The 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens from Sigma is the first entry into Sigma's Art series of professional lenses, with an emphasis on artistic expression and the creative potential of the lens. With a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture, floating inner focusing system, and Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) you'll have quick and accurate control over the artistic effects achieved by the lens' high quality elements. For added control, you can even adjust the lens' parameters, such as focus, and update its firmware all from home using the USB Dock and Sigma's Optimization Pro software.
For wide angle photography, this 35mm lens and its circular 9-bladed f/1.4 aperture ensure excellent brightness and blurred background (bokeh) effects. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting and provides sharp and high contrast images even in backlit conditions.
The lens' Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and floating inner focusing system ensure that you experience quick, quiet and precise autofocusing whenever you need it. Adjust focus using either autofocus (AF), or full-time manual focus, without having to switch camera modes or change settings - just flick the switch from AF to MF.
For greater build quality and strength, all metallic parts and the new Thermally Stable Composite compound material (TSC), are housed internally. Its brass made bayonet mount has both high accuracy and durability, and a special treatment is applied to its surface giving it greater strength and making it highly resistant to long-term daily use.
- Aperture Range: f/1.4-16
- With a bright maximum aperture of f/1.4 this lens allows you to capture images with beautiful defocused background bokeh effects in darker conditions - using faster shutter speeds and lower ISO sensitivities.
- Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM)
- This lens' motor is driven by ultrasonic waves to provide quiet, high speed autofocus. This Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures high speed and quiet AF as well as full-time manual focus override by rotating the focus ring.
- Floating Internal Focus System
- For stable focusing, this lens moves its inner lens groups without changing the lens length. It also compensates for astigmatic aberration and provides extremely high optical performance for close-up photos.
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 11.8"
- This lens has a minimum focusing distance of 11.8" across the entire zoom range, so you can capture wide-angle close-ups from nearly a foot away.
- Anti-Flare Super Multi-Layer Coating
- This lens' coatings reduce lens flare, internal reflections and light scattering that can occur between the surfaces of its glass elements.
- USB Dock & SIGMA Optimization Pro Software
- Because of its redesigned series of lenses, Sigma developed proprietary software (SIGMA Optimization Pro) and a USB docking system that allows you to update the lens' firmware and adjust its parameters such as focus without having to ship it back to Sigma for adjustments.
- Special & "F" Low Dispersion Elements
- This lens incorporates "F" Low Dispersion (FLD) glass elements, which have performance equal to that of fluorite, and Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements. By optimizing the power alignment of the lens, chromatic aberration has been corrected, achieving high image quality through the entire focusing range.
- DG Lens for Digital & 35mm Film SLRs
- This is a large-aperture lens with wide angles and a short minimum focusing distance. Because of its great peripheral illumination, or lack of vignetting, it is an ideal lens for DSLR Cameras and traditional 35mm SLRs alike.
- Sigma's Artistic A-Series Lens
- Sigma has organized all of its interchangeable lenses into three product lines: Contemporary, Art and Sports. The Art line delivers high-level artistic quality with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power. The SIGMA 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM is the first lens from the Art line. Developed with an emphasis on artistic touch, Sigma's Art line lenses are designed to meet the expectations of users who value a creative, dramatic outcome above compactness and multifunction.
- Front Filter Thread Diameter: 67mm
- The 67mm front filter thread is fixed, allowing rotating polarizing filters to be used with the lens.
- 9x Circular Aperture Blades
- With nine circular blades, the lens' diaphragm delivers very pleasant, soft bokeh background effects.
- Brass Bayonet Mount
- This lens incorporates a brass made bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. A special treatment to reinforce it is applied to the surface, giving it greater strength and making it highly durable for long-term use.
- Ease Of Use
- For better usability, the designs of the lens cap and AF/MF switch have been improved, as well as the rubberized lens hood attachment. In order to ensure accuracy and precision, all metallic parts and the new Thermally Stable Composite material are housed internally.
- Quality Control & Sigma's MTF "A1" Measuring System
- Sigma used to measure lens performance with the standard MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system, using conventional sensors. However, they have since developed a proprietary MTF measuring system - dubbed "A1" - using 46MP resolution Foveon direct image sensors. Previously undetectable high-frequency details are now within the scope of their quality control inspections.
Sigma has produced some really fine lenses over the past few years, including the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM (which we liked a lot when we reviewed it in 2008) and the 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. But the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM may possibly be its best yet. In fact it's one of those rare lenses for which finding any fault seems almost churlish, so good is its overall performance.
Let's start with the optics. It's remarkably sharp, even wide open, outperforming not only its Canon, Nikon and Sony equivalents, but also the far more expensive Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1,4/35 in lab tests. Chromatic aberration is also impressively well controlled (both lateral and longitudinal), distortion is low and vignetting more-or-less typical for its class. The rendition of out-of-focus regions is generally quite attractive, although complex backgrounds can end up looking rather 'fussy'. The overall result, though, is a lens that delivers fine-looking images with the minimum of fuss, shot after shot.
There's nothing to complain about with regards to handling either. Focusing is fast, silent and positive, and we've found our Canon-mount test sample to be very accurate too (although this being an F1.4 prime, you've got to take great care over where you place your focus point). The manual focus ring is smooth and precise, and allows the focus position to be adjusted after autofocus. Several small-but-useful touches, such as a ridged grip on the underside of the barrel, and even a redesigned, unusually-positive centre-pinch front cap, all add to the usability. Sigma has clearly put a lot of thought into every aspect of the lens's design.
Equally, it's difficult to find fault with the build quality, which feels reassuringly solid. But one point to note is that Sigma doesn't describe the lens as weather-sealed, unlike its more expensive Nikon counterpart. So if this is particularly important to you, then the Sigma may not be the best choice. The aren't many other obvious reasons not to buy it (although Canon users who value image stabilisation over outright speed, perhaps for video work, should also consider the EF 35mm f/2 IS USM).
Every now and then we come across a camera or lens that hits a sweet spot of image quality, usability and price that makes it an easy recommendation. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM is just such a beast - it manages the impressive trick of being substantially cheaper than the camera manufacturers' equivalents while matching or beating them optically. If you're after a top quality fast prime at this focal length it should be right at the top of your short list, and it easily earns our top award.
|Construction||13 Elements in 11 Groups|
|Angle of view (35mm equivalent)||63.4°|
|F stop range||1.4-16|
|Closest Focusing Distance||30cm / 11.8"|
|Number of Diaphragm Blades||9 (Rounded diaphragm)|
|Dimensions (Length x Diameter)||94mm (3.7") X 76.2mm (3.0")|
|Weight||23.5 oz./ 665g|