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Lens reviews update: test data for the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM

By Andy Westlake on Dec 16, 2013 at 17:07 GMT
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DxOMark has just reviewed the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM, a general-purpose zoom for full frame SLRs. As part of our ongoing collaboration we've added the test data to our lens widget, and looked to see how it compares to the Canon equivalent. We've also added test data for the Nikon mount version of Zeiss's stellar Apo Sonnar T* 2/135.

Also this week, DxOMark has published its sensor analysis for the Nikon Df (confirming that its imaging performance is the same as the top-of-the-line D4), and the Sony Alpha 7. It's also produced lens recommendations for the Micro Four Thirds Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 and Nikon's entry-level SLR, the D3200Click here for a full round-up of DxOMark's recent reviews.

Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DC OS HSM | Art lens test data

Here we're showing DxOmark's lens test data for the Canon-mount version of the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DC OS HSM on both the full frame EOS 5D Mark III and the APS-C EOS 7D, along with a quick summary of the main findings. We're also showing a quick comparison to its Canon equivalent, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM.

Click on any of the images or links below to open our interactive lens widget, and explore the data further

1) Tested on Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 is designed to be used on full frame cameras, on which it offers an extremely useful wideangle to short telephoto zoom range. It's a pretty impressive performer too, producing excellent sharpness right across the frame wide open at all focal lengths. Indeed there's barely any change in measured sharpness between F4 and F11.

Chromatic aberration is a bit high - there's some obvious blue/yellow fringing at wideangle, and red/cyan at telephoto. Vignetting is also quite strong, with a precipitous drop-off in brightness towards the corners of the frame at either end of the zoom range when shooting at F4; however it clears up on stopping down to F5.6. Distortion is also quite pronounced, with 2.7% barrel at 24mm, and 2.4% pincushion from 70mm to 105mm. But to be fair, none of this is really any worse that we'd expect from a 4x zoom on full frame.   

2) Tested on Canon EOS 7D

On APS-C cameras like the EOS 7D, the lens offers a zoom range equivalent to 38-168mm on full frame, which isn't necessarily an obvious choice for general-purpose use. However the 24-105mm still performs pretty well in terms of sharpness, giving very good results across the frame at almost all settings. It's weakest wide open at telephoto, but improves markedly on stopping down to F5.6.

Chromatic aberration is a little high, especially at wideangle where blue/yellow ringing is likely to be very visible towards the edges and corners of the frame. There's also some red/cyan fringing at the tele end. However, as usual for a full frame lens used on APS-C, distortion and vignetting are both pretty low, with just a little barrel distortion at wideangle.   

3) Compared to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

The main rival for the 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM in Canon mount is the similarly-specified EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, which was announced back in 2005 alongside the original EOS 5D. Here we're comparing the two on full frame.

The test data shows that the Sigma and Canon have rather similar characteristics. The Sigma edges out its older rival for wide open sharpness towards the long end, although any visible difference is likely to disappear at F5.6. It also has a bit less barrel distortion at wideangle. Against this, the Sigma shows more pronounced vignetting at telephoto. The biggest difference in these tests is transmission: despite the same f/4 maximum aperture, the Sigma passes about half a stop more light.      

Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 (Nikon mount) test data  

Hot on the heels of the breathtaking Zeiss Otus 1.4/55, we've also added test data for the Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 135mm F2. It's basically much the same story again - the 135mm is a spectacular performer. 

There's simply nothing to criticise here at all. Sharpness is excellent wide open, and phenomenal at F4. Chromatic aberration and distortion are both negligible, and vignetting nothing to worry about either. Zeiss lenses aren't remotely cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Full test results on DxOMark (and other recent reviews)

Our lens test data is produced in collaboration with DxOMark. Click the links below to read DxOMark's own review of the Zeiss Otus 1.4/55, or see other recent reviews on the DxOMark website. 

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Comments

Total comments: 44
tabloid
By tabloid (2 months ago)

Ive got a sony A65…will that lens fit my camera.

0 upvotes
ragmanjin
By ragmanjin (4 months ago)

It's too bad this thing doesn't come in a K-mount, even on a crop sensor it would be a hugely versatile lens

0 upvotes
Otto Fabricius2
By Otto Fabricius2 (4 months ago)

When Sigma's 35mm/1.4 Art was tested, it was sensational. It seems that the praise for this new zoom lens is not quite at the same level? When will we see a test of it on Nikon's D800?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

now we need 300MPix sensor

0 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (4 months ago)

THANKS SIGMA!!! mr lazzy canon needs some serious competition, especially now that they stopped this lens production in favour of the 24-70f4 wich is so much worst for general shooting!!!
Once again: THANK YOU SIGMA!!! :D
At least some brands are still being inovative and giving Photographers not only what they need but even what they dream of XD

3 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (4 months ago)

Couple observations. The Sigma central image at 24mm peaks in sharpness wide open, like a portrait lens might, but when you go up in focal length (towards a more "portrait" oriented focal length), the lens peaks closed down a bit. The Zeiss is terrific, outstanding at f/4.0 with unreal control of CA.

