Recently I’ve been toying around with the idea of selling my 24mm prime lens and switching into the 35mm focal length camp. I’ve really loved shooting at 24mm for the past few years; it’s been one of my go-to lenses for City Hall elopements, almost never leaving one of my camera bodies while inside. It does a tremendous job of pulling in the surroundings to tell a whole story. But recently it’s been feeling too wide and I’m starting to find the edge distortion too distracting (except in very few, certain scenarios). And then it’s always been a little finicky on focusing, so there’s that.
Being a Nikon shooter who only buys Nikon lenses, I was just going to test out the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 and call it a day. But then I started hearing some chatter around the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and how, at around half the price, it was knocking the socks off the Nikon version. I was finally convinced to just rent it for two weeks to try out when I read the review Sam Hurd wrote giving it high marks. The rental just arrived in the mail today, so I took it out to a friend’s house where we were screen printing some shirts for an upcoming trip to Colorado.
Right off the bat, I felt incredibly comfortable with the 35mm focal length.
I also tested it out as a lens for shooting details and I was really surprised with the look it was providing. The lens is incredibly sharp wide open, and combined with a minimum focus distance of 11.8″, it will make for a fantastic lens for things like shoe photos, dress shots, and other detail work.
Here’s a 100% crop of the above photo. That’s wide open at f/1.4 at minimum focus distance, look how sharp that is!
And again, it’s an awesome focal length for wide angle work without all that distracting distortion.
Tomorrow I head off to Colorado with the lens in tow, so be on the lookout for more impressions coming soon!