Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art lens for Nikon F-mount reviewed by DxOMark


DxOMark published their test results for the Sigma 12-24mm f/4 DG HSM Art lens for Nikon F-mount (price: $1,599 or $300 less than the Nikkor 14-24mm):


DxOMark's conclusion:

Sigma’s Art range of high-performance, super-sharp optics, designed to maximize the high-resolution sensor potential of DSLRs such as the D800, have gained a formidable reputation for quality and value. The Sigma 12-24mm f/4 A isn’t quite on par with the sharpness potential we’ve seen with some of Sigma’s wide-angle Art prime lenses, such as the 24mm f/1.4 A or 35mm f/1.4 A, but for a wide-angle zoom lens, it still performs exceptionally well on the D800. It delivers great performance across the board, with excellent sharpness that rivals the own-brand Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G alternative; best in-class distortion control with minimal curvature at either end of the zoom; and well-controled vignetting and chromatic aberration. Priced between the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G and the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8, it’s a good value, too. The Tamron offers a couple of extra features, such as the faster f/2.8 maximum aperture and image stabilization to boost its low-light credentials, but the Sigma’s wider 12mm focal length will have a different appeal for many full-frame landscape and architectural photographers.

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  • Wilson

    I’m a big fan of Sigma gear but given the past inflation of Sigma scores on DXOMark I don’t have high expectations for this one

    • Carleton Foxx

      What do you mean inflation? Is it that they fall in love with some aspect of the lens and ignore its faults? Could you be more specific?

      • dabug91

        I think you’re about right. They do seem to produce excellent image quality for their price, but it seems as though I constantly see them going up for sale from people who have owned them for less than a year. That’s obviously happening for a reason. I see photographers dumping their f/1.4 Sigma Art’s surprisingly frequently, and so I have been hesitant to ever buy one.

        • Julian

          you have to fine tune the focus, with the USB dock, and its a little bit tricky, but not that difficult, but if you don’t do this, the lens is really not good, but once done – its awesome. At least that’s my experience with the 50/1.4 art.

          • Zeneti

            Fine tuning applies to all lenses, not just sigma or tamron, it goes for Nikon and canon’s own lenses as well.

            I suspect the reason you see sigma lenses being sold after a year is because many photogs in this world fashion whores and still stuck in the mental path of thinking that owning a Nikon branded lens is more prestigious than owning a sigma and offers a chance to boast wealth knowing their 70-200mm cost more than the guy who owns a sigma/tamron version.

            The majority of the world thinks along those lines, marketing has worked wonders to fashion and it’s why apple became so successful because they offered a premium looking product that was always less powerful and less useful and more restricted than their competitors, but the style and statement they use to carry was one that caught fashion victims by the balls.

            • everbeenthere

              Oh dear. You sound quite bitter. Is there not a case for compatability? I always wonder why people buy a Leica for instance and put a Voigtlander lens on it? Given that Nikon lenses are made by Nikon for Nikon Cameras i always think there’s a good case to be made for sticking to them. Fashion has nothing to do with it unless of course the choice of Nikon D810 over a Sigma SD1 is a fashion statement in which case you might have a point.

            • outkasted

              ummm its called choice, commerce and trade!

            • everbeenthere

              On the assumption that you are referencing my Leica comment , that doesn’t make it right or sensible. I think 3rd party lenses are fine by the way but if I’m spending serious money on a body I want the lens to be seamlessly compatible. I wouldn’t buy into camera system if I felt that a part of it was sub standard to the market alternatives. It makes no sense. If you decide to go Leica make the commitment to the system not just a body with a 3rd party lens. Why would you do that? So you can say ‘I shoot Leica’? Pretty odd in my book. If you can’t afford it look for the next best alternative. There’s lots out there that do a very similar job, Fuji for instance. Oh and one other minor point, if you are a photographer as I am, buying a system gets you support. Try taking your Sigma lens to an NPS on site service centre at an event and see how well you do. Likewise try sending your Voigtlander lens back to Leica and see what response you get. Every time I’ve had to do that (mercifully few) with the Nikon or Leica lens/body the service has been second to none. One thing I do know; to date no one has ever said to me one of my images would have been so much better if only you’d had a Sigma Art series lens. Go look if you’re interested. http://www.jeremyrata.com

            • fanboy fagz

              If we’re talking about style then nikon lenses are not premium in build. Unless one is blind you can out any sigma prime next to a nikon and then premium looking lens will always be sigma. Fit and finish and feel is superior in the sigma. I actually would not feel prestigious holding a nikon 85 1.4g but i definitely would with the sigma 85 art. Looks better. Feels better performs better. Better price. No comparison.

