DEFINITION January 2018

64 USER REVIEW SIGMA CINE ZOOM

SIGMA 24-35MM T2.2 CINE ZOOM

The only full-frame zoom lens in the Sigma cinema line-up is ideal for the latest crop of large-sensor cameras

WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH

controls with just the right amount of drag. The lens we tried had distance marked in feet but a metric version is also available. All three control rings have standard-sized gears for rigs, and the throw is sufficiently large to offer very precise control. The focus throw is 180˚, which is ideal. In use, the Sigma feels like a top-quality bit of kit that rivals its big-name opposition. Optically, it’s designed for resolutions up to at least 8K and has Sigma’s own FLD-branded lens elements which are said to be the equivalent of Fluoride low dispersion elements. There is multi-layer lens coating, two aspherical elements and nine lens blades that are rounded for as natural-looking bokeh as possible. Our results showed very pleasing out- of-focus areas. Aberration is almost non-existent, flare is controlled very well and there’s not much sign of vignetting, even at 24mm and shooting wide open. Close down a stop and all is well. There is no discernible distortion at either ends of the range, there is no noticeable focus breathing and the design is parfocal enough to make focus shifts no issue as you zoom. This isn’t usually much of an issue on wide- angle lenses anyway due to the larger depth-of-field. The Sigma has electronic contacts to stream lens data to the camera, an increasingly important feature as correction software becomes more commonplace. Combine this with great build quality and feel, a neutral look with razor-sharp optics and the future-proofing of its full-frame coverage, the Sigma 24-35mm T2.2 zoommakes lots of sense.

lenses, Sigma has made a move into the cinema market, offering seven full-frame primes and three zooms. Two of the zooms, the 18-35mm and 50-135mm, are high-speed with a maximum aperture of T2 but are only suitable for Super 35 sensors. This leaves the 24-35mm T2.2 as the only full-frame zoom, based on the optics of the 24-35mm f/2 ART photo lens. Perhaps more lenses will be forthcoming to the full-frame range; a 24-70mm could be useful. The 24-35mm offers a view from very wide at 24mm to moderately wide at 35mm. Offering a relatively narrow range means the optical design is less compromised than on a wider-range zoom. Sigma’s strategy is all about image quality, it seems. This small focal length range means the Sigma’s functionality as a multi-use zoom that could replace a few primes is compromised. Effectively, it replaces 24mm and 35mm primes and as such, it performs well. You’d be hard pushed to tell the difference in quality between this zoom compared to those primes, apart from the faster maximum aperture. If you can live without T1.5, the zoom makes sense as it’s cheaper than buying two primes. At 1450g/3.2lb for the Canon- mount version, it’s no lightweight, though. It also comes in a Sony E-mount which is slightly heavier. Like the rest of the Sigma range, the zoom has a solid build, a mix of metal and thermally-stable composite material to keep things in check in extreme temperatures. It feels robust, is splash resistant and has beautifully smooth focus, zoom and lens iris

hen it comes to sensor size, bigger is almost always better. A larger sensor can lead to higher resolution or reduced

SIGMA’S STRATEGY IS ALL ABOUT IMAGE QUALITY, IT SEEMS

noise at high ISO, or both. And there’s the wafer-thin depth-of-field you can easily get with the right lens. With DSLR and mirrorless cameras popularising full-frame 35mm-size sensors in recent years, cinema camera manufacturers are now jumping onto the bandwagon with Sony’s Venice and the RED Monstro. More will follow. If you want to future-proof your lens investments, or use full-frame cameras now without having to crop the image, then a full-frame cinema zoommakes sense. On a full-frame camera, the new Sigma 24-35mm T2.2 cinema zoom gives roughly the equivalent view of an 18-24mm lens on a Super 35 camera. Using optical technology from its ART range of stills

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: £4799/ $4999 Focal Length: 24-35mm Aperture range: T2.2-16 Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9 rounded Close Focus: 0.28m/11in Image Coverage: Full Frame Front diameter: 95mm/3.7in Filter size: 82mm/3.2in Length: 122.7mm/4.8in Weight: 1450g/3.2lb Horizontal angle of view: 73.7°- 54.4°

ABOVE Sturdy and with razor-sharp optics, the 24- 35mm T2.2 makes a useful addition to any kit bag.

DEFINITION JANUARY 2018

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