Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art – My Thoughts

The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art lens was just announced last week and for me, I’m in shock and awe over this lens!

There were a few other announcements, such as the 135mm f/1.8 and another lens I can’t even remember at the moment… I could Google it now but I will leave it out as the point I’m making the only lens which I’m really interested in is the new 14mm f/1.8 Art!

I decided to write up a quick blog post for my predictions on this lens and to share my pure excitement!

I watched this video from Jared Polin and he was confused about the 14mm f/1.8 and discussed how he can’t see how much Bokeh you will get from this lens. He CLEARLY is not an Astrophotographer!

I have spent long late nights with my friend Ismail (@aladdin_sane82) doing Astrophotography and have discussed what we want to improve our photos.

We’ve discussed wider, faster glass, and cleaner ISO’s etc.

We’ve played with the idea about purchasing these new lenses such as the Irix 15mm f/2.4 and I did actually purchase the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 for my astro work. We both already did own the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 which is still a monster of a lens for this type of work and I still do love it very much!

However, when we have to hit ISO3200 and sometimes ISO6400 to get our shots, we have craved wider glass to obtain a longer shutter speed due to the ‘500 Rule’, or a wider aperture to suck up more light.

We’ve had a few lenses that had considered and discussed, but nothing really excited us until this Sigma 14mm f/1.8 was annouced!

At f/1.8 we are obtaining 1.3 stops more light! So that will take us down from ISO3200, down to ISO1250. Personally it’s a habit of mine, but I only work within full stop increments from the Base ISO, so I would take it down to ISO1600 and bring down in post if needed.

But the point is, ISO1600 on most modern day cameras is very clean, even on the APS-C sized sensor. So I am very excited about this prospect of obtaining cleaner files to work with.

Lower ISO’s will allow better tonal and dynamic range as well as having the less noise.

The Sigma Art line have generally been very sharp! I own the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art. Both lenses blow my mind with how sharp they are. They have tonnes of contrast and with the amazing sharpness at f/1.4, the images do really pop! (Side note, focusing is a little bit unreliable, but I will save the details for their full reviews)

So bearing all that in mind… I am extremely excited for this Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art Lens.

My predictions however…

I do suspect the lens will be expensive. I can’t say how much the lens is worth without testing it, but I suspect Sigma will take a punt with this lens and price it up above £1,200. I wouldn’t be surprised if it touched £1,500. Or is this Sony lens pricing conditioning me to such expensive glass????

My friend Ismail has predicted £800, I really do hope he’s right!

With regards to the lens itself, I suspect it will be very sharp corner to corner even wide open. But I do suspect it will vignette heavily and won’t really clear up fully until f/4.

Distortion I suspect to be relatively bad, but with Lens correction profiles, I don’t see this as a major issue, but it will be an issue nonetheless.

I am making my move to Sony camera systems, so I may need to look into purchasing the Sigma MC-11, or I might just keep one Nikon body behind for this lens!

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5 Responses

  1. Izzy says:

    When are they going to release it already!!!
    I need this lens already man. I hope Sigma don’t go breaking our hearts. I’ve done some Astro with the 35mm f1.4 Art and quite enjoyed it. Especially with a person in the shot.

    When is the release date?! What filter system will it be compatible with? I want it!!!

  2. Doc holiday says:

    Check the fact sheet:
    The MTF curves are not always comparable, but that’s all we have at the moment. Compared to the Nikon 14-24/2.8 the Sigma is looking a little bit worse behind 10mm image height, but that is a comparison of f/2.8 against f/1.8! So the Sigma is still looking good.
    With 2 EV (=25% relative illumination) the vignette of the Sigma is looking acceptable at f/1.8, but the Nikon has only 0.75 EV (Lenstip).
    Four aspherical lenses (!) should reduce the coma but the big question is: Will it be low enough for astro work?
    No test pictures are known so far. The pricing will be announced by the end of March.
    So it is an interesting and heavy (1.15 kg) astro lens, but we still have to wait for some reviews. Remember the fast Sigma Art 20/1.4 which has some coma …

    • Leo Hoang says:

      Thanks for the info! Sounds like it should still be a good performer… it’s all down to price now really…

      I think I’ll be getting this lens along with the MC-11 to use on my Sony…

      Which camera do you shoot? Do you think you’ll be making the purchase? Or are you holding off any thoughts on the decision until the reviews are out?

  3. Doc holiday says:

    I will wait for some reviews as there is also the interesting but hard-to-get Samyang 14/2.4 on the market now and Sigma will reveal the price of the new lenses by the end of March. I shoot with Canon 6D at the moment and my main point of interest is a good low light performance (low noise, high ISO, low light AF) for polar light photography here in Norway. I have no rush as I already own the Zeiss 14/2.8.
    There are some test pictures with the new Sigma on Dpreview, but no astro and no aperture test 🙁

    • Leo Hoang says:

      Yeah, I’m interested in that Samyang lens also… I’m solely interested in this lens for Astrophotography…

      Keep me posted on which lens you end up buying, if you do get one of them… would love to see some sample shots… 🙂

      Send me a link to your work. Would also love to check it out.

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