Help me Decide: Canon RF 35 f1.8 or Sigma Art 35 f1.4 for my EOS R


Traveling the world one step at a time.
Aug 26, 2014
I want to get a fast wide angle lens for my R as a complement to the EF 24-105 II that I use as the general walk around for it. Would use this combo like I used the M5/22f2 combo. Also I have some events coming up where I'm sure it will be useful. Price between the two not a major issue. Any comments pro or con?


Feb 3, 2013
FWIW you might find this worth a quick read (it mentions the Sigma 35 Art at one point in the review)

If you search around on CR, you will also find threads debating the RF 35/1.8 macro's bokeh. Some people are unimpressed by it, others aren't bothered by it so much. From what I've seen, there are some situations in which it produces boke I really don't like at all, but provided you shoot with a pretty short distance to subject (which is going to be the obvious situation to get background blur with a 35mm lens, in any event), it's fine.

I've never used an RF 35/1.8 macro to compare directly, but I did own the EF 35/2 IS before getting a Sigma 35 Art. The IQ and the extra stop of aperture won me over despite the extra size/weight (although I admit there are times when I miss the EF 35/2 IS for its small size/weight). From what I've seen the RF 35/1.8 macro seems generally similar to the EF 35/2 IS (although of course it's a third of a stop faster than the 35/2 IS, meaning the Sigma Art would be only 2/3 of a stop in front), so even if I got an EOS R I'd stick with the Sigma 35 Art.


Feb 1, 2016
I've owned the 35A and now own the RF35.

They aren't alike.

The 35A has something special to the image quality. It's got phenomenal sharpness and rendering. But it's huge in comparison.

The RF35 has great image quality, but not like the Art. But it's so small and wonderful to work with. It does everything very well.

I got rid of my old 35A because the autofocus was a nightmare on DSLRs (I've since had great luck with the 50A and 85A).

When I got my EOS R and realized AF micro-adjustment was a thing of the past, I wanted a 35mm again and began comparing the two, just like you.

I spent a lot of time deciding between the two. In the end, I wanted a small lens and I am happy with the decision I made. The RF35 is a great all round lens; light, great IQ, great in low light, IS, etc...

If image quality and look are your first priority, the 35A is for you.

If size is a consideration, you just cannot beat the RF35. The 35A falls into what I think of a 'working size'. I don't like taking out lenses that size unless I'm getting paid.

I don't miss the light gathering of the f1.4 vs the 1.8 - it's a trivial difference. The bokeh at 1.4 is far superior however.

If the two cost the same, I'd have had a harder time deciding, but the RF is 2/3 the price in Canada. Easy choice given my intended use of the lens.


Traveling the world one step at a time.
Aug 26, 2014
Thanks for both your comments. I think SereneSpeed really narrowed it down for me at this point. Most of my shooting is still with my 7DMII + 100-400 II. I'm just beginning to more seriously add full frame, wider angle photography to my interests. So for the added versatility of the RF 35 vs the SA 35, I think it's the place to start for me.