Tamron 35mm 1.8 vs Sigma Art 1.4 vs Nikon 1.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by robert_bouknight|1, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Hello all,
    Has anyone compared these lenses directly? I had the Sigma Art 35/1.4 and really liked the rendition it delivered, but I could not get consistent exact focus at open apertures on the D800 I had, and I thought it a little large/heavy, so I sold it a while back.
    I am game to try the Tamron if it delivers comparably to the Sigma.
    BTW, I had the dock and piddled with the Sigma focus calibration, maybe I should have piddled more. Focus was OK most of the time, though.
  2. Haven't tried any of them, but my impression is that the Tamron will not disappoint you with its optical quality compared to the Sigma and the VR is a real plus. As to AF, well this is always a crap shoot: the 35mm ART is meant to be one of the best in terms of having good AF (even with Canons), but it didn't work for you, so given once bitten twice shy, maybe you should go straight to the Nikon, which I assume is the cheapest anyway.
  3. I love my Nikon 1.8. Focus is fast and sharp, didn't need fine tuning. It's not expensive either.
  4. Just so Robert doesn't think he had a duff lens, I also had extreme problems with the 35mm f/1.4 ART on a D800(e). AF tuning didn't help appreciably because the amount was heavily dependent on AF distance. I seem to have somewhat better behaviour using the dock (mine has wild swings of values) and on a D810, which may mean that my D800 had some AF weirdness despite not obviously having the "left focus point" issue. I'll do more "piddling" myself (it's a pain to do, but good to have the option - why they couldn't just have put a USB port on the lens so you didn't have to take it off the camera I don't know...), but if in doubt, I'm resorting to live view for both the 35mm and - to a lesser extent - 50mm ART lenses. Annoying, but currently not forcing me to switch to an A7R2 just to have on-sensor AF.

    I can't say anything informative about the Nikkor or Tamron however.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have used two different samples of the Sigma 35mm/f1.4 Art on the D800E, and it is among the best lenses I have used. However, it is very heavy. I also have good experience with the Nikon 28mm/f1.8 AF-S, which weights half as much as the Sigma 35mm/f1.4. I would imagine that the 35mm version is good also.
    If you don't mind the weight, I would try another sample of the Sigma.
  6. I also had the Nikon 28/1.8G. I sold it thinking that it was a little "clinical" for people photos. Maybe I should try another Sigma with the D810 I have now. I did like the Sigma image rendition quite a bit, and the D810 seems to be more consistent with AF than the D800 did.
  7. I have D800E and Sigma 35mm f1.4, have tried Nikon 35mm f1.8G. My thinking: Sigma is the sharpest lens I have ever owned. (I almost always use a tripod in my photography to get max sharpness.) The Nikon is a great lens for travel and the best value. Have not tried the Tamron, but if you don't routinely use a tripod it would be worth a look. Won't even consider getting rid of the Sigma though.
    Kent in SD
  8. Consider the 24-35 f/2 art. Nasim reviewed it to be better than nikon 24 1.4g the 28 1.8g and the 35 1.8g. I have it and its big and heavy but damn its a performer weight size is a small price to pay. Anf the price was also a small amount to pay for what u get.
  9. i have the 35ART and my experience with it is similar to shun and kent's: it's stellar in terms of IQ. havent had any focus problems, either. but if i was buying now, i'd have a difficult time choosing between that, the Tamron and the 24-35/2. the Tamron is lighter/smaller and has stabilization as well as better close-focusing, so i think it would make a great walkaround lens. the Sigma 35ART is a modern classic -- a bit heavy for walkaround use, but suitable for everything from tripodded landscapes to environmental portraits. There are mixed reviews in directly comparing the Tamron and Sigma (and Nikon) 35s; but this test suggests the Sigma has better corners than the Tamron (but worse coma), while the Nikon has the least contrast.
    The 24-35 is very intriguing and appears to beat the 35ART at common apertures for IQ, though of course you lose a full stop of aperture. if you think of it as a three in one prime (24/28/35), its probably lighter than carrying all those lenses separately. if you are chasing ultimate IQ, which you probably are with a D810, that looks like a winner. Bottom line is its great to have so many competent lenses in this focal range.
  10. pge


    The issue here, consistent exact focus, may not be solved with a different lens. f1.4 is a difficult aperture to achieve consistent exact focus regardless of the quality of the lens. I would want to know more about Robert's technique before I suggested spending money to solve the problem. f1.4 is a pretty thin. Just swaying a bit on your feet can kick f1.4 out of exact focus.
  11. Phil, thanks. First thing I do with a lens is to shoot a subject that has the same setup as a lens-align, at a distance that I anticipate using the lens, near or at wide open. I adjust AF fine tune until the lens (hopefully) reliably achieves focus.
    Yes, the 1.4 lenses are challenging. I have found that my D810 seems to require less AF fine tune than the D800 I had previously.
    One issue I had with the USB calibration of the Sigma 35/1.4 was that several of the calibration point distances were at very close focus, then there were less points available where I would want them.
    Also, the 36MP cameras do seem to reveal slight focus errors more than than the 12MP generation, especially when looking at 100%
  12. Belatedly, I wanted to confirm that my 35mm Art is extremely sharp - my only objection was getting phase-detect focus to be accurate. So long as I'm lucky, or use live view, I'm very happy with it. As Robert says, the D810 seemed to behave a bit better than the D800, but the wild variations in focus shift that my 35mm needs would benefit from more samples than the USB calibration allows; I've not really used it enough on my D810 to be sure how well it behaves any more. I just wish the whole process could be automated (cross-referencing a phase detect reading with a phase-detect AF) rather than having to shuffle around so much - but that's an older thread. I do agree that I didn't really see AF misses so much on the D700, because less detail was captured (and the low-pass filter softened things even at the per-pixel level) - I'm not sure that the D810 is any less accurate, but it's easier to see AF misses.
  13. My Art 35/1.4 focus is accurate and consistent at all distances on my D750 delivering tack sharpness wide open with only +5 adjustment across all distance settings from their USB Dock. The Nikon fine-tuning was left at 0 before adjusting lens calibration with the USB Dock. The trick is to make certain the camera's AF calibration is accurate from the start. I find this is generally true on more current bodies like the D750 or D810 or if most of your Nikkors require little or no AF fine-tuning with your camera. Chances are that if most of your lenses require significant fine-tuning (>+/- 10), the Art 35/1.4 may require a bit more calibration with the USB Dock.

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