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (4 months ago)

Why making such comparison with lenses with total different constructions, or do they make a 24-105mm F/4 constant AF motion stabilized lens? This lens looks like a competitor (or fill in) for a focal length many Canon users including many of my colleagues use on a daily basis. The focal length is perfectly for press and in many cases social photography.

1 upvote
Clyde Thomas
By Clyde Thomas (4 months ago)

Sony users can save $600 and just get a good copy of the old Minolta 28-135 which outshoots all y'all.

http://artaphot.ch/minolta-sony-af/objektiv-vergleiche/311-70mm-pisa-2008

Put that in your A7 pipe and smoke it!

3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (4 months ago)

Minolta? That's quite an overstatement. Not only it's nowhere close in image quality to Canon/Sigma, it has an unusable min distance. If you want a cheaper alternative, you can find an old Sigma 24-135/2.8-4.5, which in all respects better than Minolta.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Clyde Thomas
By Clyde Thomas (4 months ago)

You obviously never shot with the Mino, which has a macro mode. Nor did you check the link where it trounces the Zeiss.

Sharpness wise, it's crazy corner to corner. Distortion and flare are fairly poor though. But at least it doesn't have the Siggy trademark yellow tint.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Eelco van Vliet
By Eelco van Vliet (4 months ago)

Your remarks about the yellow colour cast is just as old as your Minolta Lens. This might have been true in the time when we were shooting film, but I own lot of Canon and Sigma lenses. And none of them, except for the old Sigma 28-105 2.8/4 has a yellow cast.

And as far as competion goes, it is always good to have a valid alternative. Sigma is putting out some excellent products lately. If only it makes Canon move on....

1 upvote
Clyde Thomas
By Clyde Thomas (4 months ago)

All in fun friend! Good to see these new Siggy's putting pressure on the players.

2 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (4 months ago)

Full test on Sigma A 24-105
http://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=389

2 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (4 months ago)

Oh, well I guess it's settled then. If Jogger uses his equipment a certain way, we all must. All those people that use their FF for things other than a specific task have been doing it wrong the whole time!

4 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (4 months ago)

Its a bit weird to call this a "general-purpose zoom" esp. for FF users. I use my FF for specific tasks and use appropriate lenses for each task. Using a general purpose lens means you get less than optimal results and performance for whatever you are shooting.

For "general purpose" photography i just use my RX100/10 combo.

2 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (4 months ago)

So carrying two cameras is more convenient than one?

13 upvotes
Benarm
By Benarm (4 months ago)

not every FF user is a pixel peeper

9 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (4 months ago)

Jogger you need to relax man. Take a deep breath, turn of your computer, sell your gear and pay for some cognitive therapy ;)

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
Howard S
By Howard S (4 months ago)

even more weird to think that a FF DSLR with 24-105 isn't suitable for "general purpose" use but an RX100 instead with less IQ and range of FL or to carry an RX100 and an RX10 is.

6 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (4 months ago)

Well my RX100 comes with me wherever i go.. its smaller than most cellphones. And, if you are not using the best/appropriate lenses based on need and pixel peeping.. why are you spending 2-3000 on a camera to use compromised zoom lenses that excel at nothing.

1 upvote
JJ1983
By JJ1983 (4 months ago)

DOF control and high ISO capabilities. You know nothing about cameras if you don't know this.

0 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (4 months ago)

Is the Zeiss 135/2 the same optical formula as the Sony Zeiss 135/1.8 (which is a stellar performer as well but so far hasn't been tested by DXO)?

2 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (4 months ago)

And this has to exactly what to do with Sigma 24-105 ???

2 upvotes
mick232
By mick232 (4 months ago)

Go back to the original article, scroll down a little, and recognize that you have just made a fool out of yourself.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

Constructive comments aside, I think these are two different test reports combined in what appears to be the same article.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (4 months ago)

And that's why Canon was on sale recently.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

The Canon is mediocre and the Nikon 24-120 about the same. It's a shame because they are so convenient. But this seems to be the nature of wide-to-tele zooms unless the range is very short, like the Nikon 24-70.

