Sigma 24mm f/1.8 Macro EX DG
With the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 costing nearly $2000, it is natural to consider alternatives. The Sigma 24mm f/1.8 EX DG Macro is about 1/4 of the price new, and even less used. The question is, how well does a lens costing so little perform?
Build and Handling
The Sigma 24mm f/1.8 is a fairly large lens for a prime. It is built with a nice combination of metal and plastics and has the typical soft touch feel that Sigma lenses have. The EX means it is one of their premium lenses, and the DG means it is optimized for digital full frame.
A nice feature this lens has is the macro capability of 1:2.7, which is significantly more than the competition, but do realize this lens focus breaths a bit and will be longer focal length at minimum focus v. infinity focus. At minimum focus it might appear to be 30mm or so.
The lens uses screw drive focus, so it must be focused manually on the handicapped bodies that don’t offer screw drive. The focus ring is awkward for manual focus, and really isn’t suitable. Stick to AF focus if at all possible. Tiny adjustments in the focus ring change the focus significantly making manual focus difficult to nail. To switch between manual and auto focus you have to slide the focus ring towards the lens mount or push it towards the front of the lens.
The aperture has 9 blades, so even stopped down out of focus specular highlights appear as near circles. The lens also has a aperture ring so it is compatible with older film cameras.
The lens is a 10 element, 9 group design, with a minimum focus distance of 0.18m (7.1 in). The filter threads are 77mm and the lens is a rather dense 485g (17.1 oz).
So how does this lens perform on a full frame camera? Read more to find out.