Previous news story    Next news story

Just posted: Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens review

By dpreview staff on Dec 21, 2012 at 16:02 GMT

Earlier this year Sigma outlined a new vision for its product line-up, with lenses to be split into three categories: Contemporary, Sports and Art. The 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is the first release in the latter, and is designed to offer a relatively affordable alternative to the camera manufacturers' equivalents. It works on both full frame and APS-C cameras, and will be available in mounts for all major brands. In our latest review in partnership with DxOMark, we take a detailed look at how it performs, including test data from all of its closest competitors to see how it measures up. Click through to find out what we thought.

Comments

Total comments: 182
12
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Dec 29, 2012)

Another great and detailed review. I think this lens will replace my 50mm very well since using a 1.6 crop factor camera and 50mm's is 'too far' and restrictive most times for my needs in the studio. 35mm's x1.6 = 56mm's and comes closer to what a 50mm can do FF like I used to do. I need something tack sharp, but closer. Thanks for the review.

0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (Dec 27, 2012)

I will be getting some fast primes for my Nikons the first thing next year, this Sigma is my choice for a fast 35mm. An easy decision: more for less.

0 upvotes
barneywalters
By barneywalters (Dec 26, 2012)

Looking forward to getting my hands on this one. :)

Barney Walters

www.barneywalters.co.uk

0 upvotes
szabobendi
By szabobendi (Dec 26, 2012)

Dear dpreview team!
About 10 years since I use this site if you make a decision or a machine before buying, so thank you for all the help you have given me, and successful New Year to all employees.
Best Regards András Szabó from Hungary

6 upvotes
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Dec 25, 2012)

Sensor in SD1/M, DP1M, DP2M made Sigma produce lenses good enough for the sensor.
Perhaps as no other current 35mm sensor (maybe even some MF sensor) due to 3 layers lens imperfections are shown up by the current Foveon.

We can expect more lenses of the same quality.

2 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (Dec 25, 2012)

A longer lens on FF is enlarging the subject, which is unfair against the smaller formats.

0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (Dec 25, 2012)

Isnt it very simple? Compare all the cameras by using the same FLs, or if not possible, change the distance. Then subjects will have the same size on the sensor. No more discussions about speed blablabla.

0 upvotes
Redbeeerd
By Redbeeerd (Dec 24, 2012)

Great review!!! And now: will they make it for the e-mount?

0 upvotes
photog4u
By photog4u (Dec 24, 2012)

Great review! Thanks!

Dear Santa:

I would like an RX1 Review for Christmas from DPReview please.

Thank you!

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Dec 24, 2012)

And just to really get the party going Canon will release the 35L mk2 in the new year... which will be fully weather sealed.. although way pricier than the sigma..

0 upvotes
Vibrio
By Vibrio (Dec 25, 2012)

which is only useful if your camera is fully weather sealed or if you actually want to photograph in the rain. weathersealing is not a deal breaker for most people.

the cost of a mk2 35 L will be off putting. will probably be double the cost of the sigma with canons current price structure

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 23, 2012)

Dpreview why do you post jpgs for samples for reviews of lenses?!

It's bad enough for camera reviews but for lens reviews too?!

And how about standardizing some shots that will help the reader see for him or herself the edge to edge performance of the lens at different apertures and focal lengths for zooms?

In other words, make the reviews much more useful to your readers instead of trying to impress people with technical charts and diagrams!!!

0 upvotes
pixel_peeper
By pixel_peeper (Dec 24, 2012)

Unsharpened jpegs (as per Lenstip) are OK for lens test samples, but the over-sharpened ones here are horrible and useless.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Dec 24, 2012)

Yes, there is oversharpening.

0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (Dec 25, 2012)

Its very simple. Choose a standard high building. Take a tripod and shoot down the streets. to check corner/edges turn the camera into position that the same subject can be seen in all parts of the shots. center, corner, edges. Zentrum, Ecke, Bildränder. Then upload HR-images or parts of them. Always take with you the best camera/lens as a standard beside the combo to be tested. And maybe we can once also see an analogue comparision. no need to compare against Highest Res. B+W films. Kodak Exktar or whatever would do. But dont scan in inferior scanners. maybe newest plustek opticfilm 120(6x12).

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Dec 25, 2012)

"Unsharpened jpegs (as per Lenstip) are OK for lens test samples, but the over-sharpened ones here are horrible and useless."

That's ridiculous since jpgs, sharpened or not, are not showing the best detail that can be produced by a camera/lens combination. This is common sense.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 26, 2012)

The images presented here are straight from the camera. No post-capture adjustments are applied.

