Sigma’s new 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art Lens is an updated version of their most popular Art lens, the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art. The new lens is exclusively for mirrorless cameras – more specifically, Sony E-mount and L-mount cameras. Courtesy of Sigma, we were given early access to the lens so we could put it to the test and see how it performed. Here’s our Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens review.
While the new model is an updated version of the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens, its build more closely resembles the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens.
Like the 85mm, the new lens has an aperture ring, aperture click switch, aperture lock switch, customizable AFL button, and a focus ring and switch. Additionally, the lens has a petal-type locking lens hood with a rubber grip, and a durable, dust and splashproof aluminum build with rubber sealing around the mount. The front element also has a water and oil repellant coating. In short, it looks and feels like a high quality, premium lens.
The new lens has a 67mm filter size, the same as the previously released E-mount and L-mount versions of the 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. It’s also considerably lighter, weighing 22.8oz (645g) versus 26.6oz (755g). However, while lightweight in comparison to the original model, it’s still slightly heavier than the 85mm F1.4 Art lens (22.2oz/630g), and considerably heavier than the 35mm F2 Contemporary (11.5oz/325g) lens that was released earlier this year.
The optical construction of the new lens has also been updated compared to the original 35mm F1.4 Art lens. The new model uses 15 elements in 11 groups, incorporating Special Low Dispersion (SLD) and Extraordinary Low Dispersion (ELD) elements along with one ‘F’ Low Dispersion element and two aspherical elements. The end result is a sophisticated optical performance consistent with the other, more recent lenses in the Art line.
It’s finally starting to feel like Spring in New York City, so we took the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens out for a spin in Brooklyn’s Botanical Gardens. While the cherry blossoms have only just started to bloom, the colorful, floral scenery made for perfect camera fodder. We paired the new lens with a Sony a7 III.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: 35mm is perhaps the most versatile prime focal length. You can use it for almost any style. If you’re shooting portraiture, it’s a great option if you want a little more background in your frame. Alternatively, landscape photographers may use a 35mm lens when they want to capture a vast scene without visible perception distortion.
We had a great time using Sigma’s new 35mm lens to capture a variety of different styles. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 11.8 inches (30cm), so we could get remarkably close to a subject and still capture a tack-sharp, visually stunning photograph. Thanks to its 11-blade diaphragm and low aperture range, the lens also output smooth, round bokeh that was pleasing to the eye.
Another key feature of the new lens is an updated focusing mechanism. The new stepping motor system controls a single lens element, allowing the autofocus to be quiet, quick, and accurate. It’s not quite as responsive as the autofocus we’ve seen on some of Sony’s GM lenses, but it’s certainly reliable. We also appreciated the smooth, precise movement of the lens rings, allowing us to quickly and accurately adjust the focus and aperture while shooting. Overall, the lens performance was excellent.
The new 35mm F1.4 lens is available for pre-order now for $899. That places it firmly in the medium price range, between Sigma’s 35mm F2 DG DN Contemporary lens ($639) and their 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens ($1,499). Given the new lens also offers a comparable build and performance to the $1,199 Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens, we’re calling it a great value model.
Should I Buy This Lens?
That concludes our Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens review. If you already own the Sony E-mount or L-mount modified version of the original 35mm F1.4 Art lens, you should definitely consider upgrading. The new lens offers a better build and performance yet is still competitively priced.
If you don’t own a 35mm lens yet, the new model is a worthwhile investment. Offering versatile performance capabilities housed within a high-quality build, you’ll get plenty of use out of this fantastic addition to the Sigma Art line.