Note: for a previously posted video review of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 click here.
Let’s start with The Phoblographer’s first impressions (lots of samples) about Sigma’s latest entry in the “Art” category of its lens line-up, the highly praised Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (price & specs), which has been tested using an EOS 5D Mark II:
Everything about this lens feels super solid. I’ve had other staffers hold it and proclaim that it feels like an entirely metal lens. When putting a Zeiss lens right next to it though, it is clear that this lens’s exterior is not made of metal. However, if you squeeze the lens, it feels even more solid than previous optics made by Sigma.
So far, I’m still quite head over heels for the lens. The wide open and stopped down performance is really quite good and it’s made me reach for my 5D Mk II much more than I used to. In many ways, its breathed new life into the camera.
The build quality so far is stellar and is the way it feels in my hands. And for the price, I really can’t see anyone going wrong with this lens.
The price is one of the big points of this lens, at $900 it is ways cheaper than the equivalent brand lenses.
Just a few days ago DPreview published its review of the Sigma. In the conclusion they write (emphasis mine):
It’s remarkably sharp, even wide open, outperforming not only its Canon, Nikon and Sony equivalents, but also the far more expensive Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 in lab tests. Chromatic aberration is also impressively well controlled (both lateral and longitudinal), distortion is low and vignetting more-or-less typical for its class. The rendition of out-of-focus regions is generally quite attractive, although complex backgrounds can end up looking rather ‘fussy’. The overall result, though, is a lens that delivers fine-looking images with the minimum of fuss, shot after shot.
It appears as if Sigma made a definitely outstanding lens. Quoting DPreview:
Every now and then we come across a camera or lens that hits a sweet spot of image quality, usability and price that makes it an easy recommendation. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is just such a beast – it manages the impressive trick of being substantially cheaper than the camera manufacturers’ equivalents while matching or beating them optically. If you’re after a top quality fast prime at this focal length it should be right at the top of your short list, and it easily earns our top award.
Finally, ephotozine (also with sample images) reviewed the Sigma:
Even at f/1.4, sharpness in the centre portion of the frame is excellent, although as you might expect at such a fast maximum aperture, sharpness towards the edges of the frame falls away to just below good levels. This is still very good performance for a lens of this type. Stopping the lens down improves sharpness across the frame with clarity towards the edges of the frame reaching very good levels by f/2. Peak sharpness across the frame is achieved at apertures between f/4 and f/5.6 where the clarity achieved in the centre is outstanding, and sharpness is excellent towards the edges of the frame.
More samples can be checked on the Sigma blog.