1 upvote
pixel_peeper
By pixel_peeper (Dec 26, 2012)

Hi Barney,
Sorry to be rude about those sample pictures, but if that's the Canon 5DIII standard sharpening setting, it's far too aggressive, and producing sharpening halos strong enough to make a mess of the detail. One or two sharpening levels down would give a better picture for testing a lens, I think. Another alternative is to use no sharpening at all and allow us to do it to taste, as (only) Lenstip does. This has the big disadvantage of assuming that we understand why the pictures are blurry, have software to sharpen jpegs, and can be bothered to use it. I wish you had used a D800E for the samples!

0 upvotes
pixel_peeper
By pixel_peeper (Dec 26, 2012)

After shooting my mouth off I read the "Image Quality Tests" section of DPR's 5DIII review, which indicated that its out-of-camera jpegs were poor (either mushy or over-sharpened), that good results can be obtained with Adobe Camera Raw, and suggesting appropriate sharpening settings. Having worked all that out, I think it would be better for DPR to process the image samples that way for for lens tests using the 5DIII.
The final output is a jpeg, Basalite, but processed better than the 5DIII is able to do by itself. The problem is not the jpeg format, but the jpegs that come out of the 5DIII.

1 upvote
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Dec 23, 2012)

To my eyes the bokeh is OK (matter of taste anyhow) and the rest of the performance is very good indeed. I can only applaud Sigma for this lens.

8 upvotes
john10001
By john10001 (Dec 23, 2012)

This seems to look like a pretty good lens IMHO. On Lens Tip website like Dp Review they also show it as a pretty good lens in terms of resolution not only in the centre but also at the edges compared with its competitors.

3 upvotes
tommy leong
By tommy leong (Dec 23, 2012)

any mention about the AF speed using the same camera across the various lens?

WOULDN'T that be important too ?

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 23, 2012)

Generally it's as fast/faster than it's counterparts, I tested the lens on a 5DII and it focused quick and accurately.
Also noted though, is that the lens (might) have a significantly shorter focus throw, so it's not necessarily fast, but doesn't have much distance to travel to attain focus ?

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 24, 2012)

I have similar experiences as Nishi on a D800.
Note: While the close-focus performance is truly astounding, I'm not yet sold at infinity yet.

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 25, 2012)

Got one in my hands now on a 5DII, I've only got indoor use, but when there's good light for the poor AF (of the camera, not lens) to lock it's quick. I may need to micro adjust slightly, but didn't do any tests to see if that's necessary. The close focus is indeed wonderful, and MF feels great

0 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (Dec 23, 2012)

It is really great that dpr is working on presenting lens comparisons. But while the optical performance potential is obviously central, in practical application it is more likely things like autofocus performance and precision which are likely to have a greater direct impact on results. So, will dpr attempt to provide some evaluation of these factors? Autofocus speed and consistency are difficult to test objectively, but there has to be something you can tell us. And objective information such as the number of discrete focus points a lens can stop at is exactly the sort of rare data that dpr may have the clout to twist out of the various brands. (eg, the greater precision afforded by the superior number of focus distances available on the ef 50/1.2 compared with the ef 50/1.4 is a major factor in real-world performance variation between these lenses, which never shows up in sharpness-obsesses lens reviews which are specifically designed to eliminate focus performance from the test.)

12 upvotes
Luke1
By Luke1 (Dec 26, 2012)

Just my two cents, but if I could choose between a tack sharp lens with slow AF and a somewhat sharp lens with state-of-the-art instant AF I would always choose the former. I don't shoot people very often so speed issues are almost totally irrelevant, and consistency issues (if time is not a factor) should not exist excepting the case of a defective lens.

0 upvotes
xtoph
By xtoph (Dec 30, 2012)

there's a subjective side and an objective one to your decision, luke1.

subjectively, i would always choose a fast af lens over a slow af lens given the choice--i probably shoot different things than you, and it's logical that people might have different preferences.

but there's a deeper issue you don't seem to appreciate in your comment. first, consistency is in fact a major real-world issue. just try to af, defocus, and af again the same lens a dozen times and see how close the results are. second (and not unrelated), af lenses are programed with a set number of stop distances. it will focus at 2.5 meters, then the next stop might be 2.6, etc. different lenses have different numbers of possible focus distances, producing different rates of precision in focus. eg, a lens with 1000 focus distances will generally outperform one with 500.

you can take the sharpest lens made, but if you aren't standing at the one of the exact preset focus distances, it won't be sharp.

1 upvote
Joris1632
By Joris1632 (Dec 23, 2012)

Seems to be an excellent lens, pity it tilts horizons and makes all buildings lean to the right .................... ;-)

1 upvote
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 23, 2012)

There might be irregularities, as with many lenses but which sample makes you say that?

0 upvotes
Lanski
By Lanski (Dec 23, 2012)

He's joking! Some of the sample shots are a bit wonky that's all.

2 upvotes
Joris1632
By Joris1632 (Dec 23, 2012)

Thanks Lanski! I know DPR want to provide balance but I wish the samples had concentrated more on the reason we need f1.4 - . it's not to shoot architecture at 125th f8.

