A wide-aperture, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens ranks high on the most-used list for a vast number of photographers, and the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens is a smart choice for this lens. The 14-24mm DN's image quality is outstanding, the AF system is fast and quiet, the Art-series build quality looks and feels great, and the price tag, though not low, will make you smile at least as big as the image quality does when compared to the nearest Sony option.
Those features make the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens the right choice for a huge number of kits.
The 14-24mm focal length range is the primary reason for getting this lens, and that range is a great reason.
Fourteen mm is extremely wide. Consider wearing scene-complementing shoes as they may up in the frame. Keeping your own shadow from contaminating the scene is another challenge (consider wearing a nice hat and embracing the selfie aspect).
Extreme wide angles can differentiate your work from the crowd, but creating compelling extreme wide-angle compositions remains a challenge. It is easy to zoom out to 14mm and start shooting, but these snapshots will usually look like ... snapshots. An ultra-wide-angle of view pushes the background away, making it much smaller in the frame relative to close foreground subjects. Ideal compositions will incorporate an interesting close foreground subject along with a complementary/supporting midground and background completing the composition.
Unless working in a tight space, there will be a lot of background in the scene, and keeping the entire background attractive can be challenging in many locations. The vast landscape of the American Southwest is an example of an excellent location for utilizing this lens. Still, there are many applications close to everyone's home (or perhaps within it). Of course, the ultra-popular 24mm focal length is not extreme and is quite easy to compose with, providing the ideal angle of view for many uses.
The 14-24mm range of focal lengths is advantageous to landscape photographers. While considering this lens for landscape photography use, understand that the bulbous front lens element precludes standard threaded front filters, namely circular polarizer (neutral density filters are accommodated via a rear filter holder). Companies such as Fotodiox offer a filter solution for this type of lens, but the filter holder and filters are huge (ever see a 145mm filter?), and circular polarizer filters can create uneven filtration at the very wide focal lengths. Regardless, there remains a lot of landscape photography to be done without filters.
The 12-24mm focal length range is a perfect choice for most milky way and other night sky photography needs.
Architecture and real estate photographers will find this focal length range a requirement for many jobs. In real estate, bigger generally means more valuable. If the real estate is made to appear larger in photos by pushing the background deeper in the composition, more walk-throughs can be generated, and more properties can potentially be sold. The latter point is what gets both realtors and photographers paid.
When people are in the photo, care will be required to prevent perspective distortion. The 14-24mm range can be perfect for environmental portraits, but getting too close to the subject can cause heads, noses, and other body parts to appear awkwardly larger than the rest of the body parts (ears, feet, etc.) in the composition. A person closer to the camera can appear much larger than a person farther away (though sometimes this attribute can be advantageous). Wedding photographers can capture the big picture of the venue using this range. For example, photograph the bride and groom coming down the aisle, large in the frame, with the rest of the ceremony small in the frame behind them.
This lens is an excellent option for attaching to a remote sports camera, capturing the start of a race, capturing the finish of a race, covering the goal, mounted over the basket, etc. The lens will also capture the big image of the arena and will work for the overhead shot of the MVP sports figure being mobbed for interviews after a big game.
There are many additional needs for wide-angle photos captured in tight spaces, including vehicle interiors and large groups. These angles of view promise to spur creativity, and the 14-24 range can be very interesting when used for video.
Here are two examples of what this focal length range looks like (captured with different lenses):
No, 12mm is not included in this lens's range. However, there are a couple of competing Sony lenses that make 12mm available. These examples nicely illustrate that difference.
APS-C sensor format cameras utilize a smaller portion of the image circle, and that means a scene is framed more tightly, with 1.5x being the angle of view multiplier for Sony cameras. The 21-36mm full-frame equivalent angle of view range is not nearly as extreme. However, that range is extremely useful.
While many wide-angle lens needs call for a narrow aperture, there are strong advantages to having a wide aperture available. Few zoom lenses offer an aperture wider than the f/2.8 opening found in this lens.
