Sigma 24mm F3.5 DN Image Gallery
February 5th, 2021
In late 2019 I reviewed the Sigma 45mm F2.8 DN lens, and, while I loved the build of the lens, I concluded that it was a bit of an oddball. It was released in concert with a couple of other lenses, one being the uber-premium 35mm F1.2 DN and the other being the 24-70mm F2.8 DN ART. The design of the 45mm F2.8 was completely different than any other Sigma lens…including the other lenses it was released alongside. A year later, however, and things start to make a little more sense, as it turns out that Sigma was experimenting with a new sub-class within their Global Vision “Contemporary” line-up – the i-Series. These lenses are designed for those who love A) exceptional build and care over the tactile feel and handling of their gear B) who aren’t interested in their lenses being “clinical” but prefer beautiful, “analog” rendering rather than just sterile sharpness. Then, in December 2020, Sigma released two new lenses in the i-Series side by side, and both of them were beauties. I simultaneously looked at the Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (my review here) and the Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (my review here). I really liked both lenses, and I think that was reflected in my reviews. But at the time, Sigma actually read me in on a fourth lens in the series – the Sigma 24mm F3.5 DG DN. The i24 (as I’ll call it for brevity in this review), may be the hardest sell of the group in some ways, a throwback to a different philosophy in lens design. The last 24mm F3.5 lens that I’ve handled was an SMC Takumar 24mm F3.5 in the old M42 screw-in mount that was made in the early seventies…though the Sigma has a very different kind of optical performance. This lens is designed for Sony FE (full frame E-mount) and Leica L mount, and I’m reviewing the Sony mount here on both a 42MP a7RIII and a 24MP a9 body, though in many ways the compact Sony a7C might be an even better pairing for this little lens.
A prime lens with a slower maximum aperture than the typical zoom lens that covers the focal length is a rarity these days, and it is that issue above all others that I expect to be a marketing challenge for Sigma. The truth of the matter is that zoom lenses tend to be quite sharp at this focal length (including Sigma’s own 24-70mm F2.8 DN ART, which I reviewed here). There are some optical advantages for the little prime, however, that we’ll explore in the image quality section below. The main advantage that will draw potential customers, however, is both the beautiful craftsmanship of the lens that is paired with extremely compact size. This is a wide angle prime that is only 50.8mm long (2 inches!) and weighs only 230g despite have a beautiful construction. Even the relatively compact Sony 20mm F1.8 G (a lens I’ve reviewed and really like!) is nearly 85mm in length and weighs in at 373g, making it 50% larger and heavier. I look at the i24 as essentially being an autofocusing Zeiss Loxia lens, a compact yet premium lens.
Whether or not this lens makes any sense for you will depend a lot on how you view the 24mm focal length. If you typically shoot 24mm stopped down to smaller apertures like F5.6 or F8, then the smaller maximum aperture won’t be a liability for you. If you are shooting in low light conditions or want to have a somewhat shallow depth of field for full body portraiture, then this lens probably won’t fit your needs.
Sigma’s marketing of the “i-Series” has three concepts, “Identity – Celebrating your uniqueness | Iconic – A fresh approach to lens design | Instinctive – Intuitive user experience”. Most of that is, frankly, marketing gobbly-gook that sounded really clever to the marketing team (the same team that brought you “Contemporary” as a lens designation) but is rather meaningless in the real world. I’m not quite sure how purchasing a camera lens marketed to the masses is “celebrating my uniqueness”, but I digress. I’ll forgive the marketing mostly because the actual lenses are beautifully crafted and a real joy to use.
As we will also see, I think that Sigma has managed to strike a nice balance between a high quality rendering along with excellent sharpness. This isn’t a cold, sterile lens, but rather one with some character despite being well corrected. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the optical performance of this lens, as for some reason I expected something akin to what I saw with the 45mm F2.8 DN (a lens that I was personally a bit disappointed with optically). What I found instead was a lens with a lot of punch despite its small size and small maximum aperture.
Check out my reviews (text and video) of the lenses, or you can check out the images in the galleries below.
Photos of the Sigma 24mm F3.5 DN
Photos Taken with the Sigma 24mm F3.5 DN
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Keywords: Sigma 24mm F3.5, Sigma 24 F3.5, i24, Sigma 24mm F3.5 DN, DN, DG, 24mm, F3.5, Review, Sigma 24mm F3.5 Review, i-Series, Review, Sony a7C, Review, Hands On, Dustin Abbott, Real World, Comparison, Sharpness, Bokeh, Flare Resistance, Autofocus, Image Quality, Sample Images, Video, Photography, Sony a9, sony a7III, sony a7RIII, a7R3, Leica L
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