Sigma 35mm f1.4

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Kate
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#1
Hello all,

Looking for a bit of advice (and some reassurance to just go for it!). After a fair bit of research I think I'd like to invest in a Sigma 35mm f1.4 (Nikon). I've seen a lot of mention of calibrating the lens however, and was wondering what the best way to do this would be/if it's even necessary. Do I invest in the dock as well, or will the in-camera calibration suffice?

Also, has anyone had any issues with this lens? And what are people's opinions of new vs second hand?

Thank in advance
 
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22,770
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Richard
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#2
Hello all,

Looking for a bit of advice (and some reassurance to just go for it!). After a fair bit of research I think I'd like to invest in a Sigma 35mm f1.4 (Nikon). I've seen a lot of mention of calibrating the lens however, and was wondering what the best way to do this would be/if it's even necessary. Do I invest in the dock as well, or will the in-camera calibration suffice?

Also, has anyone had any issues with this lens? And what are people's opinions of new vs second hand?

Thank in advance
It's a fantastic lens - go for it. There were some AF issues reported with early copies but that is history.

You probably won't need to do any AF calibration, but if it's not quite perfect out of the box then the in-camera micro-adjustment is the first place to start. Being a prime lens it should be relatively straightforward, so that should do the trick. The Sigma Doc really comes into its own with complex tele-zooms.

Note that there are as many AF problems caused by users as by sub-par lenses. Checking AF accuracy is not difficult (no special equipment or skills needed) but it has got to be done 100% properly. If the test procedure or the test target are not right, and appropriate for that particular spec lens, you will find errors that don't exist and just make things worse ;)

Edit: Sigma 35/1.4 Art is designed for full-frame. What Nikon camera are you using? May not be the best choice for a crop-sensor camera. Edit 2: all good if that's a Nikon D750 (y)
 
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3,211
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Chris
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#4
I've had at least 4 copies in the past 6 years across 3 mounts (Nikon, Sony A, Canon EF), all of them second-hand, shot thousands upon thousands of frames delivered to clients and never had a single issue with them. I think I remember micro-adjusting one (in camera) on the Nikon D750, but otherwise all fine. It's my workhorse and I can't imagine anything coming along that would make me give it up.

For the past year I've had a EF mount on on a7RII and a7III via the Sigma MC-11, that's all been faultless too with no firmware updates or tweaks etc.
 
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Dave
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#5
I’ve got one with my Nikon D750. Definitely needed fine tuning but once done it’s like a razor.

Fine tuned mine with Focal Reikan and it’s spot on. :cool:
 
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Tommy
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#6
The AF issue with Sigma Art lenses on dslr's is absolutely not history. It is very common to have to micro adjust these.

Anyone that has bought one and says they have not had to micro adjust is either telling fibs or doesn't understand the reasons why they have back focus and front focus issues.

Sometimes they can be fixed with minor adjustment in camera but then distance can be a factor. The dock is helpful as it allows adjustment at different distances but doesn't always help.

You pay your money and you take your chance with these. When you do get one that can be micro adjusted though they are an excellent lens. They are superb on mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7III where you don't need to m/a.
 
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MG
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#7
The AF issue with Sigma Art lenses on dslr's is absolutely not history. It is very common to have to micro adjust these.

Anyone that has bought one and says they have not had to micro adjust is either telling fibs or doesn't understand the reasons why they have back focus and front focus issues.

Sometimes they can be fixed with minor adjustment in camera but then distance can be a factor. The dock is helpful as it allows adjustment at different distances but doesn't always help.

You pay your money and you take your chance with these. When you do get one that can be micro adjusted though they are an excellent lens. They are superb on mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7III where you don't need to m/a.
Going to get one of these for my a7iii - quick fast AF? Would you recommend?
 
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1,857
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Tommy
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#10
You got the E mount version? or using it with an adapter.

Good enough as a wedding lens?
Yes I have the emount version and have used it at quite a few weddings. When I first bought it I got the Distagon 35 f/1.4 as well as 35mm is an important focal length for me. I preferred the Sigma and sent the Zeiss back.
 