Though f/2.8 is relatively common in zoom lenses, it is the widest aperture available in a 14mm-capable zoom lens, and it is one-stop wider than the also-common f/4 lenses have available. One-stop may seem small, but the 2x difference in the light it provides does not. Compared to an f/4 lens, an f/2.8 max-aperture lens can stop action in half as much light using the same ISO setting. Alternatively, a one-stop lower ISO setting can be used in the same light level, and the difference in noise can be significant at the higher settings. Photographing indoor sports, low light events such as weddings, and the night sky are scenarios where this lens's aperture can be game-changing.
Another advantage held by wide apertures is their ability to blur the background strongly. Wide-angle lenses, rendering the background details smaller in size, are not the most adept at creating strong background blurs, but the f/2.8 aperture is more capable in this regard than f/4.
The following images show the maximum background blur this lens can create.
Despite the wide-angles, there is a nice amount of blur seen in these examples. Still, the scene remains recognizable.
In a zoom lens, the max aperture will sometimes be stated as a range, indicating that the max aperture narrows as the focal length increases. This lens features a constant max aperture, enabling f/2.8 throughout the focal length range. Manually-set wide open exposures can be retained and counted on throughout the entire zoom range.
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens is not optically stabilized. Still, Sony takes care of that omission with Steady Shot or IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) in most mirrorless cameras. IBIS not only reduces the effect of camera shake in images but also provides a stabilized viewfinder image, and sensor-based AF takes advantage of the stabilized view for improved accuracy.
With no IS switch on the lens, the camera menu must be used to enable or disable IBIS, and that additional step is annoying when needing to work quickly, such as when going from tripod to handheld.
Most of us consider the image quality a lens produces to be its most important feature, and you are going to love the results from this lens.
In the center of the frame, this lens is exceptionally sharp, including at f/2.8 and at all focal lengths.
In general, lenses are not as sharp in the periphery, where light rays are refracted to a stronger angle than in the center, and ultra-wide-angle lenses bend those peripheral light rays especially strongly. This lens shows off Sigma's latest optical technology advances, delivering excellent corner sharpness throughout the focal length range at f/2.8 and by f/5.6, the most extreme full-frame corners look outstanding.
Below you will find sets of 100% resolution center of the frame crops captured in uncompressed RAW format using a Sony a7R III. The images were processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method with the sharpening amount set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.
Those results are outstanding. Be sure to discern the plane of sharp focus for your evaluations.
Focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA), is not an issue with this lens (many modern lenses automatically correct for it).
Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme-top-left-corner (the second set of 14mm results are from the lower-right) crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.
Samples taken from the outer extreme of the image circle, full-frame corners, can be counted on to show the worst performance a lens is capable of. The most extreme corners in these examples are showing modest softness at f/2.8, and by f/5.6, the extreme corners look outstanding and especially remarkable for an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens.
Corner sharpness does not always matter, but for landscape and architecture photography, two primary uses for this lens, corner sharpness is essential.
When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. Wide-angle, wide-aperture lenses tend to show strong peripheral shading when used with wide-open apertures, and the about-3.5-stops of shading at 14mm f/2.8 is rather strong, though not unusual. Light fall-off decreases as the focal length is increased with about-2-stops of shading remaining in the corners at 24mm f/2.8. Stopping down can be counted on to reduce peripheral shading, though over two stops of shading remain in the 14mm corners at f/11 with little change seen at f/16. The longer focal lengths also turn in lower shading numbers at narrower apertures, but little improvement is seen beyond the about-1-stop of shading at 24mm f/5.6
APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the just-over one-stop of shading showing at 14mm f/2.8 may be visible in some images, especially those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing in the corners.
One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern showing in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.
The effect of different colors of the spectrum being magnified differently is referred to as lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration). Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.
Lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration) is an imperfection I readily notice. This shows as different colors of the spectrum being magnified differently with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii), where the greatest difference in the magnification of wavelengths exists.
With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better not to have this aberration in the first place. Color misalignment can easily be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a set of worst-case examples. These are 100% crops from the extreme top left corner of a7R III frames showing diagonal black and white lines.
There should only be black and white colors in these images, with additional colors indicating the presence of lateral CA. Especially for a zoom lens, the amount of lateral CA present throughout the focal length range is relatively low.
A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light, or more simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains at least somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.
In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation, with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.
In the examples below, look at the fringing colors of the foreground vs. background out of focus specular highlights. Any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects have been introduced by the lens.
