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The 35mm f2 / Sigma 30 1.4 Debate re-hashed for the umpteenth time

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Keaka, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Keaka


    Oct 13, 2005
    Richmond BC
    For those who have tried both of these lenses, all issues with autofocus and corner performance aside.. is the ability to focus that much closer with the 35mm f2 really that useful compared to the Sigma 30mm 1.4?

    I have the Sigma 30mm 1.4 right now, and it never leaves my camera. Hands down my favorite lens in my collection, but the whole focusing distance thing annoys me to heck. I'm just wondering if it is worth it to switch over to the f2. I'm also interested in the bokeh differences between the two.. any one out there?
  2. A used 35 f/2 is so low cost and so small in size I kept both. 1.4 is a great advantage for low light shots. I love the color and contrast of Sigma 30 1.4 though. But 35 f/2 is superb in sharpness department.
  3. Sigma is a great performer for center sharpness, and if shooting alot wide open and near wide open is your thing stay with the sigma.

    But if you would like a litte better corner to corner sharpness and dont mind stop down a bit to get there, go for the Nikkor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2007
  4. nykonian


    May 4, 2007
    New York
    The only advantage I can think of is HSM on 30/1.4 so it's compatible with D40/40X. Other than that, Nikon 35/2 is much much better. Let me know if anybody want to get rid of your copy. :) 
  5. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    All of these are with the 35mm f/2D at or near its closest focus. Dunno how close the siggy will go since I've never tried it and don't know the specs, but the close focusing is one of my favorite features of the 35/2 for sure. Corner sharpness doesn't matter for these types of shots since that's all out of focus anyways. Has anybody tried an extension tube on the siggy? I've never tried one on any lens period but it sounds like a neat trick. Supposedly the 50/1.8 can get mighty close with extension tubes too. I might pick one up and try it one day.








  6. Keaka


    Oct 13, 2005
    Richmond BC
    I believe the Sigma can go to an unimpressive 1:10.4 ratio at its closest focus versus something close to 1:4 for the 35mm f2 so on paper thats a huge difference.

    I've been scratching my head whether to switch over to get that ability or not. I use a D50 so the whole HSM/AF-S thing isn't a big deal.

    I plan on waiting until the next slew of nikon announcements anyway just in case they come out with a 35mm 1.8 AF-S :p 
  7. The 35/2 is my scanner. If I need a digital file of a document or a picture, I just photograph it.

    I used the 35/2 hand held to copy this small, vintage (1920) picture.


    I use it as a pseudo-macro lens for florals...

    View attachment 109131


    View attachment 109132

    ... and for tight shots of people.

    View attachment 109133

    The lens database lists the 35/2's max reproduction ratio as 1:4.2.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2007
  8. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    Perhaps you're overlooking the lens speed aspect, eh? A full stop of light can make a great deal of difference and this is the primary advantage of the Sigma. If you don't need the speed then perhaps the Nikkor is a better fit for your kit.

    I own them both and I do not agree with your comment that the Nikon is 'much, much better'. They're both great lenses in their own right, neither is 'better', they are simply different.
  9. The Sigma 24mm f1.8 and I believe 28mm f1.8 also have Great close focus distances, In the 24mm f1.8's case, it is as close as the front petal hoods! Basically you can't get any closer than that!

    IF you are a low light junkie and trying to keep the wider angle those are great options, I've been amazed at how sharp the 24mm f1.8 is, I'm not sure if my copy is any better or worse than others, but stopped fown to F2.8 It is fantastic.
  10. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    That's what I got by measuring it as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  11. Woah thats pretty cool how simple it is to measure that... I did the same thing just now with my D50 and the 24mm f1.8, I got a reproduction ratio of aprox 1:2.5738
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  12. francishmt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Well, you need the big aperture prime for low light, right? If so, why settle for F2? Also, if you intend to use it for low light people shots, who cares about corner sharpness? Of course, if you shoot landscape with it, then corner sharpness maybe an issue. But again, why would you shoot landscape with a 30mm?
  13. mematsu


    May 2, 2007
    los angeles
    Close focus and the 35mm f2

    When I had my 35mm f2, the close focus was a neat feature, as Steve and Uncle Frank have illustrated. I actually sold my 60 micro because the 35mm could get close enough for me. The 35mm f2 is a no frills, almost do it all lens with a petite little body and weight. Why did I sell it? Good question. Actually, in the end I was using it only for its compactness. I was using my 17-55 for just about everything so, I gave the Sigma a try. The Sigma gives me a very narrow dof with a normal fov. Very nice combo. Reminds me a lot of my old F100 and 50mm 1.4. My 35mm couldn't quite do that the same. I kept the 35mm for two weeks and compared both and in the end kept the Sigma.

    If I didn't have the 17-55, I think the 35mm f2 is the one I would have as it is the more rounded of the two, imo. Especially for corner to corner performance.

    By the way, my Sigma front focused ever so slightly so I sent it in and just got it back. It took two weeks including shipping and now is very easy/nice to use at F1.4.
  14. francishmt


    Jun 29, 2006
    I heard some quality problems with the Sigma as well, but I am soooo lucky to have it right the first time. It's definitely a keeper for me.

  15. Help me understand that comment, Francis. Why wouldn't you shoot landscapes with a 30mm?
  16. Keaka


    Oct 13, 2005
    Richmond BC
    I've never had problems with my Sigma.. focused perfectly the day I got it luckily. Perhaps I'll pick up an actual 35mm f2 and see how it works.

    I've heard some good things about the Sigma 24 1.8 but apparently its terribly soft wide open?
  17. zachawry

    zachawry Guest

    Is it just me, or do many of the photos I see taken with the Sigma seem a little washed out? Maybe I'm just imagining things because I love my 35/2 so much, but I've always thought it had more contrast and better colors than what I've seen of the Sigma.

  18. Jonathan P.

    Jonathan P.

    Jul 10, 2007
    I've always felt precisely the opposite. To my eye, the Sigma seems to have a warmer color rendition. But I don't own either of the lenses in question, so I could be wrong.
  19. francishmt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Frank, from my experience, I have only shot landscape with either a wide angle or telephoto lens. Wide would be between 12-24mm, and telephoto usually >100mm.

    The reason for the wide angle is usually the intention to get that dramatic perspective from the wide angle. As for telephoto, mostly because I can't get close enough for the shot.

    So with all respect, I just don't see why people would shoot landscape at 30 (it's 45mm on a cropped sensor). From the photos you have posted with your 35/2, none of them are landscape either. It's just my humble opinion.

  20. Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2007
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