14mm Group Test
Canon 14mm f2.8 L v Nikon 14mm f2.8 EDIF v
Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 DG
So you've got your killer wide angle zoom: either the Canon 16-35mm L or the (better) Nikon 17-35mm AFS – or, if the budget won't quite stretch (but the field of view must) you're working around the limitations of the Sigma 15-30mm.
It has truly been said that you can't have a film, sensor or lens fast enough. The success of Sigma's 12-24mm proves that you can add 'a lens wide enough' to that greedy list. Indeed, shooting architecture in today's claustrophobic interiors (cue puzzlement Stateside), wide is always good. No estate agent ('realtor') or housing developer ('realtificator', presumably) ever complains their interiors look too big.
So you've decided you need a 14mm prime. And you're tempted by the even wider Sigma 12-24mm, but because it's a SIGMA, and a zoom, and relatively cheap, and because you've heard all about sample variation and because There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, you're properly skeptical. It may be the Lens of the Year, but is it any good?
Here we test a good one against the latest Nikon 14mm f2.8 EDIF and the Canon 14mm f2.8 L - with particular reference to corner resolution and distortion.
First, here's how they measure up physically . . .
Tests conducted with Canon 5D at ISO50 shot RAW with mirror lock up and processed via Capture One 3.7.3 into 8-bit Adobe RGB, sharpened in PhotoShop (135/0.5/3) and converted for web with BoxTop ProJPEG. All captures manually focus bracketed.