Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN FE Art, Sony A7III | Photo by Sean Goebel, sgphotos.com
Ladies and gentlemen, we have more witchcraft at 14mm. And also at 24mm. The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DN Art (FE; this is NOT the same optic as the previous DSLR version) …is basically flawless.
OK, we’ll wait to call it “flawless” until we can put it on a ridiculously high-res sensor like the 61-megapixel Sony A7R IV, but for now, let’s just leave it at this: It disproves at least two “impossibilities” that have been assumed about zooms…
Not only does it defeat one of the existing 14mm prime lens champions, the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art, it also performs astonishingly well at both ends of its focal range. In fact, it actually matches the current 24mm champion, the Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM.
Achieving just one of these feats is extremely rare, but achieving both at once is quite unprecedented. The “conventional wisdom” is absolutely that primes are always sharper than zooms, and that zooms are always noticeably softer at one end of the range or the other, or in the middle.
Of course, this isn’t an in-depth, extensive review. We’ll wait for Roger Cicala at LensRentals.com to put 10 copies of this lens on OLAF, and see how that goes. And, of course, more actual nightscape adventures with 40-60 megapixel cameras would be great, too.
[UPDATE: Read my full review of the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DN Art HERE on SLR Lounge! Verdict: Even at 42-61 megapixels, it stands as the sharpest 14-24mm lens ever made.]
TLDR: if you’re an astro-landscape or nightscape etc. photographer of any kind, this is the lens to buy! In fact, it’s even a reason to switch to Sony completely, which is a third rarity for any lens. (Although, there are already adapters to use Sony FE mount lenses on Nikon Z mirrorless.)
Either way, it’s a good time to be a nightscape photographer! But, enough talk. Here’s the proof: (NOTE: these test images were made on a 24-megapixel Sony A7 III)
24mm Test (Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN FE Art | Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art | Click the image to view it full size!
24mm Test (Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN FE Art | Sony 24mm f/1.4 GM | Click the image to view it full size!
That is unprecedented, indeed. The only question left might be, “how does it compare against the DSLR version, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art?” Well, we weren’t able to perform a direct comparison, however, based on all the tests I have seen, (and I’m really good at guessing coma performance from other people’s truly terrible sample images!) …I think it is indeed safe to say that although the DSLR Sigma 14-24mm is really good, this new Sigma 14-24mm is better.
Just about the only way in which that massive chunk of glass offers a bit more is its vignetting; the mirrorless 14-24mm, as a much smaller optic, does have a faint bit more extreme corner darkening. Of course if, as a nightscape photographer, low vignetting is EXTREMELY important to you, the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 will have the brightest f/2.8 corners of any lens ever to reach 14mm, simply because it’s stopped down more than a stop at that point.
So, if you don’t care about weight, and you do care a ton about vignetting, (and less about coma) …you could stick with either of the older Sigma DSLR lenses that hit 14mm. However, as a wilderness backpacker, this new mirrorless 14-24mm is the new champion.