Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Review

A few years ago, Sigma ported over many of their DSLR Art series lenses to Sony’s system. Despite the large size of many of these lenses, they were generally well received by the mirrorless community.

Today we’ll be looking at the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM, a lens that Sigma marketed as the “world’s first and only full-frame F1.8 ultra wide angle lens”.

Nowadays, this lens has a bit more competition, so is it still relevant? How does it stack up against OEM lenses from Sony?

Let’s talk about it.

Looking for a quick summary before jumping in?

Sigma 14mm F1.8 (Summary)
44 Reviews
Sigma 14mm F1.8 (Summary)
- Incredibly sharp
- Great build quality
- Fast and silent autofocus
- Excellent for astrophotography
- Very large and heavy
man standing on the oregon coast
Is the Sigma 14mm F1.8 still the king of ultra-wide F1.8 lenses?

Build Quality

Size & Weight

This lens was, as I mentioned earlier, simply ported over from a DSLR system. If you compare it to the original Canon/Nikon versions, it looks like Sigma attached a built-in adapter to it and put it out on the market.

For this reason, this lens is absolutely huge. It measures about 6.4 inches (16cm) long and weighs a HEFTY 41oz (1160g). So far, this is even larger than any of the other lenses in the Sigma HSM lineup that I’ve previously looked at.

I personally got into a mirrorless system in order to downsize my kit, but I understand there are many photographers who aren’t bothered by having a gigantic, heavy lens. For me though, this kind of heft and weight kind of scares me away. It’s gigantic on my a7iii and doesn’t even fit in my camera sling.

In any case, is the size and weight worth the performance and quality? Let’s continue.

Is the lens well built?

So, it’s huge and heavy, but is it well-built? Oh yeah, you bet it is!

Lens Barrel

The base of the lens barrel is metal, but the rest of it is made up of thermally stable compound (TSC) which is a type of heavy duty plastic polycarbonate.

Usually hearing that something is made out of plastic doesn’t inspire confidence in its longevity, but I’ve owned my APS-C 30mm for four years and it is still in fantastic shape. I’d imagine that the materials in this much more expensive lens are likely to be even more durable.

Accessories (Hood/Caps/Bag)

Included with the lens is both a petal-shaped lens hood (it’s actually not removable) along with a nice soft carrying bag.

The included lens cap slides on and off the front easily, and has a bit of grippy material to insure it doesn’t slip off.

Weather Sealing

Being a pro-level lens, the Sigma 14mm F1.8 also offers full weather sealing!

Combined with a sealed body, you shouldn’t have any issues lugging this thing through rainstorms and across sandy beaches.

Built to last?

Thanks to the heavy weight, high-quality materials, weather sealing, and, of course, Sigma’s reputation for durability, I have no doubt in my mind that this lens is truly built to last.


As for ergonomics, the lens is huge but I found it to be comfortable to use. Yes, it’s incredibly heavy, but the huge focusing ring adds a nice gripping point. Like most big lenses, I’d suggest using one hand to support the camera and one hand to support the lens.

I personally wouldn’t take this with me on a full day out in the city, or on a particularly long hike, but it’s excellent for short photoshoots. I think I’d get exhausted lugging it around for more than a couple of hours.


As for aesthetics, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, but I personally think this lens looks great.

It’s huge with a nice tapered look, and the text engravings pop against the sleek black barrel. The distance scale and iconic Sigma Art “A” badge really exemplify the premium aesthetic. It really just looks professional.

Image Quality


Next up, let’s talk about sharpness. Spoiler alert: this lens is incredibly sharp when stopped down.

Wide Open

However, it isn’t quite as strong wide open. When shooting at F1.8, you’ll notice a bit of softness around the edges.

It’s not too bad, and I’d suspect most people wouldn’t actually be using this lens at F1.8 anyway (besides for the purposes of astrophotography).

Stopped Down

Stopping down to F2.8 is where everything evens out and starts to look really great. The center of the frame is fabulous and there’s only very, very minor softness near the edges.

The lens seems to peak around F5 or F5.6, delivering some of the best results I’ve seen out of any lens. Seriously, even the most extreme pixel peepers likely won’t find flaws at this aperture, it’s incredible.

mountain in oregon
This lens will usually be stopped down (with the exception of astro), so the softness wide open isn’t a big deal.

Optical Quirks & Flaws

So sharpness is fabulous, but what about optical anomalies such as distortion, vignette, CA, and flaring?


To start, as you’d expect from such a wide angle lens, there’s a good bit of distortion.

However, it’s fairly uniform, so a single click in Lightroom fixes it easily.


Vignette is similar. When shooting wide open, there’s a fairly strong darkening of the corners.

Stopping down, even just to F2.8, largely remedies this.

Chromatic Aberrations

As for chromatic aberrations, the lens suffers very little.

Even in extreme cases (such as branches against a sunny sky), they’re very subtle and easily fixed in post processing.

Flare Resistance

Finally, flare resistance is fantastic.

Even shooting directly into the sun, we see very little ghosting or loss of contrast. Really impressive.


It may seem a bit strange to cover bokeh on an ultra-wide lens but I figured it was worth mentioning. The minimum focusing distance is about 10in (25cm), allowing you to get some really dramatic close-up shots.

