Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART Review | Dustin

Oct 4, 2012
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17
www.dustinabbott.net
Hi everyone - I launched my final coverage of the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART today. It's an interesting lens, though the days of inexpensive options from Sigma seem to be behind us.


Text Review | http://bit.ly/14ARTabbott
Video Review | http://bit.ly/14ARTReview
Image Gallery | http://bit.ly/sigma14ig

Here's a photo I took (edited) at f/1.8 with the lens:

Wide Open Landscape (Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART) by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr
 

Hector1970

EOS R
CR Pro
Mar 22, 2012
1,354
609
Great review as normal Dustin.
Very fair on the pros and con.
I am very impressed with the lens.
I found it excellent in real world use.
Heavy yes and bulbous front end.
It's great for night shooting.
 

Random Orbits

EOS 5D Mark IV
Mar 14, 2012
2,455
331
I appreciate how Sigma upped the ante in the IQ race, but I'm wondering if always shooting for the largest aperture is a good thing. The 35A and 50A were bigger than their competitors (with the same aperture) when they came out but those focal lengths tend to result in the smaller lenses compared to the focal lengths that Sigma is targeting now. The 85A is larger and heavier than the new 85L IS, the 12-24A is large and heavy (albeit 0.5 oz lighter than the Canon 11-24, but the Canon has a wider field of view and is still large and heavy), the 24-105A is larger and heavier than the 24-105L II, and those examples are where Sigma has matched Canon's max aperture. Sigma has pushed into larger apertures with the 20A and others, and now with the 14A and the weight increase is even larger. At some point, photographers won't want to bring a bagful of lenses because they are so heavy. By making them so heavy and by charging higher prices, I'm wondering if they are shrinking their target market because these lenses become niche products. Would it have made more sense to have a 14mm f/2 and shave off half a pound or more? How many people would be willing to tote a 14A in addition to a 16-35/12-24, 24-70 and 70-x00 zoom? Or if you prime, a 14A, 20A, 35A, 50A, 85A, etc.? The one thing I liked about the 14L II when I had it was its compact size. I could easily find space for a smaller lens, but these larger lens make planning for trips harder because most packs are optimized for such large diameter lenses.
 
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Random Orbits said:
I appreciate how Sigma upped the ante in the IQ race, but I'm wondering if always shooting for the largest aperture is a good thing. The 35A and 50A were bigger than their competitors (with the same aperture) when they came out but those focal lengths tend to result in the smaller lenses compared to the focal lengths that Sigma is targeting now. The 85A is larger and heavier than the new 85L IS, the 12-24A is large and heavy (albeit 0.5 oz lighter than the Canon 11-24, but the Canon has a wider field of view and is still large and heavy), the 24-105A is larger and heavier than the 24-105L II, and those examples are where Sigma has matched Canon's max aperture. Sigma has pushed into larger apertures with the 20A and others, and now with the 14A and the weight increase is even larger. At some point, photographers won't want to bring a bagful of lenses because they are so heavy. By making them so heavy and by charging higher prices, I'm wondering if they are shrinking their target market because these lenses become niche products. Would it have made more sense to have a 14mm f/2 and shave off half a pound or more? How many people would be willing to tote a 14A in addition to a 16-35/12-24, 24-70 and 70-x00 zoom? Or if you prime, a 14A, 20A, 35A, 50A, 85A, etc.? The one thing I liked about the 14L II when I had it was its compact size. I could easily find space for a smaller lens, but these larger lens make planning for trips harder because most packs are optimized for such large diameter lenses.

I'm with you. I reviewed the Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 at the same time as the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 ART. The Sigma is WAY sharper, but I ended up buying a copy of the little Voigtlander after my review. Why? It's super compact, and I can bring along a wide angle of view lens without much bag space.

It's a similar argument for why I purchased the Tamron 45 and 85 VC lenses over the ART counterparts (focus issues were another). They are nearly as sharp as the ART lenses, but trade a little smaller maximum aperture for a much smaller/more compact build. They are just more practical to me.

I own three Sigma lenses - but they are all small, mirrorless lenses. (19mm f/2.8, 30mm f/1.4, and 60mm f/2.8). Size matters :)
 
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Hector1970 said:
Great review as normal Dustin.
Very fair on the pros and con.
I am very impressed with the lens.
I found it excellent in real world use.
Heavy yes and bulbous front end.
It's great for night shooting.

It's an excellent lens - if you don't mind the weight and price!
 

