Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Sigma 35mm f/1.2 has beaten out the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 in our opinion
Excellent build quality and images out of all three lenses
The 14-24mm f/2.8 is the widest angle zoom lens available for L-mount cameras
So this is a pretty lengthy review, with three Sigma lenses up on the block, the 35mm f/1.2, 45mm f/2.8 and 14-24mm f/2.8. These are all available for L-mount cameras such as the Leica CL, SL and TL2, and the Panasonic Lumix S1, S1R and S1H. The 35mm f/1.2 is also available for Sony’s E-mount cameras, which brings it up against the Tamron lens we raved about, the 35mm f/1.4.
We’re testing all lenses with the S1R so let’s start with the 45mm f/2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens. It’s short, light but still has excellent build and image quality. It’s a perfect street lens camera.
It has a 55mm filter diameter and weighs in at just 215 grams. The aperture blades are rounded and the bokeh out of this lens is absolutely beautiful, with great separation and subjects just pop in the frame.
It’s a f/2.8 lens but images from this feel more they were taken with an f/2.0 lens. There’s excellent separation from the background in photos even at f/2.8, and still retains great detail.
Next up is the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art lens. Just putting it out there, when you need to convert a lens for a mount, it’s not just changing the back mounting. The elements inside have to be rearranged and it’s almost like a partial reconstruction of the lens. This is the widest angle zoom lens available for any L-mount camera, with only the Leica 16-35mm f/3.5 to f/4.5 coming close.
This is a phenomenal lens, weighing around 800 grams which isn’t the lightest. But comparing it to others, it’s definitely a lot easier to carry around. The lens quality is great, and looks beautiful on any L-mount camera. Best part, it’s an internal zoom so you won’t have to worry about lens creep after using this for a few years.
The images out of this are sharp edge-to-edge and if you’re looking for a wide-angle L-mount lens that won’t cost a bomb, this is the lens for you. There’s very little distortion on the sides and images are beautiful, so you won’t have to worry about not getting straight lines if you’re shooting a building.
Moving on to the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens, this could possibly be one of our favourite 35mm lenses. A few weeks ago, we reviewed the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 and said it was the best auto-focusing 35mm lens we tried so far. And it’s true, it’s a great lens, but we think we found one better.
This lens is also available for Sony’s E-mount cameras, so even though Sony doesn’t have a similar fast lens available, Alpha shooters will still be able to get it elsewhere. It’s definitely not a light lens at 1,090 grams, and it looks really big on a camera, almost as if it’s a 75mm or 85mm lens. It’s a beast of a lens, with an 82mm filter diameter but it’s a great 35mm.
At f/1.2, it’s sharp. Granted, the focal plane is thin but when it hits, it’s pin sharp. The bokeh is beautiful, with the background just melting away. But when it comes to performance on different cameras, it’s a bit spotty.
On the S1R, autofocus is fast and snappy with no issues thanks to the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), but on the Leica SL it was a little slower. Theoretically, it should be the same on all L-mount cameras, so we’re unsure if this has something to do with the internals of the camera or if firmware needs to be updated, but we did find that the performance on the S1R is better as of the date of filming.
There’s also declicking on this lens for filmmakers who don’t want the audible click of the aperture ring, but we really do enjoy the feel and sound of the ring click. Comparing against the 35mm f/1.4, we feel that this lens does beat it out.
In terms of images, the rendering of the lens is great with excellent falloff in the background. There’s only some purple fringing with metallic elements under light, with quite perfectly circular bokeh. The images are sharp when you hit your mark with focusing, with great detail.
These lenses are all great performers at a price point that’s definitely more palatable. Leica has great lenses, but not everybody has the means to own every lens that Leica pushes out for the L-mount. Sigma has saved the L-mount alliance in our opinion, by bringing high quality glass and great build quality at a lower price point.