As presented in last week’s post I bought myself the somewhat famous Sigma 35mm f/1.4 art that started the Sigma hype in the photography world the last few years. Sigmas new line of art lenses have been received with an overwhelming enthusiasm for their excellent optical quality and competetive prices compared to the major brands respective offerings.
Life and the miserable weather that is Swedish fall has meant I haven’t used it quite as much as I would have liked to. Instead, I’ve mostly just played around with it within the four walls of my home. The bokeh of a 1.4 lens is quite mesmerising, having only used f/1.8 lenses before. You do have to get very close to the subject, but that way you get a very interesting perspective that is both including and separating to the effect.
My experiences with my two other primes, the 50 and 85 f/1.8, has generally been that the 85 is somewhat sharper wide open but with much heavier chromatic abberations. I was never happy with the 50 wide open, but at 2.8 it was as sharp as can be and further stopping down was only necessary for increasing the depth of field. My impression with the 35 was that it was sufficiently sharp wide open for virtually any use.
I tried some pseudo-scientific testing to prove this but my methodology would hardly stand up to a closer scrutinisation. The results show the Sigma dwarfing the other primes in terms of sharpness already at f/1.4 and when compared at f/1.8 it is quite significantly sharper. Somewhat surprisingly, the 50 seemed to be sharper than the 85mm, but I would be quick to say it might as well have been an error in the testing.