Busted Knuckles

Enjoy this breath and the next
Oct 2, 2013
221
1
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
Random Orbits said:
I appreciate how Sigma upped the ante in the IQ race, but I'm wondering if always shooting for the largest aperture is a good thing. The 35A and 50A were bigger than their competitors (with the same aperture) when they came out but those focal lengths tend to result in the smaller lenses compared to the focal lengths that Sigma is targeting now. The 85A is larger and heavier than the new 85L IS, the 12-24A is large and heavy (albeit 0.5 oz lighter than the Canon 11-24, but the Canon has a wider field of view and is still large and heavy), the 24-105A is larger and heavier than the 24-105L II, and those examples are where Sigma has matched Canon's max aperture. Sigma has pushed into larger apertures with the 20A and others, and now with the 14A and the weight increase is even larger. At some point, photographers won't want to bring a bagful of lenses because they are so heavy. By making them so heavy and by charging higher prices, I'm wondering if they are shrinking their target market because these lenses become niche products. Would it have made more sense to have a 14mm f/2 and shave off half a pound or more? How many people would be willing to tote a 14A in addition to a 16-35/12-24, 24-70 and 70-x00 zoom? Or if you prime, a 14A, 20A, 35A, 50A, 85A, etc.? The one thing I liked about the 14L II when I had it was its compact size. I could easily find space for a smaller lens, but these larger lens make planning for trips harder because most packs are optimized for such large diameter lenses.

I'm with you. I reviewed the Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 at the same time as the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 ART. The Sigma is WAY sharper, but I ended up buying a copy of the little Voigtlander after my review. Why? It's super compact, and I can bring along a wide angle of view lens without much bag space.

It's a similar argument for why I purchased the Tamron 45 and 85 VC lenses over the ART counterparts (focus issues were another). They are nearly as sharp as the ART lenses, but trade a little smaller maximum aperture for a much smaller/more compact build. They are just more practical to me.

I own three Sigma lenses - but they are all small, mirrorless lenses. (19mm f/2.8, 30mm f/1.4, and 60mm f/2.8). Size matters :)

You beg an interesting question. How many would Sigma sell of a 1 or 1.5 fstop smaller lens - just as sharp, just with 1/2 the glass, etc.
 
Oct 4, 2012
2,669
17
www.dustinabbott.net
Busted Knuckles said:
TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
Random Orbits said:
I appreciate how Sigma upped the ante in the IQ race, but I'm wondering if always shooting for the largest aperture is a good thing. The 35A and 50A were bigger than their competitors (with the same aperture) when they came out but those focal lengths tend to result in the smaller lenses compared to the focal lengths that Sigma is targeting now. The 85A is larger and heavier than the new 85L IS, the 12-24A is large and heavy (albeit 0.5 oz lighter than the Canon 11-24, but the Canon has a wider field of view and is still large and heavy), the 24-105A is larger and heavier than the 24-105L II, and those examples are where Sigma has matched Canon's max aperture. Sigma has pushed into larger apertures with the 20A and others, and now with the 14A and the weight increase is even larger. At some point, photographers won't want to bring a bagful of lenses because they are so heavy. By making them so heavy and by charging higher prices, I'm wondering if they are shrinking their target market because these lenses become niche products. Would it have made more sense to have a 14mm f/2 and shave off half a pound or more? How many people would be willing to tote a 14A in addition to a 16-35/12-24, 24-70 and 70-x00 zoom? Or if you prime, a 14A, 20A, 35A, 50A, 85A, etc.? The one thing I liked about the 14L II when I had it was its compact size. I could easily find space for a smaller lens, but these larger lens make planning for trips harder because most packs are optimized for such large diameter lenses.

I'm with you. I reviewed the Voigtlander 20mm f/3.5 at the same time as the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 ART. The Sigma is WAY sharper, but I ended up buying a copy of the little Voigtlander after my review. Why? It's super compact, and I can bring along a wide angle of view lens without much bag space.

It's a similar argument for why I purchased the Tamron 45 and 85 VC lenses over the ART counterparts (focus issues were another). They are nearly as sharp as the ART lenses, but trade a little smaller maximum aperture for a much smaller/more compact build. They are just more practical to me.

I own three Sigma lenses - but they are all small, mirrorless lenses. (19mm f/2.8, 30mm f/1.4, and 60mm f/2.8). Size matters :)

You beg an interesting question. How many would Sigma sell of a 1 or 1.5 fstop smaller lens - just as sharp, just with 1/2 the glass, etc.

Considering the lackluster sales of the Tamron primes, I would say that Sigma has figured out the marketing aspect just fine. I also believe (from the anecdotal evidence that I receive) that the return rate and resell rate of the Sigma primes is unusually high. I'm a little more informed than the average photographer, however, so I'm less impressed by the easily marketable features and more interested in the complete package for my own kit.