Sigma Announces 20mm F1.4 "Art" Lens

World's fastest 20mm prime for full frame cameras

By PF Staff in Photo Industry News on Oct 16, 2015

Sigma 20mm F1.4 - Click to enlarge

Sigma continues filling gaps in first-party lens DSLR lineups by applying innovation to challenging lens concepts. The company's latest lens, the Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG "Art", is the world's first 20mm F1.4 lens for full frame cameras, and is thus also the fastest 20mm currently available.  With a diagonal angle of view of 94.5°, this lens is well-suited for astrophotography, landscapes, architecture, and low-light applications.  It can also be used for artistic close-ups.

Sigma 20mm Key Specifications
Optical Formula 15 elements in 11 groups
5 SLD / 2 FLD elements
Angle of View 94.5° (diag)
Image Cricle Full frame
Minimum Focus 27.69cm (10.9")
Max. Reproduction 1:7.1
Aperture Blades 9, rounded
Aperture Range F1.4 to F16
Diameter x Length 90.7 x 129.8mm (3.57 x 5.11")
Filter Thread N/A
Focusing HSM Autofocus
Weight 950g (2.09lb)

Sigma is expected to start shipping the lens on November 15th, 2015, at a US retail price of $899.  This can be seen as a bargain, as the closest comparable first party lenses, namely the Canon and Nikon 24mm F1.4, retail for $1499 and $2199, respectively.  The Sigma 20mm will be available in Canon, Nikon, and Sigma mounts.  Although the press release makes no mention of availability in the Pentax mount, it is possible that we might see this lens in the K mount following a successful launch of the Pentax full frame.

Would you purchase this lens for your Pentax full frame? Let us know in the comments below and we'll share your feedback with Sigma!

If you value corner-to-corner wide-angle perfection, you may also be interested in reading about the Zeiss Otus 28mm F1.4, which was launched yesterday.  Zeiss claims that their latest masterpiece is "the world's best wide-angle lens".

US Press Release

RONKONKOMA, NY — October 16, 2015 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens and camera manufacturer, is setting new benchmarks for wide-angle image quality with the announcement of the newest Global Vision and market’s first full-frame 20mm F1.4 lens, the Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. The lens will be on display at PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo in New York City from October 22-24. The lens will become available late November for the street price of $899, and will be available in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts.

This revolutionary prime lens is designed to bring out the full potential of ultra-high-megapixel DSLR cameras. With a focal length of 20mm and F1.4 aperture, this lens delivers outstanding large-aperture brightness and bokeh. Through decades of experience in lens design and Sigma Global Vision lens craftsmanship, the 20mm incorporates both “F” Low Dispersion (FLD) glass, and five Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass in a design of 15 elements in 11 groups. The combination of advanced optics and optimized lens power distribution minimizes spherical aberration, axial chromatic aberration and field curvature, producing outstanding image quality. The wide angle and outstanding image quality make this lens great for seascape, cityscape, and astrophotography, as well as for photos in low light, indoor photography, portraits, and event and wedding photography.

“While many saw the development of a 20mm lens for today’s super-resolution DSLRs as challenging, Sigma approached it head-on utilizing our advanced manufacturing technologies to create the world’s first 20mm F1.4 ultra-wide-angle lens,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “This new lens is a result of years of experience by the company’s optical engineers in developing state-of-the-art lens designs and proven production knowledge, and high-precision craftsmanship by our factory team in Aizu, Japan.”

From the start of the design process, Sigma took steps to minimize flare and ghosting, and established an optical design that is resistant to strong incidental light sources such as backlight with its Super Multi-Layer Coating. As with all Sigma Global Vision lenses, the 20mm F1.4 lens incorporates the latest Sigma technology, including an optimized autofocus (AF) algorithm for smooth, fast, and accurate focusing. In addition, Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) compound material is used, which has a high affinity to metal parts, consistently performs well at extreme temperatures, and reduces the size and weight of the lens.

This lens is compatible with Sigma’s USB Dock, (sold separately) which allows photographers to update the lens’ firmware, adjust focus points and customize full-time manual focus over-ride function settings using Sigma's Optimization Pro software. A new metal lens cap (LC907-02) is also available as a separate accessory for $23.

The Sigma 20mm F1.4 Art lens will also feature:

  • A Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) that ensures a silent, high-speed AF function. Smoother AF is achieved when the this AF algorithm is optimized
  • A nine-blade, rounded diaphragm creates an attractive blur to the out-of-focus areas of the image
  • A brass bayonet mount of highly precise and durable construction to enhance mount’s strength and long-term wear resistance
  • Specifications: Weight of 33.5 ounces; a diameter and length of 3.6 inches by 5.1 inches; a minimum aperture of F16; and angle of view (35mm) of 94.5°; minimum focusing distance of 10.9 inches; and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:7.1

Sigma fans can feel confident knowing that every 20mm lens that leaves Japan’s factory has been tested using Sigma’s own modulation transfer function (MTF) measuring system, “A1.” Other prime lenses in the Art line include: 24mm F1.4 DG HSM, 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, and 50mm F1.4 DG HSM.

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