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Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art Lens First Impressions

I’ve never owned such a wide lens before but when I upgraded my Canon gear from the 5dmk3 to the 5dmk4 and 5ds my trusty L series17-40 f4 was suddenly no longer sharp enough for the results I needed for myself and my customers.

I have not bought anything other the canon L series lenses for many years now. Sometimes I’ve opted for the slower lenses due to weight as I travel extensively on Film and Photography assignments. Weight is a major factor for me and heavy fast lenses in my experience are back breakers.

So I weighed up the Sigma 12-24 f4 Art Lens (1151g ) against the Canon L series 11-24 f4 (1180g .) Both are very heavy!

There weren’t many informative comparisons online and I couldn’t gauge the performance of the Sigma especially on the 50mp 5ds but I’ve been hearing rave reviews of Sigma’s art series lenses. Many of my peers have been raving about them for a while. Mainly Dean Tirkot, Marco Bok and Derek Henderson.

I havn’t read a single bad review of the Canon L series 11-24 f4 but it’s really heavy, really big and really expensive. The front element is a very impressive piece of glass that reminds me of a Zeiss 40mm distagon front element from the Hasselblad days. Also $4000 is a bit pricey in the current economic climate for 1 piece of equipment in a world where you need many and varied pieces of equipment.

Yesterday, at half the price of the Canon I took delivery of my first Sigma Art series lens and today I took a few pics with it. I took my 5dmk4  which I prefer using  to the 5ds. Lets have a look at the pics and see how the lens performed under different conditions and on different settings.

I won’t do any profile corrections in Lightroom. So here we go!

 

 (PAUL EVAN GREEN)

Photo paulegreen 8914.jpg

is of Australian artist Ken Unsworth’s sculpture “Stones against the Sky’ located between Darlinghurst and Kings Cross in Sydney. The picture was slightly backlit but there is plenty of detail in the shadows and highlights. The photo appears very sharp.

Settings were ISO 100 12mm f7.1 1/800 sec

 (PAUL EVAN GREEN)

Photo: paulegreen8918.jpg

is The wall of the Darlinghurst Fire Station. It’s a good subject to test a wide angle lens. There is a very slight loss of sharpness but it was shot at f4.

 

Settings were ISO 250 12mm f4 1/80 sec

 (PAUL EVAN GREEN)

Photo paulegreen8927.jpg is on the escalator at Kings Cross Station. Again I shot wide open to test distortions on the edges of the lens. I’m happy with the way this image resolved even though there is a bit of blur due to slow shutter speed.

Settings were ISO 400 12mm f4 1/25 sec

 (PAUL EVAN GREEN)

Photo: paulegreen8930.jpg

This is another test like that of the fire station wall. Again I’m very happy with the corner sharpness and the barrel distortion is acceptable for such a wide lens. I have Canon L series lenses with significantly more barrel distortion than this. It is easily corrected. Also the shutter speed is very slow for a handheld photo.

Settings were ISO 500 12mm f4 1/13 sec

 (PAUL EVAN GREEN)

Photo:paulegreen 9836

is of a row of Victorian Houses in Darlighurst at night. It’s a seriously wide angle view that I would never have previously been able to achieve.

Settings ISO 5000 12mm f4 1/30 sec

 (PAUL EVAN GREEN)

Photo:paulegreen 8941.jpg

is a shadow of a tree against a painted wall illuminated by street lights. I can’t fault the lens sharpness in the corners.or the even coverage of light on the 5dmk4 sensor.

Settings were ISO 5000 17mm f4 1/30 sec

I did find a pretty good technical review after I finished writing this blog at https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sigma-12-24mm-f4-dg-hsm-art-lens-review/2

On first impressions the Sigma 12-24mm f4 Art lens is astounding. I’m really excited with the possibilities the this lens will add to my photography and film making.

 

Happy image making!