When I think of the perfect storytelling lens, I think of the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art. It is the most versatile prime lens I own for more reasons than one. With the ability to work in tight spaces and capture important environmental details, it’s my go-to lens. My work revolves around capturing everyday life at home, so I need a lens that will be able to capture environmental portraits with ease.
Why the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art Works for Me
As a mother of four children who already has my hands full, the lightweight aesthetic of the lens is crucial. Since my mirrorless camera is compact and lightweight, it would be counter-productive lugging around a heavy lens. All that said, my absolute favorite feature of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens is the aperture ring that includes a lockable switch on the right side of the lens. Photographing toddlers on the fly has never been so easy while shooting in manual mode. When I need to quickly change my aperture the ring smoothly clicks into place. The lens also boasts an AFL button on the left side. The beautiful thing about this feature is that you can actually custom program the button within your camera. The focus ring is incredibly smooth as well with a wonderful ribbed grip.
This lens is ideal for environmental portraiture, which is what I tend to naturally be drawn to shooting. I take any opportunity I possibly can to emphasize scale and how small my children are. Trouble is, there are times when I need to be close in proximity to my children for safety reasons. With the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art I’m still able to capture a lot of the environment around my children while maintaining that close distance to them.
On a similar note, there are times when I’m working in a tight space, especially in and around my home. Because of the focal length, I’m able to capture a lot of my environment with ease using the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art. Which again is why it’s one of my most versatile prime lenses I own. I know it will work in just about every environment I’m shooting in.
Another beautiful feature of this lens length is that I am fully present and in-the-moment with my children. I’m able to play with my kids while still being my family’s storyteller, capturing moments that I know we will cherish. It’s the little things, the details and in-between moments that mean the most to me, and this lens helps me tell those stories.
Lens Performance for Photographing Children
In regards to the technical aspects of the lens, the autofocusing is one of the best features of the 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art. The autofocusing speed is very fast making it ideal for photographing active children. I found my images to be tack sharp whether my kids were moving, I was shooting with a wide open aperture, or I was in close range to my children or not. In addition, the lens is compatible with the eye-AF focus feature of my mirrorless camera, making it easy to photograph moving subjects even in tricky lighting situations.
While my work centers around photographing the everyday, I’m drawn to transforming those simple, mundane moments into something magical. This lens does just that. The bokeh is clean, smooth and round giving my images a dreamy effect, which is not something I see very often with wide-angle lenses.
I have a deep appreciation and love for how well SIGMA lenses operate in difficult lighting situations. The SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is no exception. Whether it’s low light, backlight, or overcast lighting where there’s a lack of contrast, the lens is able to quickly focus and shoot. No matter the distance from my subject or whether my subject is moving or not. There is nothing worse than missing an epic moment because my lens failed me, and that’s something I never have to worry about with this lens.
Why Consider the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art?
Overall, this lens is ideal for the parent on the go that needs something compact and lightweight with outstanding performance. It gives you the ability to be fully present with your children at a close distance and capture those beautiful in-between moments and sweet details. This versatile lens is also ideal for the photographer working in tight, limiting spaces. It has the ability to capture environmental portraiture with ease, even in cramped areas. The autofocusing is incredibly fast and tack sharp, making it an excellent lens choice for moving subjects. Last but certainly not least, the smooth focus and aperture rings make its ease of use simple and quick.
Camera gear is an investment, and there is nothing more important than investing in quality lenses that capture my family’s treasured memories. I don’t want something heavy or complex, and the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is anything but that. It truly is the most versatile storytelling prime lens I own.
Beautiful images. I use a 35 1.4 dg hsm. Sigma makes great glass.
Lovely article! I do have one question though. How do you program the AFL button to use for example, switching between Full Frame & APSC mode? I am researching this 35/1.4 since has the same features as my Sigma 85/1.4. I use the Leica SL2.