Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Discussions
YRUNVS
YRUNVS Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

John Motts wrote:

It does appear that the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is a fantastic lens, the best they've ever made, but 24mm and 35mm are not near enough to be the same or interchangeable.

Yeah, I am coming more and more to realize that. I was set on the 35 given it's brilliant performance, but am leaning more towards the 28 1.8g. A 20 or 24 would be a good fit for me, but the 1.4G is out of the price range I am willing to pay, I want something faster than 2.8 (shooting in light starved conditions, 5 digit ISO's at 2.8) and Sigma's 20mm 1.8 doesn't seem to offer a lot beyond center sharpness.

So I am another guy hoping Sigma releases an art line 24 1.4 soon...

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,553
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

anotherMike wrote:

As others have said, the two focal lengths are wildy different, so the question might be what it looks like if Sigma were to do a 24/1.4 themselves.

I've got both the 24/1.4G and the Sigma 35 (and also the Nikon 35/1.4G). The Sigma 35/1.4 is a really nice lens, BUT, if I had to rank them in terms of how much they impress me in overall image quality (which means more than just sharpness), the 24/1.4G would take 1st place, followed by the Sigma and then the Nikon in 3rd. At least on a D800E. That's not to say the 24/1.4G couldn't be better - but I think it's well balanced across a very wide set of subject distances (that won't show up in the usual single distance test chart shooting) and it has very nice color, saturation, contrast and is remarkably flare resistant for a fast wide, and has nice OOF transitions as well. A future Sigma 24/1.4 might improve on corner/edge sharpness, but even as much as I admire the 35/1.4 Sigma, if I were to transpose those same qualities to the 24mm length, I'd still prefer the Nikkor slightly - there is something special going on with the broad central zone on the 24/1.4G at all distances that the Sigma doesn't quite get to. Still, I'll take a look if Sigma were to do such an addition to their line, no doubt.

-m

And therein lies the problem. At what distance are we talking about? Test chart distance, or relatively longer distances commonly used for landscapes. Unfortunately, these longer distances are rarely tested. We test with charts, MTF measurements, and assume they work for longer distances. I could be very wrong, of course.

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anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 9,131
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?
1

Yea, distance and scene type is gonna be the deciding factor. To me there is something very nice on the 24/1.4G with the D800E. It's interesting, but when I was shooting the D700/D7000 combo (which meant mostly shooting the D700 since I, unlike you, did not like the D7000 much), I viewed the 24/1.4G and 35/1.4G Nikkors as equals. The 35/1.4G was a great match for the D7000 - focused exactly where you aimed it, nice, slightly relaxed rendering, the great deep color, while the 24/1.4G might have been a touch sharper, a bit more pop, a bit more contrast, but they both were faves. The 35/1.4G I'd almost say was designed to be a lens that did very well at everything, but excelled at nothing, and when married to the D700 body, which was in some ways similar as a body as the lens was in terms of character, it was heaven.

The D800E was an awakening to me - and I caution you not to make too many early opinions on lenses for the reason I'm about to type - on the D800E, it usually wasn't one lens being globally and absolutely better than another, but more one lens in one Task / Scene / Distance / Use case being better than other other lens in that task/scene/etc, and vice versa. I evaluate lenses for my D800E now for my tasks and the types of scenes I shoot, and if anything close-in test chart performance graphs and info from the test sites are even less useful than before.Shooting the typical rez chart has actually been less helpful to me in identifying which lenses work for what sorts of things than before - which also means that lens evaluation has gotten HARDER (and more time consuming) to do properly with this body.

