Sigma's new 35mm f/1.4 seems to be a real winner. Roger Cicala pretty much raved about it citing harsh bokeh as the only drawback and finding the AF to be as reliable as the AF on Canon and Nikon versions.
Link: LensRentals.com - Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Arrives. Announces New World Order.
I trust him on the sharpness tests, but I disagree with him about the bokeh. Doesn't look harsh to me at all compared to Canon and Nikon equivalent lenses. Sigma is marketing this as a lens with minimal axial CA, and the samples I've seen so far bear that out as well. None of the usual purple fringing and very little of the bokeh fringing so common with fast 35s.
More links with samples:
- First Batch of Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Sample Photos Released, Shows Impressive IQ
- Art | SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | SIGMA GLOBAL VISION
So what we seem to have is a 35mm f/1.4 lens for 35mm format with:
-Superior build (taken apart by Roger to verify not just skin deep)
-AF reliability and performance matching Canon/Nikon 35mm f/1.4 lenses
-Sharpness (both edge and center) exceeding that of Canon and Nikon 35/1.4 lenses
-Less axial CA than Canon and Nikon 35/1.4 lenses
-Attractive bokeh rendering (to me)
-Lower price than Canon and Nikon 35/1.4 lenses
This is a lens that makes me want to pick up a D600 or maybe D800. The only thing holding me back is the combined size and weight of such a combo. It's a really big and heavy lens (similar to Nikon and Canon 35/1.4 size/weight) from my standpoint.