Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Review

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens

Few characters in a lens name will garner photographer's attention as quickly "f/1.2" does. Referring to this huge aperture opening as "ultra-wide" does not seem to adequately describe this massive orifice. Putting the f/1.2 opening in an extremely popular 35mm focal length lens (with AF) garners a "first" to Sigma and significantly increased my anticipation for this review.

This lens has a moderately-high price tag, a large size, and a heavy weight, but the build quality and overall performance are outstanding.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Angle View

Focal Length

How popular is the 35mm focal length? Counting the number of 35mm prime lenses currently available at B&H gives us a strong indication. Hint: the number is much higher than you expected.

Why choose a 35mm lens? That this moderately wide angle of view invites a subject distance that creates a natural perspective and makes the viewer feel present in the image is one reason. This focal length is wide enough to capture the big scene but not so wide that people and other subjects are readily distorted by the close perspective invited by ultra-wide angles. It is often wasy to sneaker zoom to the right distance to get the ideal 35mm subject framing.

This focal length has great general-purpose use, making it an ideal choice to leave on the camera for whatever needs arise. I often press whatever lens I'm reviewing into the around-the-house, walk-around, general-purpose lens role, and 35mm works superbly for this purpose.

For similar reasons, the 35mm focal length has long been a first-choice for photojournalists. Wedding photographers, who work in some of the darkest venues to be found, also frequently use 35mm lenses. Portrait photographers like the 35mm focal length for full to mid-body portraits and for group portraits.

The 35mm angle of view is inviting for street photography. Landscape photographers have plenty of uses for the 35mm focal length.

Sports photographers able to get close to their subjects (such as basketball shot from over or under the net) or wanting to capture a wider/environmental view of their events appreciate this focal length. The angle of view invited by 35mm can make action figures large in the frame.

Parents love 35mm lenses for capturing their indoor events, and most pets will let you get close enough to capture a nice perspective with such a lens. 35mm is popular with videographers, especially for documentary work. Many medium and large products are ideally captured at 35mm.

With the ultra-wide f/1.2 aperture available, the night sky is an inviting subject for this lens. Those photographing the night sky frequently target the milky way. The 35mm angle of view is narrower than optimal for that subject, but the heart of the milky way significantly filling the frame is beautiful. Relative to wider focal lengths, 24mm for example, 35mm requires a faster shutter speed to avoid star trails and provides a shallower depth of field, increasing the challenge of including in-focus foreground subjects in an image.

To visualize where 35mm fits among other common focal lengths, I'll borrow a focal length range example from a zoom lens review.

Focal Length Range Example

24mm | 35mm | 50mm | 70mm | 85mm | 105mm

The full list of 35mm uses is enormous and limited only by our imaginations.

On an ASP-C/1.5x sensor format body, the 35mm focal length provides an angle of view similar to a 52.5mm lens on a full-frame sensor format body. This angle of view is essentially the same as 50mm and useful for all applications this extremely popular "normal" focal length is used for. Those uses coincide with most uses of the 35mm focal length with slightly tighter framing or slightly longer perspective for the same framing being the difference.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Front View

Max Aperture

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens's f/1.2 max aperture is nearly as wide as it gets at any focal length, and it is record-setting for an AF lens in this mount. Most major lens manufacturers offer a 35mm lens with an f/1.4 aperture, but f/1.2 is nearly 0.5-stops wider.

An ultra-wide f/1.2 aperture, allowing significant amounts of light to reach the imaging sensor, provides tremendous benefits. Use that light to enable action (subject and camera) stopping shutter speeds in very low light levels, along with low ISO settings for reduced noise. It seems there is always enough light for handholding 35mm at f/1.2.

Another advantage of a wide aperture lens is the background blur it can create. F/1.2 with a close subject creates a very shallow DOF, drawing the viewer's eye to the in-focus subject. It is hard to blur the background diffusely with a wide-angle lens, but an f/1.2 aperture can do that. Add artistic capabilities to this lens's list of highly-desired features.

Here is a look at the widest apertures this lens avails.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Aperture Comparison Example

Compare the above apertures to your current widest 35mm lens aperture. That difference illustrates the new capabilities this lens offers your kit.

