Time for a 24mm Prime...To Get, Sigma or Canon?

LSXPhotog

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Apr 2, 2015
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It's time for a 24mm prime lens. I am apparently obsessed with this focal length after looking at my metadata. Out of the 34,285 images I've taken this year between 16-200mm, a considerable percentage of them were locked in at 24mm. I put a spreadsheet together to better illustrate this information for me...but it was honestly shocking to see how much I favor this focal length and how little I use 50mm.

Here is some of my EXIF data:
  • 24mm = 12.8%
  • 35mm = 3.5%
  • 50mm = 4.8% (not sure why I own two 50mm primes if I use them so seldomly now.)
  • 85mm = 34.4%
  • 135mm = 12%

So yeah...a 24mm is happening, but I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. Optically and technically, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens is much better lens than the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM - as it should be since one is considerably newer than the other. However...I have quite a bit of experience with Sigma primes and I am not very happy with their autofocus accuracy consistency.

My Sigma 50mm Art was hit/miss on my 7D Mark II/6D/5D3. For whatever reason, it's also hit/miss on my 5D Mark IV and works pretty reliably on my 1DX Mark II.

My Sigma 85mm Art was so incredibly inconsistent that I sold it and got the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM. I took a step back in overall image quality, but the autofocus has been so reliable on the new Canon, that I didn't even care...it was a marginal difference at best anyway.

With the Sigma 24mm Art priced at $850 and the Canon at $1550 I could save $700...that's a healthy amount of money and the only reason I'm really considering it at all. But I'm so worried about the autofocus accuracy.

Primary use:
  • Wedding/Event (typically low light)
  • Detail Shots
  • Dual Pixel AF on APS-C video (focal length is about perfect for my video setup)
  • Astrophotography

I'm really leaning toward the Sigma right now because of the massive savings. It seems to be a superior lens in every way except for the lack of weather sealing and the potential for autofocus problems. While weather sealing probably won't be a problem because I'll just slap on a weather sealed lens, the autofocus scares me. I would love to hear about everyone's experiences with the autofocus on this lens. I've used this lens several times and actually had a pretty good experience with it, but that was in the bright sun and in a pretty well-lit room. How does it work in low light? How has the accuracy been over time?

Thanks for any help. I'm looking to pull the trigger by late July at the latest before my next race in Chicago. I have a wedding coming this weekend and MIGHT order it before then just to test its low-light...hmmm...maybe I just made the decision for myself. LOL
 

ajfotofilmagem

EOS 5D Mark IV
Aug 23, 2013
2,382
83
Bahia Brazil
As you mentioned working with video, EF24mm F2.8 IS would be a great option.
I know that F2.8 brings nothing new about your 16-35L and 24-70L, but the combination of F2.8 and Image Stabilizer is useful in many situations.
 

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
842
289
From what I’ve seen, the 24LII and 24ART are quite close when it comes to image quality, with the Canon slightly sharper in the center, and the 24ART slightly sharper towards the corners.

I do love my 24LII, and haven’t had any AF issues with my copy. The background separation you get with this lens is stunning. Bokeh is quite nice, but it is a wide angle, so don’t expect too much bokeh wise.

The main problem with the 24LII is coma, so steer away for astro use.

I have no experience with the Sigma, but I would get the Canon again, if my 24LIi was lost or damaged.
 

tron

EOS R5
CR Pro
Nov 8, 2011
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Larsskv said:
...

The main problem with the 24LII is coma, so steer away for astro use.
...
+1

https://www.lenstip.com/245.7-Lens_review-Canon_EF_24_mm_f_1.4L_II_USM_Coma_and_astigmatism.html

Lenstip mentions (and shows) the coma of this lens as ... disgusting! So stay away from this lens for astrophotography.
 

LSXPhotog

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Apr 2, 2015
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Thank you all for your replies - they're greatly appreciated. That coma looks disasterous and confirms my suspicions about optics (not just sharpness). I think that since one of the reasons I would like to upgrade to a 1.4 prime is the ability to shoot milky way photography...so I think I'll give Sigma one more shot.

As for the 24mm IS lens in video, your absolutely correct. Unfortunately, I didn't provide much detail on how I will be using a lens for video. It would be static on my desk mounted to 77D on a tripod. So 1.4 it was going to help with background blur/ISO and the camera would remain stationary, so I wouldn't need the IS.

