Lens review

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM

14 July 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

In the following chart you can find a comparison between the Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM, 14-15 mm lenses faster than f/2.8 we mentioned in the introduction, and the predecessor of the lens, tested here. As you see the new Sigma is noticeably the biggest and the heaviest of all. Still you should remember its parameters are the most extreme (even if optically it is not most complex) and it features an ultrasonic autofocus motor. Contrary to the Irix and the Venus it doesn’t allow you to use classic filters.

The photo below shows the dimensions of the Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM, as it is positioned next to another lens from that series, the Sigma A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM.

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts and a rear element, less than 27 mm in diameter. That element doesn’t move and is situated on the same level as the mount. Round the mount you see a rubber gasket. In the case of the specimen we got for our testing that gasket was a bit loose in one place and could be shifted a bit. It didn’t influence the way the lens was attached to a camera body but it might adversely affect the weather sealing of the whole instrument.

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Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a smooth, shiny, black ring made of metal on which you can find a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, and ‘017’ number meaning the year the product hit the shelves. Further on you see the name and parameters of the lens and above them there is a distance scale behind a window, expressed in feet and meters. Below the scale you get depth of field marks by f/4.0, f/8.0, f/11.0 and f/16.0. On the left side of the scale there is an “A” symbol meaning the lens was classified as a part of ‘Art’ line, an inscription “MADE IN JAPAN” and a focusing mechanism mode switch (AF/MF).

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM - Build quality

A big, manual focus ring, as wide as 29 mm, is the next part of the lens. Most of its surface is covered by comfortable, rubber ribbing. The ring moves smoothly and is well damped. Running through the whole distance scale takes a turn through an angle of about 100 degrees.

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM - Build quality

Right behind the manual focus ring the body of the lens turns smoothly into an in-build petal type hood. The front element is very convex and over 7.5 cm in diameter; it doesn’t move and doesn’t allow you to attach any filters.

The optical construction diagram of this Art line lens looks once again really impressive - just glance at the picture below.

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM - Build quality

You deal here with as many as 16 elements positioned in 11 groups. Once again the number of special elements makes us positively surprised. In this lens you find, overall, three FLD elements, made of low dispersion glass with properties similar to the expensive fluorite, three elements made of classic low dispersion SLD glass and three aspherical lenses as well. Additionally, one element is, at the same time, aspherical and made of SLD glass. Inside there is also an aperture with nine blades which can be closed down to a value of f/16 at the maximum.

Buyers get both caps and a hard case in the box.

Sigma A 14 mm f/1.8 DG HSM - Build quality