4 upvotes
JJSo
By JJSo (Dec 24, 2012)

Just wait until you see the funny faces when using for portraits... :)

I just love that lens, it became my new "old" standard I used to deal with in analogue days. I wouldn't have bought a 35/1.4 from Nikon but now I want to sell the 50/1.4.

And weather-sealed or not might as well be a question of warranty. Some confuse "weather-sealed" with walking into the rain and snorkel along. After all, we do have some kind of weather every day. Slight snow-fall was no problem and I use this lens in the same conditions I also use the D800 or D7000, so to me that's weather-sealed enough.
The detail with the lens caps is something Nikon should learn a lot from. The rear cap tightens softer, doesn't fall off and is easier to removed than Nikon's. Great job, Sigma.

0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 29, 2012)

Silly me, I was watching the samples over again and looking for an actual defect... But yeah, now that you mention it, shooting buildings might not be first use for a 1.4 lens...

0 upvotes
Tony Parenti
By Tony Parenti (Dec 23, 2012)

I have both lenses at my disposal. The Canon 35L clearly renders a smoother bokeh when doing full body portrait shots. No questions asked. The Sigma's bokeh is "nervous" in behavior. From what I've read this is one of the pitfalls of making a lens sharper. Scale both down to web resolution and the 35L is more pleasing. IMHO.

3 upvotes
10lOl01
By 10lOl01 (Dec 22, 2012)

Any chance an additional section can be added to the review commenting on the color and contrast performance of the lens?

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
1 upvote
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 22, 2012)

Totally hopeless bokeh test.

For me it's a deal-breaker: bad bokeh means unusable portraits.

Closing down the aperture can get rid of hard edged rings but also double-line 'nissen' bokeh which make for poor/disturbing bokeh as in the two pics (I would call this bokeh 'poor' and unusable). Typically I shoot f1.4 lenses at f2 for bokeh reasons. But in addition, you are more likely to get rings where the focus is at a distance and the blur moderate, as with these pics, while at close portrait distances the rings may not be so hard; which is the type of photos I am most interested in.

On top of that: a closed down aperture can be useful (one doesn;t always want obliteration-bokeh) but the bokeh can deteriorate.

So effectively we need a range of apertures and distance to know what the bokeh situation is.

Bokeh is so neglected that I have to do a lot of research to work out whether a lens is any good. It's a pain.

2 upvotes
EarthQuake
By EarthQuake (Dec 22, 2012)

Compare the sigma's bokeh to other common 35/1.4 lens, in any situation where the sigma's bokeh looks bad, it would look bad with the 35L, Nikon 35/1.4, CZ etc. None of these fast wides provide amazing bokeh and busy backgrounds will make them all look bad. You have to compare the sigma subjectively to other lenses, IE: taking photos of the same thing, same camera, same settings. You can find bad bokeh examples of any 35/1.4 if thats what you're looking for. The Sigma may be very slightly worse than other 35/1.4's, but unusable is a huge overstatement.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
Amin Sabet
By Amin Sabet (Dec 22, 2012)

The Sigma has more attractive bokeh than the Nikon and Canon to my eye. Looks better than the Summilux M ASPH FLE to me as well. Here are a couple comparisons to the Canon and Nikon lenses:

http://www.dchome.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1161962&extra=&page=1

http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-35mm-f14-vs-Canon-35mm-f14-L

Not sure why DPR had "Slightly fussy rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds under some conditions" as a con. That statement apples to all lenses!

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 22, 2012)

I don't think the Sigma is "unusable" because of bokeh either. That's a huge overstatement. All fast wides (Canon, Nikon, Samyang) with aspherical elements have issues with some nervousness wide open. The Sigma is not the only fast 35 with this issue. Stopped down to f2 or f2.8 this goes away on most of these. Haven't yet tried the Sigma.

0 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 23, 2012)

Here is a comparison that actually means something:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8083/8257023437_42fb691a29_o.jpg

Just because all wide primes have bokeh problems does not mean that they are equally bad.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
1 upvote
motobloat
By motobloat (Dec 23, 2012)

Mr. Duck, if you can tell the difference between the two images you posted, I'm sure the rest of the class would love to know what exactly you think you are seeing.

The second link Amin posted has plenty of detailed blur comparisons that show that there is little if any difference between the two lenses: http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-35mm-f14-vs-Canon-35mm-f14-L

If you removed the titles on those images, there's no way anyone would be able to tell which lens is which. If you just want to bash Sigma, fine, bash away, but no one is taking you seriously...

4 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 23, 2012)

"For me it's a deal-breaker: bad bokeh means unusable portraits."

For me, a 35mm lens would not be my first choice for portraiture.

