Simply fantastic and hope your own tests confirm his findings (and adjustments). Please keep us posted.
Simply fantastic and hope your own tests confirm his findings (and adjustments). Please keep us posted.
Quentin, it is a wondrous lens, very Leica like, but on a sample of four I know of, they have all had a degree of asymmetry. Test carefully!
The weird thing is at 1.6 everything is good and F2 outstanding
Just an update from my end - my second copy is in the repair shop at the moment but in the meantime I got a 24-70 F2.8g for testing and review, and I can happily report that it can get me the sharp edges that the Sigma has so far failed to deliver, even at F2.8 and with no real 'tricky' behaviour - so it is my New Best Friend at 35mm even though it sucks at 24mm. It's also pretty good at 28, amazingly good at 50 and pretty darned useful at 70...
Last edited by D&A; 10th March 2013 at 21:02.
It is better by a long margin at 28,35, 50 and 70. At 24mm it's a toss up but it is weak as hell at anything over about 10-15 feet at any aperture up to f8 but at least it is weak on both sides and a lot of that is down to field curvature (actually it has a sort of 'folded' field)!
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I like my 35 sigma. I've only had it out twice, but I like it's sharpness and rendering. I like the results I get @ f16 when I need it, and the contrast wide open. I'm not a pro and don't shoot many planar objects. I think I got a good lens/camera/sensor match as my first quick AF micro adjustment was 0.
These are all handheld....just getting a feel for the lens...
Oh, left to right
1) f2 @ 125th @ iso 100
2) f11 @ 80th @ iso 1250
3) f9.5 @ 80th @ iso 1100
4) f16 @ 125th @ iso 100
No issues with AF yet........Matt
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Here's 3 more...
Left to right......
1) f1.4 @ 500th @ iso 100
2) f16 @ 80th @ iso 4000
3) f1.4 @ 250th @ iso 100
All on D800. I'm happy, so there!
A further update: my second copy of the Siggy 35mm F1.4 Art, which I sent for repair, was replaced without my requesting such, with yet another copy - and again it requires a +20 and is very soft on the right until F8 where it just about gets itself together. I think I will honourably give up and cash in, on the 'three strikes and you're out' principle...
Greetings from Moscow. I wonder, Tim, if it might be the Camera and not the lens? +20 is ridiculous. There must be a fault somewhere. Unfortunately I won't be using mine until I get back to Blighty on Sunday.
Quentin, Tim says his 24-70 works great on the same camera body
That's true Tex - and I have a some twelve lenses and have had about eight more, and some have been soft on the left, some on the right and some have had no asymmetry. The camera has recently been checked by Nikon too, not that that is any guarantee...
Also, of the three copies of the Siggy I've had, two were soft on the right and one on the left. Also, Guy has had the same problem as has Lloyd Chambers... as for the AFFT, my lenses generally need between zero and ten, though there are a couple of outliers on the plus side... but I'd love to hear how yours tests Quentin. On the other hand, being less selfish, if you like it 'as is' and haven't noticed a problem, then don't test it!
DxO test results on this lens are in.
Exec summary: Wow.
DxOMark: the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens sets a new benchmark for optical performance | Nikon Rumors
DxOMark - Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM Nikon Mount: the definitive high-speed 35mm wide-angle lens for DSLRs?
Lars, I am just working on a piece about DXO. I like their sensor reviews very much but their lens reviews seem not to take account of sample variation and quasi-endemic manufacturing issues, variations in field curvature with subject distance, aperture and focal length, focus shift, etc.
In other words, their tests provide incredibly useful and interesting data about how one copy of a lens behaves in a rather limited set of not really real-world circumstances.
My VW Touareg, in official EU tests, gets a combined mileage of 39mpg but I can't get it over a long term average of 30.5....
I am still curious to hear how Quentin's copy tests: I have had three asymmetrical ones and given up, Guy's had asymmetry too, as did Diglloyd's and Lensrentals... I have yet to hear of a copy other than the DXO one that behaved as it should...
EDIT: I am so attracted to the look of the lens wide open - but I would prefer a less stellar centre performance at mid apertures in exchange for (equally) sharp edges...
Yes, agreed. Sample variation seems to be a problem with Sigma. And the more fine-tuned the test (D800) the more obvious the variation. One would hope that Sigma will get it's production line to be more consistent. Quality control shouldn't be that hard.
I think Sigma really nailed it recently WRT bokeh - this lens, my 50/1.4, the 85/1.4 all are creamy smooth.
Now, about your lead foot...
Ouch, harsh! You should see what I get in my real car...
So after 3 pages of reviews, comments and repairs, and updates,.... are the current models being sold spot on without issues?
Not in my personal experience of three in the past few weeks but others might know differently
Not only is it good, I believe Sigma is now on track to become the premier maker of high resolution premium quality dslr lenses.
