Andy Westlake investigates the latest addition to Sigma’s ‘Art’ line of high-quality fast primes
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A review – Build and handling
The 24mm f/1.4 shares its design with Sigma’s recent premium lenses like the 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A, 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A, and 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM | A. The section of the barrel adjacent to the camera body is metal, and the rest is formed of high-quality plastics.
The broad manual-focus ring is placed towards the front of the lens, and is smoothly damped, rotating approximately 90° between infinity and minimum focus. A large ridged grip on the underside of the barrel aids with handling.
At 665g in weight and measuring 85 x 90.2mm long, the Sigma is typical in size for a 24mm f/1.4 prime. It balances nicely on full-frame DSLRs such as the various Canon EOS 5D-series models we used for testing.
One point worth noting is that it’s not described as weather-sealed, which counts as one of its few clear disadvantages compared to its Canon and Nikon equivalents.
With an internal focus design and ultrasonic focus motor, the 24mm lens focuses extremely quickly and decisively, with no fuss or hunting. I used our Canon-mount sample on multiple vintages of EOS 5D family bodies, and had no obvious problems with focus accuracy even when shooting wide open.
However, with the EOS 5D and EOS 5D Mark II, I made a point of using the central focus point only, with a focus/recompose technique; my experience with these cameras tells me that using off-centre AF points becomes something of a lottery with most fast primes.