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Sigma have beaten Leica - DG 35mm F1.4 vs Summicron-R 35mm F2.0


Andrew Reid
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I had a hands on with the new Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM ART today, and compared it to my Leica Summicron-R 35mm F2.0, a $1200 lens.

[url=http://www.eoshd.com/content/11000/sigma-have-beaten-leica-dg-35mm-f1-4-vs-summicron-r-35mm-f2-0]Read the full article here[/url]
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Always nice to see lens comparisons based on actual pictures. However, when comparing a 40 year old lens design with inferior coating to a brand new lens design it is no surprise that the new lens wins. It's like writing "Nissan beats Porsche" after comparing a Nissan 370Z with a Porsche 924 and then touting Nissan has beaten Porsche. That would be a pretty silly headline based on a rather unfair test. How about comparing the new Sigma lens with a contemporary Leica Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH II? Or how about comparing the Sigma lens with a circa 30 year old Leitz Summilux-R 35 mm f/1.4 which at least has a similar maximum aperture. I would provide my own lens for a shoot out.

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I tried that as well on my 7D, but forgot to try it on the 5D Mark III where some say it covers full frame at 35mm despite being a APS-C lens.

 

It seemed great on 7D, took a few shots with it, will try and get more time with one.

 

I'm in a dilemma over which one to get. If it wasn't for me using full frame so much, 18-35mm on GH3 with Speed Booster would be a no brainer.

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Then there's always the Samyang 35/1.4, full manual, long throw, hard stops. A bit big but fine enough quality and I enjoy mine... I'm surprised this crowd values sharpness, I would figure vintage blur would be your thing.

 

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=771&Camera=453&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=1&LensComp=829&CameraComp=453&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=2

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The examples of the Leica Summicron looked surprisingly bad to me so I went out and shot some test stills at f2 on the 5diii. I am getting very sharp results and only get fall off at the corners if there is a spatial shift in the frame that means the shallow depth of field goes out of focus at the corners as images are closer. I shot the same images with the leicaR 19mm v2 which is like a razor as a control. They're surprisingly close. My 35 is V2 which could possibly make a difference? I also am looking at web compressed versions from your blog - so factor that in.
I can post some examples if it's useful. I don't have the Sigma to test against.
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