While there are some color differences, they are not strong.
Flare and ghosting are caused by bright light reflecting off of lens elements' surfaces, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes-interesting but often destructive artifacts. "The super multi-layer coating is combined with a newly developed NPC (Nano Porous Coating). The lens has been designed to be less susceptible to strong incident light such as backlight." [Sigma Corporation of America]
With angles of view this wide, it is not challenging to include bright flare-inducing lights in the frame. The sun is a bright light commonly found in this lens's frame, and even with that light source in the corner of the frame at f/16, at most, modest flare effects are visible.
Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality.
Two lens aberrations are particularly evident when shooting images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.
The images below are 100% crops taken from the top-left corner of a7R III frames.
While these results fall short of perfection, they look good from a relative standpoint.
Ultra-wide-angle zoom lenses generally have barrel distortion at the wide end, transitioning into negligible distortion and on into pincushion distortion at the long end. This lens's geometric profile fits that description. The barrel distortion at 14mm is moderate, the 20mm results show little curvature, and the 24mm results show moderate pincushion distortion. Note that the anomaly at the bottom of the 14mm test result in the site's distortion tool is due to a corrupted RAW file.
Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced.
As seen earlier in the review, the amount of blur a lens can produce is easy to show, and wide-angle lenses are disadvantaged in this regard. Assessing the quality is more challenging due in part to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes. Here are some f/8 (for aperture blade interaction) examples.
Thanks in part to the 11 rounded diaphragm blades, the defocused highlights appear nicely rounded at this 3-stops from wide-open aperture with reasonably smooth fill.
Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round, and that is the shape seen here. These samples are from the upper-left quadrant of the frame.
While the camera was not laser-aligned for above sample images as when capturing the site's comparison tool test images, it is interesting that the defocused highlights become larger in the periphery with an increased oval shape As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder.
With an 11-blade count diaphragm, point light sources captured with a narrow aperture setting and showing a sunstar effect will have 22 points. In general, the more a lens is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, and this lens is capable of producing nicely-shaped stars.
The example above was captured at f/16. Little change in star shape was seen over the focal length range.
"One FLD glass and five SLD glass elements are appropriately arranged to suppress chromatic aberration to the edge of the frame. Three aspherical lenses, including a large-diameter aspherical lens at the foremost surface, are used to effectively minimize coma flare, etc., thereby achieving mind-blowing resolution." [Sigma Corporation of America]
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens produces outstanding image quality. This lens begs for an extreme-high-resolution camera.
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens's AF system is stepping motor driven. This lens focuses very fast, though the a7R III and IV's insisting on defocusing before refocusing in AF-S mode remains a detriment (though not an issue in AF-C continuous focusing mode). Focusing is quiet, with only some light clicks and a faint buzz heard in a quiet environment.
AF accuracy is essential for realizing the ultimate image quality a lens is capable of, and this lens has delivered mostly very accurately-focused images. I say "mostly" because I experienced backfocusing at 24mm on a few occasions. Low light AF performance is good.
Sigma provides an AFL (AF Lock) button. While in continuous focus mode, this button can be pressed to lock focus at the currently selected focus distance, permitting a focus and recompose technique. This button also acts as a custom button (C5) and can be programmed to another function using the camera's menu.
FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported in Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) AF mode.
Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as the focus is pulled from one extent to the other, referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing negatively impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone very-critically framing while adjusting focus. This lens shows a moderate (normal) change in subject size as full extent focus adjustments are made at the wide end, but minor size change is observed at the long end.
The reviewed lens exhibits near parfocal-like characteristics. When focused at 24mm, good focus is retained throughout the zoom range without refocusing.
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens has a nicely-sized focus ring that is ideally positioned toward the front of the lens. This strongly-rubber-ribbed ring is raised noticeably from the lens barrel, making it easy to find. Overall, this lens provides a quality manual focus experience, with a nice rotational resistance, no play, and a slow rate of adjustment making precise manual focusing possible. That said, this focus ring has a variable adjustment rate based on the rotation speed.
