- Very good sharpness from f/1.4 and excellent across the frame stopped down
- Generally pleasing bokeh in most situations
- Good color and contrast
- Low chromatic aberration
- Low distortion
- Accurate autofocus that works great with Eye AF
- Very solidly constructed
- High vignetting wide open
- Some ghosting and flare when stopped down
- Bokeh can get a bit busy at further focus distances
I’m going to cut to the chase: I love this lens. I like the way the lens renders; the sharpness is very good right from f/1.4; the autofocus works very well and best of all, it’s extremely affordable. The lens retails for $899, but recently has regularly been on sale for as low as $649, with even some deals available to even further reduce that price. Despite being regularly less than half the price of the Sony 35mm f/1.4, it’s actually the better lens optically, and about on par with it in autofocus. Sigma’s new 35mm f/1.2 appears to be a bit better and a lot bigger and more expensive, but I think the older f/1.4 Art still makes a strong argument for a place in your bag. It’s got great optics, very nice autofocus, is built very well and doesn’t break the bank.
Because the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 has been around a while, it often gets overlooked. When it was released, it was praised as perhaps the best 35mm lens on the market. While progress has marched on, and a few other optics may now be worthy of that crown, the 35mm f/1.4 is still a very good lens that competes very well with lenses twice its price. It’s quickly become one of my favorite lenses, and I’ve used it a lot over the past several months. Highly recommended.
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