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Lens review

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM

14 July 2017
Maciej Latałło

11. Summary

Pros:

  • Solid and weather-sealed casing,
  • Sensational image quality in the frame centre already from the maximum relative aperture,
  • Good image quality on the edge of the APS-C,
  • Lack of problems with longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • Imperceptible lateral chromatic aberration,
  • Sensible distortion correction,
  • Slight astigmatism,
  • Low vignetting on the APS-C/DX sensor,
  • Full frame vignetting corrected the best in this class of equipment,
  • Silent and quick autofocus.

Cons:

  • Resolution on the edge of full frame could have been a bit better,
  • Weak performance against bright light,
  • A bit too high coma level,
  • Impossible to use classic filters.
At first I wanted to complain a bit about the Sigma but, after one moment of reflection, I decided it was not a good idea. So far, we have been spoiled rotten by Art line lenses which could break one record after another. Here you deal with a device which doesn’t break records and had some slip-ups in our test as well. Should you carp about it? Not really. In fact the Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM should still be praised.

First of all you get a unique lens, unavailable in any other line-up. With that angle of view the best rivals offer you devices by about 1 EV slower. Secondly, the resolution results in the frame centre would break records even several years ago and they are typical for many Art series primes. Higher values got only 50-135 mm lenses from Zeiss or Sigma, a bit easier to construct. Additionally, the Sigma can boast of the best vignetting and distortion correction results in this class of equipment and these aberrations are especially bothersome with wider angles of view. Such achievements shouldn’t be underestimated. With its parameters the Sigma will be also a perfect companion for any astrophotographer. Why? In many cases astrophotographers have to stop the lens down in order to avoid high vignetting so they lose the precious light. The Sigma not only offers the best aperture fastness in this class of equipment but also its vignetting level is lower than that of its slower rivals.

Landscape and architecture photography are other classic applications the tested lens would be perfect for as in these areas the size of the field of view matters. The useful field of a lens with a wide field and high distortion level has to be cropped so in fact it’s smaller than stated in the specifications. In the case of the Sigma that correction should be slight so you won’t lose a lot.

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We regret a bit the coma slip-up and the weak resolution on the very edge of the field but you can’t have everything. Would it be possible to offer more? You’ll find out when another producer is brave enough to construct and offer a rival lens with comparable parameters.