Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A £670, $900

One of the first lenses in Sigma’s re­cently in­tro­duced ‘Art’ line – and nearly a master­piece

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Based on typ­i­cal UK re­tail prices, this Sigma is about half the price of the Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G, which costs £1300/$1700. There’s noth­ing cheap about the build, how­ever. When it was launched, Sigma claimed that it set a new bench­mark for per­for­mance. Posh glass in­cludes an FLD el­e­ment, which is sim­i­lar to top-grade flu­o­rite glass, along with four SLD (Spe­cial Low Dis­per­sion) el­e­ments. Ex­ter­nally the stan­dard of fin­ish is im­pec­ca­ble, although there are no weather seals.

Like other re­cent Sigma lenses, this one is com­pat­i­ble with the company’s op­tional USB Dock, which can be used to ap­ply firmware up­dates and to fine-tune per­for­mance. The HSM (Hy­per­Sonic Mo­tor) AF sys­tem is also fast and ac­cu­rate, and as it’s a ring-type sys­tem, full-time man­ual fo­cus over­ride is avail­able in Sin­gle AF mode.

Per­for­mance

Like its newer, big­ger brother, Sigma’s 50mm Art lens, the 35mm de­liv­ers su­perb sharp­ness and con­trast even at its widest aper­ture. Es­pe­cially im­pres­sive for a wide-an­gle op­tic, ex­cel­lent sharp­ness is re­tained right into the cor­ners of the frame when us­ing wide aper­tures. Com­pared with the Samyang 35mm lens that’s on test, bokeh is rather smoother and more ap­peal­ing.

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