It started (for me) with the astonishing Sigma DP2M, with edge to edge sharpness I had not experienced before with any other camera. This camera literally changed my expectations and even now it is so far ahead of any comparable camera (and other cameras one would not have though of as being in competition), I almost gave up shooting digital medium format. If you don't own one, my suggestion is to get one.
The DP1M and more recently the DP3M followed, each with outstanding lenses. Recently following the acquisition of my D800E I have enjoyed excellent results with the Sigma 85mm F1.4 and now the 35mm F1.4.
Sigma clearly know what they are doing.
Agreed that Sigma is onto something, and IMHO it isn't just "sharpness" and "resolution" but also character -- they do seem to have something Nikon does not always get:
>My Nikkor 35/1.4 G was sharp but had no juice;
>My Nikkor 50/1.4G is relatively sharp and has some juice;
>My Nikkor 85/1.4G is a freaking laser and has major mojo;
>This new 35 Sigma appears to be sharp and have juice;
>From experience on C, my 50/1.4 Sigma while not as sharp as my current Nikkor 50/1.4G, definitely had better juice.
Ergo, I am considering replacing my 50/1.4G with the Sigma 50 -- I use the 50 a lot. But then when I've had a good 35, I tend to use it instead of the 50 -- I rarely carry both -- so maybe I should just add the 35 Sigma? Decisions...
The Sigma is the one. It's got the juice but I do use 35 a lot. I'm after about 3 character lenses. The Sigma is one of them. My 25 Zeiss has some juice and I'm after the Zeiss 135 which looks to have it also. Than I have my working lenses 24-70, 50 1.8, 60 macro but selling and the 85 1.8 g . I'm probably selling my Nikon 70-200 f4 for the Zeiss 135 and rent the zoom when needed which is twice a year. My zoom is really good just rather have that 135 as that is right in my wheel house.
I've had the new 180 2.8 Sigma Macro since December and am extremely happy with it. Perhaps it has "juice" - it blows the ancient 200mm Nikon Macro out of the water. Built like a tank, very heavy and high quality.
I agree with Quentin that Sigma is onto something with the DP1, 2, 3 Merrills which I have and enjoy very much (the 3 is on its way). To me, 28-35 are very useful focals and ones I use a lot, but also (especially so with the 35) focals where it is difficult to find juice and character in a lens; the DP1 Merrill has a very good lens, and the Foveon results are incredible as far as micro-contrast and sharpness go, I'd like to see that coming out of my D800E as well in this range!
I am working on my recent Death Valley images, and I found myself using a lot my 35 Nikkor, which is very good & sharp over the frame but so-so when it comes to character. I have been looking with interest at the Sigma 35, but I agree with Tim, controlled reviews are very limited in real-world representation of what a lens can or cannot do; plus, the QC issue scares me a bit. Not living in the US or UK, it is very difficult for me to try-repare-replace lenses, because techs here (Istanbul) have very little idea when it comes to high-end (and high-expectation) equipment, unfortunately. They'd just say "well, it focus, so it works" and that'd be enough for them... (I still remember the war I had to put on to have my original D2x replaced when they couldn't get it to focus due to Nikon making a mess of the AF module...!). So, I normally get my equipment from Milan, Italy which is way better, but again I am not going there every other day so if I get a lens with problems I might get stuck with it for a long time: so, thank you very much guys for providing me with such an incredible amount of empiric, real world data on these - I really appreciate it a lot.
Tim, did you consider the Zeiss 35 f.14 or 35 f2? I tried them both briefly, and it seemed to me that there is a lot of character in the f1.4 - however, I didn't have time for a thorough test so I decided to keep my Nikkor instead.
I haven't tried any other 35 on the D800 because for some reason it doesn't feel to me like a 'natural' length. This is totally illogical because on Leica M I use 35s a lot, and I love my RX-1, but the focal lengths I really like on the D800 are 24 and 80...
Regarding the Sigma, Quentin is lucky: his is literally the only one I have heard of that hasn't got some degree of decentring though I understand that Guy's is now fixed. But as a look lens it is utterly lovely, wide open it's gorgeous. I just find that the 35 setting on my 24-70 is notably sharper to the edges and pretty good on centre and my 28G is acutally very nice wide open and has a nice look too, and is a lot lighter.
since when lens love had to be logical! Seriously though, I think there is an obvious connection between us and the equipment we use, which probably more than with focal lengths alone has to do with the gear itself and how it feels overall. Taking your 35mm as an example, I have followed your RX-1 "love" around the net and I think that you so enjoy the camera as a whole that you'd probably do so even if it was 30mm or 40mm (anything else being equal): I might be off and of course I don't intend to speak for you, but I know that's what happens to me and my equipment so I assume it would play at least a part with everyone else... some combination of cameras & lenses just feel "right" to me, while the same focal on another system would leave me cold; maybe is the specific 35 Zeiss made for the RX-1 that is so good that it made you want to get these results with your other system, so you could travel with one less piece of equipment in your bag, that prompted your 35mm quest (?). I found this especially true with this new batch of great high-quality compacts: for me, is the Sigma DP1 / DP2 Merrill, they are so good that I bring them along all the time with my Nikon kit, and while I'd love to find a D800E/compatible alternative lens, I am thinking I simply might not be able to...
