Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Review

4.5
January 14, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is a brand new premium standard zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. Retailing for £849.99 / $899.99, can the Sigma 24-105mm take on and beat the equivalent lenses from Canon and Nikon? Read our Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM review to find out...

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is a new standard zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. It will also work with APS-C sensors with an effective increase in focal length. The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM features a rounded 9 blade diaphragm which creates an attractive blur to the out of focus areas of the image. It also offers built-in optical image stabilisation, an Hyper Sonic Motor for fast and quiet autofocusing, and has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm /17.7in and a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:4.6. The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens is currently available for £849.99 / $899.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Weighing in at 885 grams and measuring nearly 11cm in length, the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM is quite a big lens given its focal length, and signficantly heavier than the equivalent Canon EF 24-105mm F/4 lens. As seen in the photos below, it complements a full-frame camera like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III very well, although it looks a little out of place on a smaller APS-C camera like the Canon EOS 650D.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens alongside a Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Build quality is excellent given the comparatively affordable price tag. The lens has a plastic shell with a mixture of metallic parts and a new compound material, TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), used inside. It also incorporates a brass bayonet mount that's supposed to be more durable. The optical elements are made of high-grade glass.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens in-hand

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Front of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

In terms of features, the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM offers all the basics that you need from a standard zoom lens. This very usefully includes built-in Vibration Reduction, activated by the OS switch on the lens barrel, which offers around 3 stops of compensation..

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMFront of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

Focusing is usefully internal and manual focusing is possible when set via the Focus switch on the lens barrel. Full-time manual focus override is also available at any time simply by rotating the focus ring.

A clear distance scale in both feet and meters runs from the closest focusing distance of 0.45m / 1.48ft to infinity.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMFront of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMRear of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMFront of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMRear of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM ships with a good quality soft case and also a plastic petal-shaped lens hood (LH876-02). It accepts 82mm filters.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMFront of the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens, with the supplied lens hood fitted

Focal Range

At the 35mm focal length the angle of view is 84.1 degrees.

 Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMField of view at 24mm

At the 35mm focal length the angle of view is 23.3 degrees.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSMField of view at 105mm

Focusing

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens has quite a narrow focus ring, although it is ridged for easier grip.. There are no stops at both ends of the range, making it easier to set focus at infinity. Polariser users should be pleased that the 82mm filter thread doesn't rotate on focus.

When it comes to auto-focusing, the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM zoom is a quick performer, taking about 0.15 seconds to lock onto the subject when mounted on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that we tested it with.

We didn't experience much "hunting", either in good or bad light, with the lens accurately focusing almost all of the time. It's also a very quiet performer, thanks to the built-in HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), which makes this lens well-suited to video recording.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are something of a problem for the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM, especially at the edges of the frame.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM
   
Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture of F/4, there is significant light fall-off in the corners at both ends of the zoom range. Stopping-down to F/8 virtually eliminates this. There's also noticeable barrel distortion at the 24mm focal length, but only slight pincushioning at 105mm.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Light fall-off at 24mm

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Light fall-off at 105mm

Macro

The Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM isn't claimed to be a macro lens, but it delivers quite good performance nonetheless if you zoom to 105mm. It has a minimum focusing distance of 45cm/17.7in and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:4.6. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash memory card.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM lens, Sigma employed an iris diaphragm with nine rounded blades, which has resulted in nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective, so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.

Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM
   
Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

review, photos, samples, images, wide-angle, lens, test, jpeg, sample images, jpegs, 24mm, zoom, standard, f4, normal, Sigma, 105mm, Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM, Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG OS HSM photos, 24-105mm

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