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24mm F/1.4 Art | Initial Impressions on Sigma’s Newest Art Prime

By Anthony Thurston on March 5th 2015

It was just a few weeks ago that Sigma unveiled the latest in their increasingly popular Art series of lenses, the 24mm F/1.4 Art. The new lens rounds out the series on the wide end really well, giving Sigma the 24, 35, and 50mm focal lengths covered with industry leading lenses.

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We were in Vegas for WPPI and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to head on over to the Sigma booth to get a look at this new lens, and let me tell you, it lives up to all the expectations that you have of an Art series lens.

Our own Jay Cassario had a chance to talk with Sigma about the new lens in a quick interview which you can see below.

Initial Impressions on Sigma’s 24mm F/1.4 Art

As I mentioned above, the 24mm F/1.4 is the latest in Sigma’s ever popular Art series lineup. It joins the 35mm and the 50mm providing industry leading optics at a price that makes it accessible to photographers of any level.

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Our meeting with Sigma was my first opportunity to get my hands on the new lens. It honestly feels very much like the 35mm and 50mm Art lenses, very substantial, with a great tactile feel. I was able to hold the lens while it was attached to a Canon 6D, and it felt very well balanced, and seemed to fit well with it.

The price is what really gets me with this lens, Canon and Nikon equivalents are close to double the cost of 24mm this lens at $849. That is an incredible value, and assuming the image quality holds up to what we expect from an Art series, the value is just off the charts. According to the Sigma rep, the lens should start shipping in late April or early May.

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Overall, if you are a fan of the 35mm and 50mm Art series lenses, you will likely be very happy with the 24mm as well. We are on the list to get a review unit as soon as they are available, so stay tuned for that.

If you are as excited about this lens as we are and want to get your hands on it as soon as possible, then your next click should be this link over to B&H to preorder your copy. B&H was a great sponsor of our 2015 WPPI coverage and our go-to shop for all of our gear and photography needs. If you pre-order now, you should be able to get one of the first ones available.

What are your thoughts on this new 24mm Art lens from Sigma? What sort of photography are you planning to do with it? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. adam sanford

    First review of the new 24 Art already!

    http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=430

    (Spoiler alert: it’s very good, but not at the same resolution levels as the 35 Art and 50 Art. Also, astro people should probably not read this, unless you are strangely fond of coma.)

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      At least it decimates the old 24mm f/1.8, which isn’t that hard to do!

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      I notice that the Samyang barely does better than the old Sigma. Yikes. People are always raving about that lens.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Astro shooters should stick with the Rokinon, it seems, or the Nikon if they care more about vignetting than Coma, but pretty much any photojournalist out there is going to not care at all about the extreme corners and ought to thoroughly enjoy the Sigma.

      I think I just spoiler’d my whole review, LOL. Should I even bother recording the video? :-P

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    • adam sanford

      Even if LensTip’s review implies that the Sigma 24 Art is just a Canon 24mm f/1.4L II minus a red ring, minus weathersealing **and minus half the price**, that’s still a good thing.

      just because Sigma didn’t hit it out of the park again this time doesn’t mean that a standup double is a bad thing. :-)

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Considering it’s nearly the same size as the 35mm f/1.4, if you’re worried about weather sealing you can always follow my tutorial below for weather-proofing the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (also works with the 50mm f/1.4 | A).

      Weather sealing that doesn’t cost a penny and only takes about 2 seconds.

      http://deadsailorproductions.blogspot.com/2014/09/diy-weather-proofing-for-your-sigma.html

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  2. Malou Peters

    Nice to read but i’ll stick with my 24 nikkor

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  3. Derek Schwartz

    I shoot a lot of car events, and found that full frame + 24/1.4 is a really great combo. Thus far, that combo has been a 5D3 and the Canon 24/1.4 – so I’m personally excited by the idea of the Sigma. That all said, it’s also interesting that my Hasselblad 500c/m (yep – film) with a 50mm/4 has the same depth of field as the full-frame&24/1.4 combo. Gonna have to try some experiments when the weather warms up me thinks…especially I don’t own a full frame camera right now…so that’s a LOT of film and processing…hmm.

