Wide Angle Sigma 24mm Art Review

If you’re a Nikon fanboy and refuse to believe that your beloved Nikon 24mm f/1.4G is untouchable, this Sigma 24mm ART review may be painful for you to read. Take a moment to go get some Tylenol or grab a beer, or simply don’t continue to read past this point.

I have spent the past 3 months shooting the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art now, the first month testing with a loaner, the last two owning it. My Nikon 24mm f/1.4G went up for sale and was sold 6 weeks after first getting my hands on the Sigma, and I haven’t looked back.

Sigma 24mm Art Review

Is the Sigma that much better? I wouldn’t say that it’s that much better, but it’s better, and with the Nikon being more than double the price, it’s a no brainer. For those of you who follow my work know that I simply want the best, price aside. I shoot Leica, that should say enough. If the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art wasn’t better, I would have kept my Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, which many still consider to be the best wide angle lens for Nikon.

SIGMA 24MM ART REVIEW

OVERVIEW

Being that I previously owned the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, and still own the Canon 24mm f/1.4L (aka the best wide angle lens for Canon), the 24mm focal length is a favorite of mine.

Prior to receiving the new Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art, I was pretty skeptical, it had some big shoes to fill. Being that I am a big fan of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens, but not a huge fan of some of their others, including the very popular Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, I really had no idea how this review was going to go.

A lot of photographers only concern themselves with two things, sharpness and bokeh, but for me personally, a lens needs to have character. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art is a sharp lens, corner to corner, and the bokeh is pretty good as well. Compared to the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G, a lens that isn’t as sharp and is actually pretty soft in the corners, the Sigma lacks that something special.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art has that something special and immediately won me over. The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art was a tough one, being that it does perform very similar to the Nikon version, but it ended up winning me over and put an extra $1,000 in my pocket after selling my Nikon.

[If you’re interested in other wide angle lens options available, check out this post on the best wide angle lens for your dSLR]

BUILD

Built like the other Art series lenses, the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art has that cold metal feel to it in your hands, not cheap plastic like the Nikon version.

It’s also surprisingly not that heavy, weighing in at only 1.5 pounds, the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G weighing in at 1.4.

Sigma 24mm Art Review

Compared to the other Art series lenses, it’s also the shortest. I won’t bore you with any more on this – just know that the Sigma easily beats the Nikon in build.

AUTOFOCUS

A big concern from those who I have spoken to about this lens is its autofocus. Not its accuracy, but how quick it is, and with this Sigma 24mm ART review I was concerned too that it would fall short.

I guess there are a few reviews out there stating that the AF isn’t that impressive, but from what I can tell, those were all review of the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art with the Canon mount. I can tell you this, I couldn’t tell a difference between the Nikon and Sigma versions, and the AF didn’t disappoint me at all.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/2.8 | 1/200 | ISO160

I personally rely on manual focus a good amount of the time when shooting the 24mm focal length. Being that it’s a lens I typically use to bring in the environment with my images, shooting and manually focusing in Live View allows me to better compose my shots.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/2000 | ISO160

When I did however use the autofocus, I found the Nikon and Sigma versions to be pretty much identical, both being fairly quick and accurate.

I wouldn’t be too concerned here if you rely heavily on AF, I don’t think you would be able to tell the difference between the two.

The one little important thing to note, since a few photographers seem to consider this a deal breaker, is the fact that the focus ring focuses in the opposite direction than the Nikon lenses.

However, this doesn’t bother me in the slightest, and I find it pretty comical that this would be a deal breaker for some.

CLICK HERE TO READ USER REVIEWS OF THE SIGMA 24MM F/1.4 ART ON AMAZON

SHARPNESS

The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art is sharp, very sharp, which really isn’t a big surprise since the rest of the Art series lenses are sharp as well.

I like to shoot the 24mm wide open, and even shot at f/1.4 it is impressively sharp. As you’ll see in this Sigma 24mm ART review, all but the group shots were taken wide open.

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Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/250 | ISO160
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100% CROP – Sigma ART
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Nikon 24mm f/1.4G | f/1.4 | 1/250 | ISO160
Sigma_24mm_Sample_Images-0011
100% CROP – Nikon 24mm f/1.4G

Being that the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G is known as one of their sharpest, this was one of the first head to head comparisons I did.

Both lenses being fine tuned to the Nikon D750, I compared the two lenses a lot testing the sharpness.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO100

For those of you who know how sharp the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G is, I can show you, the Sigma is sharper.

Remember though, just as I stated earlier, sharpness isn’t everything, but the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art does a good job at keeping character, contrast, and smooth bokeh with its sharpness.

Sigma_24mm_Sample_Images-0008
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO100
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100% CROP

BOKEH

The out of focus areas and rendering are pretty smooth and the bokeh blurs nicely without being too distracting.

When shot up close to your subject, the out of focus areas are actually pretty similar to the Nikon, almost identical actually.