In this case, I find the fast speed kicking in slightly too quickly, impacting the ability to quickly rock the ring back and forth near the perfect focus distance. At 14mm, a full extent focus distance change requires 720° of rotation when turning the focus ring slowly. Turn the ring fast, and only 180° of rotation does the same. At 24mm, 720° and 140° are the approximate experienced numbers.
Ultra-wide-angle focal lengths inherently make details small in the frame, and despite a close 11.0" (280mm) minimum focus distance, this lens generates a low 0.14x maximum magnification at 24mm. While at the bottom of its class in this regard, many of those other lenses have the same or just slightly higher maximum magnification spec.
|Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.16x|
|Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.21x|
|Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.15x|
|Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.16x|
|Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.14x|
|Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens||9.4"||(240mm)||0.20x|
|Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens||10.2"||(260mm)||0.19x|
|Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.14x|
|Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.14x|
|Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.19x|
|Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.19x|
|Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens||11.0"||(280mm)||0.20x|
At 14mm, a subject measuring approximately 9.4 x 6.3" (239 x 159mm) fills the imaging sensor of a full-frame camera at the minimum focus distance. At 24mm, a subject measuring approximately 7.9 x 5.3" (201 x 134mm) does the same.
Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? An extension tube mounted behind this lens should provide a dramatic decrease and increase, respectively. So dramatic that, especially at the wide end, it is likely that focus cannot be obtained.
This lens is not compatible with Sigma teleconverters.
I've always liked the excellent build quality and good looks of Sigma's Art series lenses, and this lens does not disappoint in that regard.
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens features a quality metal and plastic exterior construction. The overall shape includes a series of diameter increases from the mount until the built-in hood's diameter is reached.
The sharply-rubber-ribbed zoom ring is nicely sized and easy to find just after a big diameter change. Also, like the focus ring, the zoom ring is very smooth with an ideal rotational resistance. While this lens does extend and retract a small amount during focusing, the extension is contained within the built-in lens hood.
I appreciate this lens having the AF/MF switch that has gone missing on many current-era lenses. It is faster to switch between these modes using a switch than using a menu option.
"The lens features a dust- and splash-proof structure, along with a water- and oil-repellent coating on the frontmost surface of the lens, which further supports shooting in various environments." [Sigma Corporation of America]
The Sigma 14-24mm lens weighs and measures among the smaller and lighter lenses in its class. You will know that a lens with this size and weight is in your hand or bag, but this is not an uncomfortable lens to use for extended shoots or extended carry.
|Model||Weight oz(g)||Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)||Filter||Year|
|Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens||41.7||(1180)||4.3 x 5.2||(108.0 x 132.0)||2015|
|Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens||29.7||(840)||3.5 x 5.0||(88.5 x 126.8)||82||2019|
|Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S Lens||34.2||(969)||3.9 x 5.2||(98.0 x 131.5)||2007|
|Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 S Lens||17.1||(485)||3.5 x 3.3||(89.0 x 85.0)||82||2019|
|Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens||28.6||(795)||3.3 x 5.2||(85.0 x 131.0)||2020|
|Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art Lens||40.6||(1150)||4.0 x 5.2||(102 x 131.5)||2016|
|Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens||40.6||(1150)||3.8 x 5.3||(96.4 x 135.1)||2018|
|Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens||29.9||(847)||3.8 x 5.4||(97.6 x 137.0)||2020|
|Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G Lens||19.9||(565)||3.4 x 4.6||(87.0 x 117.4)||2017|
|Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens||24.0||(680)||3.5 x 4.8||(88.5 x 121.6)||82||2017|
|Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens||18.3||(518)||3.1 x 3.9||(78.0 x 98.5)||72||2014|
|Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens||39.2||(1110)||3.9 x 5.7||(98.4 x 145.0)||2018|
For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.
My knuckles uncomfortably impact the barrel of this lens when tightly gripping the Sony a7R III and IV.
Here is a visual comparison:
Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:
Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens to other lenses.
As discussed earlier in the review, this lens does not accept standard threaded filters. A rear filter holder slot accommodates standard sheet-type ND, color correction, and other filters, and a cutting template for these filters is included.
Notably not supported by the rear filter holder are circular polarizer filters. The alternative is to use a filter attachment system with very large filters.
