Landscape, street, and astrophotographers have reason to rejoice. Today, Sigma announced the latest addition to their much-lauded "Art" line of lenses, the 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, making it the world's widest full frame f/1.4 lens. Coupled with some other intriguing design characteristics, this looks to be another hit for the already popular line of lenses.
Sigma has been been on a roll the last few years. With their revamped market strategy, they have become not only a respected manufacturer of quality lenses, but also a direct threat to Canon and Nikon with their highly competitive prices. We've also seen some great innovation from them, including the world's first full frame f/2 zoom lens, the 24-35mm f/2 DG HSM Art.
Today, that innovation continues with the world's widest full frame f/1.4 lens. It's very clear that Sigma considered all the potential uses of this lens in its design, which includes two FLD ("F" Low Dispersion, Sigma's highest quality LD glass) and five SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements to correct chromatic aberrations, nine rounded aperture blades for pleasing out-of-focus rendering, and a design that minimizes chromatic aberration.
That last point makes this a potential dream lens for astrophotographers, who frequently have to make the choice between wide apertures or wide angle. By its nature, astrophotography demands fast and wide lenses. Currently, astrophotographers frequently go one of two routes, the first being an ultra wide angle lens, such as the Canon 14mm f/2.8L II, Nikon AF NIKKOR 14mm f/2.8D ED Lens, or one of Samyang's excellent offerings. The second route is to choose a more standard length lens that trades field of view for extra stops, namely the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED, or another of Samyang's choices. This lens offers some of the best of both worlds, however. Sigma seems to have been keenly aware of this, as chromatic aberration, which tends to stretch point sources of light (think stars that look like comets), has been intentionally minimized in this lens. This, coupled with its wide and fast design, could make the lens a triple threat for astrophotography. Check out the full specifications below:
- Designed for 24×36 DSLR cameras
- Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups
- One large-diameter aspherical element
- Two FLD elements and five SLD elements to best correct chromatic aberrations
- In-lens HSM autofocus motor. New mechanism for full-time manual override in autofocus mode
- Total length: 129.8mm
- Maximum diameter: 90.7mm
- Weight: 950g
- 9 diaphragm blades, rounded
- Maximum magnification: 1:7.1 (0.14x)
- Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
- Very low distortion
- Designed to minimize coma aberration
- Available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts for $899
Pre-orders are open now with delivery expected in the beginning of December 2015.
Are you thinking of picking up this lens? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.