These examples illustrate the maximum blur this lens can create:

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Maximum Blur Example

If you are shooting under a full sun at f/1.2, you will likely need a 1/8000 sec shutter speed at ISO 100 to avoid over-exposure. Positive is that there is little action that a 1/8000 sec shutter speed cannot stop, but if the subject has very bright or reflective colors, even 1/8000 might not be fast enough to avoid blown highlights. Some cameras have an extended ISO setting as low as 50 that can optionally be used in this situation (though dynamic range may be impacted). Optimal is to use a camera offering shutter speeds faster than 1/8000. Using a neutral density filter is a good solution to retaining use of f/1.2 under direct sunlight when the shutter limitation is exceeded. Stopping down (narrowing) the aperture is always an option for preventing over-exposure, though stopping down negates the need for the wide f/1.2 aperture, and the subject-isolating shallow depth of field is lost.

There are notable drawbacks to lenses that feature very wide maximum apertures. Making wide apertures available requires larger, heavier lens elements, translating into larger, heavier, and more expensive lenses. While not over-priced, this lens is large and heavy compared to its f/1.4 peers.

For most photographers, the benefits of a wide max aperture prime lens far outweigh the drawbacks. Wide apertures are a highly-desired lens feature.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Top View with Hood

This lens features an aperture ring that enables a manually-selected aperture. With the ring in the A (Auto) position, the camera controls the aperture setting. All other settings electronically force the aperture to the chosen opening. A 2-position switch on the bottom left side of the lens toggles the aperture ring between 1/3 stop clicks and smooth, quiet, non-clicked adjustments, ideal for video recording.

Aside from a slightly more complicated design, I find inadvertent aperture changes the primary disadvantage of an aperture ring. Incorporating a lock for this ring would eliminate that issue, and learning to not grasp the aperture ring when mounting the camera reduces the issue.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Front View on Camera

Image Stabilization

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens is not optically stabilized. Sony addresses that omission with Steady Shot or IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) in their mirrorless cameras. In addition to reducing camera shake, the stabilized imaging sensor provides a still viewfinder image, enabling careful composition. Sensor-based AF takes advantage of the stabilized view for improved accuracy.

With no IS switch on the lens, the camera menu must be used to enable or disable IBIS, a slight impediment to working quickly, going from tripod to handholding, for example.

Image Quality

Not all lenses are sharp at their widest aperture, and just because a lens has f/1.2 does not mean you want to use that aperture. However, no one wants to pay the size, weight, and cost premium for an f/1.2 aperture without merit for its use. Surely, Sigma knew that.

At f/1.2, this lens is very sharp across the entire full-frame image circle. In the center of the frame, only modest sharpness improvement is seen when stopped down to f/2.8. Stopping down brings modest sharpness improvement in the corners, but the primary sharpness benefit of stopping down is the improved contrast resulting from the peripheral shading clearing.

Below you will find sets of 100% resolution center of the frame crops captured in uncompressed RAW format using a Sony a7R III. The images were processed in Capture One using the Natural Clarity method with the sharpening amount set to only "30" on a 0-1000 scale. Note that images from most cameras require some level of sharpening, but too-high sharpness settings are destructive to image details and hide the deficiencies of a lens.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Sharpness Comparison Example

The depth of field is shallow at f/1.2, so look carefully for the plane of sharp focus. These images are sharp.

Focus shift, the plane of sharp focus moving forward or backward as the aperture is narrowed (residual spherical aberration or RSA), will often show in this comparison. It is not an issue with this lens (many modern lenses automatically correct for it).

Next, we'll look at a comparison showing 100% extreme-bottom-left-corner crops captured and processed identically to the above center-of-the-frame images. The lens was manually focused in the corner of the frame to capture these images.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Corner Sharpness Comparison Example

Samples taken from the outer extreme of the image circle, full-frame corners, can be counted on to show a lens's worst performance. At f/1.2, the extreme corner is relatively sharp. By f/2.8, a significant amount of vignetting has cleared, with the results improving noticeably.

I know, tree trunks have been featured in a few of the recent lens reviews. Clear sky days have been few this winter, and this one was windy, leaving few motionless subjects with the details that natural subjects provide.

When used on a camera that utilizes a lens's entire image circle, peripheral shading can be expected at the widest aperture settings. Wide-angle, ultra-wide aperture lenses tend to show strong peripheral shading wide open, and the about-3.5-stops will be obvious in most images. By f/2, corner shading goes under 2-stops, and by f/2.8, shading is down to about 1-stop. Corner shading levels out to the about 0.8-stops seen at f/4 and narrower.

