- 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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9 thoughts on “Review: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art (Sony E-Mount)”
Enjoying your review as always. Very nice pictures. I agree that this lens is overlooked. Esp. in the closed focus areas and landscape I am using this lens on 7rii . Compared with the Zeiss 1.4/35 mm the Sigma is very competitive in regard to natural colors and 3 d. After the firmware upgrade the autofocus improved a lot.
Hi Jordan, thank you for this thoughtful review. I wanted to ask your opinion on the weather sealing on this lens? Based on some quick internet research, it seems like there is partial weather sealing, but the lens is not completely weather sealed — but I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the adequacy of weather sealing based on your real world user experience?
Sigma’s website says the lens is sealed at the mount: “Making the mount native to the lens makes possible a more rigid and stable feel to the lens. Featuring a special surface treatment to enhance strength, the brass bayonet mount offers a high-precision fit and exceptional durability. The mount connection area incorporates rubber sealing for dust- and splash-proof construction.” (https://www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/cas/service/se_mount)
Officially, there is no sealing in the barrel, but the Lens Rentals blog said this in 2015 (presumably about the EF version): “Despite the fact that Sigma clearly states this is not weather resistant lens, there’s still some foamed gasket material around the filter barrel.” (https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/12/sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg-hsm-art-lens-teardown)
Nice to see a review of this sometimes a bit (for FE) neglected lens. Stellar shots as usual. Regarding the camera strap, are you comfortable holding the camera by its strap, or putting it on a tripod, with a lens like this? Genuine query, I have no superfast 35s (I love the EF 35/2 IS USM and with MC11 fw 1.27 it can even af in relative gloom).
I don’t have any issues with this lens on a tripod or holding it by the grip (I use a wrist strap, so I’m holding the camera.) It’s really not that heavy of a lens. Now, I was wary when using something like the Sigma 100-400mm, which doesn’t have a tripod collar, and is fairly big and cantilevered out. Never had an issue, but still made me nervous.
I really enjoy a sharp lens. My Sony 90MM f2.8 rarly leaves my A7R III and makes my 55 1.8 look soft wide open. I wonder if I should spend the extra money and just get the new Sigma 35 f1.2? Any thoughts on the matter Jordan. Excellent review btw 😉
If you want the absolute best, the 35/1.2 appears to be about as good as one can get. Also, I’ve heard amazing things about Tamron’s new 35/1.4 as well, though you’d need to adapt that from Canon EF mount. Still, I find the 35mm f/1.4 more than good enough for my needs.
**UPDATE** Hi Jordan: When your right, your right and YOU WERE RIGHT. Ended up returning the 1.2 and keeping the Siggy 35 f/1.4. Turns out the sharpness difference is only negligible wide open and while the 1.2 may be a tad sharper, it’s the 1.4’s rendering that is superior to my eye … looks more artistic to me. The 1/2 stop of light, de-clickable aperture ring and focus hold button , at the end of the day, simply did not justify the nearly $900 price difference in the two lenses. As a bonus, the 1.4 is almost a pound lighter! 😉
I ended up going with the 1.2. As an early adopter of the original Siggy 1.4 back in ’13, I’ve always been a fan of this lens however the aperture ring, de-click feature and programmable AF button on this latest version are most desirable to me. That said, the sharpness at f1.2 is intoxicating … wow just wow.
Thanks for an excellent review. I just bought the lens in a cash back campaign and intend to use it with my A7iii. How would you compare the result with XF 23mm f/1.4 R / XT20 combo? I have the XT20 as well but have never got the 1.4/23 due to the rather high price.