Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

 
Lens Reviews / Sigma Lenses i Lab tested

(From Sigma lens literature)

To offer an ultra-wide-angle 20mm focal length and ƒ/1.4 brightness at wide-open aperture, this lens incorporates a large double aspherical lens 59mm in diameter. Lenses of this type had been considered extremely difficult to manufacture, but SIGMA took on the challenge to realise an ƒ/1.4 ultra-wide-angle lens that fulfills the strict performance requirements of the SIGMA Art line. What made this breakthrough possible were SIGMA's advanced manufacturing technologies, which the company has developed over time by producing a wide range of ultra-wide-angle and large-aperture lenses. For example, milestone lenses such as SIGMA 12-24mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 EX DG ASPHERICAL HSM, SIGMA 8-16mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DC HSM, and SIGMA 18-35mm ƒ/1.8 DC HSM | Art were completely original products that helped SIGMA develop outstanding design and production know-how and its current high-precision, high-efficiency production system. In turn, these advances made possible the new SIGMA 20mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM | Art. Moreover, SIGMA's advanced optical design minimizes distortion, transverse chromatic aberration, sagittal coma flare, and the reduction of brightness toward the edges of the image. Delivering top performance even at wide-open aperture, this lens can be considered the culmination of SIGMA's Art line.

Minimized chromatic aberrations: This lens minimizes chromatic aberrations, a common issue in large-aperture ultra-wide-angle lenses. It features two FLD ("F" Low Dispersion) glass and five SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements to minimize transverse chromatic aberration, which is mainly visible around the edge of the image. The optimized lens power distribution helps minimize axial chromatic aberration. As a result, this lens delivers high image quality in every situation without color smearing, and its rendering performance is consistently sharp with high contrast.

FLD glass is ultra-low-dispersion glass that offers performance of the highest level. Highly transparent, its refractive index and dispersion are extremely low as compared to conventional types of glass. It offers characteristics very similar to those of fluorite, which is valued for its high anomalous dispersion. These characteristics minimize residual chromatic aberration (secondary spectrum), which cannot be corrected by ordinary optical glass, while helping to produce sharp, high-contrast images.

Minimized distortion: Distortion is a common issue in wide-angle lenses, and it is not possible to correct it simply by changing the aperture value. For this reason, a lens must be designed from the start to minimize this issue. By adjusting the incidence angle of light starting with the first lens element and incorporating optimally positioned aspherical glass elements, the SIGMA 20mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM | Art lens minimizes distortion throughout the entire image.

Designed to minimize flare and ghosting: From the start of the design process, SIGMA took steps to minimize flare and ghosting and establish an optical design that is resistant to strong incidental light sources such as backlight. At the prototyping stage, SIGMA used not only simulations but actual photographic experiments to assess flare and ghosting under multiple criteria, identify the causes of these issues under a wide range of situations, and take measures to mitigate them. In addition, SIGMA's Super Multi-Layer Coating helps further reduce flare and ghosting and provide sharp, high-contrast images even in backlight conditions.

Top-level performance for the ultra-high-megapixel era: At the dawn of the film camera, there was very little high-sensitivity film, and bright lenses that worked well in low-light conditions came to be known as "high-speed lenses." These lenses are ideal for shooting indoors, in the evening, under cloudy skies, or in any low-light situation. Since the SIGMA 20mm ƒ/1.4 DG HSM | Art provides the benefits of an ultra-wide angle lens with minimal distortion, it is ideal for photographing landscapes, starry skies, and architecture. In addition to capturing wide-angle shots with the whole scene in focus, the photographer can leverage wide-open aperture to take snapshots with the subject in focus and the background blurred with an attractive bokeh effect. Designed for ultra-high-megapixel digital cameras, this high-performance lens delivers outstanding resolution and high-clarity image quality even at wide-open aperture.