Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art review
Written by Thomas
Sigma’s 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art is a well featured wide-angle prime lens: It is thoroughly weather sealed, has an AF-lock button plus a switch to disable the focus ring, a de-clickable aperture ring, and it can take filters at the front and rear. And although the lens offers a bright f1.4 focal ratio, it is not too big or heavy and sharpness in the center is very good. Its Bokeh is quite nice for 24mm focal length and it has a high resistance against flare, glare, and ghosting. Autofocus is pretty fast and reliable and finally you can get the mount changed between E-mount and L-mount – at a cost.
What are the weak(er) points? Well, primarily I’m a bit disappointed with the sharpness beyond 10mm image-height: At landscape distances you need to stop the lens down to f2.8 to get crisp APS-C-corners and f4.0 for sharp FF-corners. At closer distances stop further down for optimal results. Then the lens develops strong barrel distortions (plus field curvature) the closer you focus – up to the point where they are no longer corrected by the lens profile. I also wish that the lens had better control of longitudinal colour aberrations. But that is complaining at a high level.
Let’s put this into perspective and have a closer look at how the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art compares to the Sony FE 24mm f1.4 GM, Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG DN Art, Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN, and Viltrox AF 24mm f1.8.
Compared to Sony FE 24mm f1.4 GM
Sony’s FE 24mm f1.4 GM is sharper in the outer half of the image circle at any shooting distance and has better controlled coma and distortions especially at closer focus distances. But it does have more longitudinal colour aberrations and is 50% more expensive than the Sigma. The Sigma also has the MF-lock, rear filter holder, lockable aperture ring, and mount change service which the Sony does not offer – but otherwise features are comparable. So your choice depends mostly on which premium you are willing to pay for better image quality. From a price/performance perspective the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art is certainly a good alternative to the Sony FE 24mm f1.4 GM.
For more details see my Sony FE 24mm f1.4 GM review where it earned a Highly Recommended.
Compared to Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG DN Art
The Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG DN Art is like a sibling to the 24mm Sigma: Its features are almost identical (with the 20mm Sigma being somewhat bigger and heavier), optical quality is pretty close (with the 20mm Sigma being the sharper lens and having less coma) and prices are only 100 EUR/USD apart. So the most important difference is certainly their focal length resp. angle-of-view: The 24mm covers 84 degrees while the 20mm covers 94 degrees. This does not sound like much but it’s a visible difference and can be decisive especially when shooting close interiors where you cannot simply step back. On the other hand the 24mm Sigma has the benefit of a 20% longer reach and is less prone to the perspective distortions a 20mm lens produces at the borders. So choices are pretty clear: If you need the ultra-wide angle-of-view get the Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG DN Art – or consider the Sony FE 20mm f1.8 G which is an attractive alternative.
For more details see my Sigma 20mm f1.4 DG DN Art review where it came Highly Recommended.
Compared to Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN
I didn’t test the Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN myself but from Gordon’s review and the MTF charts I’d say that the lens is pretty sharp across the full frame. The biggest difference between both of Sigma’s 24mm prime lenses is the focal ratio of f2.0 versus f1.4 which certainly nets the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art the better Bokeh – but also makes it 160g heavier, 23mm longer, and 280 EUR / 160 USD / 230 GBP more expensive than the Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN.
For more details see Gordon’s Sigma 24mm f2 DG DN review where it earned a Highly Recommended.
Compared to Viltrox AF 24mm f1.8
The Viltrox AF 24mm f1.8 is a decent lens with autofocus for Sony E-mount and Nikon Z-mount. It is sharp in the center and offers quite some detail in the FF/FX-corner. But between 8mm and 16mm image height it is softer than the Sigma and requires stopping down to f5.6 to produce sharp landscapes or architecture shots. The lens offers a dedicated aperture ring (without click-stops), has minimal focus breathing, fares relatively well in contra-light situations, and has a pretty fast and consistent AF – after some AF fine-tuning. Bokeh is nice (for a 24mm f1.8 lens) on less contrasty backgrounds but it can produce ugly double contours in the distance and onion rings on specular highlights. The Sigma is clearly better in this respect. The Viltrox also lacks any form of weather sealing and has strong distortions which are not easily corrected. And then there is the focal ratio of f1.8 versus f1.4 which lets the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art collect more light – but also makes it 180g heavier, 10mm longer, and twice as expensive as the Viltrox. Which makes the Viltrox AF 24mm f1.8 certainly an interesting alternative if you’re looking for a lower-cost wide-angle lens.
For more details see my Viltrox AF 24mm f1.8 review where it came Recommended.
Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art final verdict
Sigma’s 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art is a well featured wide-angle prime lens with a bright f1.4 focal ratio which lets you shoot longer under low light and produces quite a nice Bokeh for a wide-angle lens. Its focal length is ideal for architecture, large interiors and landscape photography without being prone to some of the perspective distortions that a 20mm lens can produce. The lens is thoroughly weather sealed, has an AF-lock button, a switch to disable the focus ring, and a de-clickable aperture ring. It can take filters at the front and rear, and its resistance against flare, glare, and ghosting lets you shoot confidently in adverse contra-light situations. Only sharpness of the Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG DN Art is not up there with the best: The lens needs stopping down to f4.0 for crisp results across the full frame. But other than that Sigma has designed a convincing wide-angle prime lens which clearly earns a recommendation.
- Very good sharpness in the inner half of the image circle.
- Very high contrast and resistance against flare, glare, and ghosting.
- Nice Bokeh (for a 24mm lens).
- Pretty fast and reliable autofocus.
- Relatively little focus breathing.
- Extensive weather sealing plus fluorine coating against moist and dust.
- Dedicated de-clickable aperture ring, AF-lock and MF-lock.
- Can swap mounts (at a cost) between Sony E and Leica L-mount.
- Needs stopping down to f4.0 for crisp results across the full frame.
- Longitudinal colour aberrations could be lower.
- Strong distortions plus field curvature at magnifications of 1:10 or bigger.