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Chris
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#13
You got the E mount version? or using it with an adapter.

Good enough as a wedding lens?
EF mount via MC-11 here, at least 80% of every single wedding shot on the 35 Art (the remaining 20% with the 85 Art). More than fast enough on the a7RII and a7III. Just processed my last wedding, 1350 photos (350 delivered) and genuinely not one single mis-focus.

Eye AF works great, not felt the need to make the significant outlay to switch to FE versions.
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#15
It's a fantastic lens - go for it. There were some AF issues reported with early copies but that is history.

You probably won't need to do any AF calibration, but if it's not quite perfect out of the box then the in-camera micro-adjustment is the first place to start. Being a prime lens it should be relatively straightforward, so that should do the trick. The Sigma Doc really comes into its own with complex tele-zooms.

Note that there are as many AF problems caused by users as by sub-par lenses. Checking AF accuracy is not difficult (no special equipment or skills needed) but it has got to be done 100% properly. If the test procedure or the test target are not right, and appropriate for that particular spec lens, you will find errors that don't exist and just make things worse ;)

Edit: Sigma 35/1.4 Art is designed for full-frame. What Nikon camera are you using? May not be the best choice for a crop-sensor camera. Edit 2: all good if that's a Nikon D750 (y)
It is a Nikon d750 :)
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#16
Thanks for your help and advice everyone - think I'm just going to bite the bullet and get one... then probably come crawling back on here if I have any focusing issues! ;)
 
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9,672
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Keith
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#17
Great lens once you get a decent copy. It is however the only lens I have ever had to calibrate, I bought the sigma dock just for it.
 
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Graham
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#18
Had three of these and think I've had to adjust all of them to one extent or another. I do have a sigma dock and have gone through the whole painful experience of calibrating at various subject distances but the most recent one, I just took a few test shots of the kids or the cat and tweeked the in camera AFMA until I was happy. Felt pretty confident with it after that.

It's a little bit of a shame that the AF can need a little user calibration on these but they really are a hell of a lens once you get it singing. One of my all time favourites.
 
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#19
I also have one - have not really had much cause to calibrate it though I do have the dock. The results are always excellent I think, the resolution even at 1.4 is superb. I don't really use it too much now that i have the 24-35 f2 Art which, alongside my 135 Art are pretty much my favourite autofocus lenses at the moment, but I would definitely recommend it if you are after a 35mm prime.
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#20
I also have one - have not really had much cause to calibrate it though I do have the dock. The results are always excellent I think, the resolution even at 1.4 is superb. I don't really use it too much now that i have the 24-35 f2 Art which, alongside my 135 Art are pretty much my favourite autofocus lenses at the moment, but I would definitely recommend it if you are after a 35mm prime.
Well, if you ever fancy selling it... ;)
 
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Big D
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#22
It's a fantastic lens - go for it. There were some AF issues reported with early copies but that is history.

You probably won't need to do any AF calibration, but if it's not quite perfect out of the box then the in-camera micro-adjustment is the first place to start. Being a prime lens it should be relatively straightforward, so that should do the trick. The Sigma Doc really comes into its own with complex tele-zooms.

Note that there are as many AF problems caused by users as by sub-par lenses. Checking AF accuracy is not difficult (no special equipment or skills needed) but it has got to be done 100% properly. If the test procedure or the test target are not right, and appropriate for that particular spec lens, you will find errors that don't exist and just make things worse ;)

Edit: Sigma 35/1.4 Art is designed for full-frame. What Nikon camera are you using? May not be the best choice for a crop-sensor camera. Edit 2: all good if that's a Nikon D750 (y)
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#25
I've bitten the bullet and bought one! Waiting for it to arrive but Jessops were offering £50 off and I was a bit too apprehensive about ordering second hand and not being able to return/make use of a warranty. Looking forward to its arrival!
 
