This is a question I get asked a lot. Along with ‘are they really that different’, ‘is the 24 worth the extra money’, and ‘how bad is the distortion’? When I was Canon I had a 24L and Sigma 35 Art 1.4 in my bag. Now that I am Nikon I have a Nikon 24mm 1.4 (update I use the Sigma 24 Art now), Sigma 35 Art 1.4 and recently added a Sigma 15mm 2.8 fisheye for fun. I have shot entire in-home sessions with a 24mm and most recently shot at least 75% of my Day in the Life images with one. I honestly can’t live without any of them.
Now when people asked me in the past the main questions I asked in return were ‘how much money do you have to spend’ and ‘what do you shoot most often’? Because at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which focal length I prefer, it’s about how you shoot and which one would benefit you, if money is no object or your budget is enough for either 🙂
There is more distortion using a 24mm lens versus a 35mm, but most of it is in the edges of the frame. How much distortion you can live with only you would know. You can use lens correction in post-production to minimize it in the center of your frames, but people on the edges will still have distortion.
The difference in cost between a Canon 24L ($1649) and 35L ($1479) is just not that big. The Nikon 35mm 1.4 ($1619) and Nikon 24mm 1.4 ($1929) have a slightly wider range between them but still small compared to the pricetags. So if brand matters to you, you only buy brand glass, and you like to shoot wide and include a lot of environment in your shots, the 24 1.4 is the lens for you in either brand.
When I am shooting over a crib or in a really really tight nursery I am grateful for the little extra room with a 24mm focal length. If you are willing to buy off-brand, the Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 at $899 is one of the biggest bargains in photography. Unless you are in a tight space the 35 will likely give you enough environment and it is one of the sharpest lens on the market. I recommend this lens (over a 24mm 1.4) to all in-home shooters that ask me as I think it gives you more bang for your buck.
That is until Sigma FINALLY announced the 24mm 1.4 shipping later this month. I have already pre-ordered mine. So now it is not a matter of cost since the 24 Art is actually $50 cheaper than the 35. I will have a review when I get it in my hands (see my review here), but if it is anything like the Sigma Art 35 I will be selling my Nikon 24mm 1.4 the same week. Here are a few more images taken with a 24mm 1.4 (either Canon on a 6D or Nikon on a d750).