Yes, it’s an fx Zoom Lens and its f/2 and not f/2.8! Probably, the world’s first zoom lens with the constant wider aperture, the brightest zoom lens yet! Sigma has been producing really groundbreaking things and the new Sigma 24-35 f/2 Art is one of its kind. Although it doesn’t cover the entire focal length from 24 to 70 like all the traditional normal and fast zoom lenses for an Fx body, its brighter than these by half a stop and gives a shallower depth of field to your wide angle shots.
This lens is a ‘One Man Show’ that covers your architectural, landscape, events, weddings, street and general documentation shots. I would find it mostly useful for the weddings due it its fast nature covering both 24 mm and 35 mm focal lengths. 35 mm is a great focal length for environmental portraits that often tells us a good story about the subject and ambience. 24 is always perfect for wider wedding scenes and situations in lower light.
The Lens Build
The lens built quality is nothing different than other Art lenses from Sigma. I used dx Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art Lens and both are built exactly same with a subtle difference in weights, 24-35 being slightly heavier. Its an excellent combination of matt and gloss black with tightly gripped rubber bands for focus and zoom. The lens weighs just below a kg which is not very heavy. Both the rings are smooth to rotate with the zoom ring being positioned at the rear. The room ring rotates on 38 degrees due to less focal range. I guess the lens is not weather sealed and precautions have to be taken for moisture and dust. The lens focuses a single switch near the left thumb for auto and manual focusing
Focus and Image Quality
The lens is an HSM alike all of them in the Art series. Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor is best in class giving out a silent, accurate and all internal focusing. The lens does not change its size on zooming or focusing as the elements are inside the body. The focus over all the focal length was pin point accurate. There was a slight softening while shooting wide open at f/2 in several images. That might be due to the change in contrast and backlit situations.
The sharpness at f/2 is good but has to be enhanced further in the post to make it usable. The sharpness reduces a bit from 24 onwards and images seems to look hazy. You will be able to notice pleasing sharpness from f/2.2 onwards on all the focal lengths. Lens shows a slight amount of barrel distortion at wider focal length that gradually reduces as you move towards 35mm mark. It features 9 rounded blade apertures that makes your bokeh look small pleasing and circular, although not to big in size. The overall bokeh quality is not that remarkable. Given the nature of focal lengths offered by the lens, you can’t expect the bokeh to be pleasing.
The MRP that I see over Amazon India currently is INR 87,000 which is a good enough to compete with both Nikon’s and Canon’s 24-70 which are priced over a lakh rupees. May be these lenses count for the extra 35mm focal length that they offer. I think, there is no direct comparison for the price as this is the only available lens for given focal length slot.