My experience is on a D700, not sure how it holds up on D800.
If you want to borrow mine for a few days I can bring it to work next week.
Lars, that's a spectacular idea -- maybe you can get away for a long lunch and we'll do a mini comparison of the Sigma to the Nikkor G
As for the Sigma 50 vs. the Nikon 50mm G lens....somewhat of a toss-up in my opinion, with each having some minor strengths in one area that the other one lacks and visa versa.
Shooting these lenses on your own body and under conditons you're familar with, will be the best way to experiences their differences.
Looking forward to yours and Lars test observations.
Is the Sigma 35mm F1.4 sharp wide open?
A family snapshot over Sunday Lunch at a local pub of Bob, my Father in Law (also a self-portrait, as I am refelcted in Bob's eye!)
and a full size crop of the point of focus
There are some lenses that are not that sharp stopped down.
Other info: Nikon D800E @ ISO 560, F1.4, 1/250 sec
Background looks great too.
I shot a commercial shot the other day of a guy leaning against a wall . Waist up horizontal with a good amount of space around him. Shot at 1/20th at F8 with two strobes and at 100 percent it's a freaking laser. Maybe one of the sharpest lenses I have seen so far and I had two extremely good Nikons the 85 1.4 and 200 F 2 and this lens is in the same ballpark. Ill post it soon. I landed a huge gig this month that already has me out scouting and getting ready to shoot in a couple week and this lens is going to get a real workout. I am also after a Zeiss 135 f2 ZF.2 coming out which I want really bad for this job. Anyone seen one in a store please let me know.
Laser says it all, Guy .
Which actually makes me a little angry. I mean, why now? Why have we had to put up with second rate, soft wide open, mediocrity from so many lenses for so long? Better late than never I suppose.
I was thinking about getting this lens also, and like Tim, I am looking for the exact same thing, good planar performance at distance. I am starting to think that this new lens was not designed for this. How I understand it, especially with WA lenses, that something has to give.
The image that Guy is talking about which I am sure is outstanding sounds like what the lens was designed for. Or the image above that Quentin posted, short distance and wide open.
To bad one has to spend almost 3K for a super HQ FF 35mm lens in the form of a Sony RX-1 that Tim tells us all at distant this is the ultimate combo.
It seems unfortunately as MP go up so does our expectation for perfection which in this case why I ended up selling my D800/e. Though as better lenses start to appear I may buy one again, though I will probably wait for the next Nikon body which I hope will have even yet a better LV for critical focus. I like to shoot long lenses, 85mm and up, and at the time, there was no Zeiss 135 yet and I did try the Sigma 180/2.8 but for me I must have gotten a bad copy, and that's when I gave up. Though for me I have to say my Zeiss 35/2 and Zeiss 50/2 shot at F5.6 were actually pretty good at distance. note to Tim A, did you ever try the Zeiss 35/2? It's a great lens at F5.6 at distance. I am finding that all these faster lenses on a D800/e which in theory should be great but at distance they are not.
If I want to get really sharp Landscapes I just pull out my Sinar arTec and 33MP back which is much more forgiving then a D800/E.
Lastly Quentin is correct on his analysis on the Sigma DP2M and DP3M
Outstanding IQ by far best deal going if you can live within its limitations.
I have a DP2M and love it and waiting a bit for the price to come down on the DP3M, I gave up the DP1M because at distance, could not get clean corners.
Though I was not surprised, DP1M with a fixed 19mm lens, not so easy to pull of, again at that focal length something has to give.
It's a very fast lens. Why would you think the design was optimised for infinity focus?
Why are you so interested in planar performance? Of all the genres of photography, architecture is probably the only one that comes to (my) mind for which planar performance from a lens is considered by most to be a must. Even then, planar performance is really only an asset if you shoot square on to a building, and more often than not that will return an image lacking in depth, an image less strong than it can be, or both.
Sorry if that's how my post came across to you, yet that is what I am not implying buy any means. Maybe I used the word "Planar" incorrectly.
I was just referring to folks who like to shoot landscape and most of us landscape shooters are usually looking for even sharpness across the frame.
Most lens testing is done at much closer distances and this does not tell the whole story on how a lens performs and most everyone is looking for different characteristics when purchasing a lens.
This is why guys like Lloyd Chambers does a very good job when he reviews lenses, he tries to give the "whole" picture on how a paticular lens performs
There is nothing on Earth at infinity. To get a sharp landscape, you will want to focus at some other distance.
Well, Steve, how do you account for people getting sharp landscapes from systems that you have decided cannot achieve that? Perhaps these people do know something you don't.