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  4. Joseph Wu

    My dream camera bag will consist of the Sigma ART prime line up, along with a 5DS.

    Seriously… the 50 f/1.4 non art was already such a great value, delivering 50 1.2L like bokeh, at less than half the price.

    These new Sigma ART lenses are gorgeous.

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  5. Brandon Dewey

    I can’t wait to get one!

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  6. Ozark Bill

    I love the 35mm Art for astrophotography and I can’t wait to see this lens rated for those specifics. If it is reasonably sharp at near open aperture and coma is well controlled (or not present at all) I will keep my pre-order. I have been looking at picking up a 20-24mm fast lens specifically for nightscapes for some time. This would be my first choice, but I am also considering the nikkor 20mm f1.8g and the nikkor 12-24 (and converting them to my Canon bodies). I am really hoping for the best from this lens.

    If you can give a well-done coma test a try, I would be most appreciative!

    P.S. I am also planning on picking up the Sigma 50 Art as well

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  7. Kim Farrelly

    Having sprung for the 50 & 35 Art, I’ve been very impressed with the results from them both so wanting to order the 24mm as soon as Sigma Europe confirm/release the prices. The results look really promising to me.

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  8. J. Cassario

    One of us on the team will be getting our hands on one soon to test it, so definitely keep an eye out. I may just buy one immediately :)

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  9. Mads Helmer Petersen

    Can´t wait to receive my Lense ! :-)

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  10. Rafael Steffen

    I can´t wait to try one of these art series lens from Sigma, all we need to know and test is to see if the AF is as fast as Nikons prime lenses. Has anyone had problems with the AF on Nikons using these lenses?

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    • adam sanford

      I can’t speak for Nikon, but I’d peg the 35 Art I’ve used at about a 7 out of 10 for AF performance. Quick (but not lightning quick) and it almost never hunts. It’s not the as laser quick as my 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is, but nothing is that fast.

      However, some folks have made a meal out of the AF reliability. Some have done some AF tests and demonstrated *outright misses* of the AF:
      http://goo.gl/m0xAro

      Look for the butterfly/stamp infographic a ways down the page and mouseover each shot. I did not experience AF misses in my rental, but Bryan Carnathan is no dunce — he knows what he’s doing.

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    • Scott Mosley

      The Nikon 35mm 1.4 is faster than the sigma, which seems to be the case for sigma vs Nikon primes I have used so far. Factoring in the price difference and image quality the Sigma is the clear winner, in my opinion.
      I have sent 6 lenses back to sigma for updates, chip replacement and/or focus adjustments but have not yet had to send any Nikon lenses in for repair.
      Also, several sigma lenses i have bought share the same unfortunate focus trait of exponential back focusing, where up close tests suggest accurate focusing but the farther back the subject the more the problem persists. This is the reason most of my lenses went in for adjustments, all but one of them have been corrected.
      I dont know if that answered your question…

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    • Ray Mas

      I’ve only used their 35mm Art on Canon, and while I also found issues with the AF performance, particularly when not using the centre focus box in the viewfinder, my main issues with it were color and bokeh. It seems to distort the yellows/browns/reds in a way that I personally didn’t like, but that could just be me. You can’t argue with the sharpness and the value though! To be honest, if I had liked the color rendering and the bokeh on it, I would’ve put up with the AF issue and bought one (it’s the only 35mm 1.4 I could afford).

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    • adam sanford

      Ray, I didn’t personally have a problem using AF boxes other than the center on my 5D3, but I learned some crushing truths about when/how to focus when shooting wide open handheld — *single* AF point (no clusters!), do not focus and reframe, etc. — but that’s less on Sigma’s hardware than it is a reality with large aperture glass.

      But maybe I got lucky. Perhaps I had a good copy. YMMV.

