SLR Gear, an offshoot website of the Imaging Resource, one of the web's most-trusted resources for all things digital photography, has just posted an in-depth review of the new Sigma 35 f1.4 HSM, which is the first in Sigma's 'Art' line of lenses. For serious shooters who can't afford the manufacturer versions, on paper, is the perfect optic.
So, how does it do in practice? Short answer: very well.
Optically, the lens is a gem. In terms of sharpness, the lens is good throughout most of the aperture range, with the exception being wide open, where it is a little soft in the corners, especially on full frame. According to SLR Gear, diffraction limiting starts to set in at f11 and really hurts the image fully stopped down to f16. As for vignetting and chromatic aberration, both are virtually nil here. Vignetting? It's virtually nil on APS-C but results n corners about a stop darker than the corners on full frame. SLR Gear reports that stopping don to f4 eliminates the problem.
Mechanically, the lens uses Sigma's HSM drive technology, which results in silent, virtually instantaneous AF. The lens also has full-time manual focus capability, too. As for construction quality, while not metal like some manufacturer offerings, the lens is, according to SLR Gear, very well built for an upper-consumer optic, meaning heavy duty plastics with tight mechanical tolerances. The lens also features a rubberized focus ring and a distance scale underneath a protective window.
Overall conclusion? Very positive in absolute terms and truly outstanding when considering the price point of $900, which is far less than similar manufacturer lenses.
Want to buy the Sigma 35 f1.4 HSM in the Cleveland area? Well, there's Cleveland-based Dodd Camera, with its downtown superstore. In addition, there are many smaller Cleveland metro area chain stores in the Cuyahoga County area, too. Dodd is an authorized Sigma dealer.
For more info:
The full review.
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