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Canon 11-24mm f/4 and Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6

Canon 11-24mm f/4L USM and Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM, shown to scale

Canon has announced a damn sexy jaw-dropping EF 11-24mm f/4L USM non-fisheye lens, offering an even crazier field of view than the good old Sigma 12-24mm (about 5% wider).

It makes little doubt that Canon wanted their new UWA lens to be wider than the widest till then, which was the Sigma.

Fancy a little spec & MTF chart comparison?

It’s always interesting to compare two lenses with (almost) identical focal lengths, just to have an idea of the manufacturers’ goals with their respective designs.

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
Maximum Aperture f/4.5 (12mm), f/5 (13-18mm), f/5.6 (19-24mm) f/4
Minimum Aperture f/22 f/22
Angle of View 122°-84.1° 126.05°-84°
Optical Construction 17 elements in 13 groups 16 elements in 11 groups
Special Glass 9 elements 8 elements
Filter Mounting Rear insert-type, and 82mm front cap adapter ring Rear insert-type
Weather Sealing No Yes (dust and water)
Full-Time Manual Focusing Yes Yes
Minimum Focusing Distance (at 24mm) 28 cm / 11 in 28 cm / 11 in
Maximum Magnification Ratio 0.16x 0.16x
Diaphragm Blades 6 (straight) 9 (rounded)
Size (Diameter x Length) 85 x 120.2 mm / 3.3 x 4.7 in 108 x 132 mm / 4.25 x 5.2 in
Weight 670 g / 23.6 oz 1,180 g / 41.6 oz
US Retail Price $949 $2,999

MTF Charts

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM (left: 11mm, right: 24mm) Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM (left: 11mm, right: 24mm)
Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM (left: 12mm, right: 24mm) Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM (left: 12mm, right: 24mm)
  • Thick lines (Canon) / Red lines (Sigma): Measurements at 10 LP/mm
  • Thin lines (Canon) / Green lines (Sigma): Measurements at 30 LP/mm
  • Black lines (Canon) / all lines (Sigma): Measurements with the lens wide open
  • Blue lines (Canon only): Measurements with the lens at f/8
  • Solid lines (Canon) / Dotted lines (Sigma): Meridional measurements
  • Dotted lines (Canon) / Solid lines (Sigma): Sagittal measurements

The 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM will remain the only affordable-for-mortals full-frame option to go wider than 14mm on a DSLR (barring fisheyes).

Now, a professional-grade ultra-wide lens is needed to compete with Canon’s and Nikon’s optics.

An improved 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 would be nice, but no matter how good it is, the slow and variable aperture would flag it as a consumer-grade lens.

A very well corrected 14-24mm f/4 would be interesting, even though it would be both slower than the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, and less wide than the Canon 11-24mm f/4.

A 12-20mm f/2.8 would be even more attention grabbing, but that looks like an extreme optical challenge.

Any thoughts?

  • Kirby Zhou

    Just a new 12-24 F/4.0~5.0 is great

  • Pittsburgh Kid

    The 15-30 Tamron is a lot more interesting to me.

    The effects below 14-15 may be artsy, but too distorted for my use. Ymmv

    • jon

      Artsy? Or cheesy?

  • SimenO1

    1mm wider is important, but 2000 $ important?

  • bushkov

    “A very well corrected 14-24mm f/4 would be interesting, even though it
    would be both slower than the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, and less wide than
    the Canon 11-24mm f/4.”

  • Shaul Boilov

    10-16 f4…. just to annoy Canon

  • Canon seems to be on a tear lately. The world DSLR market is beginning to shrink so it is critically important that each major company maintain its competitive position. In Canon versus Nikon, Canon appears to have the fastest FF body, the fastest cropped frame body, the highest pixel FF body, an outstanding new 100-400, and now the widest wide angle zoom. Sports photography is the last bastion of superiority of the DSLR relative to all other camera types. I’m a Nikon owner who shoots a lot of sports and action and am beginning to get really concerned about Nikon’s focus on very good, slow, FF bodies for I don’t know what segment of the market. Thankfully, I own the Sigma 8-16, 17-70 A, 120-300 S, 150-600 S, and Sigmonster which levels the playing field a bit.

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      The 750 has amazing af

    • CERO

      As the 50mp canon body been released already?

      • Not available yet but $3,699 at B&H when it does.

  • Bob

    Of course, companies always fudge the stated “mm” numbers (sometimes egregiously) so it’s worth looking at angle of view.

    It’s worth noting that the Canon is not all that much wider. The quoted “mm” numbers are 11/12-1=8.3% wider, but the actual angle of view is 126/122-1=3.3% wider. 3.3% wider is NOT much wider. That’s like comparing a 97mm lens to a 100mm lens. You’re probably not going to see the difference in real life.

    To me the real question is image quality at the widest setting, and especially versus the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, which will be the natural comparison given the design and high price tag of both lenses. We’ll see how the test results shake out.

    • monkeychunks

      1mm of AOV on the wide end is WAY more dramatic than a couple MM at telephoto, otherwise I agree with you. Play with this tool for a second, it gives great “perspective” on this.

  • Amb

    12-20 f/4 rather than f/2.8 I think

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    How big is the market for lenses like that?
    Uses are rather limited for the wide end, I would think the market for say a new 24 would be quite a bit bigger.

    • SimenO1

      I think its quite big. Some dont like very wide, some does. After a few years with a rectilinear Tamron 10-24mm on APS-C i observed that it was used at 10mm most of the time When i didnt it was used at 24mm in between the wide angle shots because i was to lazy to switch to another lens. Now i replaced it with a Samyang 8mm f/3,5 fisheye and dont miss zoom or AF.

      I use it mostly for aurora photography, and sometimes for wide landscapes with sea/water/people close (stitching doesent look good) or just to make kids laugh of their portraits. Its easy to defish.

      • Paul Menard

        Yeah I got the sigma 1020 and the Samyang fisheye, and I would like wider
        theres a 235degree fisheye lens for phones, which is good fun, if smeary at the edges
        So yeah, going wider and giving good filter options would be cool, like maybe a gap for cokin p or a size filters
        Asto guys want and need wide and fast

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        That 8mm is meant for aps-c and comes down to a field of view of about 12mm, 13 if you are a canon shooter.
        just as that 10-24 would have been a 15-35, we are talking about some seriously different class of lenses with a seriously different type of users.

        making a wide lens takes a lot of effort and big pieces of glass, they can’t make them cheap and good. Even the low resolution, horrible vignetting sigma is going for $1000.
        I highly doubt a lot of people are going to be willing to spend $2000 for an occasional landscape or some funny kid pics.

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