Stargazers are completely spoiled for selection on the subject of lenses nowadays. At the low-end, there’s a clutch of producers promoting surprisingly good high quality glass that makes wide-field astrophotography a doddle. The costs are sometimes stunning as properly – with astrophotographers much less involved about niceties equivalent to picture stabilization (you’re on a tripod) or autofocus efficiency (astrophotography is handbook focus solely), efficiencies will be made with out massively compromising on the standard of the optics.
Compatibility: Canon EF mount, Nikon F-mount, L-mount
Focal vary: 14-24mm
Aperture vary: f/2.8-f/22 fixed
Thread measurement: No filter thread
Weight: 2.65 lbs
But what occurs once you attempt to make a lens that doesn’t compromise wherever? That’s the query Sigma appears to be trying to reply with its spellbinding vary of wide-angle, giant aperture, Art-series lenses. It takes the combat to lenses equivalent to Nikon’s gold-striped lenses, Canon’s L-series optics, and Sony’s G Master glass, usually beating them for easy optical high quality, similtaneously ceaselessly beating them when it comes to worth for cash.
And into the Space.com places of work comes the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART collection lens, promptly surrounded by a gaggle of eager astrophotographers. Keep studying to search out out why it options in our information to the best lenses for astrophotography.
Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens: Design
- Weighs 2.65 lbs
- No filter thread
- No picture stabilization
Pull the 14-24mm out of its field and also you’ll be struck – as soon as once more – by Sigma’s dedication to construct high quality. Like the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM ART lens earlier than it, this factor is constructed to final. The mount on the again is comprised of long-lasting brass, as is the very again part of the lens. Everything you’ll be able to contact ahead of that’s fabricated from tough-feeling plastic, and the lens has a rubber grommet the place it meets your digital camera, offering water and dust resistance. It all provides as much as a powerful, if considerably weighty, first impression – this beast of a quick wide-angle clocks in at 2.65 lbs.
The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens produces a rectilinear picture – that’s, one with no barrel distortion – however you would be forgiven for considering that the bulging entrance aspect is definitely for creating fisheye pictures. The huge entrance aspect, in fact, is important for consuming in all that gentle and offering the ultra-wide subject of view, however as with different of Sigma’s ultra-wide, quick Art lenses, it protrudes sufficiently far that you just received’t be capable of connect a filter to the entrance. That may pose an issue for panorama photographers, in addition to for anybody trying to defend the entrance of the lens from scratches. Perhaps noteworthy is the truth that there are lenses in the marketplace that provide comparable specs however have flat or almost-flat entrance components that may settle for filters – take Canon’s RF 15-35MM F2.8L IS USM, which is outstandingly costly (round $2,400 to the Sigma’s $1,300), albeit with an extended focal size and picture stabilization. If that is going to be a lens that goes on correct adventures, our recommendation is to make use of the slip-on lens cap as a lot as potential and double-check your digital camera insurance coverage.
Only a handful of Sigma’s Art-series lenses have zoom mechanisms – most are primes – however that doesn’t imply Sigma can’t put collectively a decent-feeling lens ring. Turn the zoom ring on this lens and also you’re rewarded with a properly dampened motion that requires fairly a little bit of effort to show. You can’t snap the focal size from one finish to the opposite actually quick, however because of the interior stiffness the lens doesn’t creep when it’s pointed straight up, which suggests your focal size received’t slowly widen in case you’re taking pictures the evening skies instantly overhead. The similar is true of the main focus ring – having the ability to flip this precisely is a should for astrophotography – and once more it feels prefer it’s been constructed uncompromisingly.
Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens: Performance
- Well-controlled chromatic aberration
- Geometric pictures, even at huge angles
- Sharp from nook to nook
Our expertise with different Sigma Art lenses made us optimistic that this one could be a cracker as properly, and we have been proper. Sharp, contrasty and with well-controlled chromatic aberrations, even with the aperture set to f/2.8, it is a lens that can render any well-executed wide-field composition simply. Because it’s well-built, attaining good focus is simple, and the non-creeping focal size is, once more, appreciated.