Nikon 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Nikon 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Nikon 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Nikon 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Sample
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Sample
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Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO100
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Nikon 24mm f/1.4G | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO100

DISTORTION

Distortion is just about the same as you’d expect from a 24mm focal length, not any better, not any worse. Compared to the Nikon it’s pretty identical.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/2 | 1/4000 | ISO160

SUN STARS

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Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/16 | 1/400 | ISO100

  CLICK HERE TO FIND THE BEST PRICE FOR THE SIGMA 24MM F/1.4 AT B&H PHOTO

ABILITY & CHARACTER

Being that I earn a living from my wedding photography and I am primarily a wedding and portrait photographer, image quality is my main concern when it comes to the gear I choose to shoot with.

Not only how well it performs, but how well it can help me create the images I am looking to create.

Want to improve your Wedding Photography? Click here.

Sigma24_sample
D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/2 | 1/1600 | ISO160

Image quality isn’t always about being extremely sharp corner to corner, that’s just part of it.

The character of a lens is the biggest influence on whether or not I choose to shoot a lens, but it’s also the hardest to show in a technical review.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO100

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens is extremely sharp, but I personally feel that it lacks character. The Nikon 58mm f/1.4G is very sharp in the center of the frame but quickly dulls down towards the corners, something that turned a lot of people off. However, the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G is one of my favorite lenses to shoot with, and the fact that it isn’t as sharp makes it special.

So what am I getting at? The Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art is a pretty well rounded lens, and while it is extremely sharp, it also has the ability to give that something special in its images.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/200 | ISO400

It has character, not as much as some of my other lenses, but it doesn’t fall flat either. It has nice colors, nice contrast, and  it does a good job of doing everything that my Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens did… it just does it just slightly better.

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D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/100 | ISO200
Sigma24_sample_image
D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/2500 | ISO200

CONCLUSION

I have only tested and shot with a Nikon mount of the new  Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens, a lens that doesn’t have a lot of reviews currently floating around.

I chose the Nikon mount to test and review since I currently already own the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art and to be honest, I was curious to see just how well it would compare to one of my favorite lenses in my Nikon line-up. Whenever I test and review a lens, I do so by shooting it in real life shoots, weddings, and do my best to not take photos of brick walls.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/4 | 3 sec | ISO800  –  RAW SOOC Image in link at end of review

Lenses are also tricky to review because a lot depends on the body that you are shooting them on, so any time that I make comparisons, they are done on the same camera body.

Comparing the  Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art to the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G proved tricky because honestly, they turned out to be very similar. I was surprised right off the bat to see how close the Sigma got to my beloved Nikon lens, I was even more surprised when I started to see it out-performing it.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/250 | ISO100

If you don’t own a 24mm lens and are looking for the best, the  Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art is in my opinion the best wide angle lens right now. It just also happens to be the cheapest option as well.

If you already own the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G, well I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not you want to make the switch and make a few bucks from selling it. It may way be the best Nikon wide angle lens ever produced, but this humble Sigma is much better value, and can definitely stand toe-to-toe with it in image quality stakes.

Sigma_24mm_1.4_Review
D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/125 | ISO125

Rather than trying to explain how much I love this lens, I just wanted to show you a handful of the images I have taken with it so far. All the sample images are edited the same way I edit all of my work.  

If you’d like to see all bigger versions of all the images used in this review, you can find them here. Hope this was helpful, enjoy!

Guest Review by New Jersey Wedding Photographer Jay Cassariowww.jaycassariophoto.com

Sigma_24mm_Sample_Images-0004
D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/2| 1/5000 | ISO400
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D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/2 | 1/5000 | ISO160
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D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/3000 | ISO160
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D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/2000 | ISO160
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D810 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/2000 | ISO200
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D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO160
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D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/4000 | ISO200
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D750 | Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art | f/1.4 | 1/100 | ISO2000

Buy Sigma 24mm Art lens

Buy Sigma 24mm Art lens

9 WEIGHT

9 AUTO FOCUS

10 SHARPNESS

9 DISTORTION

10 CHROMATIC ABERRATION

9 GHOSTING

8 BOKEH

10 VALUE FOR MONEY

THE BREAKDOWN

9.3

25 Comments

  • Hi there,

    What’s the potential field of use of a 24 1.4 lens?

    To provide a little bit of background: I shoot Fuji X and used the 16 1.4 since May but I simply didn’t use it as much as I should I would. The FOV is too wide to take portraits and it always distorted the people at the edge of the frame when doing reportage stuff at weddings. Due to the 15cm close focusing distance, I mainly used it as a semi-macro lens for detail shots.

    Am I too dumb to get it? Many wedding photographers use the 24 1.4 on fullframe and are happy. I use the focal length quite a bit with the 16-55 2.8 but I suppose it just didn’t struck me as a prime.

