moreover, the optimized power layout includes aspherical elements that are positioned in the rear of the lens for improved wide open performance. This helps to ensure minimal distortion through the correction of axial chromatic aberration and sagittal coma flare. The new lens element design also delivers excellent peripheral brightness.
“The Sigma Art lenses are recognized by photographers for world-class performance, and the new 24mm F1.4 DG HSM will be a significant contribution to our selection of fast aperture prime lenses which is quickly becoming a strong force in the industry” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “Sigma is redefining the expectations of fast-aperture full-frame prime lens performance, especially wide-open, and the results the 24mm F1.4 will deliver will be up to the exacting standards set by the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM and 50mm F1.4 DG HSM .”
Other updates to this lens include a new full-time manual focusing mechanism that switches to manual focusing, simply by rotating the focus ring, even when AF is being used, first introduced on the 50mm Art. This allows the photographer to make focus adjustments quickly and easily. As with all new lenses under the Global Vision categories, every 24mm will be tested using Sigma’s own MTF measuring system, “A1,” in the company’s factory in Japan.
Other lenses in the Art line include 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM, 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM, 50mm F1.4 DG HSM, 19mm F2.8 DN, 30mm F2.8 DN and 60mm F2.8 DN.
The 24mm F1.4 is compatible with Sigma’s USB dock, allowing photographers to update the lens’ firmware and change focus parameters as well as manual focus over-ride using Sigma’s Optimization Pro software. It is also compatible with Sigma’s Mount Conversion Service. The lens will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts, and availability will be announced at a later date.