A 35mm prime lens is a useful lens, and a favourite of many photographers and it is easy to see why, I mean a 35mm prime lens is versatile and can be used to take photos of many different subjects. The Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART lens is the new kid on the block that is becoming a very popular lens, and it is easy to see why.
I have seen many articles and posts comparing the Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART to the Canon 35mm f4L lens, and the lens that came out on top is the Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART lens which simply isn’t right. The Sigma 35mm lens is a very good lens, there are no doubts about it, but it is not in the same league as the Canon 35mm f4L lens.
Here are the two 35mm f4 lenses side by side:-
Both lenses have a maximum widest aperture of f1.4, which isn’t too shabby at all. The Canon lens is tack sharp from the centre of the frame to the edges across all apertures to f16. Above this the image quality starts to diminish slightly, but this is to be expected as this is where diffraction creeps in. In the real world you won’t be using such narrow apertures with this lens so this shouldn’t matter too much. The Sigma lens is a little soft at f1.4 but stop it down and the sharpness significantly improves. Even when the Sigma lens is used at its sweet spot, which is f8 – f11, it is not as sharp as the Canon 35mm. The Sigma ART lens is very sharp, but not as sharp as the Canon lens.
The Canon lens is slightly bigger and heavier than the Sigma lens, but given the superior build quality this is to be expected. The Sigma lens is strong, robust, and very well built but the Canon is tougher, more durable and bullet proof. Canon L series lenses are renowned for their superior build quality and the 35mm is no different. I have read claims the Sigma 35mm ART lens is tougher than the Canon 35mm L lens, which is utter nonsense. Don’t believe me? Take a trip down your local camera shop pick up the Sigma 35mm ART lens, pick up the Canon 35mm L lens and you will soon see the Canon is by far the superior lens.
Given the cost of the two lenses, remembering the Canon 35mm L lens is almost three times as much as the Sigma 35mm ART lens, it is no great surprise the Canon 35mm L lens has superior image quality, and superior build quality over the Sigma 35mm ART lens.
Both of these 35mm lenses are exceptionally good for what they are, however to compare the two simply isn’t right as they are different.
The Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART is an ‘affordable’ 35mm f1.4 lens (although it is still damn expensive) aimed towards the enthusiast, whereas the Canon 35mm f1.4L lens is the top end lens aimed at professional photographers who demand the most from their lenses on a daily basis.
Should you buy the Canon 35mm f1.4L or the Sigma f1.4 ART?
There are many questions you need to ask yourself before you can decide on the most suitable lens out of the two, and only you can do this – i.e. you are on your own with this one. I would point out that both the Canon 35mm f1.4L and the Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART are worth buying.
Where to buy the 35mm lenses
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.