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Author Topic: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4  (Read 4027 times)

Offline Pankajkumars

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Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« on: February 27, 2014, 08:46:38 PM »
I love Sigma 35mm 1.4

Sigma 35mm is the fastest lens from Sigma Team and works great on Full Frame. It is perfect for low light street shots. I found more keepers from this lens in low light.



Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM is claimed suitable for Travel, Wedding & Events, Portrait and Specialty shoots.
 
Sigma (Brand) 35mm (focal length) 1.4 (Aperture) DG (Digital) HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) Art (model) is the flagship lens of Sigma and lens is being praised all around.

The lens comes with a standard Lens Hood and a slightly large Lens case with belt adapter.
Sigma 35mm is made for full frame and can be used with APS-C as well. The lens is compatible with Sigma USB Dock. USB dock is used for 4-stage MAF adjustment and firmware upgrade.


The look and feel of the lens is very solid. It features internal focusing and full time manual control.

The positves:

? Solid built and beautiful design, look - feel is good.
? Very fast AF.
? Razor sharp when focused correctly.
? Amazing contrast.
? More keeper from this lens.
? Highly addictive 1.4 range.
? Very attractive pricing.

What expert says:

DxOMark "The lens sets a new benchmark for optical performance for a retro-focus lens in this focal length and it?s a feat that?s even more remarkable given the price is well-below that of any of the big name brands."



I used this lens during my Leh trip, Europe trip and few family shot. Here are few shots: Images are not at 100% but it gives idea how the images pop-out on the screen.

Close-up portraits are best of its class.




The issues:
Everything is fine as long as the shots are within 2 meter. After 2 meter the AF accuracy was varying with distance and as per the light condition on my copy. Further investigation suggested that the AF is inconsistent for different ranges and front focus to back-focus is present in various distances. After various testing and study of my previous shots, I decided to get it repaired from Sigma. I deposited this lens 2 month back and got the money refund. As sigma dealer claimed they cannot calibrate my lens on two bodies at a time. Matter settled after few gracious and respectful phone calls and I liked the attitude of after-sales of Sigma Distributor. 

You can read more about focus inconsistency at high aperture at http://photographylife.com/what-is-focus-shift

Lens is brilliant for close range upto 2m. After 2m, Lens auto-focus issue surfaces. Interested user may find few top results at  http://goo.gl/GLCUhC

The negatives:
-   You need to find a good copy. But how ?
-   You can not do MAF adjustment for varying distance 2m onward through software.
-   Only one equipped service center at Chennai.

I will recommend this lens only if you get a good copy and able to get correct AF 10/10 at 1 m to 10m.

  I will always miss the Sigma Lens.
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Offline theqca

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 10:26:18 AM »
Nice review pankaj.. Its a good insight for anyone contemplating on purchasing this lens..

How did the return policy work? I wasn't aware that lenses could be returned?
Nikon FM(black), Nikon FG, Nikon D700, Nikon FM(silver), Nikon FM10, Pentax Spotmatic, Zenith TTL, Minox Wetzlar, Agfa Optima III, Yashica & Rollei rangefinders etc

28mm 2.8, 70-300vr, 200mm f4, 50mm 1.4, 55mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 16mm 2.8, 70-210 f4 macro, Lensbaby, Helios 44 f2, 90mm macro, etc

Offline Pankajkumars

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 08:37:10 PM »
How did the return policy work? I wasn't aware that lenses could be returned?

Thanks for the appreciation Ayaz Ji. I read reviews online regarding repetitive replacement of Lens and finally user claiming refund. In my case, the discussion was always polite and I was asked two options i.e. either replacement or refund for my 8 month old lens. I preferred refund. It took time but I appreciate the service of Sigma as they were more worried about customer satisfaction.

When in focus, the result from the lens is mind blowing. At 1.4, this lens gives many more creative options.
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Offline LightWave

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 08:39:27 PM »
Don't you find 35mm too short for face portraits on FF? Specially the kid portraits that you posted. I find even my 50mm short for that.

Offline Pankajkumars

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 09:37:06 PM »
Don't you find 35mm too short for face portraits on FF? Specially the kid portraits that you posted. I find even my 50mm short for that.

Definitely short for Face Portrait. Above shots are heavily cropped. But shooting from close range automatically draw attention of kids and therefore add life to the image.
 
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Offline theqca

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 10:22:38 PM »
Thanks for clarifying that Pankaj..I think in that case Sigma has a very good level of customer service. I'm not used to seeing that from companies in India to be very honest with you... they usually make you run from pillar to post to get even a simple task done.

Im happy to hear about your experience with sigma
Nikon FM(black), Nikon FG, Nikon D700, Nikon FM(silver), Nikon FM10, Pentax Spotmatic, Zenith TTL, Minox Wetzlar, Agfa Optima III, Yashica & Rollei rangefinders etc

28mm 2.8, 70-300vr, 200mm f4, 50mm 1.4, 55mm 2.8 macro, 50mm 1.8, 16mm 2.8, 70-210 f4 macro, Lensbaby, Helios 44 f2, 90mm macro, etc

Offline Ramstrong

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2014, 04:51:51 PM »
Nice review, Pankaj!

I was contemplating on buying the new Sigma 50mm Art lens, once it was available in India.

Now after reading your review & getting to know about your experience I have second thoughts.
NikonD810+D700+D7000+MB-D10&11+Some Nikon Glasses+Helios81N 50mmF2 Lens+Vanguard AP263AT+GH100+SB600+SB400+YN560II+YN560+YN622Nx2.

Canon EOS5D MkII+EOS650D+EF24-105mmF4 L Lens+EF40mmF2.8STM+Tammy SP70-300mmVC+Fujinon55mmF1.8 MF Lens+Nissin Di866Mk2Pro1+YN603Cx4.

Offline Hyperdrive

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2014, 05:44:05 PM »
I have held this lens in high regard since reading reviews and customer feedback about its performance online. This would have merited serious consideration had I not owned the OEM version, a lens that is one of my favourites.

If Sigma's QA is still inconsistent it may affect all the goodwill they've earned. Precisely the type of bugbear that may drive people away.

I look forward to reviews on the new Sigma 50 1.4 Art.

Offline itsme_soumya

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Re: Close encounter with Sigma 35mm 1.4
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2014, 07:17:55 PM »
i love my sigma 35/1.4. perfect for environmental portraiture and street photography.

everything said about it is only good. color, sharpness, bokeh, build - everything is superb. however, i wish the lens came with weather sealing like the canon L. that's the only drawback that i found about this lens.

cheers!
soumya
To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event. ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson