A Canadian tale
Sigma 14-24mm 2.8 art
Sony E-mount on α7rIII
Ph. Francesco Riccardo Iacomino
A photographic tale from my recent trip on the Canadian Rockies, with the new SIGMA 14-24mm 2.8 Art.
This is the first zoom of the "Art" series with direct Sony E-mount, mounted on α7rIII, on test for SIGMA Foto Italia (thanks to M-Trading)
The official presentation of this new Sigma zoom took place a few weeks before I left for Canada. When the opportunity to test the new 14-24 Art was presented to me, I didn't have to repeat it: it was exactly the lens I needed.
I state that, as for the previous articles, even in this case you will not find yourself in front of a "review" in a technical sense, but rather a simple travel story with images, with comments concerning the characteristics of the lens.
Without delaying in technicalities, it is enough to know that we are not faced with a simple zoom lens for reflex cameras, with a retrofitted plug for Sony mirrorless: the lens has been totally redesigned by SIGMA to match specifically the mirrorless world. It is a completely new lens.
Only last year, when I had not yet embraced the mirrorless world, I had purchased the SIGMA 14-24 Art Canon Mount, to match my faithful 5D mark III. At the time the lens had just been presented.
Well, compared to that lens, the new 14-24 is lighter by about 400g (which on a wide angle are really many!), as well as much more compact. Direct mount (without the need for any adapter ring) therefore makes the perfect body-lens combination. A super-wide-angle zoom, with an extraordinary aperture and quality, finally even extra-compact.
I kept the zoom for the last two weeks of travel, those dedicated to the legendary Canadian Rockies.

Let's start.
Coming from the north, we reach Jasper National Park.
First stop, the Maligne Canyon: a path runs along the rapids of the river, overlooking narrow gorges and crevices, eroded by the incessant action of water.
Backlight, the lens is phenomenal. The flare is discreet and pleasant, the color rendering impeccable.
Towards evening, exploring the surroundings of the Piramide Lake, a body of water reflects the setting sun: at f22 the star of the SIGMA is really wonderful, even better if double!
The management of lights and shadows is excellent, also thanks to the extraordinary dynamic range of Sony.

The next morning we take the long hike of the "Valley of Five Lakes". The intense blue of the sky is reflected in the luminous turquoise of the lakes. The color rendering of SIGMA is fully appreciated.
In the afternoon we head to the famous and iconic Spirit Island, on Maligne Lake. The light is attenuated and diffused by sparse glazes, perfect condition to appreciate the placid calm of the lake.
SIGMA 14-24 Art is absolutely perfect for these occasions: it allows you to capture the landscape in all its majestic width, with unparalleled clarity and faithful colors.

The next day we go for a long detour to an authentic British Columbia gem, the Helmeck falls, spearhead of the Wells Gray Provincial Park
From 24 to 14mm the perspective can change completely.
Towards evening the sky threatens storm, which punctually occurs a few moments after sunset.
The light is absolutely spectacular: on the one hand the sunset colors the sky, while on the other, right on the waterfall, dark clouds prepare to discharge the power of the storm.

It rains, but the tropicalization of the SIGMA is extremely effective. There is no time to mount the tripod, but at 2.8 the SIGMA is already incredibly clear. The 14mm allow you to embrace the whole scene and the dynamic range of Sony does the rest.

Returning to Jasper, at sunset we stay at the beautiful Sunwapta Falls, on the Icefield Parkway
We await the warm light of the sunset to illuminate the peaks of the pines and the mountains that frame the vortex of water. A few seconds of long exposure soften the impetuosity of the waterfall, with Francesca bravely overlooking the cliff to highlight the perspective.

We continue on the Icefields Parkway, surmounted by rocks and glaciers, always captured by the clear eye of the SIGMA 14-24.

Next stop at Peyto Lake, another iconic pearl of the Canadian Rockies.
The cloudy sky makes the landscape "moody" and even more fascinating. I enjoy playing with the wide opening of the SIGMA: at f 2.8 the blurred on the foreground is enchanting, while the sharpness of the focus plane is impressive.

Once in Banff, we walk along the Bow Valley Parkway, with a stop in Johnston Canyon, below captured with a large "top-down" that once again highlights the remarkable color qualities of the SIGMA. Next, the last lights of the day on the Vermillion Lakes.

The next day we head to Yoho National Park.

Despite the pouring rain, we do not despair and cross the border between Alberta and British Columbia again, heading for the Emerald Lake.
Our expectations and hopes are not betrayed: just before sunset, the rain fades and the sky begins to filter light, just in time to give us an unexpected but wonderful rainbow over the lake.
In such a situation, with pouring rain and high humidity, to rely on a perfectly tropicalized lens is essential. The SIGMA 14-24 mm on Sony focuses in an instant and the color rendering is truly precious.
After the storm, there is time to enjoy the magic of the reflection of the sky on Emerald Lake, once again captured impeccably from 14-24.

Returning to Banff, the next morning the alarm rings at 04.15: dawn at Lake Louise awaits us.
A splendid sunrise colors the peaks of the mountains around the lake, and the red of the canoes gives a remarkable added value to the scene, captured with the usual precision by the SIGMA 14-24 Art, which returns perfect colors and loyal contrasts.
The Canadian Rockies are full of wonderful views, and the weather is constantly changing.
You just need to wait and surprises are always around the corner.
By now the SIGMA 14-24 seems glued to Sony, there is really no reason to change it and indeed the certainty of being able to count on such a precise lens is a relief for every situation.

The next morning the alarm goes off again before 3.30 am: the dawn awaits us at Moraine lake, icon and symbol of Canadian landscapes.

The blue hour is lovely. The combination of the wide F 2.8 aperture of the SIGMA and the amazing dynamic range of the Sony a7riii would also make the use of the tripod superfluous, which we however decide to mount for safety.

The blades of light of dawn color the peaks of the mountains, while the blue of the lake takes on a blinding turquoise color.

The quality of the combination SIGMA 14-24 | Sony a7rIII is almost incomparable, so there is also time to enjoy the moment in peace
The morning continues in the best way, stopping again at Peyto Lake, this time surmounted by white clouds and flashes of blue sky.
Finally, on the last evening at Banff National Park, the sunset brushes the warm blue of the sky above Johnson Lake.
The adventure in the Canadian Rockies is coming to an end.

For a landscape photographer, the wide-angle lens is clearly a fundamental, essential tool.

After the experience with the SIGMA 14-24 Art E-mount on Sony a7rIII, I can say without any doubt that I finally found the ultimate wide angle.

Handy, light, solid. Sharply beyond belief, even at 2.8. Impeccable color rendering and the right focal range. Instant focus in all light conditions.

The SIGMA 14-24mm Art E-Mount is without doubt the best wide-angle zoom I've ever tried.

SIGMA has raised the bar for the quality of photographic lenses for years, starting from the introduction of the ART series.
With the presentation of the new 14-24 E-mount, however, all the ART quality was finally enclosed in a light and compact body, perfectly suited (and no longer "adapted") to the mirrorless body.

And it is the beginning of a real revolution.

Francesco Riccardo Iacomino
Thank you!