            • Best looking Nikon lens I own is the original Nikkor 400 F5.6 Fluorite telephoto (1st year production only). It’s gorgeously simplistic, made of plastic (or whatever they call it), hand holdable, and works great.

            • outkasted

              Yeah apple was sweet. But they need to lift the limitation on the imac. They should I not be able to upgrade to the next if my current 2009 iMAc is still purring along with 8 GB Ram. I cant afford to buy mac pro. I don’t want an imac if it going to be limited after 7 years especially if its still working really well. Its such a waste. Unless Apple develops a trade-in policy towards next purchases I may well return to the PC. The Surface is looking good!

            • KnightPhoto

              I’ve got an older iMac likewise still soldiering away too, mine has 16Gb ram, it’s still keeping up. Get a NAS and your future purchases no longer are driven by a need for disk space. And your data is much better protected. And for god’s sake don’t go back to Windows 😉

            • outkasted

              Its note drive space but OS limitations

            • I have never heard of anyone ever needing to calibrate an Elmarit lens to a Leica body.

            • Edward Little

              Rangefinder calibration and rangefinder lens calibration really isn’t that uncommon, Leica or otherwise.

            • Armand Habazaj

              You may be right on the first paragraph even though the fashion world is not 100% of the photography, but as a person who edited with pc and turned working with apple from 5 years now, it’s like day and night in terms of reliability and performance. And you get bonus a good looking object 🙂

            • Patrick McKay

              “a premium looking product that was always less powerful and less useful and more restricted than their competitors”
              You know, this kind of useless, oft repeated garbage is so yesterday, and frankly, it’s just plain BS. I’ve used PC’s for years, but now use Apple for everything but my company books. (an old PC laptop running Windows 7 gets this thankless task) And btw, I built my first Apple II+ back in 1982, when PC’s were entirely proprietary, and extremely overpriced.
              Unlike the one size fits all approach of PC’s, Mac’s were widely adopted by the film/graphics/visual arts communities, early on, for good reason: They were powerful, stable, ran Adobe software natively(ie. fast), and the colour space was easily profiled/calibrated.

              The only PC machines that even come close to a Mac Pro, are those steroided PC gaming machines, with water cooling, etc. lol.

              Eventually, with XP, Windows finally introduced colour space/profiles. And Apple, eventually adopted Intel architecture. blah, blah, blah.

              Very recently, Microsoft, HP, and others, have finally smelled the coffee, and begun introducing highly spec’d, very attractive, all-in-one units,…just like the,…ya, you guessed it! lol

              I’ve a fully kitted 27″ iMac since 2011. So, over the six years that I’ve had this reliable, fast & stable computer, it’s cost me about $330.00 per year, or $27.00 per month. I upgraded the RAM, and added an SSD, all for very reasonable cost. Guess what? It’s not a fashion statement. It’s a beautifully designed, solid piece of kit, that performs as expected, and just gets out of the way so I can focus on getting the work done, which is first and foremost for editing/processing my images.

          • fanboy fagz

            The bigger problem is the settings are good for 1 camera. I have 3. Which means i cant get consistency with them all. Dont understand why they couldnt let you adjust settibgs for different cameras one owns. That means I could use it on 1 camera to get optimal results. That’s crap.

            • Julian

              That’s true, I have mine set for my D800 – with the high resolution it needs the focus to be 100%, then on my D3, with the lower resolution, even though its not tuned to the body, its not that noticeable.

            • Just Me

              I’ve resisted Sigma lenses because I wasn’t sure about the USB dock. Thanks for pointing out a deficiency I wasn’t aware of. Along the same line of thought, I don’t understand why Nikon doesn’t recognize multiple 3rd party lenses from the same manufacturer.
              It would be easy to say, ‘Nikon is greedy,’ but I’m guessing it’s more than that.

          • I previously sent my 120-300 sport to Sigma for calibration and they called me and asked what TC I was using so they could also calibrate it for that.

        • outkasted

          NOT the 35mm ART!

