Sigma 35mm F1.2 Artwork evaluation: Completely impractical
“The Cybertruck of lenses, you may purchase it simply to indicate off to your folks.”
- Distinctive sharpness
- Lovely bokeh
- Aperture de-click change
- Nearly no chromatic aberration
- Comparatively reasonably priced
- Large, heavy
- Extreme vignette at f/1.2
The Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Artwork is phenomenal. I doubt you’ll find a greater full-frame 35mm. It’s so spectacular, it raises a query I’ve requested of some related lenses previously.
Does it should be this good?
The lens is a technical marvel and one of many sharpest I’ve seen, with stunning bokeh and successfully no distortion. Nevertheless, due to its bulk, it’s also probably the most inconvenient 35mm I’ve used.
Sigma isn’t any stranger to delivering the highest quality at any price. I’ve groaned in regards to the dimension and weight of just about each Artwork lens I’ve reviewed, they usually’ve all been optically wonderful. However the place different Artwork lenses had been constructed for DSLRs, this one is a part of Sigma’s new DN lineup, made for (often) smaller mirrorless cameras.
Sigma is flexing. It is aware of it has one of the best lens, and at $1,500, it undercuts the older and slower 35mm f/1.four lenses from different main producers. It doesn’t matter that it’s heavy sufficient to anchor a small ship. Folks will purchase it simply to indicate off.
Prepare for a bag improve
At 5.5 inches lengthy and a diameter of three.5 inches, the 35mm F1.2 could be big on any digital camera. Mounted to the diminutive Sigma Fp I had, it’s laughable. That is the one 35mm I’ve shot that I felt ought to have its personal tripod collar. Should you plan on changing an present 35mm with it, you would possibly want a much bigger digital camera bag.
There are, after all, good causes for that dimension, beginning with the f/1.2 aperture. Full-frame f/1.2s are comparatively uncommon, and this mixture of brilliant aperture and enormous sensor may give you a shallow depth of area that merely isn’t attainable on smaller codecs. However, it additionally isn’t that completely different from the available f/1.four lenses on the market.
Additionally contributing to that weight is the frilly optical formulation. There are 17 components in 12 teams, together with three aspherical components. It’s a variety of glass, an extra 4 components over the 35mm F1.four Artwork.
Like all Artwork lenses, that cup is housed in a sturdy, dust- and splash-proof exterior. It feels extremely properly made. Along with the same old auto/guide focus change, the lens barrel has a spotlight lock button and aperture de-click change. The latter is usually geared toward videographers who want to have the ability to easily ramp publicity up or down with out noticeable steps. Given how many individuals shoot each stills and video lately, it’s a characteristic I want each new lens had.
Additional proof of the lens’s hybrid nature are the 11 iris blades, a better rely than most nonetheless picture lenses, however par for the course for cinema. These additional blades imply the aperture stays almost completely round when stopped down, resulting in rounder, extra pure blur.
It is a mirrorless-only lens, accessible in both L mount or Sony E mount. Canon and Nikon shooters have lengthy been Sigma’s bread and butter, however they look like left within the chilly right here. Not solely is it bodily not possible to make this lens work on a DSLR’s longer flange-back distance, however Sigma has proven no real interest in making RF or Z-mount variations for Canon’s and Nikon’s mirrorless programs, respectively.
It doesn’t get sharper than this
The utmost decision of an imaging system is an element of three issues. Sensor, lens, and method. Sigma says the 35mm F1.2 can resolve “over 50 million pixels,” which suggests it’s focusing on cameras just like the 47-megapixel Panasonic Lumix S1R and 61MP Sony A7R IV, the 2 highest-resolution cameras in L mount and E mount, respectively.
Mine was mounted to the 24MP Sigma Fp. And all I can say is, wow. It’s insanely sharp. Three aspherical components imply chromatic aberration simply isn’t there, though larger pixel counts might doubtlessly reveal some. I do know, rationally, that I don’t want a 61MP digital camera. But I nonetheless wish to see what this may do on an A7R IV with a sturdy tripod.
Huge open, real-world sharpness is superb, though it nonetheless improves as you cease down. Peak sharpness arrives by f/2.8, however there’s little real-world distinction between that and f/1.2. That’s spectacular.
Maximizing sharpness comes all the way down to method. It is a tough lens to carry because of the weight, so a quick shutter pace would be the distinction between excellence and mediocrity. And whereas the temptation to shoot at f/1.2 is tough to withstand, you’ll see extra sharpness if you happen to cease down, even simply to f/2, due to the additional depth of area.
Sharpness isn’t the whole lot, nevertheless. With wonderful optics and the 11-bladed iris, you get a number of the softest and most nice bokeh I’ve ever seen, actually for a wide-angle. You may management the form of the bokeh utilizing the aperture, with f/1.2 giving a dreamy, swirly look, whereas f/2 yields a flatter, much less distracting, sample.
I do have a grievance. Huge open, vignetting is unhealthy. It’s not essentially an unattractive look, particularly for portraiture, nevertheless it does imply mild transmission isn’t that nice at f/1.2. Should you you had been trying to eke out all attainable low mild efficiency, you may be disillusioned. Solely the very heart of the picture advantages from elevated brightness.
Even a 1/3-stop adjustment to f/1.four helps clear up the vignette, nevertheless it does go away me questioning if we actually want f/1.2 to start with. The depth of area distinction merely isn’t noticeable, and if transmission isn’t that a lot better, what’s the purpose?
Vignette at f/1.2
Vignette at f/1.8
But when utilizing that a lot glass and beginning at f/1.2 is what was required to get perfection at f/2 and past, then so be it. You continue to gained’t discover a higher 35mm.
I can’t fault a lens for being too good, however the Sigma 35mm F1.2 Artwork is the Tesla Cybertruck of lenses. It has all of the efficiency you can need, nevertheless it’s actually about bragging rights. An f/1.2 aperture isn’t one thing anybody wants. It’s a label that makes you’re feeling particular.
Nonetheless, that is the results of Sigma doing the whole lot it might to make the absolute best lens. And it succeeded. It gained’t be for everybody, and that’s OK. If you’d like one of the best at any price, otherwise you simply wish to showcase, it’s positively for you.
Are there higher alternate options?
No. Nevertheless, if you happen to don’t shoot an L-mount or E-mount digital camera, then the Sigma 35mm F1.four DG Artwork or Tamron 35mm f/1.four Di are good alternate options. These can be found in Canon EF or Nikon F mount, which may then be tailored to Canon’s and Nikon’s mirrorless programs.
How lengthy will it final?
Constructed to resolve the highest-resolution sensors, it is best to get years of use out of it. Like all good lens, it is going to outlast the lifetime of your digital camera.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure, if you happen to personal an L-mount or E-mount digital camera and wish one of the best 35mm cash should purchase.