I picked up my first camera in 2003, initially, I began in the event photography world, shooting nightclubs. Since then, I have had my fare share of lenses. To this day, I am still an event photographer, but have definitely branched out across all platforms. In the never ending quest of becoming better, the reality is, a big part of shooting is choosing the right lens for the right job. This particular lens battle was one I had to test out myself, the canon 24 vs the sigma 24mm 1.4.
At first glance, they are both very similar in design and weight. But as I tested these in the nightclubs, or as I call it, ‘lifestyle shooting.” I instantly noticed major and minor differences between the two. In no particular order:
Cost: The sigma retails for about $850 while the canon hovers around $1600. We will come back to this shortly, but this is important to know before I get into the details of the lens.
Build: Both lens are built great, they feel good in your hand. The major difference with the canon is that it is ready for all weather, while the sigma is not. So, depending on what you’re shooting, the sigma might not be best for you. Since I shoot a lot of outdoor events such as: festivals, weddings, and concerts, the canon would be better for my needs.
Picture Quality: Bokeh, vignetting, sharpness – these are the things that I was on the lookout for while shooting. Not sure how to word it, but the canon did do better in all of the above. You really need to test it out for yourself, back to back to truly understand the difference and see it for yourself. The canon quality did blow me away, while the sigma was good, just not as good as the canon. I felt that the canon was more consistent with my shooting style and needs than the sigma could pull off.
To conclude, for MY needs and shooting style, the canon would be worth investing $1600 for, because I have tested both and fully understand the differences between the two, BUT, what are your needs? And can you justify the canon price tag? The sigma coming in at $850 is a true powerhouse lens that can deliver amazing results when utilized appropriately. Since my lifestyle shoots are back and forth between portraits and landscape, I found consistent results when using the canon lens over the sigma.
I encourage anyone interested in either lens to spend the $70 to rent both and see for yourself from your local camera shop. Feel free to discuss and let me know your thoughts or if you have any tips for readers out there. Check out the 4 sample photos below that are shot in real time, in an establishment, not studio based.