1 upvote
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Dec 23, 2012)

I agree with you !
I too think the same with my Voigtlander 15mm F4.5
The bokeh is too harsh for portrait with this wide lens so I think I will give it up.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 23, 2012)

Nothing harsh about the Sigma bokeh in this portrait from the samples. This mini-thread is an example of extreme pixel-peeping run amok.

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2341350/pt3c9295?inalbum=sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-preview-samples

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 23, 2012)

Mr. motobloat, if you cannot tell the difference, you need a P&S. I see that the tune has changed; from "the Sigma has better bokeh" to""the Sigma is worse but you cannot tell the difference". Well, I can.

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 23, 2012)

Folks, I'm not saying that the Sigma's bokeh is unusable but rather that the dpreview bokeh test doesn't tell us anything useful. Closed down to f1.6 or f2 or change of focus distance and those hard rings and double lines may well disappear, which is typical of most good-bokeh lenses any way. My best bokeh lenses have terrible bokeh wide-open. The only exceptions I know to this rule are the Sony 35/1.8, the X-Pro1 fuji 35/1.4 and the Canon 35/1.4.

It seems I haven't been clear enough. I am not criticising the sigma's bokeh: I am criticising the dpreview bokeh test.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 23, 2012)

Wetsleet:"For me, a 35mm lens would not be my first choice for portraiture."

hmmm, yet 35mm on APS-C is 55mm equiv, a first choice perspective for portraiture. Are you thinking of head and shoulder portraits? Then of course 35mm is no use for that.

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 23, 2012)

"Nothing harsh about the Sigma bokeh in this portrait from the samples. This mini-thread is an example of extreme pixel-peeping run amok."

No it isn't. Smooth bokeh is an important feature for pro portraits, and that bokeh is of the type that disturbs the vision at normal viewing distances. A closer look (your 'pixel peeping') reveals the reasons, hard rigns and double-lining. Nevertheless, the examples are of no use since both such artifacts could disappear one stop down.

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 23, 2012)

@itsastickup
Well, APS-C also would not be my first choice for portraiture ;)

The 'bokeh' criticisms of this lens seem to centre on out of focus specular highlights - bright points of light - which are rendered as little circles. Would you anticipate such a background for portraits? I guess it depends whether you do studio portraits, or more candid stuff where you can't so easily cotrol the background.

2 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 24, 2012)

"The 'bokeh' criticisms of this lens seem to centre on out of focus specular highlights - bright points of light - which are rendered as little circles."

This is incorrect.

0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (Dec 24, 2012)

The Sigma has far less CA in the tree-comparison Duck posted, and looks sharper, as well. I see no real difference in the Bokeh in this example...the Sigma is superior in this shot

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 24, 2012)

@ Donald Duck
I was referring to this, from the review:
"The distant background in the first example doesn't look very pretty when viewed close-up, with point highlights on the fountain showing up as bright rings, and the tree branches a jumble of green and magenta."

and:

"In the second sample the story is more complicated; on the whole the lens has drawn the out-of-focus areas quite attractively. But again point highlights to the lower right are reproduced as hard-edged bright rings, and the sign upper left shows plenty of CA."

To me that says that, in the main, the issue is with out of focus bright highlights which are rendered as rings.

I haven't tested the lens myself, but I am assuming that what DPR reports is, in fact, correct.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 25, 2012)

DPR are incorrect. Most criticism (of users) comes from double lines and other harsh rendered bokeh when the blur is not strong enough. The OOF highlights can hint what you can get, if they are not too big but this is not really a reason for complaints.

DPR had a few shots showing this clearly but they removed them a few weeks ago. Do not blame them - they are here to sell ads, not to help you.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
light_bulb
By light_bulb (Dec 22, 2012)

Sigma has managed to do some serious overhaul with their lenses.
I am using the Sigma 120-300 2.8 OS and am very happy. No reason to go for a 5k $ Nikkor.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
armaco
By armaco (Dec 22, 2012)

ordered .....

2 upvotes
tom sugnet
By tom sugnet (Dec 22, 2012)

Nikkor 28 f/1.8 AF-S has better bokeh, and is cheaper.

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 22, 2012)

And is 7mm shorter...
different FL, and 28 usually fits in a different niche

4 upvotes
IrishhAndy
By IrishhAndy (Dec 22, 2012)

And focus shift.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 22, 2012)

@IrishAndy
I have the 28 1.8G there is no focus shift, just a very sharp lens with great color/contrast typical of N crystal coated lenses. Have you used it or are you simply parroting some forum chatter about focus shift nonsense?

5 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 22, 2012)

I've been shooting this lens for a few weeks. It really is exceptionally good.

1 upvote
solarsky
By solarsky (Dec 22, 2012)

Wow! And now:

TheCameraStoreTV just did a Sigma DP 1 & 2 Merrill Field Test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3VjyHQiqdE

Merry Christmas everyone!