    • John Mackay

      DXO scores are purely numerical representations of optical quality
      from lab bench tests, and nothing else. The scores are totally unchanged whether the person doing the tests loves or hates the lens. To say sigma has inflated scores is to say that DXO are faking their results to make sigma lenses look better than they are, and that DXO is fraudulent. Perhaps you meant increasing rather than inflating, and are simply disappointed that it didn’t score higher. If so it is worth nothing that the review shows scores on the d800, and on the d810 it scores 25 perceived mpix rather than 17, and a dxo score of 28 rather than 25.

      • Zeneti

        Not following what your last bit meant about it’s scores on the D800 and D810. These are often the camera’s that lenses produce best on (for Nikon).

        People keep trying to knock DXO, but it’s a very useful place to support research on lenses before purchasing, but only a fool (and there are many of them here) would buy based on information they read on the internet.

        If you’ve purchased a lens (or body) without first trying it out, then you’re an idiot. If you brought a lens based on one person’s review on a forum or blog, you should just put your camera gear in a glass display and give up because you’re clearly not a photographer but a collector.

        • John Mackay

          Lenses do not score so well on the D800 as the d800e and d810 because of the aa filter. Hence 8 perceived mpix difference at peak. As for the rest, what a load of rubbish, for starters you are calling every person who preorderd the d810 and D5, 1dxm2 etc an idiot. Secondly, not every lens is readily available to try out, I have the 800mm 5.6, I had to buy that blind based on only reviews and the fact it was Nikon pro glass because I didn’t know any camera shops that had one lying around. I am very happy with it. I agree, buying something based on a single opinion you read/watched online is dodgy, it doesn’t make you a collector though, that is absurd, that it determined by how much you shoot with the lens. If you read 10 reviews though and look at a hundred high res image samples though you will have a very good idea what the lens/camera will do, far more than someone who has just spent 20 minutes with it on a shop floor. Also, I live on a small island, I don’t want to spend £500 quid to travel to the mainland every time I want to buy a piece of camera kit, I could just sell it like new on ebay if I didn’t like it and lose less money.

          • everbeenthere

            I could not agree with you more. I think Zeneti might have a giant chip on his shoulder! There’s an unhealthy undertone of envy through his posts.

        • fanboy fagz

          “it’s a very useful place to support research on lenses before purchasing, but only a fool (and there are many of them here) would buy based on information they read on the internet.”

          That does not make sense…. Its useful information to research before purchasing but you’d be a fool to buy because of the information…

        • 24×36

          “If you BROUGHT a lens based on one person’s review on a forum or blog,
          you should just put your camera gear in a glass display and give up
          because you’re clearly not a photographer but a collector.” [emphasis mine]

          Offered by the same person that says “If you’ve purchased a lens (or body) without first trying it out, then you’re an idiot.”

          You can’t make this stuff up…

          In the age of internet shopping, lots of lenses and bodies are purchased without first trying it out. So I guess your world view is best described by this old George Carlin quote:

          “Q: What do you think of the ‘dope problem?’

          A: Well, I think we definitely have too many dopes.”

          :-I

    • koenshaku

      Agreed, I have read a lot of dissatisfaction from Nikon owners. Nikon even sued them and won from ripping off their VR. They previously seemed to identify with Canon with the color red opposed to Tamron with the gold color for the Nikon camp. They have both moved away from their color scheme, but they have left a lasting impression lol. I think Tamron lenses are better suited for Nikon bodies and the other way around for Sigma.
      I don’t own any Sigma lenses and don’t think I will anytime in the future..

      • 24×36

        I think Sigma lenses have actually had much more in the way of compatibility issues with Canon bodies than with Nikon. Remember, Canon has a totally electronic interface, which gives Canon much more ability to disable the function of non-Canon lenses with newer bodies and/or firmware updates to bodies.

        Better 3rd party lens compatibility is one of the reasons I chose Nikon over Canon.

  • Aldo

    Still waiting on sigma prices for the new lenses…

  • The Tamron and Nikon give unacceptable results at 12mm. Same for the Sigma at f2.8

    I’ll wait for the Photozone tests, and continue to ignore the DX0 troll.

    • AlphaStatuz

      I’m not as technologically tuned as many of the forum posters here, but I’ve always leaned toward photo zone for my lens reviews. They seem quite consistent and their in depth analysis is comprehensive and transparent.

