Sigma announces redesigned 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras
posted Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 8:30 AM EDT
Sigma continues to expand its lineup of mirrorless-platform lenses with its next Art-series prime, the 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art. If that model sounds familiar, it is because Sigma already has a 35mm f/1.4 Art lens, but that 35mm DG HSM lens from 2012 was designed for full-frame DSLR cameras -- though Sigma did later release a revised version of this DG HSM lens for Sony E-mount and Leica L-mount. However, this new model has been redesigned specifically for mirrorless camera systems, sporting an updated optical configuration, a new autofocus system, a manual aperture ring and more.
From a physical design standpoint, the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art is quite different from its DSLR counterpart. The lens is longer than the DSLR version at 109.5 mm (4.3 in.) in length compared to 94mm (3.7 in.) of the Canon EF-mount version. Yet the mirrorless version is both narrower in diameter at 75.5mm (2.97 in.) -- vs. 77mm (3.03 in.) -- and lighter, at 645g (22.8 oz.), compared to the 665g (23.5 oz) of the DSLR version.
The 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art now also features a dedicated aperture ring, whereas the DSLR version had no such feature. The aperture ring allows for manual control of the aperture on the lens itself, or when rotated into its locking Auto position, allows for direct aperture control via the camera body. Plus, for video creators, the aperture ring also offers a de-clicked setting, providing a smooth, continual adjustment for the aperture. In addition to a physical AF/MF toggle switch on the side of the lens, which the DSLR version also included, the new mirrorless model also has a customizable AFL button on the other side.
As part of Sigma's high-end Art-series, the 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens offers top-notch build quality, with robust dust- and splash-proof construction (including a gasket around the lens mount) as well as a water and oil-repellent coating on the front element. Though not explicitly mentioned, we suspect the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens, much like other Sigma Global Vision lenses, to be constructed out of metal and Sigma's sturdy Thermally Stable Composite material.
Optically, the updated 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art lens utilizes a new optical formula with more elements overall and a different mixture of exotic lens elements compared to the original DSLR version. The new model uses 15 total elements situated into 11 groups and includes one F Low Dispersion (FLD) element, one Extraordinary Low Dispersion (ELD) element, two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) elements and two Aspherical elements. Sigma promises excellent control of chromatic aberrations, including axial chromatic aberration. Further, the f/1.4 aperture makes this type of lens a great choice for astrophotography, and Sigma states that the lens offers good control sagittal coma flare, even wide-open.
Additionally, the lens now uses an 11-bladed rounded aperture diaphragm -- vs. the 9-bladed aperture in the 2012 model -- and should offer pleasing, smooth bokeh and good subject isolation characteristics. Further, the lens incorporates "anti-ghosting and anti-flare technology" to improve performance in challenging shooting conditions, such as backlit situations.
The autofocusing system is one of the major changes to this lens compared to the DSLR version, with the new model switching to a faster, quieter, mirrorless-friendly stepping motor system over the DSLR-centric Hypersonic Motor (HSM) system. This new lens focuses using only a single, lightweight focusing element, which should make AF performance both very fast and precise as well as effective at tracking moving subjects. The lens, of course, also offers manual focusing, with Sigma noting that the focusing ring offers a pleasing amount of rotational resistance to appeal particularly well for filmmakers.
Like most of Sigma's modern lenses, the L-Mount version of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art is compatible with their USB DOCK UD-11, which lets users update the lens firmware and customize settings on the lens. The dock is sold separately.
Pricing & Availability
The Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art is scheduled to go on sale in mid-May with an estimated retail price of $899, the same launch price as the original DG HSM version.