3 upvotes
Just a Photographer
By Just a Photographer (Dec 22, 2012)

All of my previous Sigma lenses have sucked so far.
Optically it might be good, but the built quality always lacks.

I'd rather pay somewhat more for a non rattling but quality good built lens. My Sigma 150 mm VR Macro makes a clunky noise during the focussing process. My 105mm has problems with the aperture blades sometimes getting stuck.

No more Sigma for me.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 46 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
jorg14
By jorg14 (Dec 22, 2012)

I had a Sigma 10-20 for about 10 years that was my main lens and worked great. Very solid and smooth. Just to throw in another experience.

4 upvotes
jorg14
By jorg14 (Dec 22, 2012)

.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 22, 2012)

Brilliant testimony, you might want to consider actually reading up on this new lens though. Spewing out hate for something based on experience like that makes so little sense, and paying somewhat more for quality is exactly what's going on here, Sigma is asking for a premium price and they've delivered in build quality and IQ

6 upvotes
adegroot
By adegroot (Dec 22, 2012)

you just don't get the point: Sigma upped their quality in every way, and every lens is individually tested before it leaves the factory

3 upvotes
mumintroll
By mumintroll (Dec 22, 2012)

This Sigma DP2 is just stunning. I'm gonna buy one, just waiting for delivery.

2 upvotes
Thomas Kachadurian
By Thomas Kachadurian (Dec 22, 2012)

I would have agreed with you until last year when I got a 50mm f1.4

In the past I've had terrible Sigma experiences, but it looks like they are making a real effort. My Sigma 50mm f1.4 is easily as good or better than even Canon L lenses. (I've had red rings fall right off.) Based on the 50mm I plan to get this new 35.

0 upvotes
Just a Photographer
By Just a Photographer (Dec 23, 2012)

For those who might think it is a hate for Sigma i have, they are wrong! Its not that the picture quality of the Sigma is bad or anything. The pictures that come out are actually quite fine.

However its the total Sigma experience that will make me hold back on another Sigma purchase. In the end I have never had any 'good feeling' over the Sigma's lenses I have owned.

The IQ of this lens seems to be fine too, but if its rattling and makes bunky noises like the 150mm Macro it makes you feel like it might break on you during any photography session you do with it.

That said, i have not used this new 35 f1.4 or never hold it in my hands yet.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 24, 2012)

Sigma quality, both optically and mechanically has always been all over the map. But there isn't any reason why, if they really want to, they can't produce an excellent product. Still, when I read the Luminous Landscape review of the Merrill camera and it had dust on the sensor, I shook my head and thought "that's Sigma".

0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (Dec 25, 2012)

Had the same thing-blades stuck at f16- with an old zeiss macro 60/2.8. but it was used. can easily be repaired.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Rocco Tanica
By Rocco Tanica (Dec 22, 2012)

I'm sure that it's a great lens but I don't understand how can dpreview say that this Sigma outperform Nikon equivalent if they don' t even test it!?!

3 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 22, 2012)

The test data for the Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samyang and Zeiss 35mm F1.4s is available - simply click on one of the 'compare' links in the widget.

8 upvotes
Jacqdem
By Jacqdem (Dec 22, 2012)

Sigma 35 seems to be a great lens. Yet I'll wait for Nikkor 35 2.0 (or 1.8) VR...

0 upvotes
jivers
By jivers (Dec 22, 2012)

Looks great and reasonable value given its construction. What's next Sigma? A 24 and an 85 would be nice.

0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Dec 22, 2012)

The 85 has been available for some time now. In fact, I have it for a year or so. Judgingby how good it is, if I could afford the 35 right now, it would be on preorder. Also, sigma has a 24 1.8, you could get it until the 1.4 appears.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Dec 22, 2012)

I for one I am happy to see Sigma climb out of their previous reputation of so so lenses. The lens of the DP2M, this lens, another lens some rental place who used to say Sigma was not as good as others, that has turned around lately over the years. It's all good.

2 upvotes
matreshka
By matreshka (Dec 22, 2012)

I am a happy owner of Sigma 35 1.4 and I really enjoy the sharpness and low CA of this lens when it is wide open (I can compare only to Canon's 50 1.4 and 35 2).
I do not have Canon 35 1.4 but what I saw from multiple comparing tests that Sigma's bokeh was at least as good as Canon's. Yep, it is some sort of "nervous" but it is a wide angle lens (as it peers) and it cannot be copared to smooth blurring of telephoto lens.

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Dec 22, 2012)

I've understood that the Canon 35/1.4 has exceptionally smooth bokeh, as well as being sharp all-over wide open.

http://kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/35mm-f14.htm

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Dec 22, 2012)

The lens is a no-brainer. Sigma...keep the new leaf turning and bring more Artists to the artists!!!