    I’d greatly appreciate if you could enlighten me a bit…

    Cheers

    • Marc,

      I don’t own any zoom lenses, I own all primes. The 24mm prime is a perfect combo with the 50mm for my personal taste. A lot of photographers use a 35mm and 50mm but they are a little too close for me. I am a big 50mm prime shooter, so the 24mm supplements is perfectly, to give me the ability to get shots like all of the ones above in the review.

      Thanks for reading!

    • If you want to be sold on the 24 – just check out Dan O’Day’s stuff. My 24 sat in my bag for a year for emergency use only but now I’m using it more than my beloved 35 after seeing how it can be used well.

  • Really great review thanks. I’ve got the Sigma 35mm Art, I’ve also got a 28mm 1.8 and thinking of moving to the 24mm because 35mm so close to the 28mm Focal Length. Looking forward to future reviews.

  • Hi Jay,

    Thanks for the review.

    I’m looking to pair my 58G with a 24mm for weddings (currently using 35A and 85G).
    My only concern about my current setup is that my two lenses have different renderings and it tends to annoy me a bit sometimes.

    Would you say the Sigma has a similar rendering to the 58mm ? I was initially set on the Nikon because the renderings looked quite similar to my eyes.

    Tony.

  • Really liked this review. Except for the part about now I’m tempted to sell my 24/1.4G for the Sigma… when I’m really trying to lighten my bag. ;) The sticking point for me is probably that the Sigmas aren’t weather sealed… my 35 Art has seen some serious rain and is still ticking though.

  • Great review!

    My only question now is where does the new 24mm 1.8 Nikon fit in?

    Would be interesting to see how it compares to the two.

  • I own the 35 and 24mm ART lenses from Sigma. Personally 35mm show higher sharpness than the 24mm one. I ve the feeling that the 24mm has more problems to focus the target object precisely. Although I tried to fine tune the Af on my body there is always an uncertainly accuracy of AF.

  • Thanks ever so much for this good review. I have one small question please:

    Do you use a protective lens filter with the 24mm sigma art lens similar to the Hoya Pro1 protector filter?

    Thanks!

  • Sigma 24 Art is amazing steel lens. I agree with the opinion that sigma giving something extra – I like warmer shades and blur of 1.4 lenses. With a Nikon Df it works and looks very nice too, but my problem is the weight, as well as in the case of Nikkor 24mm f1.4G.

    That’s why I prefer the newest Nikon 24 f 1.8G. It is a great and sharp lens as well. Sometimes a take it on a bike or skate, so every saved gram is +.

    Have a nice day,
    Petr.

  • Dear Jay Cassario, First I’d like to thank you for your great review,

    I’m thinking to buy DSLR camera from Nikon and lens, to get a great image sharpness I need good lens,
    I’m thinking in D5500 for my budget and the rest of money for lens,
    the problem in crop factor camera is there is no high end lens like FX and the focal length will be multiplying by 1.5 so there is no real 28mm or 35mm lens on APSc camera from Nikon, After Two years of search I find the best solution is to use 20mm or 24mm FX lens like

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.8G ED Lens

    Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED

    These Two lenses will give me focal length 30mm and 36mm , I don’t care about the 6mm difference between them,

    I want to ask you and take your opinion to choice between them which one of these lenses will be the sharpest on Nikon D5500 and has less problem like ghosting and flaring, Chromatic Absorption

    Also I have no problem if I add 200$ extra to my budget there will be

    Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

    Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F

    so will these lens be sharper that Nikon lenses or not?

    I’m thinking to rent these lenses from website and make the compare to decide but this will cost me about 200$ for All Four lenses, but before I do that I decide to ask you.

    Kind Regards,

  • Great review! This Sigma is next on my shopping list. I already own 35/1.4 and 50/1.4 Art series. My big issue (especially with 50/1.4A) was the weight and size but this was only temporary. I fell in love with Sigma Art lenses! I’m not getting rid of my Nikon’s 24-70 (also 70-200VRII) as it is truly amazing lens but primes have some magic that this zooms are missing. My dream kit is Sigma’s Art Trio 24-35-50/1.4A, Nikon PC-E 45/2.8 and Nikon 105/2 DC. What else would you want ;)

  • Are the images shown in this review crops or how you composed in camera? There seems to be very little distortion in the portraits, yet the subjects aren’t always centered. It seems there should be a bit more distortion than there is? Thanks.

  • Thanks for posting your review! I decided on the Sigma 24 art after reading your article and can’t put it down. Glad I to know I saved $1000.

    Are you interested at all in a Sigma Art lens at 85 or 105? And at this rate, do you think it will compete with Nikon’s counterparts?

    Great website!

  • Great review!

    Though I can’t access the google drive folder with the RAW Pics…
    Can you please upload them again?

    I’m thinking about buying the Sigma art f1.4 24mm lens as my first lens, as i’m moving to the D750, and want to know how it performed in Night Photography!
    Even though i’m worried about the high Coma, but there is no alternative that will give me night photography + landscapes + portrait.

    Thanks

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