While this is very niche, it does open up the possibility of some creative new compositions.

Overall Optical Performance

Overall, I’m absolutely blown away by the optical performance of the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM. It’s one of the sharpest lenses I’ve ever used.

Additionally, it doesn’t suffer from any substantial optical flaws. No flaring to ruin your daytime shots, and no unfixable distortion.

Oh, as a bonus tip: stop down a bunch and you’ll get some stunning sunstar effects.

astrophotography in the desert
Next, let’s talk about astro performance.


Bright Max Aperture

Astrophotography is where the Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM really shines. Just as Sigma’s marketing claims, ultra-wide F1.8 lenses are rare, so this one is a gem for photographing the night sky.

I’m not very experienced with astro myself, but I’ve gone out to experiment many times, especially recently. I notice a huge difference between using my F1.8 lenses vs F2.8, so I totally understand how groundbreaking having such a wide, bright lens is for night sky enthusiasts.


Coma performance is spectacular. Zooming in (a lot) to the extreme corners shows stars with only very, very tiny tails.

It’s not absolutely flawless of course, but only the most critical of pixel peepers would ever notice anything.

Focusing & Other Notes


Next up, we’ll focus on focusing. Honestly, most expensive modern lenses have excellent autofocus, and this one is no exception.

There’s really not much to say in that regard. It’s fast, it’s reliable and there are very few issues with hunting. The focusing motor is incredibly quiet (the HSM stands for “hyper-sonic motor” after all).

Overall, predictable and reliable autofocus just as you’d expect, so no complaints from me there.

Manual Focus

On the flipside, let’s talk about manual focus. To start, there’s a physical AF/MF switch on the lens (always love to see that!).

The gigantic focus ring is well-positioned and, despite being focus-by-wire, feels great to use. It’s quite precise and very grippy.

Sony’s excellent focus assists such as peaking and magnifier work flawlessly and help you easily nail the shot. I usually don’t pay attention to focus scales, but it looks to work well and seems quite precise.

The MF experience isn’t quite like using a dedicated manual lens (such as the Voigtlander 15mm F4.5) but it’s still satisfactory, especially compared to many other focus-by-wire lenses.

Filter Usage

The last thing I want to note is that due to the gigantic curved front element, this lens is physically incapable of supporting filters (screw-in & drop-in systems).

This is a huge blow to photographers who would consider this for landscapes, but it may not be as big of a deal for other subjects. Again, I think many people considering this lens will likely be purchasing it for astrophotography reasons instead.

oregon coastline at sunset
The inability to support filters is a bit of a weak point for this lens.

My Final Thoughts


Before I end my reviews, I like to offer a few alternatives. This lens is pretty much the king for astrophotography, but if you want to do any sort of other wide-angle work, consider some of the lenses below.

Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM

First up on the list is the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM. Honestly, the Sony is the direct competitor to this Sigma.

They are priced similarly and offer nearly identical optical quality. Build quality and autofocus are equally incredible.

There’s one major point where the Sony wins though: size and weight. The Sony comes in at roughly 4in (10cm) and weighs about 1/3 of the Sigma.

To be completely frank, Sony users should highly consider taking the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 instead of this Sigma lens. They’re functionally identical, except the Sony is much more compact.

Other Alternatives

Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN

Otherwise, if you’re looking for a lens with a bit more versatility, consider the Sigma 14-24mm F2.8 DG DN.

It runs a bit cheaper, has similar performance, and is ultimately more flexible if you’re looking to photograph a wider focal range. You, of course, do miss out on the F1.8 aperture.

Samyang 14mm F2.8

If you’re on a budget, the Samyang 14mm F2.8 is a fabulous pick. It’s literally dirt cheap in comparison to these other alternatives, and, to be frank, you don’t lose a lot of quality.

Of course it won’t be as well built and it won’t be quite as sharp, but it’ll deliver fantastic results so long as you aren’t pixel-peeping at 500% crop. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot smaller.

mountain in oregon
While the Sigma is a great lens, Sony’s variant may be a better fit for most photographers.


So, is this Sigma lens worth the purchase? In some cases, I’d say yes. If you’re a Sony user, I’d highly suggest just picking up the Sony FE 14mm F1.8 instead.

If you use a Canon or Nikon (although I’m not sure why you’re reading a Sony site), then I’d say go for this lens.

I’ll leave purchase links below to both options if you’re interested. Thank you for reading! <3

Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM Full-Frame Large-Aperture Wide Angle Prime G Master Lens
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Sony E Cameras)
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM
Sigma 14mm F1.8
Shares a similar price to the Sigma, but is substantially smaller and offers even better performance.
Still an excellent lens in its own right, but just not quite on the same level as the Sony 14mm. Slightly cheaper though.
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM Full-Frame Large-Aperture Wide Angle Prime G Master Lens
Sony FE 14mm F1.8 GM
Shares a similar price to the Sigma, but is substantially smaller and offers even better performance.
Buy Now
Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art DG HSM Lens (for Sony E Cameras)
Sigma 14mm F1.8
Still an excellent lens in its own right, but just not quite on the same level as the Sony 14mm. Slightly cheaper though.
Buy Now

Prefer B&H? Sony FE 14mm F1.8 / Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM

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