Today we will talk about the lens that excited the photography community with its appearance in 2012, and which is still being produced to this day with some modifications. A year after its release, in 2013, it received an award at the TIPA World Awards as the best lens in the 35mm category, displacing eminent competitors.
Management and ergonomics
The Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a fast lens with 1.4 aperture and a fixed focal length. It has a wide 63.4-degree field of view, a 9-blade aperture for soft background blur, and a fast and precise ultrasonic AF drive that is virtually silent. The lens is not so heavy, it weighs 665 grams.
The lens has a mechanical, rubberized focus ring and an AF-MF switch. Shooting in contrasting light in sunny weather, with flashes or backlight eliminates strong glare thanks to the design of one lens with low dispersion and four with extra low dispersion.
In production, materials from a durable heat-resistant composite are used, which prevent the appearance of backlash and micro-gaps between the lens elements during temperature changes. No gaps, no dust inside the lens.
It is worthwhile to immediately define the terminology. The unofficial name for a wide-angle lens is a reporter. We are used to hearing this word from TV news, newspapers and magazines without thinking that we ourselves become participants in the report.
A reportage is a description of an event in which the author acts as an observer or participant (in our case, a photographer). What events can be in our life? Weddings, corporate parties, parades, festivities and barbecues with friends. Such shooting is called reportage.
So, what can you conclude about the purpose of the Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art? This lens is for creativity. As mentioned above about the work of autofocus, it is fast, but not for filming sports events, where super-fast autofocus is needed.
Our lens for a thoughtful approach to framing. The choice of exposure is very important due to the nature of the optics. Lots of things to take into account. The rule of thirds, if you need a portrait, does not work here. There are foreshortening and perspective distortions at the edges of the frame. It is better to exclude vertical shots, only horizontal ones.
Implementation of ideas
What is the best 35mm for? With it, we get more visual information in the frame. At citywide events, you have the opportunity to cover the entire holiday in one shot. With 35mm, photos are more open, not focused on one detail. In a circle of people you know, where you have the opportunity to get close to the subject, where they will even be happy to pose, that’s what a reportage lens is for.
Knowing about the features of a wide angle, you can avoid mistakes. Put in the frame 2, 3 people waist-deep, with air above their heads and on the sides. If you shoot a person in full growth, he should be in the center with indents on the sides of the frame. This applies to both outdoor and city shots. Use the possibilities of wide-angle, masking the introduced distortions. Take a picture of a large palace not directly, so you get a lot of sky and a strip of a building, but from the end. So, both the palace and the sky will look much more beautiful.
Distortions in architecture are not at all scary, they should be avoided when photographing a person, a group of people. If the horizon stretches from edge to edge of the frame, leave less room for the sky if it is a river, focus on the shore or boats if there are any.
Use symmetry in the frame. It’s amazing when at close range you cover more than you expected. Or get very close, move the subject slightly off center (unless it’s a person), capture more perspective, and you’ll get a good shot. This is the essence of wide-angle optics.
This is a lens that never ceases to perform better over time. Its qualitative return in years is uniform.