Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
The Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is a fast lens designed for full frame SLRs with a unique angle of view previously limited to only a few lenses in the market. This lens surpasses anything that has ever been made in the 40mm focal length in design and quality. Sigma taunts this lens to be of the performance standard for a benchmark cine lens for which I would agree based on the lens design and specifications.
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is constructed with three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements to correct axial chromatic aberration and magnification chromatic aberration. Hence, reducing unwanted artifacts associated with purple fringe resulting a much improved optical performance that renders images free of common wide angle lens handicaps.
The lens features a very fast f/1.4 lens design which delivers incredible sharpness even at maximum aperture making it an ideal lens for low light photography and filming. This 40mm lens has one of the lowest distortion characteristics of any lens that I have seen at this focal length rated to be less than 1% by the company. This in effect translates to near non-existent sagittal coma flare which was only found in ultra high-end lenses.
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens‘s MTF charts show a high performance that is typically found only in a few lenses that cost several times its price. In that regards, there is just Canon’s considerably slow 40mm f/2.8 lens which in no way or fashion competes with the stellar quality and performance of this lens.
If I were to compare this lens to any lens in terms of optical performance, it would be either to other Sigma Art lenses or Zeiss Otus lenses which are not in the same focal length. However, from the optical performance perspective, Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens delivers a stellar performance in sharpness, contrast, and control in chromatic aberration and distortion.
The distortion information provided by Sigma for this 40mm lens shows that it has a very low distortion rated to be less than 1% by the company. This means the images can be directly exported without needing to do any post work for distortion correction.
Low distortion is especially important when architectural photography is considered as the straight lines are often don’t appear when the distortion is high; this Sigma lens will yield results that can be considered perfect straight out of the camera.
Although distortion is easy to correct in the post-processing having a lens that performs this well is so beautiful which makes you appreciate the attention and detail that has gone into designing such a high-quality lens.
The tests chart provided by the company for the Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens shows minimal distortion. This is in line with the results of its sibling Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Lens which exhibits about 1.5 stops vignetting wide open on full frame which is incredibly low for its class.
The gentle fall-off pattern for this lens means that the images captured will be pleasing to the eye as the transition from the fall off to the center is very natural which is indicated in the graph provided.
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens as in other Art series lenses features optical coatings that are designed to reduce flare which most lenses suffer from one degree to another. In the case of fast primes shooting into the light can be especially challenging since the high number of elements in the design often means internal reflections can occur despite attempts to control it.
Our experience with Sigma Art lenses has been impressive in their ability to resist flares especially in comparison to older designs from other lenses considered to be the standards in the industry.
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens features Sigma’s Hyper-Sonic Motor designed to deliver fast auto-focus even in low light circumstances. Auto-focus performance of hyper-sonic motor has been impressive in all of our Sigma Art series lenses. This lens features the same high-quality motor found in other Art series lenses.
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is not a light lens weighing in at 1200 grams. The weight is mostly due to high-quality optics utilized in its design which makes this lens a superb performer for a variety of applications.
The focus ring like the other Art series lenses is designed to be operated manually should the photographer decide to go manual. The auto/manual focus mode switch on the side of the barrel is available for all manual applications. Overall this lens offers a sense of quality that has been a hallmark of Art series lenses from Sigma.
- Mount Type: Nikon F, Canon EF, Sony E
- Lens Construction: 16 elements in 12 groups
- Focal Length: 40mm
- Angle of View (35mm): 56.8°
- Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
- Minimum Aperture: f/16
- Minimum Focusing Distance: 40cm / 15.7 in.
- Maximum Magnification: 1：6.5
- Diaphragm Blades: 9 (rounded)
- Special Low-Dispersion (Elements): 4
- F Low-Dispersion (Elements): 3
- Aspherical (Elements): 2
- Super Multi-Layer Coating: Yes
- Autofocus: Yes
- Hyper Sonic AF Motor: Yes
- Minimum Focus Distance: 40 cm / 15.7 in.
- Filter Size: 82mm
- Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
- Dimensions: 87.8mm x 131mm / 3.5 in. x 5.2 in.
- Weight: 1200 g / 42.3 oz.
HSM – Hyper-Sonic Motor
DG – DG for Digital Full Frame and APS-C
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is designed to provide a versatile tool for a variety of applications including travel, landscape, wedding, and even portrait photography. The close proximity of 40mm to the human sight is a benefiting factor that will contribute to achieving results that are pleasing to the eye and the senses.
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is an exceptional lens that has no competition in the market. This focal length is unique in that only Voigtlander has been offering a 40mm lens in Leica M mount for years without much attention being given to other camera mounts.
From the early days of Art line up of lenses, there has been a consistent effort by Sigma to bring lenses into the market that would not only compete in terms of price and quality but surpass lenses that have been considered the standards in the photography industry.
- Creative, Travel, Landscape, Wedding & Events, Family, Specialty
- Optical performance of high-end cine lens
- Dust- and splash-proof structure
- Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
- Designed to meet all shooting conditions
- Compatible with Canon Lens Aberration Correction
- Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included
- Manual Override (MO) capable of switching two full-time manual modes
- 40mm focal length
- fast F1.4 maximum aperture
- Ring-type ultrasonic autofocus motor with full-time manual override
- Internal focus design
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens delivers ultra sharpness and quality with 8-K compatible resolution ready for the highest end film cameras such as Red Weapon. It is perhaps best suited for Red Gemini film camera for low light applications for intermediate filmmakers.
Sigma does offer a range of lenses that are cine ready with 0.8 gearing, however, for those indie filmmakers the performance of a Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens will deliver results far beyond the capabilities of most film cameras in the market.
- Solid Construction
- Stunning image quality
- Superb sharpness
- Well controlled Chromatic Aberration
- Practically no distortion
- Impressive flare resistance
- Fast, silent, and accurate autofocus mechanism
- Excellent build quality
- Incredible Low Light Performance
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is simply the best lens in the market in 40mm focal range, coupled with the fast auto-focus motor found in other Sigma Art series lenses gives this lens an edge over the competition.
This lens is based on its design and quality should cost several times its price which will be most likely be between $1000 to $1500 range.
Where to Buy Sigma 40mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens is timeless and beautiful which may be the best reason to own this lens. If you are seeking to find a unique focal length with great low light capabilities, Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens delivers in all important criteria from low light to flare control to chromatic aberration correction.
Here are the links for the new Sigma 40mm f1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Here are other Sigma Art Lenses for the best price:
Sigma Art Prime Lenses
Sigma Art Zoom Lenses
For my upcoming
2019 photography workshops, here are the links
I hope you have enjoyed this article.
Camera Review Team