My issue with the 35/1.4G on the D800E is that even at seriously stopped down apertures for the types of landscapes I shoot, the corners and edges were never great. We're talking even around F/9 - F/10, which is really as far as I want to stop down (unless I really need DOF, in which case I may even resort to focus stacking of the scene to stay out of the diffraction zone in addition to knocking out an F/11 or F/13 shot just for the heck of it). The Sigma, however, even at F/9, is noticeably and distinctly sharper to the edges - and that's why it's the landscape lens in my kit. But the 24/1.4G actually shines MORE on the D800E than it did on the earlier body. Oh, sure, it's still what I would term slightly center zone biased (meaning the corners edges won't ever be as amazing as the center), but the prints I've made with the 24/1.4G up to 17x22 or A2 have been absolutely amazing, as in they are quite easily and quite visibly superior to an equivalent D700 or D7000 print at the same size, assuming of course the subject matter has fine detail in it. (Keep in mind to get to this level means staying out of diffraction zone as best you can, solid tripod, proper technique - all of that - you won't get this quality shooting at F/13, for example). The D800E's ceiling of image quality, if you take the time to do everything right AND use a lens that is well "tuned" towards the task/scene, is of another world never before seen by DSLR shooters. Not easy to get to all the time, but when you do, it's a "wow" moment. It's the reason I'm in a period of serious glass re-evaluation, and why I bought the Sigma as well as the Zeiss 21.

So I think it would be a tough one for Sigma to match that broad center zone quality the 24/1.4G does AND to bring the edges up - if anything I think a future Sigma might improve on the edges a bit but not have the magic that is in the central zone of the 24/1.4G. I'll absolutely give them a shot, but as good as the Sigma 35/1.4 is (and I think it's brilliant, although different in rendering than Nikon), I think they have a much more difficult target to hit if they want to dominate over the 24/1.4G. Perhaps one day we'll see.

-m

sroute Senior Member • Posts: 2,497
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

anotherMike wrote:

As others have said, the two focal lengths are wildy different, so the question might be what it looks like if Sigma were to do a 24/1.4 themselves.

I hope Sigma do look at doing a fast 24 for their Art line and would imagine such a development can't be too far down their planned lens roll out. Will the next be a 24 or 85 or will they break conventional thinking and do something else?

My first impressions of the Sigma are: lovely to look at with what appears to be quality design and build - the lens has a very nice solid feel that reminds me of my Zeiss glass. I need to check it out for lens adjustments and do some more shooting before coming to any conclusions, but out of the box impressions are very favourable.

John Motts Veteran Member • Posts: 5,521
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

YRUNVS wrote:

So I am another guy hoping Sigma releases an art line 24 1.4 soon...

You never know!

azoele Contributing Member • Posts: 663
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

Different focal lengths, but the Sigma smashes the Nikon, so much so (and at such a prize) that it is embarrassing...

My 2c, from owning all the three lenses (24G, 35G, Sigma 1.4).
For my usage of fast primes, I consider 2 aspects critical: AF reliability, and real-world Usebility at f1.4, f2.

AF:

  • the Sigma is amazing. It acquires focus easily, and it's almost always spot on, both shot at f1.4 and stopped down. Speed appears on par with the Nikon 35.
  • Nikon 24 1.4: erratic to say the least... and well documentedly so. Also, suffering from heavy focus shift, meaning that if you AF-tune it for f1.4, it'll be poor at 2.8, and vice versa. The nearer the worse the effect... It is a lens I do not trust for a critical shot (I always focus/recompose, and/or use live view...).
  • Nikon 35 1.4: better than the 24 1.4, but still a far cry from Sigma's precision. A lens I trust so-so, to be magnanimous.

Emil Varadi wrote:

I'm planning to go FF later this year and I was sitting on the fence regarding the Nikon 24/1.4. Exposure Plot says last year 30,8% of all my shots were at 24 mm probably due to the wide end my 16-85VR DX zoom which is flat 24mm on DX, a reason good enough to get this lens once you have the funds.

. But the steep price of the 24/1.4 and the widespread success and the moderate price of the new Sigma 35/1.4 really makes me ponder. Yes, I know the 10 mm difference between the 24 and 35 can be meaningful, but the closeness of these focal lenths had already caused similar dilemmas to many wideangle prime buyers. For the time being I want high quality primes for my future FF camera and it does not have to be 24.

The 24/1.4 is the bokeh king of wideangles and I'm great fan of good bokeh (think 85/1.4). What bothers me are the contradictory statements about bokeh of the Sigma 35/1.4. Opinions vary in the range from great to downright awful in some situations as it seems to be very background sensitive. Yes, its bitingly sharp and very good in the corners, but I have sold lenses because of ugly bokeh.

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ARB1
ARB1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,396
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

azoele wrote:

Different focal lengths, but the Sigma smashes the Nikon, so much so (and at such a prize) that it is embarrassing...

