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Sigma re-invents the 35mm F1.4 for L-Mount & E-Mount

Luke Gardner - 2 weeks ago

Sigma took on the big boys [Canon & Nikon] back in 2012 with the now-iconic 35mm F1.4 Art. Now it has been updated for L-Mount and E-mount mirrorless systems, bringing improved optical performance and advanced features in a more compact body. Its wide-standard focal length and bright aperture make it the perfect tool for a range of applications, including wedding, portrait, astro and travel photography and film-making.

The existing 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens. Released in 2012, it set the standard for all of SIGMA’s subsequent Art-line lenses, and thanks to its exceptional image quality it is still the 35mm prime lens of choice for many professional photographers. Nine years on, the 35mm F1.4 has been redesigned from the ground up specifically for mirrorless cameras, and is the culmination of much of the optical design expertise and advanced production techniques gained over the past decade of lens development. As with all of Sigma’s lenses, the 35mm F1.4 is built entirely at its sole factory in Aizu in Japan, where the standard of craftsmanship is of the highest level.

As is true with all SIGMA lenses, class-leading optics are right at the heart of the design concept of this new 35mm F1.4. Despite being significantly smaller and lighter than the existing 35mm F1.4, it displays an outstanding level of sharpness right to the edges of the frame at all apertures, as well as exceptionally smooth and attractive bokeh and remarkably well-controlled optical aberrations. 

Additional features

  • Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups, with 1 FLD, 1 ELD, 2 SLD and 2 aspherical elements
  • Internal focusing
  • Compatible with high-speed autofocus
  • Compatible with lens-based optical correction
  • Super Multi-Layer Coating
  • Water and oil-repellent coating [front element]
  • Aperture Ring 
  • Aperture Ring Click Switch
  • Aperture Ring Lock Switch
  • AFL button
  • Focus Mode Switch
  • Support DMF, AF+MF
  • Dust and splash-proof structure
  • Petal type hood with lock
  • Designed to minimise flare and ghosting
  • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
  • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount

Designed exclusively for use with mirrorless cameras, the 35mm F1.4 is light enough to feel perfectly balanced on a compact mirrorless camera, yet is packed with an array of professional features including ultra-fast AF, a de-clickable and lockable aperture ring and a customisable AFL button. This gives the lens operability and portability without compromise, making it as ideal for professional projects as it is for casual outings, and as well-suited to video as it is stills. 

SIGMA is delighted to introduce you to the new gold standard in wide-aperture 35mm primes.

Key features

⦁ Impressive optical performance

Central to the design of the 35mm F1.4 is its sophisticated optical performance, which is consistent with the development of all Art line lenses. The lens is constructed with 15 elements in 11 groups, incorporating two Special Low Dispersion [SLD] elements, an Extraordinary Low Dispersion [ELD] element, an ‘F’ Low Dispersion [FLD] element and two aspherical elements, and as well as other high-performance glass. The lens’ advanced optical construction utilises SIGMA’s state-of-the-art optical design technology, minimising all types of aberration including axial chromatic aberration, which cannot be corrected in-camera. 

In spite of having a very wide aperture of F1.4, the lens is able to control sagittal coma flare extremely well even wide open, stopping bright points of light from flaring out near the edges of the frame. This will be particularly appealing to night sky photographers. 

Owing to its 11 rounded diaphragm blades, the lens displays smooth, round bokeh so that out-of-focus areas are not distracting. This makes the 35mm F1.4 well-suited to portraits, supported by its ultra-sharp image quality and minimal color bleeding. It also performs very well in backlit conditions thanks to SIGMA’s anti-ghosting and anti-flare technology that it has cultivated through countless simulations and real-life testing in our many years of lens development. This keeps shots high contrast and free of excessive flare even when working in difficult light.

⦁ Fast and quiet AF in a compact body

The focusing mechanism in the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 features a stepping motor. This motor controls a focusing lens group composed of a single, lightweight element, which means AF is responsive and quiet, and is able to keep track of moving objects very effectively. Manual focusing is smooth and precise, but with the right amount of resistance for film-makers. Certainly, this lens has a focus mode switch on the body.

The SIGMA 35mm F1.4 wholly embraces the Art line concept, which is “designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance”. This—paired with its advanced autofocus performance and the convenience of a compact size—makes for a lens that raises the standards.

⦁ Professional feature-set 

On the body of the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 is an aperture ring that allows the aperture to be controlled via the lens, or when set to Auto, using the camera. An aperture lock switch on the lens body allows the aperture ring to be locked in Auto so that it’s not accidentally knocked during shooting. A big plus for filmmakers, the aperture ring can be de-clicked, allowing users to seamlessly adjust exposure. Also on the lens barrel is a focus mode switch and an AFL button, which can be customised to the desired function from within the camera menu [depending on the model]. The switch is ergonomically positioned to be controlled by the thumb during use.

On top of this impressive array of features and elegant exterior, the body of the 35mm F1.4 offers an exceptional level of durability that helps it withstand long-term professional use as well as individual operating parts that give a good fit to the hand. The dust and splash-proof structure provide sealing on buttons and along joins between constituent parts, and there’s a rubber gasket around the mount. There’s also a water and oil repellent coating applied to the front element ensures that photographers can rely on it in any conditions.

Pricing & availability

The Sigma 35mm F1.4 will be available from the 14th of May at the price of £749.99.

About the author

Read Sigma re-invents the 35mm F1.4 for L-Mount & E-Mount

Luke Gardner

Features Editor @ PhotoBite

Luke lives and breaths photography. With experience working freelance, in retail and also teaching photography; Luke has been exposed to a broad spectrum of knowledgeable people and has a real hunger to explore what others are up to in this incredibly creative world. Starting from the age of 12 his fascination with photography as done nothing but fuel his ambition to create and explore all areas in the photographic world. Luke’s role at PhotoBite ranges from feature writing to testing equipment, with his natural teaching skills seeing him take his place as in-house presenter for camera hardware and accessories on the PhotoBite YouTube channel.