↑ Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART.
At this year’s Fun Fair.
↑Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm Art.
(Not a scientific comparison between images taken at two different times under different conditions — but this reflects “actual use” conditions for me.)
(See related: Nikon D810 vs. Leica M240 in “real life” use.)
I photographed my kids’ school Fun Fair yesterday.
Here is an image from the event, taken with the D810 + Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art @ f/4:
Here is an image from last year (2015), taken with the Leica M9 + Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE @ f/4:
… And here are the magnified views.
First, the D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art @ f/4 (magnified):
Next, the Leica M9 + Leica 35mm Summilux ASPH FLE @ f/4 (magnified):
The D810 + Sigma 35 Art made it easier to photograph the event, the M9 + Leica 35 FLE produced more pleasing image quality (in “actual use” conditions).
In all fairness to the D810 + Sigma 35 Art, when the conditions are right and the focus is nailed, this combination leaves very little to be desired: Nikon D810 + Sigma 35 Art in optimal conditions.
Ever since I switched over to the Nikon D810 and started using Sigma Art lenses, I’ve received a few questions asking me how well the Sigmas perform on the high-resolution D810.
Well let me put it this way: the internet got it right… these lenses are exceptional.
The Art lenses are the only lenses I’ve tried on the D810 that gave me the kind of performance I’d gotten used to with my Leica gear. In fact, I’d venture to say I probably would have already abandoned the D810 and missed out on what the camera sensor is truly capable of, if it wasn’t for the Sigma lenses.
As a simple demonstration, I’m posting a crop from yesterday’s image Up in order to illustrate the sort of central sharpness you can expect when using the 35 Art @ f/1.4 (focus is on the near eye):
Sharpness, of course, is only one facet of lens performance, but I also appreciate how this lens has very little distortion and how beautifully it handles light, colour, and out-of-focus rendering. Last, but not least, I also appreciate how Sigma has consciously avoided adorning the exterior with tacky emblems: it comes wrapped in a wonderfully nondescript dark body with minimal markings:
There’s something about the way the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART renders… photos from it just sparkle, for lack of a better word.
At this point, I think I may even prefer it over the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART, but I haven’t shot enough with either to draw any definite conclusions (though the fact that I might be favouring a 35 over a 50 is saying something, given I’ve traditionally been a 50 shooter).
Either way, both of these Sigma ART lenses are phenomenal. I can’t wait until springtime to get outside in good light and really play with them.