First Impressions: Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM (Canon EF)

The Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is probably our favorite workhorse prime lens from Sigma.

After reviewing their mammoth 40mm f1.4, we got the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM in and were able to relax a bit while understanding that it won’t be quite as heavy overall. The company’s newest wide angle lens is perhaps being looked at with great curiosity by street photographers, documentary shooters, and photojournalists. Arguably, 28mm is one of the focal lengths that emulates the look of the human eye. With weather sealing, a fairly lightweight body, and pretty fast focusing in a package that also exhibits beautiful image quality, there isn’t a whole lot that we’re finding we need to complain about with the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM.

If anything, this lens is everything that the 35mm f1.4 Art lens should have been.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM listing.

Lens construction 17 elements in 12 groups
Angle of view(35mm) 75.4°
Number of diaphragm blades 9 (Rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture F16
Minimum focusing distance 28cm / 11in.
Maximum magnification ratio 1:5.4
Filter size φ77mm
Dimensions
(diameter x length)
φ82.8mm×107.7mm /
φ3.2 × 4.2in.
Weight 865g / 30.5oz.
All figures calculated by SIGMA.
Appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Ergonomics

The Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is a very standard Sigma lens when it comes to the ergonomics. Many of their primes more or less follow the same formula when it comes to the exterior design. In this case, and with pretty much most cases, there is a large rubber ring that makes up the focusing ring. This helps greatly when it comes to grip and the overall ergonomic feel.

The front of the lens has a 77mm filter thread. This is a very large filter thread for a wide angle lens. But to be fair, we’ve seen lenses like this hit the market for a few years now.

The side of the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM has a switch for autofocus control. That’s the only switch of any sort on this lens.

Build Quality

The Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM has weather sealing built into the lens like many of the company’s latest Global Vision products. Though we haven’t taken it into the rain or snow yet, we plan to. If it’s anything like the company’s latest offerings, we’re sure that it can resist the elements with relative ease. Photographers that operate in tougher conditions will be closely looking at this, in addition to the newer breed of street photographers who shoot in the rain.

When you hold the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM, you feel a solid lens. It isn’t heavy like many of the company’s other products. Instead, it feels like everything the company’s 35mm f1.4 Art should have been,

Ease of Use

The Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is an autofocus first lens. To that end you pretty much put it on the camera, frame, autofocus and shoot. That’s all that there is to it. The zone focusing scale is effective with an f8 aperture. However, with a 28mm lens being as wide as it is, there is almost no major point. Autofocus lenses have shorter focus throws anyway to facilitate focusing speed.

Autofocus

The Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM focuses very quickly on the EOS R that we’re testing it on. The only situation where it is having problems is with face detection and that is more of an EOS R issue than anything else. To be clear, this isn’t at all the level of speed that Sony, Fujifilm or Olympus can deliver.

Image Quality

What I’m really in love with when it comes to the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is the cinematic look that it delivers. Not only is it cinematic, but the look is also really what the human eye tends to see in the frame. Here are more sample images.

 

First Impressions

Perhaps what we’re most happy with in regards to the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is the color rendition. It’s beautiful. Then couple that with the adequate focus speed and the look that renders from the lens. We’re excited to continue testing it, so stay tuned for our upcoming review.