      • Christobella

        I enjoy Photozone, but have you tried Lenstip too? Very thorough.

    • MalcolmA

      Can you clarify your comment? The Nikon doesn’t go to 12mm (only 14mm widest), and the Sigma is an f/4 lens, it doesn’t go to F/2.8!
      Also, I’d be interested in your thoughts on the DX0 test setup. Do you think their test equipment is lacking, or out of calibration, or do you have insight into their testing methods that could shed light on why you don’t think they have credibility.

      • Daniel Shortt

        Right!?!?
        His comment makes no sense.

      • Just Me

        He’s using sarcasm to point out the obvious differences in the lenses. Very likely, your preference will depend on areas where they differ rather than a comparison where they overlap.

        • MalcolmA

          Ah Ok. Does that mean then, that he favours DXo over Photozone? Or is the sarcasm limited to the first outburst only? How can we tell? (and, can you guess I’m a newbie at forums?).

        • Well, it’s only sort of sarcasm.

          The Nikon and Tamron can make no images at all at 12mm. If you want 12mm, then no image at all is an unacceptable result. ; )

          • Just Me

            I wasn’t sure “sarcasm” was the right word but…yeah.

      • DX0 does testing for two reasons. Primarily, they do it so they can make software to “correct” images. They test so they can try to make good software.

        The thing that everyone knows them for is the second reason: they generate buzz and get people clicking through to check out and perhaps purchase their software.

        Their ratings don’t really have any practical purposes. They don’t really tell you things that help you make an informed decision about purchasing one piece of gear or another. And that’s perfectly fine by them, since once you’ve bought a piece of gear and used it enough to see it’s flaws, they’ve got you. You can either sell the lens at a loss, or…they have some software to fix the flaws that you couldn’t see from their testing.

        Other sites present fairly things much more transparently. Compare photozone.de, Lenstip.com, Imaging-Resource.com, or heck, even DPreview will give you more useful data.

        If DX0 offered a more raw form of their data, it might be useful. And it’s a shame they don’t, since there’s a good chance they’ve got quite the data set. They have probably tested more gear than anyone else, so they have data fine tune their software.

        Anyway, DX0 ratings are all hype. All bluster and no meat. Good for one thing only: buzz.

        • Well said. Consider the things that don’t get touched by their scores: bokeh, AF performance, ergonomics, quality of construction, sample variation, color rendering. My only problem with photozone is that they don’t cover a lot of lenses, while imaging-resource’s reviews lack the qualitative breadth of photozone.

          • 24×36

            They also don’t cover a lot of different bodies, and don’t go back and re-test older lenses on newer bodies. There’s FF lenses they haven’t ever tested on Nikon FF bodies, just because there wasn’t one when they first tested the lens. Same with a lot of testing sites, which is what makes DxO Mark particularly useful by comparison.

          • Photozone has gone back and tested some old lenses, but no, not comprehensively. I am happy that they went and tested the trio of Sigma wide/fast primes.

            With all these ultrawide zooms, it’d be nice to see them test the old 15-30 Sigma. They have gotten to the 12mm Laowa and 11-24 Canon already. I expect they’ll catch up soon.

        • 24×36

          Disagree. If you can’t seem to look beyond the superficial “scores,” then I might understand the critique, but there’s plenty of transparent information there if you bother to look.

          Further, unlike most sites they do what really is necessary for “apples to apples” comparisons – they test old lenses on new bodies when new bodies come out (along with all the others), and test new lenses on all the old bodies (along with new ones) when they come out. So you can combine any pair of lenses (in the same mount, of course) you wish to compare with the SAME camera body, and get a meaningful comparison, as opposed to the “old lens on a D700 compared with new lens on a D810” scenario, which is essentially meaningless.

          Photozone is still testing on a D3X – do you really think that’s all that useful to those using newer 36MP bodies?

          • Do you really think having less than 25% more linear resolution makes such a big difference when evaluating lenses? And all the non numerical stuff remains perfectly valid.

            • 24×36

              Sure – when it’s the LENSES you’re trying to compare. And in particular when it’s 24MP with AA filter vs. 36MP without AA filter. Apples vs. oranges is apples vs. oranges.

            • No it’s apples vs. slightly higher resolution apples 😉 and the resolution difference is 22%. Stop worrying about megapixels.

