Sigma 14mm F1.4 DG DN side on with a white background.
News,  Sigma

Sigma announce 14mm F1.4 DG DN Art series lens for Sony E- and L-mount cameras

Sigma has announced a new high-grade Art series 14mm F1.4 DG DN lens for Sony E (FE) and Leica L-mount cameras. It is available from the 23rd June at £1399 inc VAT or $1599 in the US.



WEX (Sony FE mount/ Leica L-Mount)

B&H Photo US

Sigma says the lens has been “optically optimised” for astrophotography and it’s described as the World’s fastest lens for this kind of work and thus should be highly corrected for coma at infinity focus. However, it’s important to stress the lens also is corrected through profiling in-camera as well; through the use of what’s now being euphemistically called “digital or mathematical elements”. In other words, this lens depends on correction profiles. Even so, this lens is very exciting.

I’m not a Sony or Leica SL user but lenses like this add a lot of value to systems; thinking in terms of investment protection statements. While the Sony system is attractive already, the Leica SL system is looking increasingly that way also.

Sigma 14mm F1.4 lens showing close up of the lens mount and filter holder.

There are some nice features besides the 19-element construction. The rear takes sheet filters and the front cap has storage for two sheets. I’m unsure if Sigma makes these caps or if they get them made for them (which is typically the case) but someone has an eye for design, which is unusual these days.

Nikon, Canon, et al, please take note. I can not understand why the major manufacturers don’t think this way. Perhaps it’s because they don’t make these items themselves and contract them out? I don’t know for sure, but as other components are such as shutters, IS systems, and AF motors, I presume lens caps, hoods and tripod feet are.

I particularly dislike (and avoid) hoods that bayonet onto extending barrels using friction (and usually considerable twisting force) to lock them into place. This action must damage the lens. I much prefer those that are loose to fit and lock with a button.

It also comes with a removable tripod foot with Arca-compatible grooves – note that really only applies to heads with screw-down clamps (lever-type clamps such as the one from RRS are unlikely to work. Arca-made lever clamps should be okay but it is best to check first).

This replaces the F1.8 version and is claimed to be 58% faster at the initial aperture (whether that’s an average figure across the frame to include vignetting or calculated in the central core remains unclear). However, the new lens is also likely to be faster at F1.8 (across the frame) than the F1.8 version through less vignetting, though that’s an informed guess.

Lenses like this would once have been the preserve of Nikon but they seem more interested in high-end zooms lately, which is good. However, the old Nikon, Nippon Kogaku, would have been innovating in every product group and why it was the number one choice with professionals in the 70s and 80s. They’ve either forgotten that or choose to fight the battles they can win.

It was rumoured that Sigma’s OEM dept made the Zeiss-branded Sony AF lenses for the SLT cameras (just as Nittoh made the Zeiss-branded lenses for the Contax G1 and G2 cameras. Nittoh also made the Contax G series camera bodies and was also responsible for the Hasselblad X-Pan and X-Pan II cameras and lenses.).

So perhaps this new 14mm F1.4 lens from Sigma is a fitting response to Sony’s shift from Zeiss to G-Master lenses, as presumably they’re made in-house. Either way, Sigma, as a relatively small player, is becoming very influential as a high-end lens manufacturer.


From the press release:

Key features

The world’s first full-frame 14mm lens with an F1.4 aperture

The SIGMA 14mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is the world’s first F1.4 mirrorless lens with an angle-of-view this wide. The F1.4 aperture is two thirds of a stop brighter than its predecessor the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for DSLRs, which means it allows 58% more light on to the camera’s sensor. This makes it even better suited to photographing the night sky, as well as for using hand-held in dark environments.

Optically optimised for astrophotography

With its advanced optical design that includes 1 SLD, 3 FLD and 4 aspherical elements, the lens has been designed with astrophotography in mind. With a particular emphasis on optical quality at infinity focus, the lens has very well-controlled optical aberrations and sagittal coma flare, which ensures that bright points of light remain pin-sharp and round at all apertures and across the entire frame.