11 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Dec 22, 2012)

For all the quacking about bokeh, I notice that very few of the samples can really muster much of an OOF background despite shooting wide open and being close to the subject.
Those preoccupied by that issue should look to longer lenses.

0 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 22, 2012)

Actually, most of the portraits show well blurred background, so you are wrong. The question is about its quality, not quantity. DPR removed the bad bokeh examples a few weeks ago. Any time I mention this, my comment gets deleted by them.

4 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Dec 22, 2012)

The quality of OOF is fine but as to be so slight as to question the obsession with it as one needs to be about three feet from the subject. My point being that if one is obsessed with the fashion of shallow DOF as so many seem to be this lens delivers small quantities of it. Quality has not been questioned. So you have interpreted my statement incorrectly.
I am convinced that this lens is superb and intend to acquire one bt shallow DOF is not why I am getting it.

1 upvote
Spectro
By Spectro (Dec 22, 2012)

I don't care about the score, since it is the most affordable one (of the spec), I will buy it someday. You get what you pay for. I tested the sigma 85mm 1.4 vs nikkor and sigma is softer (if i was being picky), but I got the sigma because of the price.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
semorg
By semorg (Dec 22, 2012)

Nikon D800e should be the de facto body for testing lenses from this point on. Not sure why DPreview is waisting their time shooting with the canon.

1 upvote
Rad Encarnacion
By Rad Encarnacion (Dec 22, 2012)

Barney's response further down the comments: "We haven't yet got our hands on a Nikon-mount sample of this lens."

8 upvotes
DavidsfotosDotCom
By DavidsfotosDotCom (Dec 21, 2012)

PS: the ef f2 iS is 1/2 the weight!

1 upvote
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 22, 2012)

But it's not half the price...

1 upvote
Arn
By Arn (Dec 22, 2012)

and it's half as bright and significantly less sharp (see lensrentals test for comparison). I'm a fan of the original Canon 35/2, but it's easy to admit that Sigma has surpassed Canon (and actually every other brand too) and has made the best 35mm lens available.

0 upvotes
DavidsfotosDotCom
By DavidsfotosDotCom (Dec 21, 2012)

Why is DXO rating at 30 in one place & 31 in another?
Why is DXO not rating the ef 35mm f2 iS yet?
Canon's ef 35mm f2 iS has better MTF than its 35mm f1.4L!
We need this info to compare.

0 upvotes
Tim Devine
By Tim Devine (Dec 22, 2012)

The jury is out I guess until they get it reviewed, but early reports seem to indicate Sigma will still win in the resolution department.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/12/another-35mm-lens-for-canon#more-11231

1 upvote
Jaelkay
By Jaelkay (Dec 21, 2012)

I'm sure Sigma cherry-pick the lenses they send to DP Review and other reviewers.

The Sigma 35 f1.4 I have is nowhere nearly as good as my Nikon 35 f1.4. The borders on the Sigma are very soft when compared with the Nikon.

3 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Dec 22, 2012)

Then I would exchange it for one that bests your Nikon.

2 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Dec 22, 2012)

really? do they cherry pick 50 or 100 lenses that they send to lensrentals.com who does its own testing and says exactly same thing?

10 upvotes
matreshka
By matreshka (Dec 22, 2012)

Following "cherry-pick" theory, I should be a very important person in the world of photo gear as my copy of Sigma 35 1.4 is astonishing sharp virtually without CA wide open :))

8 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (Dec 22, 2012)

Lol, I love these conspiracy theories.

Seriously though, look up the recent lensrentals test that has five copies tested. They are all the the same. And Roger Cicala is a self-confessed Sigma non-fan. In fact, read everything on his blog. It's that good.

9 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Dec 22, 2012)

Oh, so YOU own the Nikon and therefore the Sigma can't be nearly as good?

Please, tell us more...

5 upvotes
Jaelkay
By Jaelkay (Dec 22, 2012)

I own both, silly person.

1 upvote
sgtbueno
By sgtbueno (Dec 22, 2012)

Nikon 35mm is the worst of all of the 35mm lenses

1 upvote
adegroot
By adegroot (Dec 22, 2012)

you are wrong on the cherry picking

0 upvotes
Arn
By Arn (Dec 22, 2012)

And of course it's *only* Sigma lenses that are cherry picked and not Canon and Nikon lenses... Rigt? :D sheesh... What is it with this kindergarten obsession of "my brand is the best and your brand sucks" that so often goes on with camera gear? It definitely has nothing to do with photography. Anyway, Lensrentals tested their Sigma 35mm to be sharper than the sharpest Canon 35/1.4 they ever tested (and I believe they have tested quite a few of those Canon 35/1.4), how's that for cherry picking?

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 24, 2012)

I'm not sure how things are done these days but not long ago, a publication doing a test would request, or sometimes buy a lens. If the test went well, fine. If the lens was really bad, the distributor would be contacted, asking if this poor performance was typical. I'll let you finish the story.

