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Gear Reviews

Initial Thoughts On The New Sigma 24-105mm F/4 DG OS

By Anthony Thurston on March 18th 2014

One of Sigma’s latest lenses is the new 24-105mm F/4, and being an F4, it has not received the hype that the 35mm F/1.4 or the 18-35mm F/1.8 has received, but in my opinion, it is just as worthy of praise.


The 24-105mm range is the standard kit lens for most full frame DSLR bodies from Canon (though, recently they have begun to pair some bodies up with the 24-70 F/4). But, as was shown in our recent Canon Lens Wars Series, the performance of the Canon 24-105mm f/4L left a lot to be desired when compared to the rest of the Canon lens range. Its performance on its own was not bad , but when compared with the other Canon lenses, it was found to be wanting.

Enter Sigma and their new 24-105mm F/4. I have heard rumors that this lens’ sharpness wide open puts the Canon version to shame, and I can not wait to get a chance to test that out. I just picked up the lens last night, brand new from my local camera shop, so I wanted to share my initial impressions prior to giving it a good run through over the next few days.


My Initial Impressions Of the Sigma 24-105mm F/4 DG OS

Before I can really go into the handling of this lens, I would be remiss to not talk about how gosh darn beautiful it is. Seriously, these new Sigma Global Vision lenses are drop dead sexy, and this new 24-105mm F/4 is no different.


It has a noticeably more elegant style to it when compared to the Canon 24-105mm, the Sigma just looks expensive and high quality. In addition to looking the part, this lens feels the part as well. It has some serious heft to it when compared to the 24-105mm from Canon that I held while at the store. To some this may be a negative, but for me, I like my lenses to have some weight.

The zoom ring on this lens is smooth as butter, it really takes little effort at all to move along the zoom range of 24 to 105mm. That is not to say that it just flies around, it has some resistance, but just that perfect amount so that it’s easy to move, but not too “loose.”


The focus ring, however, is probably the one downside to this lens. While the zoom ring is incredibly wide and easy to grip, the focus ring is really small and easy to miss if you are not looking at it. They easily could have taken 1/3 of the zoom ring and added that to the focus ring and both would have been perfectly sized. The way it stands, the focus ring is probably the one downside to this lens over the Canon version in terms of design.

One other area that jumps out as an advantage to the Canon is the filter size. The Sigma has a rather large 82mm filter size, so filters will be expensive. But, being as I don’t use filters very often, this is not a worry for me.


One other slight (and I mean slight) annoyance is the two step extension barrel when you zoom the lens out to 105mm. The Canon version of this lens has a single barrel that extends, the Sigma (as seen above) has this two step barrel extension that in my opinion looks cheaper than a single barrel. But it is just a perception thing and does not effect performance at all.

The supplied lens hood looks and fits well on the front of the lens. It is made out of plastic, but feels solid enough. This is important to me because I always prefer to shoot with lens hoods on for added protection of my front element (since I rarely use filters).


Finally, the OS in this lens looks to be pretty impressive. I am excited to test it out in a real life situation, while I am performing handheld video interviews of professional athletes later this week. The IS on the Canon 24-105mm is great, and it probably one reason why it is a fairly popular lens for video shooters. I am curious to see how the Sigma compares.

I hope to have some test samples and other observations on the actual performance of the lens within the next few days as I have more opportunity to try it out. In the mean time, please ask any questions that you may have regarding this lens in the comments below. What do you want to know about this lens? What specific tests should I try while I am out and about with it? Leave a comment below and I will try to respond to everyone as fast as I can.


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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. Retro Man

    Is there anyone with this lens here?
    I bought this sigma recently and on 24mm it much worse then canon one

    (24-105mm)- sigma
    (EF24-105mm f4/L IS USM) – canon bottom center bottom center

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  2. Norbert Waage Jr.

    Has the full review been released?
    I couldn’t find it.

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  3. RB

    I owned the Sigma 24-105 and sent it back within a week as the zoom ring is FAR TOO
    tight (the reviewer is totally wrong here)
    The vignetting is quite pronounced at 24-50
    as well to make me want to return it. It is
    a fine looking glass with nice sharpness and
    build quality but the above flaws are too much.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I agree that there is quite a bit of Vignetting at the lower end of the focal range, but it is nothing that is uncorrectable in Lightroom after about 5 seconds of adjustments. For video I actually prefer a little vignetting like that as it help focus the viewers on the subject.

      As for the zoom ring, the lens I have is perfect. Maybe you got a bum copy, Idk. This one was a little tight at first, as many lenses are out of the box, but after a little bit of use it loosened up and now it perfect (in my opinion).

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  4. Sean Goebel

    Lensrentals has tested their stock of Sigma 24-105’s against the Canon version. Their conclusion was that the lenses are extremely similar optically, with each have small advantages at various focal lengths. The Sigma certainly doesn’t “put the Canon version to shame.”

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I was just stating that I had heard that and was excited to give it a try for myself, not that it was the case. Thanks for linking to that Lens Rentals comparison, I don’t think I had seen that before.

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  5. YoGi

    I’ve been wondering if there is going to a groundbreaking 24-70 f/2 full-frame lens (or little less groundbreaking but excellent 24-70 f/2.8) from Sigma’s stable with Art branding, similar to their 18-35 f/1.8 for APS-C cameras. This particular lens, 24-105 f/4 does look like a brilliant alternative, based on the performance and versatile range, not to mention brilliant price. Will await your further review on the same, but based on your initial impression, looks like it’s gonna be a tough to call to buy to either this one, or wait for the elusive & mysterious 24-70 f/2 version.

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  6. Diane Tucci

    Hello! I am curious about lens distortion or vignetting on this lens. Thanks!

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