12 lenses of Christmas: August 2022 starred a pair of Sigma Astrophotography optics

Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG DN | Art and Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG DN | Art
(Image credit: Sigma)

Fast wide-angle primes can come in useful for all sorts of things, from sweeping landscapes to architectural interiors and environmental portraits, as well as for street photography. Announced in August, Sigma’s new 20mm f/1.4 DG DN | Art and 24mm f/1.4 DG DN | Art lenses fit the bill perfectly, available in both Sony E and Leica L mount options. However, Sigma’s announcement positioned both lenses as being among the best on the market for astrophotography, thanks to their wide field of view, fast aperture, outstanding sharpness across the whole frame and effective control of sagittal coma flare.

Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG DN | Art and Sigma 24mm F1.4 DG DN | Art

The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG DN | Art and 24mm f/1.4 DG DN | Art launched with claims of well-controlled sagittal coma flare, helping to retain the natural shape of stars and other celestial bodies, across the whole image frame. (Image credit: Sigma)

August also saw the launch of the new Tamron 50-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di III VC VXD zoom for Sony mirrorless cameras, originally announced and covered in our news the previous month.

Samyang (also badged Rokinon) launched the XEEN CF 135mm T2.2 cine lens in a range of popular mount options for filmmakers, including PL, Canon EF and Sony E.

See other installments in our 12 lenses of Christmas series

Samyang XEEN CF 135mm T2.2

Samyang launched the XEEN CF 135mm T2.2 as a lens for movie-lovers, or at least those who enjoy making them. (Image credit: Samyang)

Meanwhile, Pentax was still persevering with lenses for DSLRs and released an updated lens roadmap. Forthcoming attractions would include an updated 100mm f/2.8 D-FA WR Macro lens and two new lenses, one a telephoto and the other a wide-angle.

Other news saw the polar opposite of a lens launch, in that Viltrox followed the likes of Samyang in pulling Canon RF mount lenses from the market. The favored rumor for the disappearance of these lenses was that Canon had not ‘opened up permission’ for the production of RF lenses by independent companies.

Following July’s bumper crop of lens reviews, August saw relatively slim pickings, although we did run the Leica 24mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH through out labs. The resulting review praised the ultra-sharp image quality, excellent build quality and zero distortion, although we were less admiring of the exorbitant selling price.

Leica 24mm Summilux f/1.4

The Leica 24mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH is a thing of beauty, with spectacular craftsmanship and all-round performance, but you’ll need deep pockets to buy one. (Image credit: Sebastian Oakley / Digital Camera World)

Back to basics
• What are the best camera lenses to buy?

Lenses for photography genres
• Best lenses for astrophotography
• Best lenses for bird photography
• Best lenses for landscape

Lenses for your camera
• Best Canon lenses
• Best Fujifilm lenses
• Best Nikon lenses
• Best Olympus lenses
• Best Panasonic lenses
• Best Pentax lenses
• Best Sony lenses

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.