APS-C format cameras using lenses projecting a full-frame-sized image circle avoid most vignetting problems. In this case, the just-over one-stop of shading showing at f/1.2 may be visible in some images, especially those with a solid color (such as a blue sky) showing in the corners.

One-stop of shading is often used as the visibility number, though subject details provide a widely varying amount of vignetting discernibility. Vignetting is correctable during post-processing with increased noise in the brightened areas being the penalty, or it can be embraced, using the effect to draw the viewer's eye to the center of the frame. Study the pattern showing in our vignetting test tool to determine how your images will be affected.

The effect of different colors of the spectrum being magnified differently is referred to as lateral (or transverse) CA (Chromatic Aberration). Lateral CA shows as color fringing along lines of strong contrast running tangential (meridional, right angles to radii) with the mid and especially the periphery of the image circle showing the most significant amount as this is where the most significant difference in the magnification of wavelengths typically exists.

With the right lens profile and software, lateral CA is often easily correctable (often in the camera) by radially shifting the colors to coincide. However, it is always better not to have this aberration in the first place.

Color misalignment can easily be seen in the site's image quality tool, but let's also look at a worst-case example. This is a 100% crop from the extreme top left corner of an a7R III frame showing diagonal black and white lines.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Lateral Chromatic Aberration Example

There should only be black and white colors in this image, and excellent performance is what I see.

A relatively common lens aberration is axial (longitudinal, bokeh) CA, which causes non-coinciding focal planes of the various wavelengths of light. More simply, different colors of light are focused to different depths. Spherical aberration along with spherochromatism, or a change in the amount of spherical aberration with respect to color (looks quite similar to axial chromatic aberration but is hazier) are other common lens aberrations to observe. Axial CA remains somewhat persistent when stopping down, with the color misalignment effect increasing with defocusing. The spherical aberration color halo shows little size change as the lens is defocused, and stopping down one to two stops generally removes this aberration.

In the real world, lens defects do not exist in isolation, with spherical aberration and spherochromatism generally found, at least to some degree, along with axial CA. These combine to create a less sharp, hazy-appearing image quality at the widest apertures.

The examples below look at the defocused specular highlights' fringing colors in the foreground vs. the background. The lens has introduced any fringing color differences from the neutrally-colored subjects.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Spherical and Axial Aberration Example

The color showing at the widest apertures is very strong, and it shows obviously in certain images. For example, expect the edges of a white wedding dress to have the additional colors.

Bright light reflecting off of lens elements' surfaces may cause flare and ghosting, resulting in reduced contrast and sometimes-interesting, usually destructive artifacts. The shape, intensity, and position of the flare in an image are variable. It depends on the position and nature of the light source (or sources) and on the selected aperture, shape of the aperture blades, and quality of the lens elements and their coatings.

With a high number (17) of large elements, this lens will produce very noticeable flare effects at narrow apertures when a bright light source is in the frame.

Flare effects can be embraced or avoided, or removal can be attempted. Removal is sometimes very challenging, and in some cases, flare effects can be quite destructive to image quality.

Two lens aberrations are particularly evident when shooting images of stars, mainly because bright points of light against a dark background make them easier to see. Coma occurs when light rays from a point of light spread out from that point instead of being refocused as a point on the sensor. Coma is absent in the center of the frame, gets worse toward the edges/corners, and generally appears as a comet-like or triangular tail of light which can be oriented either away from the center of the frame (external coma) or toward the center of the frame (internal coma). Coma clears as the aperture is narrowed. Astigmatism is seen as points of light spreading into a line, either sagittal (radiating from the center of the image) or meridional (tangential, perpendicular to sagittal). Remember that Lateral CA is another aberration apparent in the corners.

The image below is a 100% crop taken from the top-right corner of an a7R III frame.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Coma

The brightest stars are showing a flared appearance.

With only a single focal length to be designed for, prime lenses tend to have low amounts of geometric distortion. Still, the 35mm f/1.2 DN Art lens shows mild barrel distortion.

Most modern lenses have lens correction profiles available (including in-camera), and distortion can easily be removed using these. Still, distortion correction is destructive at the pixel level as some portion of the image must be stretched or the overall dimensions reduced.

