Sigma 35 1.4 on D800 - wow, it really is that good

Started Dec 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
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inasir1971 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,470
Sigma 35 1.4 on D800 - wow, it really is that good

I just had the chance to try out my friends new Sigma 35 1.4 Nikon mount on a D800 and I was amazed by the lens. My frame of reference is the Nikon 35 1.4G and Zeiss 35/1.4 - both of which I have, so my expectations are pretty high.

I don't think any reviewers have done tests with the Nikon version so the lens hasn't really been reviewed on anything high resolution. For anyone looking to buy a 35 1.4 now, This lens is well worth a look.

I only had a brief time to play around with it as I was leaving to catch a flight back and it was my friends lens which he just purchased. Used lens (for 5 days!), no less, for around HK$5,500 (US$ 720) - talk about a lucky find.

Please view images at full resolution as these are 100% crops from the central area with a D800. Sharpening 60,0.7,70,20 in Lightroom.

Cat shot. Close range at f/1.4. Note the lack of color fringing in the out of focus areas of the whiskers (no green / magenta). This is not to say that the lens is truly apochromatic but it certainly has less, much much less, than the Nikon or the Zeiss 35 1.4s (or any 1.4 lens that I have used).

Also readily apparent was the lens' sharpness even at f/1.4. It is very noticeably sharper at f/1.4 on a D800 than certainly the Nikon 35 1.4G and maybe the Zeiss 35 1.4.

By f/2.8, it is crazy sharp. I'm sure someone will eventually do some figures for that but suffice it to say that it is very very good.

I didn't have time to AF tune the lens or anything so this is not fair but here is a quick shot at infinity of a subject which would be difficult for any lens at f/1.4 given the reflections on the building. Despite that it could probably have been focused a lot better, it does remarkably well. On my Nikkor or Zeiss I would have expected to see a green or magenta fringe for front / back focus. Note - no purple fringing.

The points that make this lens stand out are:

(1) excellent color correction far better than the Nikon 35 1.4G or Zeiss

(2) excellent wide open performance (yes, my examples could have been better - apologies)

As for the other two lenses which cost almost double:

Nikon - has weather sealing

Zeiss - I like the bokeh but that is subjective.

The Sigma may well be the sharpest of the lot... The AF seemed around the same as the Nikon.

If you are in the market for a 35mm lens, definitely worth a look.

 inasir1971's gear list:inasir1971's gear list
Sony RX1R II Nikon D4 Nikon D810
Nikon D800
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