For night-sky images, we have been happy to notice glorious efficiency throughout the entire body. You will be capable of spot somewhat coma in direction of the corners of the body however you actually should go trying to find it – in case you’re planning on aggressive crops of your picture to benefit from sure, non-central-to-the-frame constellations you may run into hassle, however for probably the most half it’s solely one thing you’ll ever see whereas pixel-peeping.
Sigma claims there’s completely no picture distortion on the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens, which is a daring declare on a lens this huge however does really appear to be true. Horizons lay flat from one aspect of the picture to the opposite even on the lens’s widest focal lengths. You ought to suppose twice about taking pictures a portrait of an individual with it, maybe, however for landscapes and evening skies – this lens’ twin fortes – you received’t be spending ages correcting geometrical distortion.
There’s extra excellent news. We examined the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens at each extremes of its focal size, at each main aperture cease, and have been actually happy with the outcomes. Even on tremendous high-contrast pictures, we couldn’t spot any purple fringing, and notably at f/4 and smaller, sharpness to the corners was superbly preserved. There was a small drop-off when taking pictures huge open, however you’d should look fastidiously to identify it.
It’s sharp as properly – superbly so in the course of the body, with the smallest of perceptible drop-offs in direction of the corners, notably at 14mm. Unless you’re into closely cropping bizarre, off-center compositions you’ll by no means discover it – take a look at our take a look at pictures to see what we imply.
There are two closing factors to make, that are arguably of much less curiosity to astrophotographers. Firstly, this lens doesn’t include picture stabilization. Since no astrophotographers are taking pictures hand-held, that is unlikely to be a lot of a disadvantage, nevertheless it does barely restrict the 14-24mm’s enchantment on the subject of walk-around journey images fashion taking pictures. Secondly, Sigma’s HSM autofocusing (Hyper Sonic Motor), whereas blissfully silent, isn’t tremendous fast on the uptake. It’s not at all a catastrophe, however don’t anticipate to get a variety of sports activities images executed with this lens.
Should you purchase the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART lens?
The Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART is a fantastically helpful lens for astrophotographers. It simply holds its personal in opposition to different high-end, wide-angle, big-aperture lenses and does so for a fairly spectacular sum of money. Compared to prime lenses, the slight quantity of zoom on supply is helpful, compositionally talking. Although the f/2.8 most aperture isn’t the final phrase when it comes to gentle admission, it’s simply brilliant sufficient for good outcomes, notably when used on high-quality full-frame cameras, and that applies doubly in case you’re going to make use of a star tracker, the place you’ll be taking pictures at even decrease ISO settings. Because it zooms, the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM ART additionally has functions for wider fields of images equivalent to occasions and weddings, so long as you will get the grasp of the comparatively draggy autofocus efficiency.
If this product isn’t for you
That doesn’t imply this must be a default buy for astrophotographers, although. Indeed, the 14-24mm has competitors from Sigma’s personal merchandise. For roughly the identical worth, for instance, you would have the totally excellent Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM ART. It doesn’t zoom like this lens does, however for lots of “Milky Way over a local landmark” images, it actually doesn’t have to. You additionally get an entire further cease of sunshine admission via the aperture, which permits sooner shutter speeds or decrease ISOs.
Alternatively, Sigma additionally makes its 20mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. This is a good looking piece of equipment that prices underneath $900; some $400 cheaper than the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8DG HSM ART. Despite that, you get an excellent bigger most aperture than you do with the 14mm f/1.8, and an entire two stops extra aperture than you do right here, which suggests, doubtlessly, quartering your shutter pace or ISO. As a chief lens, it’s rather less versatile, nevertheless it’s massively widespread with astrophotographers, not least due to that bargain-basement worth.