I think with the return policies the way they are I'll pick up the lens next week. I shoot a wedding on Saturday I can give it some real life situation testing. Then I travel to Mexico for a week for landscape and Astro. I'll be able to determine if I want the Canon or not on those two occasions. It really all comes down to autofocus.
 

Larsskv

EOS R
Jun 12, 2015
842
289
LSXPhotog said:
Thank you all for your replies - they're greatly appreciated. That coma looks disasterous and confirms my suspicions about optics (not just sharpness). I think that since one of the reasons I would like to upgrade to a 1.4 prime is the ability to shoot milky way photography...so I think I'll give Sigma one more shot.

You should study the Sigma for coma as well. I think it is a bit better than the Canon, but still not good. The Sigma 20ART is a bit better, but I think your best pick for a fast 24 for astro is from Samyang.
 

LSXPhotog

Motorsports, Automotive, Commerical, & Real Estate
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Apr 2, 2015
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Larsskv said:
LSXPhotog said:
Thank you all for your replies - they're greatly appreciated. That coma looks disasterous and confirms my suspicions about optics (not just sharpness). I think that since one of the reasons I would like to upgrade to a 1.4 prime is the ability to shoot milky way photography...so I think I'll give Sigma one more shot.

You should study the Sigma for coma as well. I think it is a bit better than the Canon, but still not good. The Sigma 20ART is a bit better, but I think your best pick for a fast 24 for astro is from Samyang.

Yeah, thanks for that. I looked into the coma on the Sigma Art and found a really great website for it, LensTip.com. It doesn't look like it's going to be a spectacular lens for night sky photography either...but with the amount of money I'm saving, I could just as easily buy an IRIX 15mm f/2.4 Firefly or Blackstone and have a great lens for astro. We'll see...I am really bummed out about this now! I think a 24mm prime would be great for my kit but I don't want to have impractical expectations.

https://www.lenstip.com/430.7-Lens_review-Sigma_A_24_mm_f_1.4_DG_HSM_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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I only use my sigma lenses with live view and DPAF. Otherwise, focus consistency/accuracy is poor. If I ever get a mirrorless full frame camera, I might be willing to use Sigma lenses, but for now, I only have one, a 18-35mm f/1.8, no other lens is similar. It is rarely used, even with DPAF, I just don't seem to like the images.
 

NancyP

EOS R
Dec 17, 2013
1,297
14
Does the fact that you shoot a lot with a 24-70 lens bias you to using 24 as default wide?
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
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Wide lenses are not a matter of getting everything you want, because that lens does not exist. Wide lenses are much more a matter of getting what you prioritize the most.

Consider the following variables:

Speed
Sharpness
IS
First party AF vs. Third party AF vs. MF
FL range
Distortion
Lack of coma
Lack of (not too excessive) vignetting
Ability to be conveniently front filtered with a screw-in or 100mm holder setup

In some parts of the greater lens armamentarium (any FL, fixed or prime, etc.) there can be absolute, clear-cut top dog lens that ticks all the boxes. But there is no single 'best' all-purpose UWA lens. Coma, speed, IS and front-filtering mercilessly murder many off the list, so I would start your 'personal priorities discussion' around those and filter down from there.

I don't shoot astro, but I believe astro's need for coma and vignetting control uniquely eliminates the lenses the non-astro folks would immediately recommend to you (i.e. the Canon L lenses). Take astro off the table as a use of this lens and it becomes:

  • A very simple zoom case to get the 16-35 f/2.8L III or 16-35f/4L IS depending on what apertures you typically shoot, if you need IS and what your budget is.

  • The prime case becomes a bit more nuanced as Sigma arguably has the better (autofocusing) choice than Canon, but you may prefer Canon's built quality over Sigma's sharpness.

- A
 

stevelee

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Jul 6, 2017
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NancyP said:
Does the fact that you shoot a lot with a 24-70 lens bias you to using 24 as default wide?

Interesting point. If he shot regularly with a 16-35mm zoom, he might find that 18 or 20mm was used a lot. Or not.

For myself, I find that 24mm is almost always wide enough. My G7X II travel camera zooms widest to that equivalent. I bought my 6D2 with a 24-105mm kit lens and don’t have anything wider for FF. I do plan to get the 16-35 f/4 some day,but see no reason to rush. My EF-S 10-22mm lens hasn’t been used in a long time. I did shoot interiors for a realtor who is now retired. I could still get out my T3i with that lens if need be.
 

wldbil

EOS M50
Mar 16, 2014
25
0
69
I have the Canon 24 mm 1.4 ii and love it. It is my most used lens. I use it for sports, shooting at and in the crowds. Low light in restaurants, at family dinners. I also use the 24mm when shooting home movies, setting up and letting it do its thing, auto focusing etc.

