Sigma Art for Sony E vs. native Sony lenses: which perform better?

Jul 18, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Jul 18, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Earlier this year, Sigma announced nine Art lenses with native Sony E mount. Jason Vong tested three of them and compared them to native Sony counterparts in terms of sharpness, AF performance for photo and video, and form factor.

Jason visited Anime Expo and shot some videos and stills in this lens shootout, testing the pairs of 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.4. Let’s see his impressions and whether or not Sigma Art lenses can outperform their Sony counterparts.

YouTube video

These are the Sigma Art lenses for Sony E tested in the video:

35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, and 85mm f/1.4

And these are the native Sony lenses:

Zeiss 35mm f/1.4, Zeiss 50mm f/1.4, and Sony G Master 85mm f/1.4.

As for the lighting, Jason used two Godox AD200 strobes with 38” Parapop Glow modifiers to take some portraits at the Anime Expo.

Here are a few examples side by side:

Jason used Eye AF to take these portraits. His impression is that Sigma Art lenses show a little more sharpness at f/1.4, especially when you look at the eyes and the eyelashes. He adds, however, that the difference is so minimal that it’s only important to pixel peepers.

When it comes to autofocus, Jason used AF-C to take photos. Both sets of lenses grab AF very fast, with the Zeiss lenses being a tad faster. However, Zeiss lenses are more reliable, especially the 35mm: Sigma’s counterpart proved to be unreliable from time to time when it comes to AF, while 50mm and 85mm didn’t have this kind of a hiccup.

Jason also tested AF for the video. Again, Zeiss lenses for Sony are a bit faster, the difference is not significant. But, Zeiss lenses do a much better job at tracking and keeping the focus on your subject. When it comes to grabbing focus, Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4 had some struggle, whereas the other two lenses performed equally well as their Zeiss counterparts. Sigma Art lenses stutter a bit before grabbing focus, while Zeiss lenses have a smoother transition.

As for making noise while autofocusing, neither of the lenses has a problem with that, at least Jason didn’t notice it. Sigma has better manual AF, so if you prefer it for the videos, you may actually rather opt for Sigma Art lenses.

And lastly, when it comes to physical characteristics, all Zeiss lenses are lighter and smaller, especially the 85mm. Also, Zeiss lenses have a clickless aperture ring, which is great for videos.

To conclude, Jason suggests that you go for Sigma Art lenses if you’re a casual or a portrait photographer and the flawless AF performance is not extremely important to you. They are great and sharp lenses and a great value for money. On the other hand, if you do event photography or shoot video and you need a completely reliable AF, then Zeiss and Sony lenses could be a better choice for you.

[Sigma Art for Sony E – Should You Buy Them? – Sony a7III a7RIII a6500 via LensVid]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Sigma Art for Sony E vs. native Sony lenses: which perform better?”

  1. lewisfrancis Avatar
    lewisfrancis

    The Sigmas all look much sharper to me in the article’s examples, no pixel-peeping required. Can’t view the video where I’m at right now.

    Of course, sharpness isn’t everything, but I remain quite impressed with the Art line.

  2. Darryl Palapuz Avatar
    Darryl Palapuz

    Zeiss, hands down

  3. rifki syahputra Avatar
    rifki syahputra

    3rd party lenses nowadays are good