            • 24×36

              Actually the resolution difference would be 22% if the D810 had a similar AA filter; it’s somewhat higher with the D810 having no AA filter.

              And the resolution difference clouds the comparison of different lenses with different body resolutions, which makes such comparisons kind of useless if its the lenses you’re trying to compare.

              I’m not “worrying” about anything – just prefer apples to apples comparisons, as opposed to apples to oranges.

            • It’s definitely better to have a perfect comparison but a comparison which concentrates solely on the easily quantifiable and ignores everything else is a big sacrifice. Bear in mind that the only thing you really get from DxO’s numbers because of this is their sharpness figure (nothing else changes significantly for most tests and I suspect error is the cause of the differences I have found since they make no sense).

    • 24×36

      The Nikon’s shortest focal length is 14mm, not 12mm. The Tamron’s shortest focal length is 15mm, not 12mm. The Sigma’s largest aperture is f4, not f2.8.

      Maybe we should just ignore the Photozone troll.

      • Jaroslav Charvát

        The moment when your irony is so sophisticated that they actually think that you are stupid…

        • 24×36

          Or maybe the comment (not the poster) was so stupid it’s ironic that someone thinks it is “sophisticated.” ;-D

  • TwoStrayCats

    It “rivals” Nikon’s 14-24 f/2.8? No it doesn’t – not according to the DXo scores.

    • Bob Thane

      Depends on what you care about. At 12mm f4 the Sigma beats the Nikon at 14mm f2.8 in sharpness across the frame pretty handily, and even is ahead a bit when the Nikon’s stopped down to f4.

      Both at 16mm f4 they’re head to head, give or take.

      At 20mm f4 the Nikon is a bit sharper in the center, whereas in the mid frame and edges they’re on par, with the Nikon showing lots of astigmatism.

      At 24mm the Nikon’s ahead, even opened up to f2.8.

      The Nikon has much more variance in T-Stop across the focal range.

      Up to 18mm the Sigma has less distortion (way less from around 14-16mm, and less at 12mm than the Nikon at 14mm), but from 18-24mm the Nikon has a bit less.

      At 12mm f4 vs 14mm f4 the Sigma has darker vignetting in the corners, but the Nikon’s vignetting covers more of the frame. At 24mm the Nikon has a clear lead.

      At 12mm f4 vs 14mm f4 the Nikon has worse chromatic aberration, at 16mm the Nikon’s better in the corners but Sigma’s better in the center, at 20mm Sigma’s better, and at 24mm the Nikon’s again better in the corners, with Sigma having a smaller lead in the center.

      So really depends on what you’re looking for. Does it rival the Nikon? I’d say yes. Is it better than the Nikon for every use case? Absolutely not.

  • gnome

    Damn, another disappointing review. Looks like Sigma dropped the ball with this one. Considering the price and the fact it is a stop slower than the 14-24mm, it should’ve been better…

    • Bob Thane

      To be fair, ultra ultra-wides are hard to do well. This 12-24 f4 is less than 60% of the price of the Canon 11-24 f4 – is 1mm and a bit more sharpness really worth $1100? For a lot of people, probably not – it’s great to have this option.

      Of course, then there’s the Tamron 15-30 f2.8. Is it really worth paying $400 more to get an extra 3mm, while losing a stop of aperture and 6mm on the long end? For a lot of people, probably not – 15-30 f2.8 at $1200 is fantastic.

      Of course, then there’s the 24-105 f4, 20mm f1.8, 16-35, 10-20, 11-16, or a whole host of other lenses that are either cheaper, faster, more convenient, or otherwise beneficial and are great options too.

      And then there’s your smartphone, which takes pretty darn good photos too – most people have no need for any DSLR or lens.

      So the 12-24 is a very niche product that’s hard to design, expensive to produce, and sells at a low volume. Even if this was priced at $1200 to match the Tamron it would still be a low volume lens, because for most people it’s just not as practical.

      I have the previous 12-24mm lens. The truth is, 12mm just isn’t that useful. Every now and again it’s nice to have, but most of the time I’d benefit more from an f2.8 lens and/or some extra millimeters on the long end.

      • I’m really not impressed with the images I’ve seen from the Canon 11-24. At least not at wider settings than 14mm. It’s got some really wonky field curvature it seems. Crappy CA too.

        Lenses this wide are bleeding edge…maybe a little too bloody.

