Sigma’s latest optic claims the title of being the first full-frame zoom lens to offer an aperture of f/2, but is it a viable alternative to the manufacturer’s wideangle primes? Michael Topham finds out

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A

Product:

Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£799.00

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Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Build and handling

Sigma has really upped its game in terms of build quality in recent years and the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A continues this progress. The quality of the lens’s finish is in the same league as the excellent 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A and all other lenses recently added to Sigma’s Art product range. Though it does feature seals to keep dirt and moisture at bay, it’s not a fully weather-sealed optic, so you’ll want to avoid getting caught out in a prolonged downpour.

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The 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A (second from the left) matches the same build quality and finish as other lenses in Sigma’s Art lineup

As I briefly touched upon earlier, the fact it’s heavy and just shy of 1kg could potentially lead some photographers to choose a lighter prime instead, but having said that, if it delivers superb image quality and offers superior versatility, a couple of hundred grams in extra weight is a compromise that many photographers will be prepared to make.

With its complex internal construction and large front element, the barrel is quite thick set, but it doesn’t feel any chunkier in the hand than many full-frame standard zooms. Filters and adapters are attached via an 82mm filter thread and, as you run your hand back from the front of the lens, you quickly come across the large manual-focus ring that operates across its focus distance range in just under half a turn. The focus distance window, which is located between the focus and zoom rings, displays distance information clearly, with the thicker grooved rubberised zoom ring offering a slightly different feel to that of the focus ring, which helps differentiate between the two when you’re working from behind the camera.

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The Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A measures 87.6×122.77mm

The lens operates across its range with a short twist of the zoom ring and feels fluid as it’s rotated, but with sufficient resistance to make extremely precise focal length adjustments. In use, I found the AF/MF well positioned for operation with my thumb. It’s nicely raised from the barrel, making it easy to find even if you happen to be wearing gloves, and the white background that’s revealed behind the switch when it’s set to AF acts as a useful reference, especially in low light.

  1. 1. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Introduction
  2. 2. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Features
  3. 3. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Build and handling
  4. 4. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Image quality
  5. 5. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Test Results
  6. 6. Sigma 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM | A Review – Verdict
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  • entoman

    Sounds like a great lens, but it could be argued that with sensor resolutions of 36, 42 and 50MP now commonplace, it might make more sense to buy a top notch 24mm prime, and crop the image down. A prime will always be better than a zoom of a given brand and price.

    Incidentally, AP, it would be helpful if lens reviews indicated the maximum reproduction scale, and the field of view (width, in cms), as it’s quite difficult to work out the size of the smallest subject that can fill the frame, if we are only told the closest focusing distance.