0 upvotes
ulfie
By ulfie (Dec 21, 2012)

DxOMark test results/specs are great yet the actual image quality even for the "originals" are really no better than say the Panasonic 20 f1.7's which costs about 1/3 and is only a tad slower f-stopwise and a tad tighter FOVwise.

0 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 22, 2012)

The Panasonic is MUCH slower. About 40/3.4 on FF.

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Dec 22, 2012)

Duck: Speed is speed. You are confusing comparative DOF with the actual speed.

4 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 22, 2012)

You are confusing ISO, say 1600, with one format with ISO 1600 with another.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Roger Nordin
By Roger Nordin (Dec 22, 2012)

Who said anything about ISO?
Who said anything about DOF?
Shutter *speed* is the same. That's what counts for me, when shooting handheld in low light. And millions of other shooters as well... Maybe not for you, in your particular application. But difference in DOF actually may work the other way, enabling you to actually shoot at better shutter speeds while still maintaining enough DOF for the shot. Let try to add some perspective here, ok?
Maybe your particular application requires this particular focal length. But that aspect aside, those looking for ultrathin DOF should be looking at longer telephoto lens.
And those looking for a different effect on ISO should be looking for another camera. :-)

0 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 22, 2012)

And who said anything about speed? Lenses do not have speed.

Until you understand that ISO 400 on 4/3 is equivalent to roughly speaking ISO 1600 on FF, you are going to remain confused.

A 20/1.7 lens has much smaller physical aperture than a 35/1.4 lens, as simple as that. The ratio is about 2.17 stops. This includes DOF, and total light captured. The total light determines the shot noise with the SAME speed.

2 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Dec 21, 2012)

WHy is sharpness so much higher on 5D2 than 7D? Sensor limitations? If so then this is little more than apples-oranges comparison. Lens tests need to be on a standardized sensor or preferably sensor independent, such as a projection target, or heaven forbid, film.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
oysso
By oysso (Dec 21, 2012)

very easy: when using a full frame sensor, then the image has to be enlarged less to make same output image. So the conclusion is: buy a full frame camera. It is only when you always have to crop your image, that crop camera can be equal or better than full frame.

0 upvotes
wkay
By wkay (Dec 22, 2012)

then the test is only a measure of the sensor and not the lens itself? makes the results totally biased.

0 upvotes
brendon1000
By brendon1000 (Dec 22, 2012)

The full sized images are available for download for your reference if required.

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Dec 21, 2012)

The shots in the gallery don't do justice the test results at all. Something is wrong... ;)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 21, 2012)

Don't know which gallery you're looking at. The images are tack sharp, well exposed, interesting scenics from London. What more do you want from test images?

5 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (Dec 21, 2012)

35mm very sharp at 1.4 lens will be famous. I looked at bokeh shots and comparisons and that is the only area that is relatively weaker. Who is very particular about the rich background bokeh won’t be totally thrilled. OTOH, the ultimate bokeh cream is not everyone’s top priority with every FL and can be seen slightly overrated, like for me. I reckon the whole package and the very useful sharp f1.4 in this type of lens will make people easily forgiving in this regard and making them see this minor. As a side note and a MF one, I am very happy with my Samyang.

4 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (Dec 21, 2012)

How nice. Now there's hardly anything to complain about on DPR, now that nobody can say they don't review anything/review only superzooms.

0 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 21, 2012)

Count me in as one who whined about the superzoom reviews....
I'm happy to see the review on this Sigma....looks good and will be on my list to buy.

3 upvotes
Erik Johansen
By Erik Johansen (Dec 21, 2012)

For that price it should got a 100% score.......

8 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 21, 2012)

It's cheap compared to Canikon. Geez...some of you people are never happy.

12 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 21, 2012)

I think you guys actually agree with each other, but please feel free to continue arguing.

25 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2012)

Ahhh. I must admit I interpreted Erik's post the same way as Clint did. Looked to me that Erik is saying that "such an expensive lens should have been good enough to get a 100% score". But from your comment it seems Erik meant to say that "considering the high performance this lens is achieving at such a low price, dpreview should have given it a 100%".

4 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 21, 2012)

Great minds think alike:)

4 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Dec 24, 2012)

Fools seldom differ...

Sorry I just resist it... ;-)

0 upvotes
gsum
By gsum (Dec 21, 2012)

I'm a bit surprised to see so much CA in the real world examples in such an expensive lens, particularly at this focal length. Also, DPReview, why the excessive sharpening?

A D800e would have given this lens a better real world test as there would be no anti-alias smearing.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 21, 2012)

We haven't yet got our hands on a Nikon-mount sample of this lens.