        • Bob Thane

          Yep, they’re so ridiculously hard to design that even $2700 f4 lenses have noticeable flaws.

          Great that we have the option to go that wide, and I’m sure the price and IQ trade-offs are worth it to some people to get the shot, but wider than 24mm is already niche, and wider than 14mm is a niche within a niche.

      • 24×36

        Indeed, ultra wides (especially zooms) are hard to do well, if by “well” you mean the type of perfection people have come to expect from long telephoto lenses or middling length primes. I have their original 12-24 lens (f4.5-5.6), and with its extreme 122 degree angle of view at the wide end with almost no distortion through the zoom range, it’s a pretty amazing lens, even if not the “sharpest.” I tend to worry less about absolute sharpness if in the effort to achieve it means wonky distortion gets introduced. It’s definitely a “special purpose” kind of lens.

        • Bob Thane

          Yeah, totally. To get the same sharpness in a 12mm lens is far, far harder than in a 135mm lens, but we all still expect it to match the longer lenses and have the same price.

    • The only lenses in this range are: other Sigmas, the new Laowa, and the new Irix. Nothing else is this wide.

      This isn’t the best 14mm, but not the worst. I think the jury is still out on the best 11-12mm. I don’t think I can say this an obvious loser yet though.

  • An American in Canada

    Disappointing, but not entirely surprising. First lens I have been interested in from Sigma is the new 135, will be much more interested in that data…

  • Hans

    12-24mm instead of 14-24mm with only 2mm is not much of a difference.
    f/4 instead of f/2.8 is almost a stop slower, which is a big difference.
    Slightly better distortion and chromatic aberration should be expected with a later design and with f/4.
    Sheet metal and plastic construction instead of full die-cast barrels is no match for reliability.
    $1599 instead of $1899 with only $300 difference, I will give my money to Nikon for better resale value and compatibility. Even if it is only $899, I will still choose Nikon.
    So what the hell Sigma is thinking? They think they are already a brand like Leica, Schneider or Zeiss which can command high prices. Nope! Not Yet!

    • jonebize

      2mm is quite a big difference that wide (20%).

      • Hans

        It might be for some, but to me once it hits 14mm for wide angle coverage, the advantage of the angle of coverage drops exponentially. One can try this in a museum back against a wall and see the difference in the pictures. What one can get and not get in the pictures, as well as what is still not in the pictures with the 12mm. The other alternative is to use a standard 50mm lens with low distortion to stitch. Actually it can even be done with a 35mm with low distortion.
        And while in the open as for landscape, just a step back or two will do the job.

        • Aldo

          I agree with Jonebize that 2mm is a big different on a lens that wide… but I also agree with you that it is a lot of money to pay for an f4… I think Tamron is on the right track with pricing… sigma i’m not so sure.

          • Hans

            Like I said it all goes down to users preference.
            The only advantage of a wide angle lens for me is for group pictures which one does not want to stitch, and 14mm pretty much cover most of the stage work.
            I have yet to come by with a wide angle situation that I can’t use my 14mm, 20mm or by switching.
            Maybe someone will give me a situation and I will try to come up with some kind of alternative solution.

            • Bob Thane

              Yep, I have the previous 12-24 and 12mm is largely for bragging rights – it’s a huge difference from 14mm, but not that necessary. There are very few images that actually suit that perspective. Which is why I understand the price point this lens is at – not only was it very expensive to design and manufacture (lenses this wide are incredibly complex) but it will also be a low-volume niche lens. Very few photographers will actually benefit from 12mm f4, and those that will are likely shooting very specialized subjects and can afford the expense, or are fairly well-off amateurs who want a lot of variety.

              For working photographers, hobbyists, and general use, the Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 is unbeatable. But the Sigma 12-24mm f4 isn’t trying to beat it, it’s not in the same playing field.

          • I think I’ll need to see some images before I can say it’s justified. Their latest primes have all been punching above their weight class. If their their close in price, I’ll take the better optical performance, no matter what the brand.

        • jonebize

          You’re totally right; once you get that wide it might seem redundant. Honestly, I like to see and shoot wide, but I haven’t used a lens that wide so I can’t place 12mm vs 14mm in my head. I was just noting the angle of view difference. Crazy how it’s the same difference as 28mm and 35mm. But yeah, good point!

