Lens review

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM

9 April 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

The following chart presents a comparison between the parameters of the tested Sigma and rival lenses produced by Nikon and Tamron. The Tamron is actually the most optically complex instrument here but it is hardly a surprise – as the only one it also features an image stabilization unit. The Tamron is also physically the biggest although the Sigma remains the heaviest. The Nikkor is physically the lightest, and optically the simplest. The Sigma provides the shortest minimum focusing distance. None of the lenses in this group allows you to use classic filters.

In the photo below the Sigma A 14-24 mm is positioned next to two other instruments by that producer: the A 35 mm f/1.4 DG HSM and the EX 17–50 mm f/2.8 HSM OS designed for smaller sensors.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount and a rubber gasket. The mount surrounds a contact plate and a rear element which is less than 22 mm in diameter. That element is positioned on the same level as the mount at 14 mm and it hides about 1.5 cm inside the housing when you pass to the 24 mm focal length. That movement creates a small slit in the rear tube through which you can glance some parts inside. The area around the mount is very well blackened, matted and ribbed.

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Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality

The proper body of the lens starts with a smooth, black ring made of metal on which you see a white dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, and an inscription ‘018’ meaning the year of the launch. Further on you see a zoom ring. It is 19 mm wide and most of its surface covers rubber ribbing; below you see focal length markings at 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 mm. The ring moves evenly and is well damped, allowing you smooth movements and precise settings.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality

The next part of the casing is immobile, with the name and parameters of the lens; above them there is a distance scale hidden behind a window and expressed in feet and meters. On the left side of the scale you see the letter ‘A’ meaning the lens was qualified as an ‘Art’ group device and a focusing mechanism working mode switch (AF/MF FOCUS).

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality

Then the casing of the lens gets noticeably thicker and you see a manual focus ring. It is as wide as 27 mm, with rubber ribbing taking up most of its surface. The ring moves smoothly and is well damped. Running through the whole distance range takes a turn through an angle of about 100 degrees. Behind the manual focus ring there is a part of the casing which doesn’t move with an inscription ‘MADE IN JAPAN’. That part turns smoothly into a build-in hood.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality

The front element is very bulbous and really huge, with a diameter of as much as 75 mm. It is the most extended at 14 mm and it hides the deepest inside the casing at 24 mm.

When it comes to the optical construction, it consists of as many as 17 elements positioned in 11 groups; among them you can find three Fluorite Low Dispersion (FLD), three Special Low Dispersion (SLD), and as many as three aspherical elements. The construction also features a rounded 9 blade diaphragm which can be closed down to a value of f/22 at the maximum. Additionally the front element is covered by multi-layer hydro- and oleophobic coatings which are supposed to make the cleaning easier.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality

Buyers get in the box both caps and a hard case. There is a possibility to change the fixed petal-shaped hood to circular, for a fee - the round hood doesn’t increase vignetting and makes the fixing other accessories easier.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Build quality