Sigma Art lenses on RF?

SwissFrank

from EOS 1N to R
Dec 9, 2018
747
407
Anyone using the Sigma Art lenses on RF? Specifically 24/1.4, 28/1.4, 30/1.4 (?!), 35/1.4, 85/1.4? Especially interested in the 28/1.4...

Is AF OK?

Are the wide-angles pretty huge, considering they're I guess SLR designs that need to be further mounted on an adapter?

I keep seeing the massive hot deals on the 28/1.4, then get the above questions in my head, then the deal ends before I end up finding out more.
 

jd7

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
978
322
Anyone using the Sigma Art lenses on RF? Specifically 24/1.4, 28/1.4, 30/1.4 (?!), 35/1.4, 85/1.4? Especially interested in the 28/1.4...

Is AF OK?

Are the wide-angles pretty huge, considering they're I guess SLR designs that need to be further mounted on an adapter?

I keep seeing the massive hot deals on the 28/1.4, then get the above questions in my head, then the deal ends before I end up finding out more.
I haven't bought an R camera so i cannot speak from experience, but everything I've read is that the Art lenses work very well on R cameras, possibly better than they do on DSLRs.

I've been trying to find out if Sigma's older 85 f/1.4 EX lens (the model before the Art version) works on R cameras but i haven't been able to find an answer about that one.
 
Sep 17, 2019
7
5
I have a number of Art lenses and they all work perfectly on my EOS R. They feel just like first-party lenses down to the working in-camera corrections. Focusing is quick and accurate unlike on DSLRs. In my experience RF cameras fix pretty much all of the AF deficiencies that these lenses had on EF bodies. Just make sure you pick up a Sigma dock to make sure that the lens is on the latest firmware.
 
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SwissFrank

from EOS 1N to R
Dec 9, 2018
747
407
I have a number of Art lenses and they all work perfectly on my EOS R. They feel just like first-party lenses down to the working in-camera corrections. Focusing is quick and accurate unlike on DSLRs. In my experience RF cameras fix pretty much all of the AF deficiencies that these lenses had on EF bodies. Just make sure you pick up a Sigma dock to make sure that the lens is on the latest firmware.
I had the Canon EF 35/1.4 and 24/1.4 MkI's. I found the 35 too normalish and the 24 too wide, so I'm excited about the 28/1.4.

But I also see some surprising ones: 30mm and 40mm f/1.4's. Are they all from the same generation and product line? Or are some not quite as good as others, just older, slower focus, etc.? For instance between the 28/1.4 and 30/1.4, is it strictly a question of which nearly identical focal length you prefer? Or is there a substantial difference?

Finally I keep seeing the US sales down to like $599 on the 28/1.4. That "hot deal" seems to be over right now but do you know where the best prices can be obtained? (Here in Tokyo, I've seen used mint for like $610 or something, but that disappeared a day before payday :-D )
 
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jd7

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
978
322
I had the Canon EF 35/1.4 and 24/1.4 MkI's. I found the 35 too normalish and the 24 too wide, so I'm excited about the 28/1.4.

But I also see some surprising ones: 30mm and 40mm f/1.4's. Are they all from the same generation and product line? Or are some not quite as good as others, just older, slower focus, etc.? For instance between the 28/1.4 and 30/1.4, is it strictly a question of which nearly identical focal length you prefer? Or is there a substantial difference?

Finally I keep seeing the US sales down to like $599 on the 28/1.4. That "hot deal" seems to be over right now but do you know where the best prices can be obtained? (Here in Tokyo, I've seen used mint for like $610 or something, but that disappeared a day before payday :-D )
The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art is a "DC" lens, ie it is designed for APS-C sensors, not full-frame sensors. In other words, the 30mm is intended to be a relatively small and light equivalent for APS-C sensor cameras of a 50mm on a full-frame sensor. On the other hand, the 28mm f/1.4 Art and 35mm f/1.4 Art lenses are "DG" lenses, ie they are for full-frame sensors.

The Sigma 40mm f/1.4 Art is another "DG" lens, so it is for full-frame sensors. To the extent you might question why have a 40mm in the line up given it is not far from the 35mm and 50mm focal lengths which Sigma also has covered by f/1.4 Art "DG" primes, the 40mm is newer, notably bigger and heavier (I believe the 40mm weighs over 1.2kg!), and from what I have read delivers even higher image quality, than the other two. I have heard the the increased size and weight (and higher image quality) is due to the 40mm sharing some qualities with Sigma's cine lenses, and for example Sigma's website does describe the 40mm as having "8k-compatible resolution" so perhaps there may be something in that. I don't know enough about cine lenses to say any more about that, but given the size and weight of the 40mm it does seem possible Sigma has a different target market / use case in mind for the 40mm compared with for the 35mm and 50mm.
 
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Sep 17, 2019
7
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I had the Canon EF 35/1.4 and 24/1.4 MkI's. I found the 35 too normalish and the 24 too wide, so I'm excited about the 28/1.4.

But I also see some surprising ones: 30mm and 40mm f/1.4's. Are they all from the same generation and product line? Or are some not quite as good as others, just older, slower focus, etc.? For instance between the 28/1.4 and 30/1.4, is it strictly a question of which nearly identical focal length you prefer? Or is there a substantial difference?