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    • Ray Mas

      Hi Adam. I wish that were the case. Off-centre focusing is something I learned ages ago, particularly about understanding the un-flat nature of most (if not all) lens’ focus planes. I rarely rely on “focus then reframe” methods when using any lens wide open, particularly for portraits where the subjects are usually closer. Unfortunately The 35 Art missed every time when not using the centre focus spot. I tried calibrating it on my 6D and that did improve, but at the expense of the accuracy of the centre spot. I usually rent out the Zeiss 35mm 1.4 if I need the 35 look, and neither the Zeiss nor the canon 35 which I’ve used a couple of times had this issue. It may just be a bad copy, but the rental guys as well acknowledged that others had the same problem with it. They loved the 50mm Art though, but I haven’t had a chance to try that out yet.

      I feel these Art lenses, particularly the 35 and the 50 (and hopefully an 85 soon) make more sense for portrait, wedding and event guys. I’m no pro, but I would think that what matters more to these groups is quality of bokeh, reliability of focus, and sharpness where it matters (in the focus zone). I have rarely been interested in corner sharpness unless doing landscapes. So the Art range, while bringing good value and performance to the table and keeping the competition alive, isn’t bringing the killer features that will convince the CaNikon pros who depend on the reliability and of their first-party proven lenses to take a risk. Us amateurs might benefit from Sigma’s value, but not our amateur images. As an amateur, I wan a decently sharp f1.4 lens that has awesome bokeh and color, and all at a reasonable price. My point to all this is that Sigma would do better to focus on providing for the enthusiast and beginner pros (who are the likely market) rather than trying to achieve superior sharpness only and hope the pros take a risk on it.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      “Sigma would do better to focus on providing for the enthusiast and beginner pros (who are the likely market) rather than trying to achieve superior sharpness only and hope the pros take a risk on it.”

      What other lens company lets you optimize the lenses focusing with software and and a USB dock? If you’re having a problem get the USB dock and fix the focus. The $70 the dock costs is about the same as the shipping cost to send the lens in and there’s no wait.

      I shoot a lot of events in the dark where I have to shoot drunk people. For a long time I though my lens was misfocusing, but it only happens at those particular events. I finally realized it wasn’t the lens, it was the people. Stopping down to f/2.8 fixed the problem (but negated my need for a big 35mm f/1.4). My point is it’s that I find a lot of times a lens gets a bad rap from users who can’t focus (not saying that’s you) and/or users that can’t figure out WHY it’s not focusing right (like focus/recompose and subjects moving in and out of the focus plane). Unfortunately Sigma has a bad from from their dark years and Canikon fan boys also like to dirty up the reputation a bit too.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Ray, I can’t speak to your success with the Canon / Zeiss 35’s, but I have to say, the 6D is especially bad at off-center AF, so I wouldn’t consider it to be giving the Sigmas a fair shot. On the Canon 5D mk3, and on my own Nikon D750, I’ve had great success with the Sigma 35. Maybe not as much success as the 50 or 85 primes that I like, but it’s good.

      Can the Sigma USB dock be used to calibrate off-center AF points separately from central ones? That’d be awesome, but I suspect the answer is no…

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    • Kim Farrelly

      The dock can calibrate through a range of four different focus distances but not different focus points, so think of it as 2D fine tuning would be great if it where 3D, though it’s difficult enough to get right with having to take the lens off the dock and go through the checking process to see if improves. I found it a frustrating little thing to use.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      If you’re having trouble throughout the range of focus points it sounds like your camera may be the problem. You might want to have that looked at.

      Even if you sent a lens back to the factory (any brand) they couldn’t adjust for specific focus points on a specific camera. That’s just a pipe dream,

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    • Matthew Saville

      Actually I could imagine pretty easily that if Nikon offered their own AF calibration dock, or camera diagnostic adapter, this would be easy to do.

      But, Nikon would be giving away their own software / connectivity secrets, no doubt, which although rather harmless compared to the huge benefit (and profits) …it’s probably still a pipe dream indeed, for just that one reason. Boo…

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Look at it from Nikon’s point of view, I bet about 80% of “bad lens” complaints come from people who can’t focus properly wide open. Can you imagine the damage that would ensue if you let these incompetents mess with the lens a camera focusing systems?

