Lens review

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM

29 July 2015
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Let’s face it: it would be difficult to compare the Sigma A 24–35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM to any other device. It simply lacks any direct rivals. It is true that there used to be 20-35 mm in line-ups of different producers but firstly, they were never faster than f/2.8 and secondly, they should be treated as rather a class of its own, the forerunners of the current 16- 35 mm models. That’s why, out of sheer necessity our chart features a number of quite varied lenses. There is the Sigma 18–35 mm f/1.8, being the equivalent of the tested lens but designed for the APS-C/DX sensors, the old Canon EF 20-35 mm f/2.8 L, the Leica Tri-Elmar, which is supposed to be ‘three ‘primes’ in one” device so something similar to the Sigma tested here.

In the photo below the Sigma 24–35 mm is positioned between the Nikkor AF-S 24–70 f/2.8 and the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM - Build quality

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The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, 29 mm in diameter. The element is situated on the same level as the mount at 24 mm and it hides less than 1 cm inside the casing when you pass to 35 mm focal length. That movement doesn’t reveal any parts of the inner tube or the casing. The rear element remains surrounded by black, nicely matted and ribbed tube all the time.

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a smooth, black, metal ring on which there is a white dot, making the alignment with a camera easier, and inscriptions: “MADE IN JAPAN” and “015”. Further on you see a zoom ring. It is as wide as 29 mm and most of its surface is covered by rubber ribbing; over the ribs there are focal length marks at 24, 28, 30 and 35 mm. The ring moves with significant resistance but still its smooth movements allow you precise settings.

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM - Build quality

The next part of the casing doesn’t move; it features the name and the parameters of the lens and above them a distance scale window, with a scale expressed in feet and meters. On the left side of the scale there is an “A” letter, meaning the lens belongs to the “Art” group along with a focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/MF FOCUS).

Then you see a manual focus ring, 36 mm wide, almost entirely covered by rubber ribs. The ring moves smoothly and is well-damped; running through the whole distance scale needs a turn through an angle of 120 degrees. Still you should keep in mind the fact that most of that range covers the area near the minimum focusing distance. The range from 1 meter to infinity gets only about 20 degrees…we find it a bit too narrow, unfortunately.

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM - Build quality

Behind the manual focus ring you see a part of the tube which doesn’t move and then a hood mount. The proper lens body ends right behind it.

The front element of the lens is 55 mm in diameter and surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 82 mm in diameter.

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM - Build quality

The optical construction of the Sigma 24–35 mm consists of 18 elements positioned in 13 groups. One of them was made of FLD glass with the properties of fluorite; as many as 7 elements are made of low dispersion SLD glass and three are aspherical. Inside the lens you also find an aperture with nine blades which can be closed down at the maximum to a value of f/16.

Buyers get both caps, a petal-type hood and a hard case in the box.

Sigma A 24-35 mm f/2.0 DG HSM - Build quality