This lens has a built-in, non-removable hood. This is an attractive petal-style rigid matte plastic hood with a mold-ribbed interior. While this hood does cannot provide deep protection for the front lens element due to the 14mm angle of view requirements, it is still helpful.
Ultra-wide-angle lenses with a convex front lens element and built-in hood get a 3-dimensional cap that surrounds the end of the lens. How such caps attach varies, with this model utilizing a friction fit for securing in place. While that design is usually deficient with the cap frequently sliding off when the lens is removed from a case, this cap, at least when new, lacks that problem. However, the cap is tight enough that installation and removal are a bit more difficult than I would prefer. The cap is lightweight, rigid plastic.
Sigma provides my favorite packing material, a nice zippered, padded nylon case, in the box.
Not too long ago, photographers would select non-camera-manufacturer brands primarily for the lower cost. Today, Sigma offers a compelling alternative from an image quality standpoint in addition to the, in this case, massive price difference between the review-time-closest Sony competitor. Though not a cheap lens, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens is an exceptional value.
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens is compatible with all Sony E-mount mirrorless ("DN") cameras, including both full-frame ("DG") and APS-C sensor format models, and a Leica L-mount version is also available. Sigma provides a 1-year limited warranty, and Sigma USA provides a 3-year limited warranty extension.
The reviewed Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens was online-retail sourced.
The aforementioned review-time-closest Sony competitor to the Sigma 14-24mm DN is the FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens, so let's start the comparisons with that model.
In the image quality comparison, the two lenses perform remarkably similarly. The Sony lens has less color blur in out-of-focus areas of the image. The Sony lens has less barrel distortion at 14mm, but the 12mm vs. 14mm comparison is similar. The reviewed Sigma lens shows better parfocal attributes.
Regarding specs and measurements, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens vs. Sony FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM Lens comparison shows the Sony lens to be moderately larger, primarily wider. The two lenses weigh about the same amount and share many other physical characteristics. The Sigma lens has 11 aperture blades vs. 9.
I shared the angle of view difference between 12mm and 14mm earlier in the review. That difference is big. Many, when seeing the huge price difference between these two lenses, will decide the focal length difference is not as important as they initially thought.
Sigma has another similarly spec'd lens in their current lineup, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens.
The image quality comparison requires discernment due to the higher resolution HSM lens test camera. It is not hard to discern that the DN lens performs considerably better in the periphery at the long end of the focal length range, even when stopped down significantly. The DN lens is also slightly sharper in the 14mm mid-frame area. The HSM lens has slightly less peripheral shading and slightly less geometric distortion.
Regarding specs and measurements, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens vs. Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens comparison shows the HSM lens considerably larger and heavier. The DN lens has 11 aperture blades vs. 9. The HSM lens focuses slightly closer and has a higher maximum magnification spec, 0.19x vs. 0.14x. Without a lens mount adapter factored in, the HSM lens is modestly less expensive. The Sigma Mount Converter MC-11 required for Sony E-mount compatibility costs precisely the lens cost difference. Thus, it makes sense to get the DN lens if E-mount compatibility is the goal.
Sony has another ultra-wide-angle f/2.8 zoom lens that differs from the Sigma 14-24mm DN lens by 2mm at the wide end. That is the Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens. While this lens gives up noticeable angle of view at the wide end, it gains noticeably at the long end, picking up the much-loved 35mm general-purpose focal length.
In the image quality comparison, the Sigma lens proves sharper in the periphery. The Sony lens has more barrel distortion at 16mm and less pincushion distortion at 24mm.
Regarding specs and measurements, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens vs. Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM Lens comparison shows being similar in most accounts. The Sony accepts threaded front filters (82mm), has a high maximum magnification (0.19x vs. 0.14x), and is significantly more expensive.
Use the site's comparison tools to create additional comparisons.
A wide aperture, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens can create stand-out imagery, and for that reason, such a lens is highly valued in most kits. Architecture, real estate, and serious landscape photographers will find such a lens a job requirement, and most others will find this lens tons of fun to use. For this role, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens is a great choice.
This lens is beautifully designed and well-constructed, including weather sealing. The AF system is quiet, fast, and (mostly) accurate. Most will find the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens's outstanding image quality the most remarkable feature, and the reasonable price tag seals the deal.
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