My 2c, from owning all the three lenses (24G, 35G, Sigma 1.4).
For my usage of fast primes, I consider 2 aspects critical: AF reliability, and real-world Usebility at f1.4, f2.

AF:

  • the Sigma is amazing. It acquires focus easily, and it's almost always spot on, both shot at f1.4 and stopped down. Speed appears on par with the Nikon 35.
  • Nikon 24 1.4: erratic to say the least... and well documentedly so. Also, suffering from heavy focus shift, meaning that if you AF-tune it for f1.4, it'll be poor at 2.8, and vice versa. The nearer the worse the effect... It is a lens I do not trust for a critical shot (I always focus/recompose, and/or use live view...).
  • Nikon 35 1.4: better than the 24 1.4, but still a far cry from Sigma's precision. A lens I trust so-so, to be magnanimous.

Emil Varadi wrote:

I'm planning to go FF later this year and I was sitting on the fence regarding the Nikon 24/1.4. Exposure Plot says last year 30,8% of all my shots were at 24 mm probably due to the wide end my 16-85VR DX zoom which is flat 24mm on DX, a reason good enough to get this lens once you have the funds.

. But the steep price of the 24/1.4 and the widespread success and the moderate price of the new Sigma 35/1.4 really makes me ponder. Yes, I know the 10 mm difference between the 24 and 35 can be meaningful, but the closeness of these focal lenths had already caused similar dilemmas to many wideangle prime buyers. For the time being I want high quality primes for my future FF camera and it does not have to be 24.

The 24/1.4 is the bokeh king of wideangles and I'm great fan of good bokeh (think 85/1.4). What bothers me are the contradictory statements about bokeh of the Sigma 35/1.4. Opinions vary in the range from great to downright awful in some situations as it seems to be very background sensitive. Yes, its bitingly sharp and very good in the corners, but I have sold lenses because of ugly bokeh.

Thanks for your review.  I just received my Sigma 35mm today and will take it through its paces this weekend.  So far the build is just beautiful, a tad smaller than I expected also.

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Frederico70x7 Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

I just got the Sigma 35/1.4 and tried a few shots on D800 to compare with Nikon 35/1.4G. It literally trumps the Nikon's!

Haven't compare any shots with Nikon 24/1.4 yet, but I am going to keep the Sigma and seriously consider getting rid of the Nikon 35/1.4G

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

I know the lens smashes Nikon in price, but as I asked before, how's the build quality (sigma)?

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sroute Senior Member • Posts: 2,497
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

ADMint wrote:

I know the lens smashes Nikon in price, but as I asked before, how's the build quality (sigma)?

On the surface, build quality looks excellent.

It doesn't have a 10 year recyclable symbol on the side - this is an all metal lens. The lens hood is plastic but sturdy and twists on with a reassuring click. Manual focus is quite good bordering on excellent in my view - not loose at all, perhaps slightly stiff but I'd rather that, and no play. I'm coming to this lens (and the D800) after years using *only* manual focus Zeiss lenses.

It looks good and inspires confidence.

Would I want to drop it? Nope.

10 year warranty for Canadian buyers, yay!

Frederico70x7 Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

sroute wrote:

ADMint wrote:

I know the lens smashes Nikon in price, but as I asked before, how's the build quality (sigma)?

On the surface, build quality looks excellent.

It doesn't have a 10 year recyclable symbol on the side - this is an all metal lens. The lens hood is plastic but sturdy and twists on with a reassuring click. Manual focus is quite good bordering on excellent in my view - not loose at all, perhaps slightly stiff but I'd rather that, and no play. I'm coming to this lens (and the D800) after years using *only* manual focus Zeiss lenses.

It looks good and inspires confidence.

Would I want to drop it? Nope.

10 year warranty for Canadian buyers, yay!

Ditto, especially the 10 yr warranty for Canadians!

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

sroute wrote:

ADMint wrote:

I know the lens smashes Nikon in price, but as I asked before, how's the build quality (sigma)?

On the surface, build quality looks excellent.

