Previous news story    Next news story

Just Posted: Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Preview Samples

By dpreview staff on Dec 4, 2012 at 19:54 GMT
Buy on GearShopFrom $899.00

We've just posted a gallery of shots from Sigma's new 35mm F1.4 DG HSM prime lens, showing off its capabilities in a range of different environments, across its aperture range. We were very excited to start using this lens, and so far, it doesn't disappoint. Our gallery contains 23 photographs taken using the Canon EOS-1D X and 5D Mark III, and includes several images converted from Raw. A full review is on its way before the end of the year, but for now, we hope you enjoy our gallery of initial images. 

Sigma 35mm F1.4 Preview Samples - Posted 4th December 2012

There are 23 images in the samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. A reduced size image (within 1024 x 1024 bounds) is provided to be more easily viewed in your browser. As always the original untouched image is available by clicking on this reduced image.

503
I own it
210
I want it
21
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 81
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 20, 2012)

Head-to-head tests like like over at DxOMark and other places have this Spanking the L and Nikkors and beating even the Zeiss.

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 13, 2012)

To those people saying their 35L still rules: Every test I've seen of this lens measures it as way sharper wide-open than either your 35L or my 35/1.4G. The ONLY thing I'd be concerned about with the Sigma is the Bokeh, which seems nervous to me, especially slightly OOF specular highlights. I plan on doing some of my own rudimentary testing and will decide if I will sell my 35G in favor of the Sigma when a local store has one in stock.

0 upvotes
CrazyPipo
By CrazyPipo (Dec 12, 2012)

Compare its price/quality to Nikon's version, I think I might give this lens a try :)

0 upvotes
Alejandro del Pielago
By Alejandro del Pielago (Dec 9, 2012)

I like a lot third party options (and my wallet), but in this case I find that the Canon 35 L still rules.

This Sigma seems to be very correct, and therefore is a nice option to get a bright prime, but the sharpness and colors of my 35mm are in other level... I hate the price of the Canon, but the 35mm L is very very good indeed despite some issues.

0 upvotes
Austin101
By Austin101 (Dec 9, 2012)

Very good lens, had it for a few days in a Nikon mount, sharp wide open but not clinically sharp like the Canon 35L I used to have, focusing is very fast and out of focus rendering is smooth, its not a pretty lens but its well worth the money.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Dec 6, 2012)

now 35/1.4L and 35/1.4G can go where they belong, the toilet.

0 upvotes
Richard Franiec
By Richard Franiec (Dec 6, 2012)

This lens definitely gets attention and for a good reason but comparing it to 15 years old design of EF lens is somewhat not fair.
Of course C@N can sit on the laurels as long as they wish and if they won't take notice it would be their own fault. Bravo Sigma!

One curious thing is not providing this lens in SA mount for Sigma SD camera users at least at the same time as in other mounts. Since Sigma is building their own DSLR systems for some time now this seems quite puzzling and dishonest for their own DSLR users?

0 upvotes
HBowman
By HBowman (Dec 7, 2012)

Dear Richard,

This very 35mm came first in SA mount and one of my mate already have it since weeks on his SD1, in Paris.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Dec 7, 2012)

Canon has been working on 35/1.4L2 for years and we should be able to see it next year I think, at 3 times the price.

0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Dec 5, 2012)

As far as one can tell (without direct comparison) this lens looks really good, and is my favourite prime focal length too. Where did I leave my credit card?

0 upvotes
armaco
By armaco (Dec 5, 2012)

it seems like a great lens .... based from the links ' bossa ' provides ....
I will get one some day.

0 upvotes
rayman 2
By rayman 2 (Dec 5, 2012)

The Sigma lens might be a good lens but Sigma both
in the Usa as in many parts of the world except Hongkong
and Japan wont update the firmware of lenses for them to work with
them Nikon series 1 and the FT1 adapter which is a shame.....
Sigma showed once more that its not futureproof ! :(

1 upvote
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (Dec 17, 2012)

They're future proofing with the USB lens dock, and don't be blaming Sigma for having to reverse engineer and figure out how to get their lenses' AF to work on any other body, with little support from CaNikon they came this far

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Dec 5, 2012)

Really can't learn much about this lens from these photos.