0 upvotes
JDThomas
By JDThomas (4 months ago)

That Nikon 24-120 is a bit better than mediocre. I picked one up to test out last month and ended up shooting a three day music festival with nothing but that lens. It's very good. I wasn't expecting much, but it impressed me.

4 upvotes
Jun2
By Jun2 (4 months ago)

Sigma can pass half stop more light.

3 upvotes
ruicarv79
By ruicarv79 (4 months ago)

Dxo tests reveal that indeed. But dunno which image stabilization system provides better performance. That would be important to know for static shooters because you can gain f-stops that way too.

0 upvotes
Alastair Norcross
By Alastair Norcross (4 months ago)

Given that the Canon lens can be bought for less than the Sigma, because of the widespread availability of the Canon as a kit lens sold with several DSLRs, there would seem to be no reason for Canon users to consider the Sigma. It looks like a fine lens, but certainly not better than the Canon in any way that will show up in real world shooting.

8 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (4 months ago)

Sharpness between f/4 and f/5.6 at the long end (70-105mm) seems noticeably better, especially outside the center. Which means that for low light shooters on a "budget", it's worth a consideration.

10 upvotes
ruicarv79
By ruicarv79 (4 months ago)

Tend to agree with Alastair Norcross.
I don't see a strong reason to switch or to choose Sigma if you are a Canon user.
On the other hand, the Nikon user might be tempted since the Nikkor 24-120 is known for its mediocre performance.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

obviously better than Canon at around 80mm which is sold as a kit lens for about 700 US something.

though I don't know who designed 55 Zeiss, Cosina is probably the most experienced maker with MF primes. but then as a rare example shows us, the Canon 300/4LIS is not as good as Nikon AF-S-D in test but can more likely get better results in the field and that's only IS. AF should make far more difference.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tinternaut
By tinternaut (4 months ago)

I'd tend to agree. If i) the lens is not significantly better than the Canon lens, and ii) body only + lens is not quite a bit cheaper than kit, then you may as well go with Canon body + 24-105 as kit.

Technically, it's a fine achievement, but not enough to tempt Canon users away from the Canon lens. Caveats? Well, there may be a high level of copy variance for the Canon lens, relative to its grade/cost (and that's anecdotal in that a couple of people I know have had more than one copy of the Canon, so anecdotalanecdotal :) ).

1 upvote
Alastair Norcross
By Alastair Norcross (4 months ago)

Actually, it's not obviously better at all around 80, if you actually look at pictures. I've had the Canon for seven years, and have shot a lot in the 80-105 range. Mine is very sharp at the long end. Unless you know how the kind of numbers these reviews display will translate to real-world images, these reviews aren't much use. They're like the bar graphs video (and audio) cassettes used to display on the packaging to "prove" that they were better than others. When Consumer Reports conducted a test, they found that no-one (including so-called audiophiles) could tell the difference.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

there are copies that are sharp near the tele end but wide distribution means low quality.

1 upvote
Cane
By Cane (4 months ago)

Do other brand shooters even exist?

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (4 months ago)

And add that 0.5 EV benefit in transmission to my low light comment.

1 upvote
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (4 months ago)

The 24-105mm should be compared to the Nikon 24-120. The Canon lens is pretty well respected. The Nikon lens seems to bring a little more controversy so that's probably where the Sigma will steal sales from

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (4 months ago)

We'll aim to compare to the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 when the Nikon-mount version of the Sigma becomes available.

3 upvotes
SushiEater
By SushiEater (4 months ago)

I have both Canon 24-105mm on 5D3 and Nikon 24-120mm on D800e and of course Nikon is better on D800e but that is because D800e is involved. But I bet any money that Nikon 24-120mm on D610 would not be any better than 24-105mm on 5D3.
As far as Sigma 24-105mm even though I love Sigma now I think it is a biggest mistake they made. The only way anyone should be considering this lens is if it was tremendously better than Canon 24-105mm but it is not.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JamesVo
By JamesVo (4 months ago)

Many don't know that there have been 3 versions of the Nikon 24-120 over the years, 2 of them with VR. Some of the controversy is probably stirred up by those who unknowingly pass off the known poor performance of a previous version as being representative of the current f4 version.

1 upvote
Cynog ap Brychan
By Cynog ap Brychan (4 months ago)

I use the 24-120 f4 VR with my D800, and I don't find it mediocre at all. It's acceptably sharp and covers a very convenient range of focal lengths. It's ideal when I don't want to carry a bag of lenses about with me. But I will be interested to see it compared to the Sigma, even though I'd hesitate to trade the extra 15mm of reach.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 44