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Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Review

Looking to find more information regarding the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon? Read our latest review to learn more about the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Overview

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras is the first in Sigma’s Art series of professional lenses, with a focus on artistic expression and the lens’ creative potential. With a bright f/1.4 maximum aperture, floating inner focusing system, and Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) you’ll have quick and accurate control over the lens’ creative effects thanks to its high-quality components. You can even change the lens’ settings, such as focus, and update its firmware from home using the USB Dock and Sigma’s Optimization Pro software if you like even more control.

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Specifications

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon was first announced on 09/07/2012 with a Nikon F FX mount type. Below is a summary of this len’s specifications: 

Indicative Price: $899

Focal Range: 35

Aperture: F/ 1.4

Filter Diameter (millimeters): 67

Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 77

Number Of Lenses: 13

Length (millimeters): 94

AF Motor: Yes

Stabilization: None

Zoom Type: /

Tripod Mount: None

Colors Available: Black

Manual Focus: Yes

Weight (grams): /

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Performance

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4’s sharpness is fantastic, as I’ll show below. Even at the maximum aperture, center sharpness is excellent, and I’m particularly pleased by the lens’ mid- and corner-frame performance. Microcontrast is fantastic, and color rendition is very similar to that of other high end Nikkor and Zeiss lenses.

Sharpness:

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 delivers excellent detail and even the corners are only slightly softer wide open when focused in the center of the frame. There’s a small amount of haze to the picture, or a loss of contrast, wide open, but stopping down just barely to F2.8 is enough to produce a nicely sharp shot across the whole frame.

It’s also worth noting that sometimes it is useful to focus in the corner instead of the center. If you shoot wide-open rather than stopping down a bit, this could be beneficial. Any edge softness you see in brick wall shots focused at the center when using a contemporary mirrorless camera and placing your AF point on the exact position of your off-center subject is most likely irrelevant.

Vignetting:

Vignetting is about average for a 35mm f/1.4 lens, but nothing you should worry about. Even wide open at f/1.4, there are no major issues with vignetting unless you’re shooting against bright light sources in the frame.

Chromatic Aberration: 

Chromatic aberration is slightly noticeable at f/1.4, but it’s very low for a fast lens. Stopping down to f/2.8 virtually eliminates issues with CA and you can shoot wide-open, without hesitation, if you need to blur backgrounds for artistic purposes regardless of whether your subject is close or distant.

Distortion:

Distortion is impressive for a 35mm lens. There are very few lenses out there that can boast no distortion at all, but the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 does just that. Even when shooting architecture or any other subject with straight lines near or far from the camera, this lens will deliver images without even slight evidence of distortion.

Image Quality:

Sigma has a long history of providing excellent image quality, having started its Global Vision initiative in 2012. Every Global Vision optic is subjected to rigorous testing on a custom-built, in-house laboratory instrument, and the results are impressive. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN doesn’t disappoint when it comes to most areas, with just a few minor drawbacks and very good sharpness even when shooting wide open.

Bokeh:

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN’s 11-bladed aperture produces nicely rounded bokeh not just wide open, but even at F4 when stopped down. And the bokeh is also clean, with no visible onion ring or soap bubble effects. In recent versions, Sigma has made significant progress in making bokeh that does not appear busy at close range, and it shows; the out-of-focus background looks beautiful when viewed all together.

Handling:

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art isn’t as compact and light as we may have anticipated, given that it’s specifically built for mirrorless cameras. The barrel diameter of the Sigma 35mm F1.4 is near unnoticeable when compared to the original DSLR-oriented version, while its weight has only decreased by around 20-25 grams (0.7-0.9 ounces). As previously mentioned, the size and weight difference versus the mirrorless variant of Sigma’s previous design is considerably more apparent.

Build and Handling Quality

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM is different from previous Sigma lenses in that it features a metal barrel rather than a plastic barrel, as well as a metal mount. The lens feels very sturdy in the hand and has a superior feel to it than the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G – I’d say it’s comparable to high-end Zeiss lenses when it comes to handling.

The Sony 35mm f/1.4 GM is smaller and lighter than the Zeiss 35mm f-1.4, which has a robust metal casing. The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 features a 67mm filter thread, the same as the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G (the Samyang offers a 77mm option).

The build quality of the lens is about perfect. The only flaw is that it does not have weather sealing, which isn’t really a problem because you’ll be using it in good lighting almost exclusively. It also means that you must be cautious about dust getting between the camera mount and the lens because it may easily enter the camera and, if allowed to accumulate, into the lens.

Autofocus Performance

The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 is based on the same high-quality “HSM” hyper-sonic motor found in recent Sigma lenses, which provides quick and silent autofocus operation. Autofocus accuracy was also great, and I tested it on a variety of Nikon DSLR cameras, including the high-resolution Nikon D800E – none of them had any front or back focus problems.

For the most part, I was very happy with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4’s performance. It passed all of my comparisons and accuracy tests with flying colors. Also, according to our team members and readers, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 has good focus accuracy. This shows how Sigma’s stringent QA controls at its factories have paid off, as well as its high standards that deserve praise.

How Does Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Score? 

Below are the lens metric scores we’ve measured for this specific lens: 

  • Performance and Image Quality: 8.5/10 
  • Features: 8.2/10
  • Bokeh: 7.9/10
  • Build Quality: 8.6/10
  • AutoFocus Quality: 7.5/10
  • Handling: 8.1/10
  • Value: 8.5/10

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons regarding this lens. 

Pros: 

  • The lens focuses quickly
  • Very sharp and overall good quality images
  • Excellent color and contrast arnge
  • Strong ergonomics with the build and design

Cons: 

  • Some inconsistent focus issues
  • Mild vignetting issues
  • Not the lightest lens available in this range

Our Verdict

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon is  a fantastic 35mm f/1.4 prime lens and takes on the likes of the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm ƒ1.4G with ease, creating images that are sharp and beautiful with high contrast and color fidelity. The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon is a very good mid-range priced option for those interested in shooting portraits, architecture or anything else where you need to control your depth of field or shoot at low-light conditions without flash.

Both the Sigma 35mm F1.4 E-mount and L-mount versions are extremely sharp lenses when shot wide open, and can produce excellent image quality even in many cases. Despite the presence of ghosting and cat’s eye artifacts, in most situations you will be able to get around them.

While it may appear front-heavy on smaller persons, the Nikon D850’s handling is excellent. The silky-smooth focus ring and rubberized, lockable lens hood are two features that we like a lot.