Lens review

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM

9 April 2018
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution test of the Sigma A 14–24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM (resolution meaning the MTF50 function) was based on RAW files from the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. In the case of that reflex camera the decency level was set at 30-32 lpmm and the best fixed-focal lenses can get to 45- 49 lpmm. It’s worth adding that not so long ago the resolution record on this sensor belonged to the Zeiss Otus 1.4/28 (49.2 lpmm) but lately it was slightly exceeded by the achievements of the Sigma A 85 mm f/1.4 DG HSM and then by the Sigma A 135 mm f/1.8 DG HSM so currently it amounts to 51.6 lpmm.

Let’s check how the results of the zoom Sigma lens from the Art series compare here – the graph below presents its resolution levels in the frame centre at 14, 19 and 24 mm.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Image resolution

Every zoom lens could dream of such results in the frame centre. Images are sharp already from the maximum relative aperture and the MTFs are quite even, with very slight differences between particular focal lengths. This is an excellent performance, with a bit higher values than those of the Tamron 15-30 mm VC.

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Now let’s check the results on the edge of the APS-C sensor provided by the Sigma 14-24 mm.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Image resolution

MTFs are perhaps not as high, they reach close to 40 lpmm only on stopping down the aperture near f/8.0, but, on the other hand, the performance is once again very even and images – useful already from the maximum relative aperture. Once again the Sigma fares a tad better than the Tamron.

How does the situation look like on the edge of full frame? Let’s glance at the graph below.

Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Image resolution

This time you are able to spot first serious discrepancies between particular focal lengths. In the 14-19 mm range the lens fares well enough, providing useful images even at the maximum relative aperture. The maximum focal length, though, is a weak point, as you are able to exceed a level of 30 lpmm only on stopping down the aperture to about f/4.5. It is a quite different situation than in the case of the Tamron. Its weak spot was the combination of the f/2.8 aperture and 15 mm focal length.

The summary of the resolution test of the Sigma 14-24 mm can be only positive – the lens had just one weak point and was able to produce a lot of excellent results. What’s more, its performance was very even across the focal range. All this places the lens in a very favourable light.

At the end, traditionally, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart and saved as JPEG files.

Canon 5D MkIII, JPEG, 14 mm, f/2.8
Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Image resolution
Canon 5D MkIII, JPEG, 24 mm, f/5.6
Sigma A 14-24 mm f/2.8 DG HSM - Image resolution