Sigma 40mm F1.4 ART Review Part 1 | 4K

Footage by
Dustin Abbott

Dustin Abbott

15 videos


Introduction and Background

In this video, Dustin Abbott introduces himself as the presenter and announces that he will be providing a two-part review of the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Art lens. He mentions that many viewers have requested this review for a while, but he had to cover other Sigma lenses that were coming to the market first. Dustin explains that the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Art lens is built on Sigma's research into cinematic lenses, making it physically large compared to traditional 40mm lenses. Despite its size, he highlights the 40mm focal length's versatility and suitability for various photography applications, including portraits. Dustin acknowledges some initial reservations about the lens's size and price but affirms that it has proven to be a high-quality lens during his review process.

Lens Variants and Mount Options

Dustin discusses the different mount options available for the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Art lens, including Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sony FE with the MC-11 adapter. He opted to cover the Canon EF version for this review because he recently purchased a Canon EOS R camera. Dustin mentions the possibility of reviewing RF mount lenses in the future due to viewer requests. He plans to test the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Art lens on both the EOS R and Sony A7R Mark III cameras for a comprehensive evaluation. Additionally, Dustin explains that the Sony FE version is not specifically designed for Sony mirrorless cameras, which results in a slightly larger setup with an adapter. Despite this, he praises the lens's performance on mirrorless bodies.

Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Lens Overview

In this segment, we explore the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 lens, discussing its specifications and build quality. The lens weighs 2.6 pounds (1.2 kilograms) and is relatively massive for a 40mm prime lens. It comes with a weather-sealed construction, featuring 7 different seal points for added protection. Sigma has adopted their cine lens process for this model, resulting in a sophisticated optical design with 16 elements and 12 groups, including three FLD elements and one aspherical element. While it offers excellent optical performance, its reproduction ratio of 0.154 times is closer to a 50mm lens, which might be worth considering depending on your needs and camera setup.

Comparing Size and Weight

One of the reasons the Sigma 40mm f/1.4 lens hasn't been rushed for review is its substantial size and weight. When compared to the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L Mark II, the Sigma lens appears significantly larger in every dimension. It weighs 2.6 pounds (1.2 kilograms), only slightly lighter than typical 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. The lens boasts a 82mm front filter thread, 9 rounded aperture blades, and thorough weather sealing, making it ideal for various shooting conditions. However, users should be prepared for its considerable heft, especially if mounted on smaller camera bodies or used for extended periods.

Sigma 60mm Equivalent Lens Performance

The Sigma 60mm equivalent lens, designed for APS-C cameras, offers a robust build with a wide focus ring and full-time manual override. It performs admirably on mirrorless bodies like Canon EOS R or Sony A7R Mark III. The lens exhibits some vignetting, which may be considered a feature rather than a flaw, adding character to certain shots. However, the linear distortion is minimal and corrects well. Overall, the lens proves to be a solid performer in terms of image quality, making it a viable choice for photography enthusiasts.

Sharpness and Vignette Effect

The lens being discussed in the transcript has a narrow depth of field and offers very crisp resolution. The key point here is that while the lens is very sharp, what really makes the shot work is the vignette effect that draws the eye into the center of the frame. The vignette helps to avoid distractions from the edges, allowing the viewer to focus on the main subject. Additionally, the lens provides excellent resolution and contrast throughout the frame, making it versatile for creative shots even at f/1.4. However, at f/2, there is a noticeable vignette lift, which can be either corrected or left uncorrected based on the photographer's preference.

Lens Performance at Different Apertures

The lens performance was examined at various apertures, from f/1.4 to f/16. At f/1.4, there was a noticeable increase in contrast and resolution towards the center of the frame, with some softness at the edges. Stopping down to f/2 and f/2.8, there was a minor increase in contrast and resolution along the edges. From f/2.8 to f/4, the lens reached optimal resolution with only a slight increase at the edges. Moving on to f/5.6, there was a barely noticeable uptick in resolution, not perceivable in normal shooting situations. At smaller apertures, such as f/8 and f/16, the resolution was better at f/8, but the lens didn't go completely soft at f/16, maintaining decent contrast. Overall, the lens exhibited impressive sharpness, good color, and pleasing bokeh, making it suitable for various photography scenarios.

Performance of the Lens

The lens under review shows impressive performance throughout various shooting scenarios. It excels in capturing sharp and detailed images, even at wide apertures like f/1.4. Skin tones appear natural and lifelike, and the lens provides excellent background separation, making it a great choice for portrait work. The vignette effect adds a distinctive charm to many shots, though it might not be ideal for snowy scenes. Overall, the lens proves to be a versatile and reliable option for photographers looking to achieve high-quality results in different situations.