0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (Dec 5, 2012)

Apart from an indication of sharpness, falloff, contrast. A couple of these images show how the lens might cope with flare and ghosting.
So not much there. Can't really learn much.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Dec 5, 2012)

@jadot
And what's your evaluation?

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Dec 5, 2012)

Which actually proves, that irrespective of the lens, images in the field really do not show their absolute optical capabilities.
Take home lesson: stop obsessing and enjoy.

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Dec 5, 2012)

OK...I take my comment back. I was looking at this page on my iPad and just opened it up on my iMac. I was totally incorrect. The shot of the gentleman in the table in the booth f/1.4 shows really good sharpness @ that aperture and nice bokeh of the lights in the background, especially for a wide angle lens. Sorry I jumped the gun..am cursing my iPad right now! Lens looks really interesting. Would like to see a side-by-side with the Canan equivalent.

1 upvote
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (Dec 5, 2012)

I tested it briefly on a D800 today at Yodobashi. Very very nice. I'm not an AF guy as current AF lenses are too big and heavy, but this lens looks and performs well. Bokeh is wonderful, focus is fast and rather quiet. Build is up to current Nikon standards. Manual focus isn't nearly as good as a proper Ai lens, but apart from that, there's not much to complain about.

If I were to get an AF 1,4/35mm lens, it would be the sigma. I'm not though, so whoopee!

4 upvotes
RicardoPhotos
By RicardoPhotos (Dec 5, 2012)

I'm probably going to test it from a rental location someday. These are some of the best pictures I've seen from dpreview from a lens test. I like what I see. Compared to $2000 for a Zeiss, this might be a real option.

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Dec 5, 2012)

I don't know. I'm sure it's an excellent lens and will do the job, but other than 2/3rd of a stop, I'm not sure it's any better than Nikon's superb 28 f/1.8G for a couple hundred less dollars and Nano Crystal coating. In fact, it might not be quite as good. I don't know. My Nikon 28 f/1.8G performs so well, I can't really imagine needing a 3rd party 35 f/1.4 for any use.

I perfer a slightly wider field of view when I can get it. I'm completely sold on Nikon's Nano Crystal coating. I love the light weight of the new 28. So far, I've not seen any field curvature nor focus shift some have reported. What more could one ask for for $200 less USD? Why would I need a 35mm? My 35 f/2 AFD already is retired to the shelf.

Moreover, it would probably be a rare day I'd use a wide angle at under around f/4, more likely being at f/5.6 or f/8. To even consider the f/1.4 over f/1.8 seems to not be a worry in the least. Again, I'm sure it's a great lens, but..

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 5, 2012)

Totally agree about the Nikon 28.18G. Now I know what all the fuss is about with Nano Crystal coated lenses. Color, contrast are and flare control are excellent.

But I do like the 35mm focal length in general as a slightly wider normal lens and this Sigma looks like a winner.

2 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 5, 2012)

Actually... 35 and 50 mm focal length are more like standard focal length (although eye standard perspectives would be more around 43, 44).

21, 24, 28, are wide angles and, as such, they tend to "compress" distance between the subject and the background.

1.4 - 1.8 might not seem huge, but it can be useful if you're framing a subject that is not too close and you still wish to isolate, 35 mm is pretty cool for street shooting, or shooting people in general (not portraits, I mean people in action or such).

Plus a wide angle usually has a rather deep depth of field, so a fast aperture give you more options. You don't need f/8 to have most of your composition in focus on a 35 mm and even less on wider angles, so you can work with faster apertures with less risks of misfocusing. If you use an 85 at an event to take pictures of people, good chances if it is in low light you will need to open a good deal, and it's harder to compose, (unless you just wanna isolate the face)

0 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 5, 2012)

or you bump the iso... and well you just lose details...

So basically it all depends on your subjects, the size of your prints, the perspective you wish to render, and son on...

But a fast 35 mm for shooting people is a good deal. Enables you to work in low light, with good image quality, and it's rendering perspective in a rather neutral way, more natural than wide angles.

1 upvote
bossa
By bossa (Dec 6, 2012)

The 28/1.8G is not very good on a D7000 or D800. There's a resolution 'dip' where the borders would be on APS-C and the corners are pretty average on a D800.

This Sigma will probably beat the Nikon even though I object to slightly OOF highlights rendering as rings.

When saying that this or that lens is great, I think these days you need to qualify that sort of comment according to the sensor and format you are using.

