Andrew Reid

Sigma 20mm F1.4 ART review

40 posts in this topic

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I feel that Sigma are now one of the most innovative of Japanese manufacturers, certainly the most adventurous. Just look at the products.

There are 3 Sigma creations I've invested in recently that have blown my socks off and bazooka'd the tea out of my cup...

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Jimbo and Liam like this

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras

Yes, the Sigma Art lense are amazingly good for the price. I have the 24 and 35 version but the only problem (for me) with the 20mm is the lack of filter thread.

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Yep but honestly I do not shoot video with ND anymore, it is a hassle for nothing. I think you can achieve great look without the 180 rule. 
Only interest for me in ND for video is to shoot at 1.4 in daylight which I have to agree is a pain on this lens. Other than this, I happily shoot at 1/500s if I need to, with a great look out of it. Guys like Brandon Lee and so on do not use NDs either. Its a pain in travel, and something to always look after (with focus, aperture, ...) 

The lack of ND for a 1.4 lens though.... limits the lens mainly to low light use where it should perform top. 

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Best wait for the MKII with included filter thread and removable hood. ;)

Sigma has made some weird decisions lately (by not catering to the tiny video market, lol, how dare they design products for still shooters. Don't they know how important we are! :> ) I was all set to buy the 50-100mm until I realized the tripod collar is non-removable. Doh!

Not a huge deal breaker but it makes me less interested in trading up my Nikkor zooms.

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Been using this on my FS5 and its just amazing - with digital zoom and different adapters I can make it anywhere from 22ish mm all the way to 60mm so its very adaptable and at F1 with speedbooster it is still very sharp and produces lovely bokeh. I prefer using it at around F1.8-F2 but that is still plenty good. Electronic ND covers the lack of thread for most shooting situations. Use my tamron 24-70 2.8 VC for handheld stuff and where I need more reach and OIS - the tamron is a good lens but not in the same league sharpness wise. 

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2 hours ago, andrgl said:

I was all set to buy the 50-100mm until I realized the tripod collar is non-removable. Doh!

Not a huge deal breaker but it makes me less interested in trading up my Nikkor zooms.

What's the problem with the collar? It's pretty small and you can rotate it out of the way.

Nice photos Andrew! I'll be interested to hear your take on the 50-100mm. I'm loving it.

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The 20 is a great lens if you don't care much about filters, if you do there are clunky workarounds. It does vignette, has some CA, a little barrel distortion and the corners are soft, but there's not much this wide/fast and all the warts are really small compared to many UWA's.

I love the Art 35, it's my favorite AF prime, been debating between the 20 and the 24 since the 20 was announced.

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I've got the old Sigma 20mm f/1.8 which is pretty good past f/2. The only thing I hate about Sigma lenses is the short focus throws.

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Looks like a nice lens, but there is one thing I don`t get. You guys use these new-er lenses without manual iris on diferent bodies, so you are just stuck at 1.4? How do you cope with that? I mean, the iris to me is just as an importat feature to have as lets say a focus ring and not being able to change it would be a huge artistic handycap to me.

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2 hours ago, squig said:

I've got the old Sigma 20mm f/1.8 which is pretty good past f/2. The only thing I hate about Sigma lenses is the short focus throws.

All the latest art lenses have the ability to adjust focus throw distance via sigma dock and software. Only the 35 Art is exempt. 

I've been debating whether to get this lens or the Tamron 15-30mm 2.8. It's a toss up between image stabilisation or wide apeture on the 1dxii for 4K video

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4 minutes ago, PabloB said:

All the latest art lenses have the ability to adjust focus throw distance via sigma dock and software. Only the 35 Art is exempt. 

Grrr. The 35 is the one I need.

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14 hours ago, PabloB said:

All the latest art lenses have the ability to adjust focus throw distance via sigma dock and software. Only the 35 Art is exempt. 

Wait...so they're all focus by wire?

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17 hours ago, PabloB said:

All the latest art lenses have the ability to adjust focus throw distance via sigma dock and software. Only the 35 Art is exempt. 

I've been debating whether to get this lens or the Tamron 15-30mm 2.8. It's a toss up between image stabilisation or wide apeture on the 1dxii for 4K video

I see nothing either in Sigma's literature or reviews at DPReview and Lens Rentals indicating any adjustment for focus throw. Could you point me in the right direction - where did you find this information?

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I don't know if this lens is fly by wire but as a piece of advice, as long as the lens isn't to be used on a camera that doesn't provide power (or dumb adapters) it can be really, really good. The implementation of Canon STM lenses fly by wire for example is absolutely perfect, there's no delay in receiving the order (or not visible anyway), the ring is butter smooth, and has a 270 degree focus throw. The focusing experience on the 100$ 50mm is VERY similar to a real cine lens. 

So, fly by wire isn't necessarily the evil in my opinion and experience, it's the implementation of it, particularly, the non-linear focusing, which kills any lens for video, absolutely kills it. But a fly by wire linear ring with a good throw and smooth operation is no issue for me at all, I never buy a camera with dumb adapters for the IS anyway (the reason why I haven't bought an nx1, the lack of active adapters to other lens mounts and EF. 

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https://www.cinema5d.com/sigma-50mm-worth-the-hype/

" the lens breaths with focus, and the short focus throw might not be ideal for video. However there is a feature accessible via the USB dock to extend the focus throw which could be interesting (although due to the physical focal distance window I’m not sure how wide this adjustment can be)."

 

Trying to find the link about which lenses were compatible. Will update when I do

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1 hour ago, PabloB said:

https://www.cinema5d.com/sigma-50mm-worth-the-hype/

" the lens breaths with focus, and the short focus throw might not be ideal for video. However there is a feature accessible via the USB dock to extend the focus throw which could be interesting (although due to the physical focal distance window I’m not sure how wide this adjustment can be)."

 

Trying to find the link about which lenses were compatible. Will update when I do

Thanks, Pablo. I see in the Sigma user manual that there is indeed a slider built into the software allowing adjustment of the focus throw. If anybody has tested this, I'd be very interested in learning the results. Because my biggest and maybe single complaint about the 50mm f/1.4 is the short focus throw. 

I went ahead and ordered the USB dock out of curiosity. Supposedly, it'll arrive in around 10 days here in Vietnam.

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You guys have much more experience than me, I'd like to have your feedback. I can read than Sigma lens lack of 3D pop and depth because it contains to much glass (15 elements here). For this reason, videographer and photographer tend to prefer Carl zeiss ZE/ZF, Canon L or Leica R lenses. What's you opinion? 

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