As seen earlier in the review, the amount of blur a lens can produce is easy to illustrate, and wide-angle lenses are disadvantaged in this regard. Assessing the quality is more challenging due to the infinite number of variables present among all available scenes. Here are some f/8 and f/11 (for diaphragm blade interaction) examples.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Bokeh Example

f/11 | f/8 | f/8

The first example shows defocused highlights rendered mostly round with strong concentric rings near the periphery flaring. The f/8 examples are full images reduced in size and looking nice.

Except for a small number of specialty lenses, the wide aperture bokeh in the frame's corner does not produce round defocused highlights, with these effects taking on a cat's eye shape due to a form of mechanical vignetting. If you look through a tube at an angle, similar to the light reaching the frame's corner, the shape is not round, and that is the shape seen here.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Cat's Eye Bokeh Example

As the aperture narrows, the entrance pupil size is reduced, and the mechanical vignetting absolves with the shapes becoming rounder.

With an 11-blade count diaphragm, point light sources captured with a narrow aperture setting and showing a sunstar effect will have 22 points. In general, the more a lens is stopped down, the larger and better-shaped the sunstars tend to be. Wide aperture lenses tend to have an advantage in this regard, and this lens is capable of producing attractive stars.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Sunstar Effect Example

The example above was captured at f/16.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Design

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens design incorporates three SLD glass elements and three aspherical lenses, including a double-sided aspherical lens.

Regarding their 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens, Sigma says "It brings the development concept of the Art line “pursuit of ultimate image quality” to the next level." Sigma's Global Vision Art lens series is full of impressive performers, and the 35 f/1.2 DN is on that list.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Side View


Sigma incorporates high-quality AF systems in their Art lenses, including this one. From an auto-focus perspective, accuracy is paramount, and the Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens has proven itself in this regard.

This lens internally focuses very quickly, though cameras including the Sony a7R IV defocus the image slightly before final focusing in AF-S mode even if the subject was initially in focus, adding significantly to the focus lock time. Autofocus speed is noticeably faster in AF-C mode.

With the light provided by the f/1.2 aperture, this lens focuses in extremely dark environments, though autofocusing is slow as usual.

A quiet "shhhhh" is audible during AF.

Normal is for the scene to change size in the frame (sometimes significantly) as focus is pulled from one extent to the other, referred to as focus breathing, a change in focal length resulting from a change in focus distance. Focus breathing negatively impacts photographers intending to use focus stacking techniques, videographers pulling focus, and anyone very-critically framing while adjusting focus. This lens shows a moderate change in subject size as full extent focus adjustments are made.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Focus Magnification Example

A customizable AFL button is provided. While in continuous focus mode, this button can be pressed to lock focus at the currently selected focus distance, permitting a focus and recompose technique. This button also acts as a custom button and can be programmed to another function using the camera's menu.

FTM (Full Time Manual) focusing is supported via Sony's DMF (Direct Manual Focus) AF mode. This lens has an AF/MF switch, allowing this common camera setting to be changed without diving into the menu system.

Characteristic is for Sigma Art lenses to have large, sharp-ribbed, rubberized focus rings that perform exceptionally well, and this lens has those features. This focus ring is very smooth, has an ideal amount of resistance, and the 650° of MF rotation linearly adjusts focusing at an ideal rate, allowing precise manual focusing even at close distances.

With a minimum focus distance of 11.8" (300mm), this lens has a 0.20x maximum magnification spec., a mid-level number that is in line with its peers. While this lens does not have exceptional close-focusing capabilities, 0.20x is adequate for typical 35mm needs.

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens11.0"(280mm)0.21x
Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro Lens6.7"(170mm)0.50x
Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S Lens11.8"(300mm)0.20x
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens11.8"(300mm)0.20x
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens11.8"(300mm)0.19x
Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Lens9.8"(250mm)0.26x
Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens11.8"(300mm)0.18x
Tamron 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens11.8"(300mm)0.20x
Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Milvus Lens11.8"(300mm)0.22x

A subject measuring approximately 6.5 x 4.3" (165 x 110mm) fills the imaging sensor of a full-frame camera at the minimum focus distance.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Maximum Magnification Example

The USPS love postage stamp image area is 1.05 x .077" (26.67 x 19.558mm).