      They’d screw up their whole camera and then cry about Nikon being the worst cameras in the world.

      I’m thoroughly convinced that almost all camera and lens focusing issues are due to “carbon unit errors” ie. the person behind the camera. I’ve owned and used more lenses and cameras than I can even count without sitting down and thinking real hard, and I can count on one hand the number of times I had serious focusing issues.

      Trust me, I’m not that lucky. If there was a bad product out there it would instantly find it’s way to me.

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    • Graham Curran

      Photographing drunk people – it’s not the lens but the subjects who are naturally out of focus?

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  11. adam sanford

    Surprised Sigma opted for a 24mm f/1.4 Art before releasing the *much* more coveted 85mm f/1.4 Art that folks have been asking for. I’ve rented the 35 Art over Christmas and it was terrific on my 5D3 — it’s sickeningly good value for the dollar as well. Here’s hoping Sigma goes 3 for 3 with their large aperture Art primes.

    Speaking as a Canon guy, my mothership is losing its leg to stand on with their 2x priced L primes. For all that extra money, you are getting a red ring, some weather-sealing gasketing, and considerably *lower* corner resolution than these Sigma Art primes. More and more folks are giving these Art primes a go instead. Consider: you can get nearly two of these Art primes for the price of the EF 24 f/1.4L II…

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    • Matthew Saville

      In the interview Sigma’s CEO published on DPR, he specifically mentioned that now, they’re going to work on lenses that “they have not done before”. So, considering the great quality of the existing 85 EX, I’d say it’s a safe bet that Sigma’s next plan of attack will be a 24-70 2.8 Art, a Macro Art, and a 14-24 Art. THEN maybe you can hope for an 85 Art.

      Sorry! :-\

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Matthew Saville: The 50mm f/1.4 EX was a pretty impressive lens as well. So if they updated that then the 85 should be in the works as well.

      What I’m hoping for is a 120-300 f/4 S soon. As far a a 14-24, I don’t think they’ll go that route. They already had the 12-24 which was the widest lens until Canon bested it with the 11-24. If Sigma comes out with an 11-24 f/4 I’ll get rid of my Nikon 14-24 f/2.8.

      With a 120-300 f/4 and a 11-24 f/4 that would be me done with Nikon lenses except for my 60mm Macro which is stellar and cheap.
      I’m ready to ditch all of my heavy f/2.8 zoom pro Nikons and go down to f/4’s since I can shoot at 6400 no problem.

      In any case, it’s all just speculation. You never know what they’re going to do. For the last 2 years people have be predicting a 24-70 f/2 (which considering the size of the 18-35 f/1.8 DX would be ridiculously large).

      I can’t wait to see what’s next though.

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    • adam sanford

      J Dennis, I want to see that 24-70 F/2 as well. I’d imagine it would be as massive as a 70-200 f/2.8!

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    • Matthew Saville

      I’m just going off what I read in the interview with Sigma’s own CEO: Sigma does feel it has had a long-standing track record with ultra-wides, and they have their eyes on making a new one. Whether it’s a full-frame 10-20mm f/4 or 14-24mm f/2.8, remains to be seen of course. And to be honest, I’m mainly just saying it’ll be a 14-24 2.8 because, well, that’s what I HOPE they’ll make. :-)

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  12. adam sanford

    $849 is the asking, according to B&H.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      A 24-70 f/2 would weigh in at about 5 pounds. I’m sure it could be done, but it wouldn’t be practical. The way cameras control ISO sensitivities today really negates the the need for a lens that fast.

      The 18-35 f/1.8 is only a 28-52 and look how large it is. A lens of that range with that aperture would be ridiculously large and heavy and no doubt insanely expensive. It’s like a Noctilux, great for bragging rights, but unweildy on the camera and in reality not *that* much better than a Summlux.

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  13. Crystal Stokes

    if the quality of this comes close to the sigma 35 art – I may be selling my nikon 20mm and grabbing this one!

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  14. Vince Arredondo

    It will for sure be part of my bag when released.

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