With a lens this wide from Sigma, I needed something huge to shoot, and it needed to be something that I couldn’t shoot from half a mile away. How about a 747 in a hangar. That’s up close, if not personal. This one is retired and is part of the exhibition at the Museum of Flight near my home in Seattle.
A lens like this is well-suited to shooting architecture and landscapes and the focal length allowed me to capture most, but not all, of the airplane’s fuselage and then come in super tight for the cockpit and cabin. In a former life, I worked at Boeing, gave blood for Jet City, so I’ll confess some nostalgia that Boeing bet the whole hangar on. This lens allowed me to capture just how remarkable this plane is.
My introduction to Sigma’s widest in their Art series came during Sony’s a7 III camera launch in Las Vegas. With the aid of an MC-11, I was able to mount the lens to the body and then shoot from the window of my highrise hotel.
Even from the screen on the back of the camera body I could tell this was a good shot. The lens synced perfectly with Sony’s native functionality like Eye-AF. Every shot has been perfect.
Our media shindig included an outing at Nellis Dunes. Because I was still getting the feel for the a7 III, I was deep in the menu when I heard a dune buggy approaching. I had only a second or two to compose this image before snapping the shutter to capture the dune buggy still airborne.
I really appreciate the compositional flexibility that this lens gives me when working with big landscapes. Not everyone needs a lens with such an appetite for the horizon, but because this lens goes for only $1,299, it’s well worth considering given that similar lenses are usually several times more expensive. Okay, off to the tulip fields.
This tulip bloom is an annual Pacific Northwest event. The fields spread in a way a football field can only dream about, so capturing their enormity in a still image is difficult. To get this, I had to go stand in muck up to my knees and hold the camera high above my head. To make sure I properly composed the image, I used the remote camera app. The combination of colors, the mountains on the horizon and the natural lens flare are really satisfying.
I was able to capture the shot quickly, which saved me from having the mud soak through my boots. If any shot in this collection demonstrates what you can expect in terms of quality with Sigma’s Art line, as well as the ability of the 14-24mm F2.8 to capture a landscape, this is it.
Mirrorless technology has been one of the most disruptive technologies to hit cameras since they went digital, and despite Sony’s utterly relentless pace of product introduction, the main benefit continues to be weight. The a7 III weighs less than a teacup poodle but shoots like a camera that ought to be on a monopod. The 14-24mm F2.8 Art weighs just a bit more than 40 ounces; the whole package comes in under four pounds.
Because the lens and body are so small, I was able to stick them into a reasonably sized bag and rode my bike a couple of hours on a rail trail that passes through the Cascade Mountains. My destination was Rattlensake Lake, where I caught this image with perfect color balance and natural lens flare.
The Art Series includes a worthwhile added bonus: weather sealing. I’m confident that if I had been shooting in the rain, a bit of water on the camera and lens wouldn’t have caused any problems. We’ve had record rain here in Seattle (not something I like bragging about), so making sure that my gear isn’t ruined by using it outside in a light shower isn’t just handy, it’s necessary. I just wouldn’t take it out in a monsoon.
Tech Specs and Ergonomics
The 14-24mm F2.8 | Art has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and minimum of f/22. It’s made with 17 elements in 11 groups and feels solid in the hand, and—like all the Sigma lenses I‘ve shared with you—is surprisingly affordable. Focusing with the focus ring was quick and allowed me to freeze a dune buggy taking flight. I was able to ride for several hours with the camera in a bike bag without damaging the affixed leaf petal lens hood. And, while I’ve only spent a week with the lens so far (plus a few hours in Sin City), I’ve yet to find any distortion or aberrations in the lens.
This lens is money.
In hot demand by other reviewers, I sent the 14-24mm F2.8 | Art back to Sigma, but I recommend you consider purchasing one to widen your perspective.
It did mine.
Not only with the Boeing 747, Vegas, dune buggy, tulips and a lake, but the enormous Boeing 787 jet.