Need a shorter minimum focus distance and higher magnification? An extension tube mounted behind this lens should provide a very significant decrease and increase, respectively. Extension tubes are hollow lens barrels that shift a lens farther from the camera, allowing shorter focusing distances at the expense of long-distance focusing. Electronic connections in extension tubes permit the lens and camera to communicate and otherwise function as normal. As of review time, Sigma does not publish extension tube specs, nor do they manufacture these items, but third-party Sony compatible extension tubes are available.

This lens is not compatible with Sigma teleconverters.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens on Tripod

Build Quality & Features

From construction and aesthetic perspectives, Sigma's Art lenses are solidly built and beautiful to look at.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Product Images

MFD |    w/ Hood:  MFD |    Rotated        Compare »

The AF/MF switch and AFL button are mounted on a switch bank raised from an otherwise smooth main lens barrel. The aperture ring click switch is located just below the other controls. The two switches click assuredly into their positions, with the AF switch showing a white background in the enabled position.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Mount

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens "features a dust- and splash-proof structure, along with a water- and oil-repellent coating on the frontmost surface of the lens." [Sigma]

This lens is compatible with lens-based optical correction when used on cameras supporting this feature.

A lens with a record-setting wide aperture comes with a relatively large size and heavy weight. Though this lens is still easily handholdable, it is a handful from a diameter perspective, and you will physically know that you have been holding it after long-duration use. This lens will also remind you that it is in your pack.

ModelWeight oz(g)Dimensions w/o Hood "(mm)FilterYear 
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens26.8(760)3.2 x 4.2(80.4 x 105.5)722015
Canon RF 35mm F1.8 IS STM Macro Lens10.8(305)2.9 x 2.5(74.4 x 62.8)522018
Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM Lens11.8(335)3.1 x 2.5(77.9 x 62.6)672012
Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S Lens21.2(600)3.3 x 3.5(83.0 x 89.5)672010
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens38.5(1090)3.5 x 5.4(87.8 x 136.2)822019
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens23.5(665)3.0 x 3.7(77.0 x 94.0)672012
Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary Lens11.5(325)2.8 x 2.7(70.0 x 67.4)582020
Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Lens18.5(524)3.0 x 3.8(76.0 x 96.0)672021
Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens22.2(630)3.1 x 4.4(78.5 x 112.0)722015
Tamron 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Lens28.8(815)3.2 x 4.1(80.9 x 104.8)722019
Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 Milvus Lens41.3(1170)3.3 x 4.9(84.8 x 124.8)722017

For many more comparisons, review the complete Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Specifications using the site's lens specifications tool.

While the joints on my fingers come against the barrel of this lens when tightly gripping the Sony a7R III and IV, the pressure is light and behind the sharp diameter transition. Thus, the impact has not bothered me.

Here is a visual comparison:

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Compared to Similar Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses:

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens

The Sigma f/1.2 lens towers over these alternatives.

Note that these lenses are aligned on their mounts — the Canon DSLR lens has a deeper lens mount cap (and requires a mount adapter for use on a Sony E-mount camera). The same lenses are shown below with their hoods in place.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Compared to Similar Lenses with Hoods

Use the site's product image comparison tool to visually compare the Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens to other lenses.

This lens has a wide diameter, and not surprising is that it requires wide diameter filters. While not inexpensive, the 82mm size has become very popular, and sharing effects filters is cost-saving.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Angle View with Hood

Sigma includes the lens build quality matching LH878-02 lens hood in the box. This semi-rigid, plastic hood has a ribbed interior designed to avoid reflections and adequate size to provide considerable protection from impact and bright light. The petal shape makes visual installation alignment easy, but it does not provide a stable base for the lens to sit upright on. A release button makes installation and removal easy with the rubberized rear portion of the hood enhancing grip.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Case

As usual with Art series lenses, Sigma provides my favorite packing material, a nice zippered, padded nylon case, in the box. This case includes a neckstrap, but a belt loop is not provided.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Cap

Price, Value, Wrap Up

Lens manufacturers are in business to achieve a profit for their shareholders; therefore, lens prices are optimized for profitability. Price a lens too high, and sales volume goes below optimal. Under price a lens and costs are not recovered. A lens with an aperture this wide is not inexpensive to produce, and the development and production cost pushes it into a lower volume category. Lower volume means the recovery of expenses must happen with fewer lenses sold. That was a lot of words to say that this lens has a moderately high, but not unexpected, price. Still, the Sigma f/1.2 lens is priced lower than the current Canon and Sony f/1.4 alternatives.

