Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART series lens review

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART lens is a super-fast standard wide-angle lens of exceptional performance.

The 35mm focal length has long been a favourite ‘all-round’ choice for photographers and Sigma have provided a truly excellent option for photographers looking for the very best optical performance and high-speed.

The lens is beautifully constructed using high quality materials and feels exceptionally solid.

A lens hood is provided but hardly necessary as the lens is also exceptionally resistant to flare.

Sigma state:
“This lens incorporates FLD ("F" Low Dispersion) glass elements, which have performance equal to fluorite, and SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, and by optimising the power alignment of the lens, both types of aberration have been corrected. The lens achieves ultra-high image quality through the entire focusing range. Also, by appropriate alignment of aspheric lenses, astigmatism and field curvature are corrected. The result is superior optimum resolution even in peripheral areas.”

Performance at f/1.4 is already superb corner to corner and improves slightly on stopping down – but the open aperture performance so good the only reason to stop down is to increase depth of field.

Used at f/1.4, the bokeh (out of focus background) is very smooth and the subject really stands out.
Focussing is swift and silent thanks to the built in HSM motor and no AF fine-tune was required for perfect focus on the Nikon D800E used for testing.

Compared to the most obvious competitors – for Canon users the Canon 35mm f/1.4L is  great lens but certainly lags quite a way behind the Sigma ART lens in sharpness at f/1.4 to f/2.8 and compared to the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G lens the Sigma is certainly sharper across the frame at f1.4 and f/2 before things even up again.

For Sigma to produce a lens which betters both Nikon and Canon’s equivalent for under half the price of the camera manufacturers own offerings is truly amazing and I have no hesitation in giving the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART lens the strongest recommendation.

With Sigma producing a lens this good, it is an exciting prospect to try the other ART series lenses – a review of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8ART and 30mm f/1.4 DC ART will be on our blog soon together with a review of the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 Sport line lens. Sigma have also announced a new 50mm f/1.4 ART standard lens said to set new standards in performance so we are looking forward to trying that too!
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