Astrophotography Review: Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 lens

The Milky Way with Sigma 14-24mm 2.8 lens from dark Bortle 1 skies. 16 minute exposure at 14mm 2.8

In 2018, I made the difficult decision to replace my reliable Canon 11-24mm f/4 with the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8, driven by my growing passion for astrophotography. The choice was not straightforward, as I was also considering the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 prime lens. Ultimately, I opted for the zoom lens for its flexibility, as it would serve my needs in both astrophotography and traditional landscape photography.

My initial experience with the Sigma 14-24mm was somewhat disappointing. The first copy of the lens I purchased new exhibited significant softness in the corners compared to my Canon lens. It was returned and later, I stumbled upon a second-hand copy at half the price, and this one was really good – its sharpness was pretty much on par with my current Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 at 14mm, making it difficult to discern any major differences between the two.

First light was the Milky Way over a remote reservoir in the Yorkshire Dales. The images were crisp and full of detail, showcasing the lens's potential in astrophotography.

First image with the Sigma 14-24mm 2.8
Moonlit landscape

In 2021, the Sigma 14-24mm accompanied me to northern Scotland, where I experienced pristine Bortle 1 skies. While camping on the coast, I had the opportunity to use the lens with my Canon 6D mounted on a Star Adventurer. This setup allowed me to capture tracked images, truly testing the lens's performance under optimal conditions.

The Canon 6D and Sigma 14-24mm 2.8 ready for a night imaging in a remote part of northern Scotland.

Included below are a couple of crops that demonstrate how the lens handled coma, a common issue in astrophotography. Achieving perfect focus in total darkness with the 6D was challenging, so I'm not entirely sure if I extracted the absolute best from the lens. However, considering its wide angle, I believe it performs admirably. While there may be better more recent options for those seeking perfection, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 is a robust performer in my experience, especially for its versatility in both astrophotography and general landscape photography.

Corners of a raw unstacked image. 14mm at 2.8 with a Canon 6D.
A stacked image - 16 mins at 14mm 2.8