The "DN" in the name indicates that this lens was designed for short flange mirrorless cameras. The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens is available in Sony E-mount, compatible with both full-frame and APS-C sensor format models, and is also available in Leica L-mount.

"Made in Japan" craftsmanship. Sigma provides a 1-year limited warranty, and Sigma USA provides a limited 3-year warranty extension.

The reviewed Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens was online-retail sourced.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Side View with Hood

Alternatives to the Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens

I'll go with the older sibling Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for our first comparison. The f/1.4 lens yields nearly 1/2-stop to the f/1.2 lens, a difference that translates directly to the required shutter speed and ISO setting. Check the background blur comparison earlier in the review to see that additional difference.

The f/1.2 lens is noticeably sharper at f/1.4. The f/1.4 lens compares more favorably in the central portion of the frame at f/2, but the f/1.2 lens rules the periphery until f/8. The f/1.4 lens has less geometric distortion and has slightly less peripheral shading at f/1.4, though the two lenses are similar at narrower apertures.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens vs. Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens comparison shows the f/1.4 lens considerably smaller and lighter. The Sigma f/1.4 lens in Canon mount (what we measured) requires a Mount Converter MC-11 for use on a Sony camera, and the adapter adds a small amount of weight and length to the comparison. The Sony E mount version of that lens is the better choice for use on a Sony camera, and that version is modestly longer and heavier than the EF mount version. The f/1.2 lens has 11 diaphragm blades vs. 9, uses 82mm filters vs. 67mm, and has an aperture ring. The f/1.4 lens is appropriately priced about 1/2-stop lower than the f/1.2 lens.

The Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 GM Lens has been announced, but it is not scheduled to become available for another month as I write this. While that lens should be incredible, the FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens is the most comparable Sony lens currently available. Again, we're considering an f/1.2 lens against an f/1.4 model.

The Sigma lens handily bests the Sony lens sharpness at f/1.4. The Sony lens equalizes the center of the frame results at f/2, but the periphery comparison is not equalized until f/8. The Sony lens shows better flare resistance, less geometric distortion, and more peripheral shading — considerably more at f/1.4 and slightly more at narrower apertures.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens vs. Sony FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA Lens comparison shows the Sony lens considerably smaller and lighter. The Sigma lens has 11 diaphragm blades vs. 9, uses 82mm filters vs. 72mm, and has an aperture ring. The Sony lens is priced slightly higher.

Let's cross over to the EF mount for comparison against the venerable Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens. Remember that we are again comparing an f/1.2 lens against an f/1.4 lens.

In the image quality comparison, we see two lenses performing very similarly. Notice the Sony camera produces more false color (influenced by the Capture One software conversion) than the Canon camera — this effect is not caused by the lens. The Canon lens has a slight sharpness advantage in the center of the frame at f/1.4. The Canon lens has less geometric distortion and less spherical chromatic/axial aberration.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens vs. Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens comparison shows, no surprise here, that it is considerably smaller and lighter. The Canon lens requires a Mount Converter for use on a Sony camera, and the adapter adds a small amount of weight and length to the comparison. The Sigma lens has 11 diaphragm blades vs. 9, uses 82mm filters vs. 72mm, and has an aperture ring. The Canon lens is modestly more expensive without a mount adapter.

Use the site's comparison tools to create additional comparisons.

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens Top View


Aside from strong spherical/axial aberrations at wide apertures, the Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens leaves little to complain about. Well, you might complain a little about the size and weight after using it for hours, as the Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens is large and heavy relative to the other 35mm auto-focus lenses available. However, the additional size and weight enable an awesome feature, the f/1.2 max aperture, a record-setting opening for this lens class.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens opens wider than the rest and delivers image quality at least as good as and usually better than any alternative. This lens is optically and physically high-performing, and the useful general-purpose focal length ensures significant opportunities for use.

The Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens was worth the anticipation.

Bringing you this site is my full-time job (typically 60-80 hours per week). Thus, I depend solely on the commissions received from you using the links on this site to make any purchase. I am grateful for your support! - Bryan

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