The Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art is a mild wide-angle prime lens designed for full-frame bodies and joins the highly-respected Art series, slotting between the existing 24mm and 35mm models. Originally designed for Canon, Nikon and Sigma DSLRs, the 28mm Art (as well as the other prime lenses in the Art series) is now also available for Sony E-mount and will additionally become available for the L-mount supported by Leica, Panasonic and Sigma. This together with the unique ability to have the lens mount changed in service makes the Art line from Sigma the most versatile in the market regarding adaptability to different camera systems. The only question being if (or when) Sigma will also offer native versions for Nikon Z-mount and Canon RF-mount.
My testing revealed that optical performance of the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art has only one flaw: It is not the sharpest model I’ve tested in the center. But otherwise the lens is a worthy addition to the Art line: It is very sharp towards the corners of a full-frame sensor, has only minor color aberrations, and produces nice soft Bokeh rendering the middle-ground and background pleasantly blurred. Plus its resistance against flare and glare in strong contra light is excellent. There is some focus shift when stopped down from f1.4 to f2.0, but it doesn’t show prominently in real-life shots.
Let’s put this into perspective and have a closer look at how the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art compares to some alternatives.
Compared to Zeiss Otus 28mm f1.4
The Zeiss Otus 28mm f1.4 is the sharpest 28mm lens at closer distances. At longer distances it still is the sharpest in the center, but the Sigma is at least close to if not a bit better towards the corners. Plus the Sigma offers an even smoother Bokeh and better behavior in contra-light than the Zeiss Otus. But the biggest disadvantages of the Zeiss Otus are its size/weight, that it’s manual focus only, and the eye-watering price tag.
For more details see my Zeiss Otus 28mm f1.4 review where it earned a Highly Recommended.
Compared to Nikon 28mm f1.4E ED
The Nikon 28mm f1.4E ED is the smallest and lightest of the three lenses compared here. It performs better than its 24mm and 35mm f1.4 siblings from Nikon although it shows some magenta haloing/loCA and one could wish for a better resolution of fine details at the border of the DX image-circle. Compared to the Sigma it has the slightly sharper center, a bit more nervous Bokeh, more loCA and more coma. Combined with the substantially higher price the Nikon does not look like an overly attractive alternative to the Sigma.
For more details see my Nikon 28mm f1.4E ED review where it earned a Highly Recommended
Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art final verdict
If you can live with the slightly soft center performance at f1.4, the Sigma 28mm f1.4 Art is a very good lens: Extra sharp in the corners of a full-frame sensor with almost no coma, very good resistance against flare, glare and ghosting plus nice background Bokeh and low color aberrations. Together with thorough weather-sealing, solid build quality, and the option to have the mount changed the lens justifies its price and earns a Highly Recommended!
- Very good corner performance even wide open.
- Excellent resistance against flare, glare, and ghosting.
- Very nice Bokeh.
- Weather sealing.
- Can have the mount changed.
- Versatile customization of AF via USB-dock.
- Not the sharpest lens in the center at f1.4.
Check prices on the Sigma 28mm f1.4 ART at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or at WEX. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!