          • Hans

            Actually, I am very sure Nikon started the design with a 2x factor for the 14-24mm but found that at the extreme 12mm the distortion is high and the chromatic aberration at the corners are bad, so they trim the helical coil to stop at 14mm. While the Sigma was also intended to be a f/2.8 but found that when it is at f/2.8 the Conners performance dropped drastically, so they stop it down to f/4.
            This is based on my design experience working with other designers.

      • Troy Phillips

        Yes it is. For the type of photography I do it makes a huge difference. I bought the Tamron 15-30 f/2.8 . I was using the Sigma 8-16 on a d810 because this is the effect I needed. But the 8-16 is f/4.5-5.6 and I need more light. The 15-30 is much better but now I don’t get the perspective I once had and it changed my style and look that separated my pictures from others. I shoot live music by the way. At 12mm your in their face literally. This makes the viewer feel as though they are standing right with the performers. Even if you shoot a whole band the perspective it different. There are tricks to do to reduce the negative of the Super wide and create a look like no other. People tell me ” I like your look over others because it’s different, it’s cool , it’s unique ” things like that. I’ve kinda lost that look only being able to go to 15 or actually about 16+mm on the Tamron . I really wish at the time I would have gotten the Nikkor or if I’d have waited one month I’d have seen Sigma was coming out with this. Then 3-4 months more to get it. All in all guess I have what I have . Maybe the Sigma is in the future. I’ve also been thinking of getting the Fuji X-T2 and they are supposed to be coming out with an 8-16mm f/2.8 which will be like an f/4 ff. I’m looking at Fuji for the Phase detection autofocus in live view . Super bonus.
        So it all-boils down to the type of photography you do and what your needs are .

    • f4? I just spent $1400 on a f5.6 lens! And I think it was a steal! Aperture ain’t everything. And as others have said: the 2mm makes a big difference.

      This lens isn’t for everybody. For those of us who know how to use it, and appreciate ludicrously wide lenses, this is exciting.

      Also: keep in mind that not even Nikon sells for MSRP. And Sigma, historically, has highballed MSRP, and usually retailed for 75% of MSRP or less. Now, that seems to have changed a bit with their latest lenses, because they’re killin it. But if this isn’t worth $1899, you’ll see it drop accordingly. Quickly.

    • Markus

      it is basicly a f/3 compared to f/4.6. T-Stop is what matters to me.

      • Hans

        Actually you brought out a good point about the T-stop which I wanted to bring out but didn’t. And that is about the future compatibility of Sigma lenses once Nikon upgrade all their G lenses with E lenses for their future cameras for precision exposure and video functions.
        Because E lenses have electronic variable aperture which is critical for video as is T-stop. Nikon might set in their future cameras’ firmware the hard stop for the use of their G lenses, and because the actual T-stop reading for both Nikon and Sigma are different even though their f-stop marking might be the same. It will definitely cause functional issues.

  • James Jackson

    Dxo mark is garbage. I personally own lenses that they rate as some of the highest and lowest some of their lowest score lenses perform exceptionally well, while some of their highest score lenses look like total garbage. They only test a small handful of performance aspects, and they fuck up on that most of the time. Plus they don’t really evaluate the data appropriately. This site is garbage, why people even care about it is beyond me. Only thing is really good for is to find out the tstop of a lens, but I doubt that’s right considering how badly they rate the sharpness of a lens.

    • Bob Thane

      Which lenses do you find they’re wrong about, and what aspects?

      I agree that they aren’t perfect, but with my lenses they seem accurate enough so far.

    • John Mackay

      Their scores consistently match results from other reviewers, the one big thing they don’t test is copy to copy variation. If your results don’t match for several of your lenses then I suspect that you either don’t know how to maximise the sharpness of your lens or you don’t know how to use DXO. If you are going by the lens metric scores for anything other than T stop, vignetting and distortion on primes (not zooms, ignore all of them for zooms) then you do not know how to use DXO mark.

      • Semaphore

        A big problem of many reviewers in general is that shooting test charts isn’t an accurate replication of real life photography. Because the performance of lenses at distance and at close distances are not always the same. An extreme example is the 58G which is extremely soft at minimum focusing distance, but considerably better at distance.

        Finding the right info from reviews is a pain for landscape shooters.

