Sigma did it again! Releasing the new prime 40mm F1.4 DG HSM from their ART series lenses which is a “Beast” of a lens. Normally for a focal length of 40mm, these lenses average to be about an F stop of 2.8 or lower, but with the Sigma 40mm this lens pulls off an F stop of 1.4 which is not only truly impressive for its focal length but also a strong factor that separates Sigma from most of its other competitors. This wide length lens produces beautiful sharp images, works well with the autofocus system, and holds up it end with performing in low light situations. Sigma’s known hyper sonic motor (HSM) gives a buttery smooth and quiet autofocus performance and its large robust physicality is built to withstand rigid conditions against dust, moisture, and other outdoor elements. Even with using my crop sensor Canon Rebel T7I camera (which is actually 64mm on a crop sensor, multiply 1.6×40) I was still able to produce phenomenal results on a starter camera with sharpness from corner to corner. But with that being said, is this lens really for everyone? Let’s talk about it.
What I immediately liked about this lens was the aperture and the bokeh that it produced when I was capturing photos. Its Fast maximum aperture of 1.4 helped me achieve getting photos that were sharp from corner to corner and produced awesome bokeh. Even when capturing video footage, it gave the results of shooting with a cine lens with its high end optical performance which is Sigma’s overall priority, producing optical performance. I happened to find that the autofocus system responded very quickly and accurately on the subjects that I was focusing on. Even though I was using a crop sensor camera (Canon T7I) I was still able to produce outstanding results as if I was in possession of a full frame camera.
It should be noted right away that this lens is quite heavy for a prime lens, especially for a mid- focal length lens and for those who are traveling and looking to carry some equipment on the lighter side, unfortunately for some, this lens may not be their first choice. Even after capturing some handheld shots and holding the camera with the Sigma 40mm attached to it for about 3 minutes, I began to feel my muscles getting tired due to the weight of the lens. This should be a factor seriously considered for those that are using a gimbal or Steadicam of some sort to make sure you possess one that can support the weight of your camera and this lens. Also, there is no optical stabilization (or Image stabilization), but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise being that the majority of the Sigma ART series lenses have no optical stabilization.
Specifications (Courtesy of Sigma.com)
*Lens Mount-Canon EF
*Format Compatibility-Full Frame
*Optical Design-16 Elements in 12 Groups
What’s in the Box
*LCF-82 III 82mm Lens Cap
*Rear Cap LCR II for Canon EF Mount Lenses
*LH878-01 Lens Hood
*Limited 1 Year Warranty
*Limited 3-Year U.S.A. Warranty Extension
Design and Build Quality
The Sigma 40mm f1.4 is quite large and robust for its focal length, weighing in at about 2.6lbs (1.2kg), it has a fine rigged plastic dial system to make manual focusing smooth and easy. It is constructed of metal and plastic material for the body as well as having only one switch attached to for the autofocus setting. The lens is built to be used for a variety of situations being that its structure has a protective layer to its front and rear element that is oil and water repellant. It also comes equipped with a dust and water proof sealant feature for its cover, mount, and focal ring. One will feel quite confident in shooting in adverse weather conditions using this lens due to the elements it can withstand.
If you’re in the market for a new prime lens that can produce sharp imagery and possess a fast autofocusing system, and the optical performance of a cine lens, then this lens is for you. With a price point of $1399.99 you’re truly getting what you pay for in terms of build quality and optical performance for photography and videography. As anyone may know it is always a valuable investment for camera professional or enthusiasts to possess the most effective and high quality lens as possible that will last for years. Sure, the lens is heavy, but if you can overlook that factor then this is the lens for you.