Review: Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
For the most of you, this is Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG Art, but I have decided to name mine “the little monster”.
Hello everyone! My name is Alin Chiriac and this is going to be my personal review that will smash any bad thing you know about this lens and change it in such a positive way. Here you’ll see some samples that will make you want this so badly, you will want to steal it from me.
Did you get excited yet? Well you should! I want to explain you something and then I’m going to talk about how wonderful this lens is:
The point of this review is not making a list with the basic specifications (but it’s still gonna be something). I am sure that you are not interested to hear more of what this can do and actually see with your own eyes. You have here plenty of pictures indoor and outdoor that will may help you decide if you want this, if you need it or if you are going to put it in your bag.
Let’s just start by saying I was amazed. Even taking it out of the box, it became clear that this lens represents a new step up for Sigma. It is gorgeous, has a good shape and it’s a pleasure to use. Obviously it isn’t tiny, since no full-frame f/1.4 lens can also be small and do a good job.
For me, this is the lens I use 80% of the time, even if it’s about going out with my friends or a family trip, or sometimes to an event.
As you can see the example in the following picture, it is a really sharp lens. Very decent at f/1.4 but is going to be sharper as you lower the aperture. When you spend lots of money buying a 1.4 lens, I know that you actually want to shoot at f/1.4! Feel free to do that, no one will stop you. I’m just looking at my pictures to have that extra sharpness. That’s how I like it.
The autofocus on my Nikon D800 is pretty fast for a prime lens, but it’s not the fastest. Still… it’s really freaking me out with its precisely focus almost every time “9/10”. Someone will eventually use this for filming, and when it is going to happen, they will be pleased by the benefits of HSM system (Hyper Sonic Motor). It’s a new type of motor used in some of Sigma’s newer lenses for virtually silent autofocus function and a quick response.
I also like that the Sigma lens is Internal focusing (IF), as you’d expect from a high-end prime, so it doesn’t rotate or change its length when you focus. Those 9 circular aperture blades give it a pleasing bokeh, and because of its state-of-the-art coatings you don’t have to worry about lens flare anymore.
The build quality is pretty luxurious. Being made of metal you know it’s gonna take a few serious knocks before it may break. Some of the people who reviewed this, always said “it feels solid”…Well I say, it is! Mine had been through so much, no human being could have resisted, without having broken legs or at least a heart attack. I am very serious.
Sometimes those vignetting are not as scary as you may think. It’s true that they are some at wide open, but in my opinion they create an enjoyable effect that once and again is needed. You can easily correct them in photoshop or lightroom if you don’t like it.
It’s an impressive lens, in a very useful focal length especially for event photographers. At just $899.00 on Amazon these days, it will bring a big smile on your face and you are going to be more creative than ever. (having mine makes me know what I am talking about, so please trust me on this). It’s a little pricey, but shallow depth of field paired with sharp in-focus areas is a wonderful combination.
A few years ago, when Sigma released for the first time the 35mm f/1.4 DG Art, they had some issues with its focus. What do you have to understand is that this was a problem long time ago, the error was fixed and the new models came out on stores. Don’t be scared that you are going to be the one who is gonna get the wrong copy. I am sure they do not even exist on the market anymore and if they do, sent them back to the Store! They should make a full refund. If you are just thinking to buy this lens then go for it! Don’t let these things I just said dissapoint you. It is a really good product and in my opinion shouldn’t be missing from your bag.
Take a look at these photos! Just think what you can do with this “little monster”. I am so proud of Sigma!
That’s enough with portraits! But can you shoot with this lens at parties, weddings or any other type of events? If not that, what else? I have already used mine to this lebanese club that I’m working at and is truly amazing. Mounted on a FX camera the 35mm is wide enough to catch bigger groups and wouldn’t make you feel awkward by getting too close to the subject like 24mm for example.
Having this on makes me feel really powerful, like I could do everything I want. Do you know why? Because every photo I’m taking, it is a hell of a shot. The camera sees a clean white balance, great contrasts, beautiful colors and all because of this lens. You wouldn’t trust me if I tell you that these are not retouched pictures. Take your time to analyze them and meanwhile I am going to keep quiet.
NOTE: The following images are taken with a Nikon D800, ISO 2500, 1/125, @f/2.8
I have heard a lot of rumors that this lens does not focus in the low light situations, as it should. In order to prove that you shouldn’t trust all those bad reviews on internet, I will post a few photos with these gorgeous dancers. Please take a look how accurate the focus is, allowing the fact that these girls are moving pretty fast back and forth, left or right.
And what kind of a review would this be without having an unboxing video in it? But, since I am too lazy to make it myself, I looked up on the internet trying to find something good enough, with the idea not to waste your time. I really hope all my reviews will help you from now on. If any questions appear, please don’t hesitate and leave me a comment in the box below. I will gladly answer.
Update: I am telling you guys! Since I bought this lens I use it like my shower “everyday” 😀 It is awesome, does everything I want without problems. By the way, every portrait you will see in my Night Club gallery is made with the 35mm f/1.4 sigma. Enjoy!