On a lower resolution sensor like the D700 I'm sure that lens would be very nice though.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jadot
By jadot (Dec 5, 2012)

Really impressed with this, especially when compared to the more expensive Nikon equivalent.
I'm keeping my eyes peeled for Sigma's next generation 85 1.4. Coupled with this 35mm is probably all I'll ever use on my Nikons.
...Maybe a 21mm for fun.
...and a 50 for the weight.
Other than a 105 micro, I don't think I'd need anything else.
The 17-35's nice though.

1 upvote
cheddargav
By cheddargav (Dec 5, 2012)

It's the best focal length in my opinion, and now everyone has a slightly cheaper alternative to the Canon/Nikon pro lenses. If I didn't already own the 35 1.4 L I'd be definitely on this

1 upvote
fotografyi
By fotografyi (Dec 5, 2012)

I am on the waiting list for one. Can't wait to arrive before Xmas :-)))

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Dec 5, 2012)

Would like to see more Xmas like shots with colorful bokeh in the background.
I mean ... hey it's December and I'm pretty sure wherever those shots have been taken there must exist something more Xmas like.

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Dec 5, 2012)

LOL

0 upvotes
semorg
By semorg (Dec 5, 2012)

I see major curvature issues. Which may not be bad if you want to isolate the center

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 5, 2012)

Have you seen these:
http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-35mm-f14-vs-Canon-35mm-f14-L
http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-35mm-f14-vs-Samyang-35mm-f142
http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-35mmmf14-vs-Contax-35mm-f14

3 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 5, 2012)

http://lcap.tistory.com/entry/Sigma-35mm-f14-ImageOriginal-Size

I had to download the original file and view it at 100% to see it though.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 5, 2012)

The ONLY fault I can find with this lens is the way it renders slightly OOF specular highlights. They appears as rings.
See the nose of the dog in the following picture:
http://cfile23.uf.tistory.com/image/13756D3950AF6F1D13E6B8

0 upvotes
WolfyWho
By WolfyWho (Dec 5, 2012)

Is this lens weather sealed? (Sorry if it's already been asked.)

0 upvotes
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Dec 5, 2012)

Yep, it is :)

0 upvotes
Spendthrift
By Spendthrift (Dec 5, 2012)

I got to handle the Sigma 35 today on a 6D. I was surprised and impressed by the build and heft of the lens, and it was quite accurate on the 6D as well.

I will definitely be picking up one of these babies. And I don't understand the people complaining about softness...the ACR processed ones are quite sharp, even wide open. And I give a thumbs up to the photography in general. Bunch of whiny brats expecting nothing but top notch photographs....sheesh.

3 upvotes
Red G8R
By Red G8R (Dec 5, 2012)

Very impressed so far. Other sites have shown comparison with Canon35/1.4 L and the Sigma betters it many ways. So far no comparisons with Nikon.
I have this preordered.

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 5, 2012)

I like the lack of LoCA (better than my 35/1.4G) and I don't mind the very large OOF HL's but the slightly OOF specular HL's are little loops (aspherical elements at work) as they give many of the images a nervous look. Check out shot # 2341143.jpg and look 1/2 way down the oblique wood element of the image and you'll notice lots if tiny specular loops (not unlike that which a mirror lens would produce).

I grabbed the full res' files and loaded them into LR4 to get a decent view of the details.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

Looks like a very good lens. I just bought a Nikon 28 1.8G which is fantastic, so I'm not sure I need a 35mm lens between it, and my 50 1.8G. But, this lens, along with the Samyang 35 1.4 are definitely two top choices at the low to mid price range. I cannot think of a better choice than the Nikon 35 1.4, but I'm sure my wife can.

0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Dec 4, 2012)

Seriously, you don't need a 35 between a 28 and a 50. Actually, if you have a 35, you don't really need a 28 or a 50, depending on your style. If focal lenghth is so important to you, just buy a zoom, the 24-70 is all you will ever need.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

Nicolai, when is focal length not important?

And sorry, but I don't think an f2.8 zoom lens is "all one ever needs". I shoot video in low light, so I prefer moderately fast lenses. But yes, I'd love to have a Nikon 24-70, but I'm not sure I want to carry such a heavy lens on my D800, hence the 3 primes 28-50-85 that I use.

