As I’ve photographed more and more landscape scenes in recent years, having a good wide-angle lens has become important. So in testing the Sony a7 III, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art lens (B&H | Amazon) was an obvious choice. Providing a wider view than Sony’s FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens, the Sigma 14-24mm is considerably cheaper, and it offers absolutely superb image quality.
For those who are in the market and trying to decide between all the wide-angle lens options for the Sony E-mount system, I encourage you to take a long look at Sigma’s option.
Sigma has historically been known for larger, heavier lenses. But as of late, they’ve made their lenses much more compact, as was evident by their recent announcement of the revamped 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.
While the Sigma 14-24mm is no lightweight, it’s a comfortable weight and balances well with the camera. It features a good size zoom and focus ring for easy adjustments, and has the rings in the same position as Sony’s native lenses.
Coming from an Olympus system, the Sigma 14-24mm is certainly larger than the M.Zuiko 7-14mm, but it feels great in the hands and is easy to work with when you’re on scene.
Like most ultra wides, the Sigma 14-24mm has a built-in lens hood because of its bowed out glass, meaning it can’t accept traditional filters. While you can use large square filters, Sigma has also embraced the back filter design, giving you the ability to put on a gel filter right on the back of the lens.
- Aperture: f/2.8 to f/22
- Minimum focus distance: 11 inches
- Optical design: 18 elements in 13 groups
- Diaphragm blades: 11, rounded
- Image stabilization: No
- Filter size: Gel filter (rear)
- Dimensions: 3.35 x 5.16″
- Weight: 1.75 pounds
Like any wide-angle lens, the Sigma 14-24mm has quite a few use cases, with everything from landscapes to real estate to events. Given the fixed f/2.8 aperture, it’s a perfect companion lens to Sigma’s 24-70mm f/2.8 Art, offering great low-light performance indoors.
While the lens does not have image stabilization, it does take advantage of Sony’s built-in image stabilization for their cameras, which should be perfectly fine in most situations.
I used the Sigma 14-24mm in a few different situations, to test it out in a wide array of environments. First, I took it to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a local botanical garden, sculpture park and art museum. Here, I captured a wide-angle art piece as well as some landscapes at various angles.
To say the lens produced beautiful results would be an understatement. The wide-angle photographs I took were crisp and showcased all of the details well. I also experienced very little lens flare — a rarity for using a wide-angle lens on a sunny day.
I was pretty amazed at both the sharpness and dynamic range that the lens captured. It was absolutely gorgeous, and it was easy to capture the blue skies even with the bright sun shining overhead. The detail was crisp and spot-on, giving a great glance into what I saw — it was almost like you were there.
One thing I was surprised about at Meijer Gardens was the lack of distortion. While you get some when you’re at the wider focal lengths, but it’s pretty minimal and can easily be corrected in post-processing. I also had zero issues with chromatic aberration — this is certainly a quality lens.
I also tried it during some lunchtime concerts for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. The autofocus performance was superb — I don’t think I had a single miss when shooting the concert with this lens, even with subjects moving around the stage.
While I don’t typically use a wide-angle lens for photos involving bokeh, I did do some testing for it. While the 14-24mm is wonderful for its sharpness and image quality, it also creates an otherworldly bokeh experience, with swirls and rounded bokeh that you typically wouldn’t find on other wide-angle lenses. That’s the Art series really showcasing its magic.
A great value for Sony shooters
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 for Sony has to be one of my favorite lenses I’ve tried in recent memory. And compared to the other wide-angle lenses for Sony on the market, the Sigma 14-24mm is pretty value-friendly when you compare it to Sony’s native lenses. And the great thing? It’ll meet — if not exceed — your expectations.
If there’s such thing as a perfect lens, this comes pretty close to it. If you’ve been considering adding a wide-angle lens to your kit, definitely give this one a try.