Finally I keep seeing the US sales down to like $599 on the 28/1.4. That "hot deal" seems to be over right now but do you know where the best prices can be obtained? (Here in Tokyo, I've seen used mint for like $610 or something, but that disappeared a day before payday :-D )

jd7 gave a good recap on the differences between Sigma's mirrorless and DSLR product lines. Just to add to their post, I personally noticed that the older Sigma Art lenses like the 35mm f/1.4 and 24mm f/1.4 are definitely slower than their newer offerings. I own both of those lenses and they're perfectly fine for still and slow-moving subjects (even in video mode) but I certainly wouldn't use them for sports or quick tracking. However, Sigma seemed to step up their game at around the time the 85mm f/1.4 was released. Lenses designed after this point focused noticeably more quickly and some also incorporated basic weather sealing. I have both the 85mm f/1.4 and the 135mm f/1.8 and I'm very happy with their optical and focusing performance, even when tracking faster moving subjects. I'd still bring a good 70-200mm f/2.8 for very fast action, however. Even first-party fast primes aren't meant for that kind of use.

The 28mm f/1.4 and 40mm f/1.4 are Sigma's latest (and possibly final) DSLR designs. They're essentially copies of Sigma's 28mm t/1.5 and 40mm t/1.5 cinema lenses placed into an Art housing. The 40mm in particular is much heavier and longer than other lenses in its class but has the optical performance to back it up. By many accounts it's one of the best astro lenses in its focal range due to its extremely well-controlled coma. Even at $799 it's a very good value, as is the 28mm. I believe that the $599 deal was briefly available at Adorama so I'd keep an eye out there in case the deal returns.
 
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Frodo

EOS RP
Nov 3, 2012
443
129
A friend shoots with her Sigma EF 35/1.4, 50/1.4 and 24-70/2.8 on her R6. She had some issues with focusing and vignetting that were fixed with firmware upgrades.
While the 50/1.4 is wonderfully sharp, it is a big lens and when used with an adapter on my R or R6 becomes quite unwieldy. The 28/1.4 is 865g (almost 2 pounds). I personally wouldn't buy these lenses for that reason, but YMMV.
 
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PeteH

I'm New Here
Oct 5, 2020
15
24
I'm using the Art 20/1.4 and 50/1.4 on an R6. Both are excellent and work without hitch. I also have the really old non-OS Sigma 150/2.8 macro, and the pre-Sport Sigma 70-200/2.8 OS, and they work just fine too - much better than they ever did on my 7DII.

I've even used the ancient non-OS Sigma 120-300/2.8 on my R6. I found that lens basically unusable on the 7DII, but actually pretty fair on the R6, between the IBIS and the essentially-perfect AF (plus obviously the far lower pixel density).

Coming back to your question, it seems to me that AF, especially face/eye detection, is enhanced somewhat by the sharpness of the Art lenses across the frame. I have an EF 28/1.8, for example, which is one of the softest primes Canon has made in the relatively modern era, and with that lens I find eye detection etc get flakier towards the frame edge than I'm used to on the R6. It still works of course, it's just that distance-related AF flakiness/hesitation kicks in a bit earlier than it does with sharper lenses. The Art 20/1.4 by contrast is pretty much rock solid in terms of AF on the R6, even wide open close up at the frame edges.

Out of curiosity I did try my old Sigma 30/1.4 on my R6. It's a crop lens, of course, but it covered somewhat more of the frame than I expected, and it did basically work (including eye AF), albeit obviously with extreme vignetting.

Yes the Sigma lenses are very big - that's the reason I keep the EF 28/1.8 around, which forms half of my lightweight out-and-about kit for when I don't want to be weighed down (alongside the EF 85/1.8). Personally I find the Art 20/1.4 and 50/1.4 well within my comfort limit while I'm actually using them, but carrying them around all day is another issue altogether.
 
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SwissFrank

from EOS 1N to R
Dec 9, 2018
747
407
Wow, PeteH, Sigma owes you some loyalty points! Thanks for going so into detail with your experiences.

About 20 years ago my street outfit was an M6 with a 35/1.4 and 75/1.4. I sold the 75 to buy my R and regretted it as the 35 works fine on an adapter. I could see getting a 28/1.4 Sigma and 85/2 Canon. While I really liked the 35mm, it's just a bit too normal to be "wide" to my eye, while my Canon 24/1.4 was too wide to ever use much.

I'm just trading my R up to an R5 as we speak, and the IBIS I assume works even with manual lenses on cheap Chinese knock-off adapters. I wanted the R5 in part for resolution (I like sharp cityscapes and landscapes) and in part for IBIS and in large part for the better AF, so it'd be sad not to have the AF. But actually maybe I should just buy another 75/1.4 Leica... price skyrocketed when it was discontinued but they've since made a 75/1.25 that maybe brought prices back down...
 

PeteH

I'm New Here
Oct 5, 2020
15
24
Haha yeah I do have quite a lot of Sigma lenses! To be honest several of them I basically only own out of stinginess; bought used, the Sigma 150 macro and the 70-200OS are comparatively cheap ways to fill those particular niches. The 30/1.4 though was a real favourite the whole time I was on APS-C.

YMMV may vary depending on what you're shooting and why, but the way I think of it, it's nice to be able to take some shortcuts sometimes, and fill out a project or assignment with some photos that rely quite a lot on letting a really good lens do its thing (often a fast prime shot wide open). Of course the best photos are the ones you make the hard way, with content and lighting and composition and timing and whatnot; but taking advantage of the capabilities of, say, an 85/1.2, gives you a shortcut to making photos that most people will find pleasing and impressive.

For me the Art 20/1.4 is very much in that category; the sort of lens that can give you a look you can't really get any other way, and that you can lean on quite heavily if you wish.
 
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