Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART

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Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART
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14th March 2017, Singapore
Sigma Singapore sent me the New 12-24mm F4 DG ART to our office 2 weeks ago and all the Review Editors are debating who should be reviewing this lens – because all of them wanted to try this lens and do the review! Since the announcement of Sigma’s Global Vision, many new super lenses had been released by Sigma progressively and this round, the 12-24mm F4 ART, another much anticipated lens from the Art line. This is the 3rd incarnation for the highly popular 12-24mm lens by Sigma and while there are rumours that the new 12-24mm may return as a new lens under the Contemporary line, then Sigma surprised the world by releasing the new 12-24mm in their top range Art line.

Before we proceed with the review, I would like to (again) share that if you ended up here looking for technical in-depth review, then you are certainly in the wrong place. Over here we are only keen how the lens behaved & performed, the image quality etc. If you are cool with this, read on.

Like its predecessors, the size & appearance of the lens is somewhat similar measuring 10.2cm x 13.2cm and weights at 1151gm which is manageable by any standard. The lens barrel features the proven TSC compound and the lens feels every bit like a proper Ultra Wide Angle zoom lens. Personally I find that zoom ring is a little skewed towards smaller hands but if you use a lot of front slotted filter this might be just the right clever design too! The demo unit that Sigma sent has a pretty tight grip on the zoom & focus ring which I was later told that it will smoothed out once I used the lens for a few times and indeed, the zoom & focus is indeed smooth after half a day of abuse by me.

Designed as a full frame lens (FF-DG, Cropped-DC, Mirrorless-DN), it is also compatible with cropped bodies giving the user an excellent 35mm equivalent of 18mm (19.2mm on Canon APS-C) to 36mm (38.4mm on Canon). Built with 9 rounded aperture blades, this lens is capable of producing near “full-circle” bokehs which is rare in most lenses at this focal length.  Sigma had spared no effort in giving this lens an optically-corrected view – there’s 16 elements in 11 groups for all that distortion correction, chromatic aberration (both lateral or transverse) & color correction and the new Sigma 12-24mm ART focuses from F4 to F22, perfect for a wide variety of genres apart from the usual landscape or interior design images.

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The new Sigma 12-24mm ART has a minimum focusing distance of just 23.5cm and coupled with a magnification ration of 0.20x, you can also do wide-angle close-ups giving tiny subjects a whole new perspective! Internally, the focusing engine is none other than the company’s long-proven Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM) that focuses lightning fast and operates at an almost near-silent operation. The focusing is not only fast, it is very accurate and it locks on to a subject in milliseconds.

So back to who gets to review the new Sigma 12-24mm ART, over at the editorial office we did a “lucky draw” with all the review editors’ names and I picked the paper that says “Tommy Chia”. Tommy is not new to our readers as he had reviewed quite a fair bit of lenses with us and let’s see what he have to say about the much anticipated Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.

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2017 Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART
– Featuring Tommy Chia
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Image: Tommy Chia mated the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART to his Canon EOS 5D MarkII.

 

Wide angle lenses are essential tools inside a professional photographer bag. I personally own an array of wide angle lenses covering 12mm to 35mm. Lenses from 16mm to 20mm are called super-wide angle lenses. Ultra-wide angles are used to describe lenses 15mm and wider. 

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Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.

 

When the Editor AL picked me to review the new Sigma 12-24mm DG F4 ART, an ultra-wide angle zoom lens, I was very excited as I have heard about this lens when Sigma announced it and now I get to review it! The lens feel well put together when handled, looks refined and expensive. When AL said go test it, the mental pictures in my mind automatically switched to ultra-wide angle mode. Many people are afraid to use wide angle lenses is because of the challenging composition, it look like it suck in all the scene towards the front, with too many things in the pictures making it looking messy. Actually wide angles lenses are very fun to use just by looking for a main subject or lines to compose with. 

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“The beautiful part of using a wide angle is to watch those lines stretching off into the distance.”
Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.

 

The Sigma 12-24mm DG F4 ART issued to me comes in Canon EF mount. The lens has a metal brass mount just like all the ART line lenses. It is in constant aperture of f4. It fitted on my Canon EOS 5D Mark III nicely. The AF motor is so quiet that I thought it was not working. After I got acquitted with the lens, I decided to take it downtown for some test images.  

 

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“The distortion typically associated with UWA are very minimal, just look at those lines.”
Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART. 

 

AP1_4259s12mm-vert.jpg “The 3 focal length stops of 12mm, 17mm & 24mm offers flexibility of various wide angle composition.” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.   

 

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“Because of the ultra wide angle this lens covers, it is so wide and it opens up many new perspectives for photographers and to the surroundings that he would never had paid attention to before he owns an ultra-wide angle lens.  This is because the lens covered double the area of what human eyes can see & cannot see.” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.    

 

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“I was seated at this location for over 20 mins while waiting for the clouds to cover the midday sun and was rewarded for a bird flying over my frame.” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.    

 

AP1_4103.jpg“When using UWA lenses, it is a must to keep the camera leveled properly to the horizon to avoid keystone distortion.” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.    

 

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“This UWA is so wide that the whole scene captured here seems to be rolling out to the viewer!” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.    

 

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“If you are into building interior designs, this lens is just perfect, really perfect!” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.    

 

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“Believe it or not, an UWA lens made this car showroom looks much bigger and more spacious than it really was.” Image by Tommy Chia – Shot with Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.    

 

The NEW Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART is really an Ultra-Wide Angle wonder-Lens. Unlike the previous versions (which are prety good and value for money), Sigma has gotten everything right for this lens. I enjoyed using this lens totally as it is more than just a “landscape lens” like most photographers will think of UWA lenses. Given its capabilities, I can use this lens for many new things like street photography, ID, wide angle close-ups apart from the usual cityscapes/nightscapes/landscapes. I will say get this lens and open yourself to a new dimension of Wide Angle Photography!

Thank You Editor AL & Sigma Singapore for this opportunity!


Tommy Chia
Professional Aerial Photographer
Tommy Chia
Image: Tommy Chia with his Canon DSLR + Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART.  

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Editor’s Note:
Thank You Uncle Tommy for the excellent and hands-on review of the Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART. The images are inspiring and maybe I should get one too. (lol!). I am sure many will be inspired to try out Ultra Wide Angle compositions too!

OK Guys, You heard the man.

Buy your Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG ART & Other Great Sigma lenses here.
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About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
This entry was posted in Accredited Merchants, Brand: Canon, Brand: Sigma, Featured Photographers, Featured Photography Merchants, Group Test & Reviews, Photography Articles & Videos, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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