I am working on many hotel & resort video productions lately. Usually, the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 is my first choice for the interior shots but a need for even wider lenses appears ever more often lately. There are not many high quality solutions for affordable, fast, wide lenses so new arrivals don't go unnoticed.
Sigma recently released their new 14mm F1.8 Art and we were lucky enough to get one from Sigma Greece for testing.
The test was of the unscientific run & gun type so there was not a single frame of charts recorded. We shot clips around the port of Piraeus mostly during magic hour and night. We used a RED EPIC-X which has a S35 sensor with a native ISO rating of 800. Editing and grading was done in Davinci Resolve. Grading was mostly for exposure/contrast curve adjustments.
I am really impressed with this lens. It has everything i need for the type of work i do. We mostly checked for visible barrel distortion, sharpness and chromatic aberrations. The new Sigma 14mm passed all the tests with flying colors. In a nutshell:
- Faster than most wide lenses. Very practical for interiors when light options are limited.
- Very sharp even when aperture is wide open (all shots in the video).
- Zero or imperceivable vignetting (I actually had to add some during grading)
- Zero or imperceivable barrel distortion.
- Minimum chromatic aberration (around 2 pixels wide) at the frame's edges. Impossible to notice without extreme zooming. *Update (See end of article)
- Interesting flares but they can be intrusive. Some will like them some will want to flag them.
- Lovely circular bokeh! (9 rounded diaphragm blades)
- Light enough (around 1.1Kg) but a little heavier compared to the Sigma 18-35 F1.8.
So this is an overall excellent lens and i am looking forward to use it in one of the upcoming shots!
The previous lens test was primarily done for night exterior shooting but recently i had the opportunity to try the same lens under bright daylight. Unfortunately, i noticed extensive chromatic aberration close to the sides of the frame. Definitely more than was visible during the night shots.