I saw the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM originally at Photokina 2018 this year, held it, and thought to myself about just how massive it is. But it wasn’t until getting it back in for review that I truly embraced the idea. The Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is a special lens–it was designed first for cinema and then Sigma decided that they might as well create a stills version too. The company packed everything into here: good glass, color that has a specific look to it, weather sealing, etc. Considering that it is part of the Art lineup of lenses, then we really just have to assume that it’s going to be great. Pretty much every lens that we’ve tested thus far in the Art Lineup has been mostly flawless.
For the week or so that we’ve been using the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM, we’ve been embracing its very token color rendition and look.
Diagram taken from Sigma’s website
The Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is a big, beefy lens. It more or less looks like many of the company’s other Art lenses with the exception being its own particular shape. This lens is characterized by a big rubber focusing ring on the front and then the distance scale towards the back. In this image, I’m adapting it to the Canon EOS R via Canon’s own ring adapter. The exterior is also made with what seems to be metal.
The front of the lens has a massive 82mm filter thread. It’s huge. When the lens hood comes on, the overall package is even larger.
The only control on the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is this switch. It’s designed to turn the focusing on or off. That’s it. As you can see, this is also a newer style of lens hood for Sigma with the button needing to be depressed first.
So just to show you how big this lens is, the above photo is of the 35mm f1.4 Art on the left, the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM in the middle and the Canon 50mm f1.2 L RF on the right. As you can see, the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is bigger than both of them. When it comes to weight, it’s significantly heavier than both. On the Canon EOS R, it tends to weigh the overall package down but not enough to not want to photo walk with it.
At the mount of the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM, you’ll see weather sealing. We have yet to take it out in the rain; but we surely plan on doing so.
Ease of Use
The Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is pretty simple to use: you simply attach it to the camera, focus, shoot, and enjoy the gorgeous images that come from it. Luckily for us, the autofocus seems to be pretty fast even in low light with the Canon EOS R. We’re looking forward to testing this lens out for street photography and portraiture.
So what does one shoot with a 40mm lens? If you’ve been in the photo world for a long time, you’ll probably know of one of the most iconic ones which was done as a collaboration between Leica and Minolta. This is an autofocus lens and a massive one at that. But as I stated earlier on, it’s pretty fast to focus on the Canon EOS R–surely fast enough for photo waiting if that’s you’re method of street photography. But if you’re trying to capture fleeting scenes, we’re going to need to do some more testing and see how it performs. There is a distance scale on the lens for hyper focal length shooting if you need.
Here’s what we’ve got with the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM thus far.
So far, I’m really liking the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM. Personally, this is a lens that I’d consider bringing with me to replace my older 35mm f1.4 Art lens. But it’s not all perfect yet. For starters, as a photography lens the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is pretty massive. But as you can also see in the images that we got, there is something special about this lens when the optics are in front of a Canon sensor. The images and the color are more muted than lots of Sigma’s other wide angle lenses–and this lens is more or less a normal focal length.
I think that more than anything, the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is going to appeal to the plethora of photographers who have wanted a cinematic look to their colors and their scenes without needing to put some sort of softening filter on their lens. In fact, the muted colors combined with the sharpness and the weather sealing very much makes the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM possibly the only lens you may need in that range. It could be complemented by a 14mm f1.8 and a 135mm f1.8. This could be your kit.
We’re very excited to be playing with the Sigma 40mm f1.4 Art DG HSM; stay tuned for our full review.