        • John Mackay

          This is true, I had thought of mentioning it thinking of macro, but decided it was a bit niche as lenses usually perform well at intended distances (as in the 58g isnt intended ot be used at closest focus much). I cant remember what distance DXO measures at, i know it is listed on the website somewhere though, i would have thought it would give an ok representation of infinity. Zeiss also give closer focus and infinity mtf charts I think if you are interested.

        • 24×36

          Yes, this is a good point and something I’ve said before – you have to bear in mind that lens tests don’t necessarily reflect how the lens will perform in real world use..

          Similar issues involve things like the fact that lens tests are testing “flat field” performance, but the real world (unless you’re doing specialty work like photographing paintings) is three dimensional – which means lenses that look bad in “lens tests” because of field curvature (as an example) may end up looking as good if not better than those that perform well in “lens tests” but don’t necessarily look good when photographing the (not so flat) real world.

          Lens tests are useful, but not the end-all they are often portrayed as. Take them with a grain (or a handful) of salt.

      • ITN

        They don’t correct for field curvature so it’s impossible to deduce from their results, how a wide angle lens would perform for an off-center subject under an AF sensor point at a wide aperture. A good test site would focus on each part of the frame to test for this and present both results (center focused, to illustrate the effects of field curvature on a flat subject, and off center focused to illustrate a common application where the subject is under an AF sensor and correctly focused for that point). In my opinion DXO isn’t one of the better sites for lens testing but they do test a lot of lenses on various bodies and for that reason are difficult to ignore. Still I by far prefer the evaluation of field use performance by experienced reviewers.

    • RC Jenkins

      I agree that they only test a handful of performance aspects; but the actual measurements they do provide seem to align to reality. T-stops, light falloff, distortion, resolution, etc.

      I certainly don’t make lens decisions on Dxo alone…there are a lot of characteristics of lenses they just don’t test. But I do trust their measurements.

      Their (made-up) scores are a different topic. But by nature, none of us should be going by these alone anyway. I don’t trust anyone to tell me which lens is the ‘best’ for a certain scenario unless they take that scenario into account. For generalist purposes? Sure. But not for pros or enthusiasts.

      Because as photographers, this is part of what we do. We’ll each weigh aspects of lenses differently.

      We don’t go point-and-shoot for a reason…

    • brn

      Glad to see I’m not the only one that doesn’t put a whole lot of faith in DxO scores. I’m sure they have a basis in reality, but they’re not necessarily a hard representation of IQ.

      Way too much emphasis put on DxO scores. Didn’t we learn from the megapixel race?

  • MB

    I am using Nikon 18-35, it is small and light lens easy to carry around and image quality is excellent. When I need something faster or wider I go for primes …

  • silmasan

    D800? Looks like they just copy-pasted an article from 2012 and forgot to edit some parts…

  • Shutterbug

    No reason to dump my Tamron 15-30mm 🙂
    3 more millimeters are nice, but I don’t need them.

    • Pippo

      Same story. Tamron still price/performance leader

  • gamer

    Excellent!

    The optical quality of Sigma lenses is incredible and the price is relatively good. But they have one big disadvantage – they are far too heavy.

  • Tests, tests, tests, get into the REAL world, NO ONE shoots in a lab

    • Markus

      Na, all is about specs and tests. How can you complain about Nikon gear otherwise 😉

    • CERO

      You cant exactly compare real world shots unless they are done in the exact same “world” place at the same time.
      The lab tests are for a reason.. test performance under controlled conditions to analyze the differences without interference from foreign variables.

  • TwoStrayCats

    Interestingly, when I look up the 14-24 on DXo’s website, I’m getting different numbers than the illustration in this review…

  • Gecko684

    I’m not sure why they rated this lower than the Nikon. It is just as sharp with less vignetting and distortion. Is it because it is an f4 vs an f2.8?

  • Yaaaaaawn…

  • Shutterbug

    Nobody has been able to beat that 2007 14-24 yet, though several are coming close now – not bad for such an old lens.

  • Chewbacca

    I think there should be a new test site for photography skill ratings.
    It can be called “Dx-Oh my goodness I spend too much time reading about gear.
    I’m sure I suck but it would be nice to have an actual number.

  • 120_300 OS for nikon

    I wait until the Sigma 14mm F1:8 is with real tests and DxO Mark ok no zoom at all Fixed but F1:8 hm.

  • 120_300 OS for nikon

    and wider i think i take the jump into 11 mm Irix yes F4 but even wide as Canon 11-24

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