Reviewing the Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art lens

Prime lenses — the superstars of our craft — often seem to be the favourite choice. With fine-tuned control of crisp focus, relaxing into a buttery, out-of-focus quality — they’re known for excellent build quality and optical performance, as well as their remarkable way of capturing the emotive quality of a subject. Next to the glowing reputation of the prime, sometimes we’re left feeling that the faithful zoom lens is more utilitarian than inspiring. But, as photographers we’re always negotiating between our technical capabilities and artistic intent — so there’s no doubt that lenses of each type have an important use. A flexible zoom can pull together the image with simply the turn of a ring — scooping up a faraway scene, honing in on an intimate moment without intrusion, or framing a subject in an attractive light — making the zoom lens an essential part of any amateur or pro-enthusiast kit.

Covering a common prime lens line-up, the Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art offers a moderately wide angle of view when paired with a full-frame sensor, with a minimum focusing distance of just under 30 centimetres, and at 1:4.4 magnification. Effectively covering three common lenses — the 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm — this lens isn’t your all-in-one zoom, but accommodates the hugely popular wide focal lengths used for landscape and architectural photography, as well as environmental-type portraits. Plus, it’s an ideal solution for those looking to carry one or two less lenses in their kit.

While some might feel that the 24–35mm range is too narrow — particularly with other lens options covering more — the difference is Sigma Art’s optical excellence. Offering the versatility of a zoom, paired with the high-speed performance of a prime — thanks to an aperture range from f/16–2 — this lens is well suited to shooting within the low light of dawn and dusk, and offers exceptional control over depth of field. In fact, this lens is the world’s first full-frame zoom to reach a maximum f/2 aperture, making the Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art another notch on Sigma’s belt for photographic innovation.

With one F Low Dispersion (FLD) and seven Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements, as well as two aspherical lenses, we’re promised optical excellence, even when shooting architectural lines, or in compromising lighting scenarios. This system minimizes the appearance of spherical aberration, axial chromatic aberration, and field curvature. A Super Multi-Layer Coating is present to reduce flare and ghosting to ensure high image sharpness, clarity, and contrast — regardless of focus point or aperture setting.

Rebecca Frogley

The Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art houses proprietary Sigma technology including a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), which ensures accurate, near-silent focusing, and boasts optimized autofocus algorithm for fast, accurate tracking. In addition, it’s equipped with Optical Stabilization (OS), which compensates for camera shake when hand held. This, alongside the lens’s zoom capabilities,  means there’s never the risk of missing a shot.

As to be expected from the Sigma Art range, the build quality is consistent with the other lenses in the series. It feels expensive — crafted from glass, black metal, and rubber. Plus, the use of Sigma’s own Thermally Composite Material (TSC) means that the lens body is resilient against even the toughest weather conditions, preventing thermal shrinkage and contractility across temperature changes. To be able to achieve such a wide aperture throughout the full focal range, the large-diameter aspherical lens — a complicated element to manufacture — has certainly impacted upon its overall size. It weighs in at just under a kilo, but, does cover off what could otherwise take the form of two to three extra lenses bulking out the camera bag.

With an RRP of $1699, the Sigma 24–35mm f/2 DG HSM Art lens is a must-have lens for pro-enthusiast photographers. To find out more, visit crknz.co.nz.

Specs:

  • Focal length: 24–35mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Angle of view: 84.1 degrees
  • Image stabilization: No
  • Aperture blades: nine, rounded
  • Optical construction: 18 elements in 13 groups
  • Minimum focus: 27.94 cm
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Maximum magnification: 1:4.4
  • Mount: Nikon F / Canon EF
  • Dimensions (DxL): 8.64x12.19 cm
  • Weight: 941 grams