Sigma 40mm ART - Beautiful BEHEMOTH!

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Matt Granger

Matt Granger

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Sigma Announces 40mm F1.4 Art Lens

Sigma recently announced the 40mm F1.4 Art lens. It joins the lineup of their excellent Prime lenses, which includes the 35mm and 50mm versions. However, the 40mm lens comes with a significant price tag of $1,400 and weighs 1.2 kilograms. This lens is in the Goldilocks zone for focal length, offering a balance between the 35mm and 50mm, but its image quality needs to be exceptional to justify its cost and weight.

Who Needs the 40mm Lens?

The 40mm focal length seems unusual and unnecessary between the popular 35mm and 50mm lenses. Unless someone specifically requires this exact focal length, it's not an obvious choice. For those who find the 35mm too wide and the 50mm too long, the 40mm might be 'just right.' However, this lens is quite heavy, making it a considerable investment for potential buyers. It remains to be seen if the image quality justifies its price and weight.

Outdoor Test Shots

During the outdoor test, the lens showed some noticeable vignetting at F1.4, but it cleared up around F4 and 5.6. The lens produced impressive background blur in the shots, but its performance at F1.4 wasn't ideal. As the aperture was stopped down, the image quality improved significantly. Overall, the lens performed reasonably well in outdoor conditions, but its true capabilities need further evaluation in various scenarios.

Indoor Studio Test Shots

In a controlled studio setting, shooting with the 40mm lens at F11 revealed its capabilities. The lens suffered from barrel distortion at this focal length, which might not be flattering for tight shots. While it produced good results in the studio, the lens's real potential lies in its performance under different shooting conditions and lighting setups. Further tests are needed to determine its versatility and image quality in various scenarios.

Detailed Wide Shot at F 1.4

The lens was tested at F 1.4, and the wide shot provided a significant amount of detail. This aperture setting allowed for a shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh, making it ideal for certain creative shots.

Impressive Optical Performance

The lens, although large and heavy, offers fantastic optical performance. It delivers exceptional image quality, making it a great choice for professionals who prioritize perfection in their photographs. Despite its premium price, it justifies the investment with the stunning results it produces.

Personal Workflow Considerations

While the lens excels in image quality and performance, its focal length of 40mm may not be suitable for everyone's workflow. If 40mm is a focal length that aligns well with your shooting style and you demand the best quality at any cost, then this lens is a great option. However, for some, other alternatives like a 35mm or 50mm lens might be more practical and affordable choices.

Cost and Weight Considerations

Despite its outstanding performance, the lens comes with a high price tag of $1400 and weighs over a kilogram. While it delivers superb results when accurately focused, the significant cost and weight might not be justified for many photographers. For most people, Sigma's 35mm or 50mm Art lenses could be more reasonable options, providing almost comparable image quality at a lower price and weight.