Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN review - Verdict

Verdict

The Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN may not sound particularly exciting in terms of focal length and aperture, but stands out in a crowded market thanks to decent optics packed into a compact vintage-styled metal barrel at a reasonable price. It becomes Sigma’s second 35mm to get me really excited about shooting this focal length, following the f1.2 ART.

While I love the 1.2 for its unparalleled potential for shallow depth-of-field effects at this focal length, the f2 is simply more affordable and practical, while sporting a degree of charm absent from most modern lenses. It eschews the typically bland, featureless plastic barrels for something altogether classier with metal construction, a manual aperture ring and attractive detailing including a metal lens hood. I may not have fallen for the magnetic cap, but everything else about this lens resonated with me and made me want to go out shooting with it.

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As you’ve seen throughout this review, the quality is very good, sharp into the corners even wide-open and capable of delivering reasonable subject separation with attractive bokeh that’s not too busy. I also enjoyed the minimum focusing distance, allowing me to get close to smaller subjects and details. What’s not to like? Well beyond a little coloured fringing on some blurred high contrast subjects like branches against an overcast sky, there’s not a lot to complain about. Probably its biggest issue is joining a packed market of 35s, especially in the Sony mount. There’s simply a lot of choice out there and the similarly-priced FE 35mm f1.8 from Sony itself is a key rival to weigh-up – I plan on making a direct comparison between them on my cameralabs.com website. 

Overall I was very fond of the 35mm f2 DG DN and appreciate Sigma trying to do something a bit different with the new I series. So many mirrorless lenses are large, hefty and physically bland these days that it’s refreshing to find some decent smaller – not to mention affordable – models without apparent compromise. 35mm may be the vanilla focal length, but I still think everyone should have one in their collection. Sigma’s 35 f2 DG DN is a fairly unique and welcome addition to the ever-growing family of 35s and comes Highly Recommended. 

Check prices on the Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN at B&H, AdoramaWEX or Calumet.de. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!
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Sigma 35mm f2 DG DN

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