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Archive 2013 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM
  
 
Malux
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p.1 #1 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


I had a few things come up between doing this test and getting it posted, but here it is finally. Basically, I did a comparison between the Canon 35 f/1.4L and the Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM to compare the strengths and weaknesses of each lens in real-world conditions.

In a nutshell, my tests were consistent with what others are seeing: the sigma is sharper wide open but the difference disappears at about f/2.8. The canon has a more robust construction but the sigma doesn't come across as cheap.

I also have some thoughts on bokeh (which I know has been the topic of much discussion here) and focus. I didn't find a difference in focus, but i did think the Canon's bokeh looked better (though the difference is minor). Here's the full write-up



Jun 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM
RogerC11
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p.1 #2 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Nice review, but the Canon is far from an "all metal" body. Mostly hard plastic would be more accurate.


Jun 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Tom K.
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p.1 #3 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


I owned a Canon 35L. The construction is not the strong suit of that lens. Very plasticky. Far from all metal construction. It feels a bit cheesy for a lens at that price point.

I own a Sigma 35 now. It's the better lens or the two.



Jun 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Invertalon
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p.1 #4 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Owned both... Sigma clearly better construction. That is one thing I hate about the current 35L is the plastic construction.


Jun 12, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Dawei Ye
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p.1 #5 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Thanks for writeup, I agree with above posters, the 35L is creaky plastic for me


Jun 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM
nWmR12
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p.1 #6 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Yes, canon is hardly a metal construction. If not careful and hit the AF/MF switch wrong, it will pop right off!


Jun 13, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Malux
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p.1 #7 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


hey, thanks for the replies all. I think I need to definitely remove the words "all metal" from the review. I was wrong about that.

I put a couple of calls in to canon. I was told, on both occasions, that the 35L has a magnesium body. It's not all metal, but the barrel is metal.

Considering all your feedback though, I called the canon parts desk and asked for the specific part # and material. They need some time to get back to me, but i'll ping back once i hear.

With all that said, I do feel the canon is more robust than the sigma. I'll admit, this could be part of knowing the quality of L lenses. Let me know what you think, in the meantime I'll see what changes I can make.

p.s. for some reason i wasn't getting notifications. Apologies for taking so long to get back to everyone.



Jun 13, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Malux
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p.1 #8 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Here's the updated "Construction" paragraph text:

Construction
Both lenses are well-constructed and neither feels "cheap", though the Canon's construction feels more robust than the Sigma's. The Canon also has the magical L red ring that lets lets every photographer in the immediate vicinity know you're sporting a "pro" lens. It won't make your photos any better, but they don't know that. Kidding aside, if your lens choice depends greatly on survivability, go with the Canon. The build quality is what you'd expect from an L Lens: solid. Another thing to factor-in here is Canon's reputation for repairs vs. Sigma's. Sigma has made strides to improve service, but it's hard to beat Canon's factory repair (especially if you're a Canon Professional Services member)

Notwithstanding, the Sigma 35 does not come across as a cheap second-rate lens as Sigmas tend to. The lens is very well-made and its metal-plastic exterior with satin finish is well-executed. It looks, and feels, like a high-end product.



Jun 13, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.1 #9 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Malux wrote:
Here's the updated "Construction" paragraph text:

Construction
Both lenses are well-constructed and neither feels "cheap", though the Canon's construction feels more robust than the Sigma's. The Canon also has the magical L red ring that lets lets every photographer in the immediate vicinity know you're sporting a "pro" lens. It won't make your photos any better, but they don't know that. Kidding aside, if your lens choice depends greatly on survivability, go with the Canon. The build quality is what you'd expect from an L Lens: solid. Another thing to factor-in here is Canon's reputation for repairs vs. Sigma's. Sigma has made
...Show more

Everyone else in this thread belive the Sigma is better build or at least equal in build And what about this text in your Review

"Both lenses are well-constructed and neither feels “cheap”, though the Canon’s construction feels more robust than the Sigma’s. The Canon also has the magical L red ring that lets lets every photographer in the immediate vicinity know you’re sporting a “pro” lens."



Jun 13, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Malux
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p.1 #10 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM



"The Canon also has the magical L red ring that lets lets every photographer in the immediate vicinity know you’re sporting a “pro” lens."


wait, you mean it makes your photos better?



Jun 13, 2013 at 02:55 PM
 

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Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #11 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Robustness aside the Sigma is flat out Sexy!!


Jun 13, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Malux
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p.1 #12 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


Bruce Sawle wrote:
Robustness aside the Sigma is flat out Sexy!!


Indeed, it is elegant - in a darth vader sort of way



Jun 13, 2013 at 03:22 PM
BenV
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p.1 #13 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


my thoughts mirror those in the thread. The Sigma is superior in every way.


Jun 13, 2013 at 04:49 PM
stan23
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p.1 #14 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


I was confused by the build quality as well. I felt the Sigma was much better.

Also remember, non all L lenses are equal. Ones that were designed long ago don't have the same build quality as some of the newer design L lenses.



Jun 13, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Lasse Eriksson
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p.1 #15 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


BenV wrote:
my thoughts mirror those in the thread. The Sigma is superior in every way.



+1 yes the Sigma is superior



Jun 13, 2013 at 05:47 PM
pookipichu
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p.1 #16 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


I owned the 35L and used it extensively, fantastic lens, great rendering. But the Sigma is better. Which is remarkable. At a lower price point. Which is even more remarkable.

Perhaps the best lens Sigma has ever made, hopefully, this is a sign of more optical goodness to come.



Jun 13, 2013 at 06:55 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #17 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


The apocalypse must be nigh :-)

We now have a thread where we are discussing Sigma's superior build quality (I completely agree, BTW) compared to a Canon L lens.

And people say nothing ever changes



Jun 13, 2013 at 07:30 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #18 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


The only thing constant, is change.


Jun 13, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Malux
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p.1 #19 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


RCicala wrote:
We now have a thread where we are discussing Sigma's superior build quality (I completely agree, BTW) compared to a Canon L lens.


The sigma did end up in my bag; the apocalypse may be nigh because I never thought I'd buy a non-L lens or a 3rd party lens for that matter! I'm that guy that gets called a snob for waiting a few months to buy the L.

But even though I kept the sigma, i'd still feel more comfortable banging around the canon the sigma. That's just me though. The long-term endurance jury on how well the sigma holds up is still out. Maybe it's just sigma history that gives me the pro L bias on construction; I just don't feel comfortable giving the sigma the edge on construction.

That said, you've torn apart more lenses than I ever have so I can't argue with you

Dang it, you should tear down both lenses and let me link to your review to make it simple.



Jun 13, 2013 at 07:55 PM
splathrop
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p.1 #20 · Review: Canon 35 f/1.4L vs Sigma 35 f/1.4 DG HSM


I owned a Canon 35L. The construction is not the strong suit of that lens. Very plasticky...It feels a bit cheesy for a lens at that price point.

Something you see all the time on this blog, especially from people who buy 3rd party lenses. Once they make the purchase, whatever competes with it gets worse. I have used 35L professionally for years, and came to the conclusion that it's a rugged workhorse. But maybe that's just me. I think almost all of Canon's lenses, including the less expensive ones, are well made (I except the less-expensive 50s). My Zeiss lenses feel more solid than the Canon's, but I suspect the Zeisses are at least as vulnerable to any mishap that would test that impression.



Jun 13, 2013 at 11:04 PM





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