Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM vs. Zeiss Distagon ZE 35mm f/2 T*
A couple of days ago I blogged about two wide angle lenses, Zeiss Touit 12mm 2.8 and Fujifilm 14 2.8 R, I tried out in Vancouver last week. By the way; Thanks to Jeff at Leo's Camera for letting me take these lenses out for a quick spin along Granville. A very nice guy who I wouldn't hesitate to buy from. The comparison today are for two SLR full frame lenses and I tested these with my 5D Mark III. I have read lots of great things about both lenses and was eager to try them out.
Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
This lens feels great on the camera and not as heavy as I could have feared. The finishing is top notch and even after some scrutiny and disbelief the answer is still the same. This does feel like a nice lens. Side by side with the Zeiss ZE 35 1.4 however it comes a bit short in this department but then again I don't think I've seen a nicer built lens than the Zeiss ZE 35 1.4 in this segment. The Sigma has AF, which is a huge plus for me shooting weddings, events and sports. In my limited use AF feels fast and accurate. I really enjoyed shooting with the Sigma and was impressed with the files. I have read about nervous bokeh and back/front focusing. This sample seemed fine but I will admit these concerns do play in for me. You can get a USB dock so that you can adjust the focusing. You could argue that this is cool but I would rather just have a lens that works. Unfortunately Jeff did not have the ZE 35 1.4 available for testing.
Zeiss Distagon ZE 35 f/2 T*
The ZE 35 f/ 2 is very solidly built, no doubt about it. It's a great size for a walk around lens. It is however a manual focusing lens. While this can be handy for video or precise focusing for landscape photography or any tripod work it is not great for events or any kind of tracking. With practise I am sure I would get better but I missed focus in a few of the frames captured along Granville. Files look great but I'd have to say the Sigma impressed me more so in this comparison. With AF, the extra stop and a lower price I found the Sigma 35 1.4 hard to beat.