4 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (Dec 4, 2012)

28-50-85 or 35-50-85 is a nice trio, full frame. APSC that's 19~23-33-56.

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Dec 5, 2012)

21 - 35 - 50 - 85 150 (or 180) are decent primes that can cover a fair bit of real estate.

0 upvotes
rfsIII
By rfsIII (Dec 5, 2012)

I own the nikon 24-70 and while it's a great lens that focuses instantly and delivers gorgeous results starting right at f/2.8, it's a pig to use. First of all it's enormous so there's no way to use it discretely, and second, its bigness makes it hard to maneuver when you're shooting quickly. I can completely see the appeal of a smaller, lighter lens especially when shooting people, events, anywhere that you need to be light on your feet. It's time to get back to the olden days when people used two camera bodies with two different focal length lenses.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Nerval
By Nerval (Dec 5, 2012)

@Nicolai
Try street shooting with a 5D MKII and a 24-70 f/2.8...
People will look at you as if you're either a hoodlum or a pervert !
No, seriously a zoom is good thing as it fits all the purpose, sure, but it's big and slow...
Standard and wide lenses with fast apertures enable the photographer to play a little more with depth of field, plus they won't let you down when the night falls! And they're usually more compact, and show less distortion!
Gotta love primes! (that's why I still love using the OM-1 with all its manual primes... 21, 35, 50 mainly)

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
vladimir vanek
By vladimir vanek (Dec 4, 2012)

this type of gallery is soo annoying! page reload on every click on an image, endless scrolling again and again to center the picture vertically... vrrrr....

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 4, 2012)

We're working on a more user-friendly system, but 'slideshow' will help if you want to quickly go through images.

1 upvote
motobloat
By motobloat (Dec 4, 2012)

Setting up Lightbox2 (or similar) for your galleries would be super great and easy to implement.

http://lokeshdhakar.com/projects/lightbox2/

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

@motobloat

Lightbox doesn't allow zooming in on an image and is just a simple Javascript that automatically resizes images, and dims the background. The Flash solution that DPR is currently using in Slideshow mode is much better and more sophisticated.

Personally, I like DPR gallery software, but i use a very large monitor so I don't have to scroll too much.

0 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 5, 2012)

Barney, please don't forget tablets! There is no flash on the iPad and besides that, the forum text entry causes crashes and other weird usability issues.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 5, 2012)

On the list. Small team, big list :)

3 upvotes
Photogaz
By Photogaz (Dec 4, 2012)

I'm not sure if it's a bad thing but photography wise the dpreview samples are always dull.

0 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (Dec 4, 2012)

Yup, so it distracts not where it goes about on a site as DPreview, the gear.

I prefer to call them functional images, they are 'selling' the quality of the lens, not that of the photographer. They usually give a good overall impression what to expect from lenses and their characteristics.

I think the this Sigma is an excellent lens. Only some of the "boke" in the samples feel a little too harsh for my taste.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

The images look great especially PT3C9289. Besides, they are just showing off the lens not doing full lighting, makeup, PP, etc.

0 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Dec 4, 2012)

I'd really like to see how this looks on the K-5. Strongly thinking this lens will be my next purchase.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Dec 4, 2012)

Why not the 30mm f1.4? Half the price and fits your sensor.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Dec 4, 2012)

because we're hoping for a full frame pentax next year ;)

Comment edited 17 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
stanic042
By stanic042 (Dec 5, 2012)

there is always next year ;)

0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Dec 4, 2012)

Well, it doesn't look like it's going to be on par with the canon L or the nikon G, but at roughly half the price, in my country, it would be naive to expect that. The image quality is decent, vignetting is acceptable, not much chromatic abberation, pretty good sharpness. I don't relally like the colors, they are pretty bland, sigma style, or maybe it's that canon sensor. Also, the bokeh isn't something to rave about, the highlights are pretty dissapoiting, showing a texture in the highlight blobs. This being said, this lens does cost about 800E brand new in the store, so the only real choices for this money or less are the f/2 lenses from canon/nikon, if you want AF, that is.

0 upvotes
motobloat
By motobloat (Dec 4, 2012)

Meh, I dunno, looking at background blur in samples of the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 and Canon 35mm f/1.4, they're not really any better. Wide angle lenses have a tough time with background blur because of the perspective effect on the background, so none of them will ever be as good as an 85mm anyway.

