We were recently lucky enough to visit Sigma’s factory in Aizu, Japan, where Sigma allowed us to shoot with a pre-production sample of the recently-announced 24mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. The wintry landscape of the Fukushima prefecture was a nice contrast to the CP+ convention center where we last gathered some samples with this lens, and our recent samples are more representative of lens performance on a native mount body (Canon 6D). 

All shots in the gallery are converted from Raw, with default sharpening and noise reduction settings applied in Adobe Camera Raw. No additional chromatic aberration, geometric distortion, or vignetting corrections were applied. Only minimal exposure adjustments were made, so contrast and color is fairly representative of what you’d get ‘out of the box’ with this lens.

If there’s one thing that’s abundantly clear about this lens, it’s that it’s sharp. Tack sharp. Have a look at the gentleman’s face at 100% by clicking on the photo below. That’s wide open at F1.4. 

And while the 24mm focal length might not the first one you think of when it comes to bokeh, a 24mm F1.4 lens does give you the ability to isolate a subject while providing a sense of place, given how much you can include in the wide angle field-of-view. Have a look at the almost 3D quality of the shot below. It’s also worth noting that out-of-focus highlights look very pleasing, with little to no fringing around edges of very smooth, creamy circles.

We look forward to getting a sample into our offices in the near future to pit against the Canon 24mm F1.4L II and the Nikkor 24mm F1.4G. Having shot extensively with both Canon and Nikon versions, we have a feeling that the Sigma will outperform both, especially the Canon lens which is plagued with corner sharpness, axial CA, and coma issues wide open. Sharpness is impressive wide open on the Art lens, while vignetting and axial chromatic aberration – while still present – is very well controlled for such a wide, fast prime.

The Sigma 24mm Art lens is fully compatible with Sigma’s USB dock, allowing you to calibrate the lens to your body by dialing in optimal focus microadjustment values for four different subject distances. With the razor thin depth-of-field of this lens, that’s something you’ll probably want to do. Estimated availabilities for the Canon and Nikon mount versions of lens are end of March and end of April, respectively. The Sigma 24mm F1.4 Art lens is priced at a very reasonable (we think) $849. 

Take a look at our updated samples gallery by following the link below. Are you looking forward to adding one of these to your bag?