It doesn't have a 10 year recyclable symbol on the side - this is an all metal lens. The lens hood is plastic but sturdy and twists on with a reassuring click. Manual focus is quite good bordering on excellent in my view - not loose at all, perhaps slightly stiff but I'd rather that, and no play. I'm coming to this lens (and the D800) after years using *only* manual focus Zeiss lenses.

It looks good and inspires confidence.

Would I want to drop it? Nope.

10 year warranty for Canadian buyers, yay!

Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I may give it a look.  Now I'll just have to decide if I still want Nikon's 28mm 1.8G or this Sigma 35mm.

Oh, and since I'm in the U.S. I wonder what that warranty would be?

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,553
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

I will be doing a review on this lens for my web site on Tuesday (www.dustylens.com under Lens Testing). On preliminary observation the lens is excellent. Handles nicely, looks and feels very solid. No lightweight! Resolution and concentricity tests Tuesday. I do this to make sure I have a good copy. I have returned a few lenses in times past.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

Look forward to the review.

Thanks.

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YRUNVS
YRUNVS Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: Can Sigma 35/1.4 also trouble the waters for Nikon 24/1.4?

John Motts wrote:

It does appear that the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is a fantastic lens, the best they've ever made, but 24mm and 35mm are not near enough to be the same or interchangeable.

I settled on the 28 1.8g as a compromise, the current deals nikon is offering didn't hurt. That field of view works better for me than 35mm.  I rented it for a week and liked it a lot more than I expected. I'll keep my fingers crossed Sigma does a 24 1.4 at a reasonable price.

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ARB1
ARB1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,396
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

ADMint wrote:

sroute wrote:

ADMint wrote:

I know the lens smashes Nikon in price, but as I asked before, how's the build quality (sigma)?

On the surface, build quality looks excellent.

It doesn't have a 10 year recyclable symbol on the side - this is an all metal lens. The lens hood is plastic but sturdy and twists on with a reassuring click. Manual focus is quite good bordering on excellent in my view - not loose at all, perhaps slightly stiff but I'd rather that, and no play. I'm coming to this lens (and the D800) after years using *only* manual focus Zeiss lenses.

It looks good and inspires confidence.

Would I want to drop it? Nope.

10 year warranty for Canadian buyers, yay!

Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I may give it a look. Now I'll just have to decide if I still want Nikon's 28mm 1.8G or this Sigma 35mm.

Oh, and since I'm in the U.S. I wonder what that warranty would be?

I'm in the same boat but I just couldn't get past the build quality of the Nikon 28mm so I returned it.  I may wait to see is Sigma comes out with an Art line in 24 or 28mm 1.4 or 1.8 and if they don't I'll get the 35mm 1.4.

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Allen
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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Re: Sigma 35/1.4 does trouble the waters for Nikon 35/1.4?

ARB1 wrote:

ADMint wrote:

sroute wrote:

ADMint wrote:

I know the lens smashes Nikon in price, but as I asked before, how's the build quality (sigma)?

On the surface, build quality looks excellent.

It doesn't have a 10 year recyclable symbol on the side - this is an all metal lens. The lens hood is plastic but sturdy and twists on with a reassuring click. Manual focus is quite good bordering on excellent in my view - not loose at all, perhaps slightly stiff but I'd rather that, and no play. I'm coming to this lens (and the D800) after years using *only* manual focus Zeiss lenses.

It looks good and inspires confidence.

Would I want to drop it? Nope.

10 year warranty for Canadian buyers, yay!

Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I may give it a look. Now I'll just have to decide if I still want Nikon's 28mm 1.8G or this Sigma 35mm.

Oh, and since I'm in the U.S. I wonder what that warranty would be?

I'm in the same boat but I just couldn't get past the build quality of the Nikon 28mm so I returned it. I may wait to see is Sigma comes out with an Art line in 24 or 28mm 1.4 or 1.8 and if they don't I'll get the 35mm 1.4.

I bought the Sigma 35 about 3 week ago and have absolutely no regrets. Build quality is solid, image quality outstanding, excellent sharpness, and good contrast. And it balances very well on my D800E.  I posted here on it: Really like Sigma’s 35 1.4 Art Line Series

Anyway being that I went with the 35, I may give Nikon's 24 a look. I just can't see having both the 35 and 28 at the same time.

Good luck on your decision.

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