2 Best Sigma 35mm Lenses

Best Sigma 35mm Lenses Image

If you’ve decided to dive into the sharp and detailed world of a prime lens, then the Sigma brand has some great options currently available. Since the initial release of their Art and Contemporary range, the company’s prime and zoom lenses have been viable alternatives to similar camera brand offerings. This is why we are taking a closer look at the best Sigma 35mm lenses, as this focal length is one of the more popular choices.

A 35mm prime lens provides a slightly more wide-angle view than that of a 50mm. This type of lens is a good solution for environmental images, street photography, or basically any situation where you need to capture more of a scene.

Sigma has options in this category, but as they have poured all their efforts into very high-quality versions, there aren’t many lenses available. But fear not, as after test driving these lenses, they tick the boxes for all you could ever need at this focal length.

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1. Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Image

Firstly, there are no real winners or losers today, but as we have to choose one or the other, we have gone with the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art mainly due to its extra-wide aperture. The main caveat to this particular lens is that it’s only available for the Sony E mount or Leica L mount. This means for everybody else, the lens below is the one to eye up.

But, if you’re lucky enough to be on the Sony or Leica platform, this monster of a lens can also offer a 53mm viewpoint on APS-C models. The focal length is very near the standard of 50mm. Also, as Sony and Leica users are a discerning bunch, this is the first f/1.2 aperture prime lens produced by the company with professional-level optics.

To maintain image quality throughout the lens, the optics are made up of 17 elements in 12 groups, which include three SLD and three aspherical elements. The front element has been treated to a water and oil-repellent coating. Also included is a higher than normal 11-blade rounded diaphragm, which goes a long way to produce excellent bokeh.

Sigma’s highly efficient hypersonic autofocus motor has also been included, which features a full-time manual override via the very substantial focusing ring. For those who prefer a hands-on way to set the aperture, a manual focusing ring has been included, which can be de-clicked for silent video work. Other additional features include an autofocus lock button, which can also be assigned to other exposure functions, with the whole lens barrel wrapped around a fully weather-sealed construction.

As with the rest of the Art series lenses, this 35mm isn’t exactly lightweight coming in at 1090g, with dimensions of 87.8 x 136.2mm. It’s also got a pretty heavyweight price tag at just under $1500. But the results are every bit worth the spend.

At f/1.2, the center of the frame has excellent sharpness, with the best edge to edge sharpness coming in at f/2. Owning a maximum aperture of f/1.2 means you have to be very careful with the very shallow depth of field. But with a little distance from your subject, f/1.2 works great in very low-light conditions without the need to crank up ISO levels or resort to strobe or flash lighting.

In essence, Sigma has hit the nail on the head with the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens, providing not just a very sharp lens throughout the aperture range, but also one with excellent color and contrast rendition.

2. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art (Budget Winner)

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Image

For everybody else, it’s the 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art which is the prime candidate from the current Sigma lineup. This lens is hardly a budget option, but it is very competitively priced when compared with the option above. As this lens doesn’t have the manual aperture ring or autofocus lock button as the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art above, it’s a more compact offering weighing in at 665g.

The 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art also offers a slightly more narrow f/1.4 aperture, which in reality is still very capable in low-light conditions and for producing wonderful bokeh effects. Internally, the lens comprises 13 elements in 11 groups, with the addition of one F Low Dispersion, four SLD, and two aspherical elements to maintain overall image clarity. Each element has also had a super multi-layer coating applied to reduce the distracting effects of lens flare and ghosting.

A rounded nine-blade diaphragm has also been incorporated, along with the Sigma HSM autofocus motor, which features full-time manual override. Also, the lens isn’t officially weatherproofed, but it does have rubber seals to make it relatively splash and dust resistant.

The autofocus system is extremely fast to lock onto a subject, with the system only tripping up a few times in very low-light conditions. This lens is also very sharp in the center at f/1.4, with very good overall sharpness at f/2. As with the lens above, the 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art produces very neutral contrast and colors, with smooth and creamy bokeh when needed.

Considering this lens costs almost half the price of the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art above, it has equal characteristics at f/1.4 and is ridiculously sharp when stopped down. In other words, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a hot contender against any other 35mm lens out there.

Narrowing Down the Best Sigma 35mm Lenses

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art may be quite a hard sell to the Sony and Leica camp, as they have their own high-quality alternatives. Plus, the bulk of the lens may not be the most appealing to those who want a lightweight package. However, the 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a more compact solution that offers just as fine optics, with an equally capable f/1.4 aperture. The only real downside to this lens is that it exhibits a little chromatic aberration with the aperture wide open.

If you wanted to stray out of the 35mm focal length, then there are options that go slightly wider in the form of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Art and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary. Both of these lenses are highly capable, with excellent optics. Then again, if you still wanted to cover the 35mm focal length but on a zoom lens, then there is the option of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art, which also covers ultra-wide-angle viewpoints.

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