The 77mm filter size comes in handy. I have several 77mm filters that also work on the 100 – 400 mm ii.

The reason that I have a 14mm Rokinon 14/2.4 is for astro. No coma to speak of.

The Canon 24mm has large seagulls instead of stars.

There is noticeable vignetting wide open as well. I think it is around 4 stops at f/1.4. Not that I notice when I’m shooting indoors.

I liked that the flare is nicely controlled on the 24mm with the lens hood on.

The Canon is an old lens that I bought around 2008. Am looking forward to seeing a replacement in the next year or so. Perhaps a change from 8 blade to 9 blade.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
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wldbil said:
I have the Canon 24 mm 1.4 ii and love it. It is my most used lens.
...
The reason that I have a 14mm Rokinon 14/2.4 is for astro. No coma to speak of.

The Canon 24mm has large seagulls instead of stars.

^^^ This. ^^^ Astro may force you to go with two 24 primes for reasons like this.

wldbil said:
There is noticeable vignetting wide open as well. I think it is around 4 stops at f/1.4. Not that I notice when I’m shooting indoors.

Just curious: how do you not notice a 4 stop darkening in any environment? You should see that as clear as day, shouldn't you?

- A
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
There is a Zeiss 25/1.4, and I like it quite a bit. I also have the Canon 24 TS-E. Not for snap shots, so depends on what you want to shoot. Both are MF and no IS, but optics are very good.
 

slclick

If Only Campagnolo Made Cameras
Dec 17, 2013
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Zeidora said:
There is a Zeiss 25/1.4, and I like it quite a bit. I also have the Canon 24 TS-E. Not for snap shots, so depends on what you want to shoot. Both are MF and no IS, but optics are very good.

Oh ok, I only thought the 25 was an f/2.
 

ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,617
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slclick said:
Zeidora said:
There is a Zeiss 25/1.4, and I like it quite a bit. I also have the Canon 24 TS-E. Not for snap shots, so depends on what you want to shoot. Both are MF and no IS, but optics are very good.

Oh ok, I only thought the 25 was an f/2.

Full Milvus line is here:
https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/us/photography/products/milvus-lenses/milvus-2815.html

They have some nutty FLs we don't think of as standard primes.

I think they had a 25 f/2 Batis for Sony and old 25mm f/2 Distagon for Canon EF, but I don't think the 25 f/2 was modernized into a Milvus or Otus design.

- A
 

slclick

If Only Campagnolo Made Cameras
Dec 17, 2013
4,415
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ahsanford said:
slclick said:
Zeidora said:
There is a Zeiss 25/1.4, and I like it quite a bit. I also have the Canon 24 TS-E. Not for snap shots, so depends on what you want to shoot. Both are MF and no IS, but optics are very good.

Oh ok, I only thought the 25 was an f/2.

Full Milvus line is here:
https://www.zeiss.com/camera-lenses/us/photography/products/milvus-lenses/milvus-2815.html

They have some nutty FLs we don't think of as standard primes.

I think they had a 25 f/2 Batis for Sony and old 25mm f/2 Distagon for Canon EF, but I don't think the 25 f/2 was modernized into a Milvus or Otus design.

- A

I guess I was in the 'If Bryan didn't review it, it must not exist' mode.
 

LSXPhotog

Motorsports, Automotive, Commerical, & Real Estate
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I've decided that the 24mm Sigma might not be the best bet for me. The autofocus has been described as unreliable by several reviewers and, while an improvement, the coma is pretty bad - even at f/2-2.8...

I think I may sit tight for a little bit on the EF lens front since it doesn't seem like there is an autofocus lens available that does what I want.
 

wldbil

EOS M50
Mar 16, 2014
25
0
69
Ahsanford here is a picture of the sky at 1.4 and a blurred one of my pond at 1.4 taken at the same time of day. I notice the sky but don’t notice the corners darkening in the pond. That is what I meant.

Here is a picture of the night sky taken with the 14 mm at f/2.5 ISO - 500 and 25 sec. and then the 24 mm f/1.4 ISO - 400 and 10 sec.in approximately the same location LSXPhotog. I didn’t mean for the 24mm to sound so bad.
 

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