The lens uses in-camera optical aberration control profiles to help correct for any distortion or vignetting, whereas optical issues that are more difficult to improve digitally, such as corner softness and chromatic aberration, are eliminated by the lens’s sophisticated optical design. Using optical aberration control selectively in this way helps to keep the size and weight of the lens down.

A professional feature-set with superb build quality

The 14mm F1.4 DG DN | Art has a professional feature-set that makes it easier for photographers and film-makers to achieve the best possible results. Built in to the barrel is an aperture ring, which can be set to auto for aperture control on the camera. With a very precise action, the ring can also be de-clicked if preferred, or locked in place so that it’s not accidentally knocked.

At the front of the barrel is a Lens Heater Retainer, which was a feature introduced on the SIGMA 20mm F1.4 DG DN | Art. This helps hold a heat strip in place, which are often used by astrophotographers when shooting in cold conditions to prevent condensation build-up on the front element.

The lens features a rear filter holder that allows sheet-type filters to be attached. Soft type filters are preferred by astrophotographers as they make stars appear softer, larger and brighter. Other types of sheet-type filter can also be used.

A brand-new front lens cap has been specially designed with these types of filters in mind. Two filter slots are provided to store pre-cut sheet-type filters, allowing them to be carried with the SIGMA 14mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens at all times. Previous lenses such as the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art used a push fit type cap. The new front cap now features a secure lock mechanism to prevent the cap from falling off unintentionally.

An MFL (manual focus lock) switch can be found on the side of the lens barrel. This allows astrophotographers to find infinity then switch the MFL switch to Lock, which completely disables the focus ring. This means that even if the ring is knocked the focus will remain at infinity.

As this type of ultra-wide-aperture lens is by nature relatively heavy, attaching the camera to a tripod using the camera’s tripod thread can make the set-up front-heavy, putting the thread under stain and making the camera unstable. So included with this lens is the TS-141 Tripod Socket, which ensures a more balanced set-up closer to the centre of gravity when mounted on a tripod.

An AFL button is included on the lens barrel, which can be customised depending on the camera and system.

The 14mm F1.4 DG DN is fitted with Sigma’s new High-response Linear Actuator (HLA) motor, which delivers faster, smoother, quieter and more accurate focusing than a stepping motor. This is only the third Sigma lens to be designed with this technology, ensuring very responsive focusing in all shooting situations.

Feature summary

  • Lens construction: 19 elements, 15 groups (1 SLD, 3 FLD and 4 aspherical elements)
  • Inner focus system
  • Compatible with high-speed autofocus
  • HLA (High-response Linear Actuator) motor
  • Compatible with lens aberration correction**Function available on supported cameras only. Available corrections may vary depending on the camera model. On cameras where aberration correction is controlled with ‘ON’ or ‘OFF’ in the camera menu, please set all aberration correction functions to ‘ON’ (AUTO).
  • Support DMF, AF+MF
  • Compatible with AF assist function (Sony E-mount only)
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Aperture Ring
  • Aperture Ring Click switch
  • Aperture Ring Lock switch
  • Focus Mode switch
  • AFL button (customisable on some models)
  • Petal-type Hood (fixed)
  • MFL (Manual Focus Lock) switch
  • Rear filter holder
  • Specially designed front cap (Filter slots, Lock mechanism)
  • Dust and Splash Resistant Structure
  • Water and Oil Repellent Coating (Front element)
  • Tripod Socket (TS-141)
  • Support for switching between linear focus / non-linear focus ring settings (L-Mount only)*Only on compatible cameras.
  • Compatible with the SIGMA USB DOCK UD-11 (Optional / L-Mount only)
  • Designed to minimise flare and ghosting
  • Every single lens undergoes SIGMA’s proprietary MTF measuring system
  • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
  • Made in Japan craftsmanship

Key specifications (The figures below are for L-Mount)

Lens construction: 19 elements, 15 groups (1 SLD, 3 FLD and 4 aspherical elements)
Angle-of-view: 114.2°
Number of diaphragm blades: 11 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture: F16
Minimum focusing distance: 30cm
Maximum magnification ratio: 1:11.9
Filter size: N/A
Dimensions (max diameter x length): φ101.4 × 149.9mm Weight: 1170g