2 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2012)

CA is common with all ultra-fast lenses including much more expensive lenses like Cnaon 85mm 1.2L. Remember ultra-fast lenses push the optics to the limit and do suffer from such compromises. Sigma actually does better than many other fast lenses.

1 upvote
gsum
By gsum (Dec 21, 2012)

Yes, sorry, the D800 has made me into a terrible pixel-peeper. I'll get over it eventually.

0 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (Dec 22, 2012)

Also looking forward to D800e results

1 upvote
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (Dec 21, 2012)

Is the AF ring electronic (continuos rotation) or mechanical with hard stops ?

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Dec 21, 2012)

It's like any other ring-type USM lens. Mechanically coupled (not electronic), but with a clutch mechanism that means it won't rotate during AF. At the end of the focus travel there are semi-hard stops; the ring will continue to rotate without damaging the lens, but with increased resistance.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Dec 21, 2012)

I struggle with the bokeh. I am not a pixel peeper. I'd rather my optics were pleasing. for the price it might be a win. but do you reall want to shoot this at f 1.4 given the OOF. its not a deal if the max app isnt very usable.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 21, 2012)

What's wrong with the bokeh? Looks pretty great to me.

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2341350/pt3c9295?inalbum=sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-preview-samples

And sharpness wide open is already over 40 lpmm (see Lenstip review) which means it's more than usable, it's great at max aperture.

4 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Dec 22, 2012)

The max aperture seems eminently usable as it is sharper than the competition and the user is just as likely to miss focus wide open.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Dec 22, 2012)

No one said it wasn't sharp I said the bokeh looked annoying read the criticism before you respond to it

0 upvotes
Delos
By Delos (Dec 21, 2012)

I wish Sigma would make this (and other) lens with an aperture ring so I could use this with my mirrorless camera when not on my Nikon.

2 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (Dec 21, 2012)

"a top notch fast 35mm autofocus prime without breaking the bank"
Priced £900, the author obviously must be making a fortune writing for DPreview! This lens is priced at a working man's monthly income. I wouldn't call that cheap! Please think twice before you write this kind of thing!

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Dec 21, 2012)

its $900. in britain it is £788.99 witch is about $1300. that is alot and actually about what you pay for first party glass here. This is what pro optics cost though. 900 dollar is very reasonable for it and i suspect 1300 in britain is a good deal to. this is the cos of living in a society with big vat and other taxes. you get free healthcare but expensive camera lenses. there is no free lunch

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2012)

Quality photography gear is expensive and you have to look at the price in that context. Compared to the Canon/Nikon/Sony versions at $1500-1600 and the Zeiss at $1800, the Sigma at $900 is surely a much more affordable option.

3 upvotes
Clint Dunn
By Clint Dunn (Dec 21, 2012)

Nobody said photography is cheap. If you make $900/month maybe a cheaper hobby is in line...or lower expectations for what gear you want.

6 upvotes
acidic
By acidic (Dec 21, 2012)

@Kodachrome200
There is no free lunch anywhere but at least you have 1 pound fish.

0 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (Dec 21, 2012)

Why doesn't dpreview mention the price in euro? Isn't continental Europe a big enough market?
I have found a retailer selling this lens for € 949,00
Where I live, in Belgium, I would use the expression 'without breaking the bank' for a selling price of, hm, let's say € 100. These lenses do exist, the 'nifty fifty' being one example.
I have no problem with expensive glass. I understand that some people, especially pros, are prepared to invest in glass in that price range. My issue lies with the choice of words of the reviewer, who clearly has lost connection with the real world out there and normal standards of living.

2 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (Dec 21, 2012)

Anyhow, I have noticed that dpreview has changed the article a bit, and re-worded it. I guess this proves my criticism was rigth.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2012)

I am sure there are plenty of people who won't or can't spend even € 100 on just a lens or a few hundred pounds on a DSLR. The point is that this comment is in the context of people who are advanced enough into their photography hobby to be looking beyond the $400 35mm f2 lenses. For many of them the jump from a $400 35mm f2 to a $1600 35mm 1.4 is not viable. However the sigma at $900 becomes much more in the realm of affordability. Anyways we are nitpicking here.

1 upvote
random78
By random78 (Dec 21, 2012)

Sure, I am glad you are happy now :)

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Dec 21, 2012)

@acidic 1pound fish?

0 upvotes
u007
By u007 (Dec 22, 2012)

Get it for £535 from Hong Kong. Absolute bargain!

0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Dec 21, 2012)

A-haaa: a good Sigma! Cheers! :)

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 21, 2012)

There are lots of good Sigma lenses: the 50 1.4 HSM, 85 1.4 HSM, 105 and 150 2.8 EX Macros, 17-50 2.8, et al.

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 21, 2012)

In my camera store days I felt guilty when I sold a Sigma lens but if these lenses are consistent and they hold up mechanically, my hat is off to Sigma.

1 upvote
Total comments: 182
12