Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 tested on the Sony a99

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moimoi
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Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 tested on the Sony a99
4 months ago

Good morning,

While I am more and more interested as a 35mm shooter, I took the leap and got a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art for my a900/a99. Here are my thoughts:

Well, it looks like I got a lemon. And Mr. Rokinon does not go anywhere (the 35 mm from Samyang/Rokinon is quite fantastic, but you already knew that as I made a series of posts praising the lens via some of my photographs)

Focus at f/1.4 is so inconsistent. First of all, I tested the lens to focus at infinity, and I had to apply -15 micro adjustments to do so. The lens was consistently sharp using the center and far right focus points at f/1.4. The far left focus point was however consistently and significantly less sharp. That's not good.

The problem even worsens. Then I chose to use exactly the same micro-adjustment settings for focus at short distance, and nothing was really sharp when using the far left, center or far right focus points. By changing the micro adjustments to 0 or close to 0, the focus points were better and focus could be achieved somewhat consistently.

So what does this mean? Well, it seems that different micro adjustments need to be applied depending on the camera-to-subject distance, which is obviously nuts. It is way too cumbersome to be effective in the real world.

I am convinced the lens was defective. The lens will be sent back to Amazon. They have already shipped a replacement (Amazon service is generally top notch), so I will do further testing next week.

I also did the same testing with my Sony a900, and the problem was even worse as the lens requires a -20 microadjustement.

Oh, and by the way, I did the whole exact test with my Minolta 80-200 f/2.8 HS APO G, and I could not find any issue with this lens (I have a good copy).

I just wanted to share my experience for those of you interested in acquiring the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. There is no question this is a good lens, but getting a good copy might be a serious matter. I will get back to you as soon as I get the second copy, and do further testing.

Cheers,

moimoi

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Photography is about time, space, expression, and - ultimately - capturing light. As easy as it may sound, the process of capturing the "ideal" photograph is far more complex to accomplish as our own perceptions and responses vary according to each individual. Photography is inherently driven by human subjectivity, but the general feeling is that a superb photograph is widely appreciated, as it commonly depicts a striking and universal concept. I believe this process should be sought by many of us, who deeply enjoy capturing and sharing photographs that embrace life and depict what we are.

 moimoi's gear list:moimoi's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM
Sony SLT-A99
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