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1,344
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Andy
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#28
Fortunately it's slightly lighter than my current main lens so I've hopefully developed the strength to cart it around a bit!
That's alright then! What are you using at the moment?

It's not restrictively heavy, just a decent heft behind it. Then again its a decent size and the build quality is pretty damn good! You've got a light-ish body anyway so isn't too bad. I have the D750 too, its a good setup and extremely versatile!

Just a word to the wise, mine did need calibrating but only 6 points (on every body i've used it with) so I would maybe think about that too if you think it's needed.
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#29
That's alright then! What are you using at the moment?

It's not restrictively heavy, just a decent heft behind it. Then again its a decent size and the build quality is pretty damn good! You've got a light-ish body anyway so isn't too bad. I have the D750 too, its a good setup and extremely versatile!

Just a word to the wise, mine did need calibrating but only 6 points (on every body i've used it with) so I would maybe think about that too if you think it's needed.

Thanks for the heads up - I'll see how it is when it arrives which should be either tomorrow or Wednesday.

My current lens is a 28-300 3.5, which has been great. It belongs to my dad though and apparently after six months, it's time to hand it back over :( I've also got a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 from my F3 film camera that I occasionally use and love - and there's a huge difference in weight with that one!
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#30
Lens made an early arrival yesterday and from a quick test of it last night (albeit in the dark/indoor lighting) it seems incredibly sharp with no calibration! Really impressed with it and can't wait to get out at the weekend and use it properly. Just one slightly odd question for you - I ordered a UV filter to protect it but when I put it on, the lens cap then wouldn't fit. Anyone else had that issue?
 
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22,770
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Richard
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#31
Lens made an early arrival yesterday and from a quick test of it last night (albeit in the dark/indoor lighting) it seems incredibly sharp with no calibration! Really impressed with it and can't wait to get out at the weekend and use it properly. Just one slightly odd question for you - I ordered a UV filter to protect it but when I put it on, the lens cap then wouldn't fit. Anyone else had that issue?
That's quite a common problem. Some filters don't have any front threads, others have just one which isn't enough for some lens caps to grip reliably, and others are just fine. Check with the vendor and maybe change it? Make sure it's a high-quality multi-coated filter.

But if you want to maximise image quality in all situations, don't use a filter. Sharpness is usually not a problem with shorter focal lengths, but flare certainly can be when shooting into the light. Sigma provides good lens hoods and they offer excellent protection while enhancing image quality. Use it always, and only fit a protection filter when it's really needed, eg air-born crap like sea spray, sand, flying mud etc.

ps And don't be frightened to clean the lens as and when. They can take it. Use a rocket blower to remove debris. Then a fine brush for anything persistent. And a microfibre cloth to polish off any other marks using the time honoured huff 'n' rub technique. Good video from Mike Browne :)
https://www.photographycourses.biz/videos/reviews-and-help/help-and-advice/camera-care
 
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kewri
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Kate
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#32
That's quite a common problem. Some filters don't have any front threads, others have just one which isn't enough for some lens caps to grip reliably, and others are just fine. Check with the vendor and maybe change it? Make sure it's a high-quality multi-coated filter.

But if you want to maximise image quality in all situations, don't use a filter. Sharpness is usually not a problem with shorter focal lengths, but flare certainly can be when shooting into the light. Sigma provides good lens hoods and they offer excellent protection while enhancing image quality. Use it always, and only fit a protection filter when it's really needed, eg air-born crap like sea spray, sand, flying mud etc.

ps And don't be frightened to clean the lens as and when. They can take it. Use a rocket blower to remove debris. Then a fine brush for anything persistent. And a microfibre cloth to polish off any other marks using the time honoured huff 'n' rub technique. Good video from Mike Browne :)
https://www.photographycourses.biz/videos/reviews-and-help/help-and-advice/camera-care

That's really useful - thanks very much for your advice! I'll look for a different filter but will keep in mind your comments. I've always used a lens hood and a filter on the advice of a number of people so it's quite refreshing to hear that filters are not always necessary and in some cases can even be a hindrance.
 
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