Regarding sharpness, aberrations and the rest, I'll wait for the imatest / dx0mark results. Random sample photos are not going to be meaningful for accurately measuring those qualities due to all of the uncontrolled variables. Empirical science - separating fact from fiction since 1600BC!

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

Maybe I'm alone on this one but to me the Sigma looks like it will be better than the Canon 35L. Trust me, I'm not a Sigma fan so I'm hardly biased.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Dec 4, 2012)

I can almost guarantee that the Nikon 35 1.4 G, a nano crystal coated lens, will have better color/contrast. And for a wide, it have very decent bokeh helped by it's 9-blade round aperture. But it's not news to anyone that a wide angle lens won't blow out a background like an 85mm portrait lens.

It looks like the Sigma 35 1.4 (like their 50 1.4 and 85 1.4) will be an excellent lens. And the new barrel looks sharp.

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Dec 4, 2012)

In corners - defenitely better than Canon 35L.

1 upvote
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 4, 2012)

Some of your f/1.4 images are a bit soft. Did you use a tripod?

0 upvotes
Ak pinxit
By Ak pinxit (Dec 4, 2012)

IMO images bit soft , JPG and RAW processed alike . Corners will need constant correction unlike on 50mm primes .

0 upvotes
stanic042
By stanic042 (Dec 4, 2012)

pretty sharp wide open

0 upvotes
Mystery Gardener
By Mystery Gardener (Dec 4, 2012)

'Our gallery contains 26 photographs taken using the Canon EOS-1D X and 5D Mark III'

WTF: I thought D800(E), Sony SLT were all the rage these days at DPR. Why are you using the 'old' Canon sensors to test these new lenses?

Just yanking your chain :-) nice set of test pics. Have a great day. Cheers :-)

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 4, 2012)

As is typical with new Sigma lenses, the Canon version becomes available to reviewers before other mounts ;)

6 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (Dec 4, 2012)

I'm surprisingly excited about this lens. Preordered!

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Dec 4, 2012)

35mm has always been a weird focal length to me, even if many Full frame street photographers adopted it as a standard. I'd rather shoot wider on a 28mm 1.8 or closer for better portraits.

0 upvotes
fierlingd
By fierlingd (Dec 4, 2012)

Yeah i have to say i'm pretty impressed with it.. this may be a must have lens (at least for me) .

like the bokeh. Like the contrast/detail wide open.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Lu Heng
By Lu Heng (Dec 4, 2012)

Is it just me, or your test pictures are getting better? I enjoyed some of them as photographs.
And I think the lens are not bad at all.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 4, 2012)

Scott is one of our best photographers - and it helps having a lens that we're excited about as well.

4 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Dec 4, 2012)

Rogers from lens rentals tested a single sample of the lens. He said that single sample was overall better than the best sample of the Canon L and Nikon G f1.4. He did say that the bokeh was not as nice (a tradeoff for better sharpness is his guess)

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Donald Duck
By Donald Duck (Dec 4, 2012)

The bokeh here: http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2341157/pt3c9403?inalbum=sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-preview-samples is terrible. The Canon would have problems there as well.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
GeorgeZ
By GeorgeZ (Dec 4, 2012)

I agree, they are rather useful.
Not the usual part of a Stop sign, part of a cycle wheel, part of a railroad track ;-)

0 upvotes
amatoer
By amatoer (Dec 4, 2012)

I had the exact same feeling. There are some very good photos among these samples. Warning: You may forget to look for lens 'errors', etc! :-)

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
deltab
By deltab (Dec 5, 2012)

I was tihnking the opposite- the test image album is really awful.

0 upvotes
mevbo
By mevbo (Dec 5, 2012)

Interested to see how this does with colors compaired to the Canon 35L.

0 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (Dec 5, 2012)

I once had the Zeiss Contax/Yashica. I am a bit surprised about the inferior resolution, despite its floating-element closeup-correction.
Would be interesting to see results at larger distances and corner-sharpness. In analogue-times at 2.0 light-fall-off was not disturbing other than the results i had with a really bad 35/2.0 OM. One of the reasons i switched to Contax.
On the other hand i am pleased to see that i can get a surperbe lens when i will jump on the sigma-foveon-train.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 81