The New Sigma 35mm f/2 Contemporary: A Better Choice Over Sony or Samyang?

Sigma has just announced its new 35mm f/2 lens for Sony and L-mount lenses. Is it a better choice when compared to similar lenses from Sony and Samyang? This detailed review should help you make a decision.

The Sigma 35mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary is available from mid-January for $639, making it marginally cheaper than the Sony 35mm f/1.8 (currently $698 down from $748), but still significantly more expensive than the Samyang/Rokinon equivalent which is a mere $399.

In this detailed review, Dustin Abbott is clearly impressed by the build quality but it doesn’t prompt the question: why doesn’t the Sigma lens have weather sealing throughout? It has a gasket around the bayonet but no further protection, unlike the plastic-bodied Samyang that has additional gaskets elsewhere in the lens. Given that Sigma will be trading heavily on the refined quality of its lenses, this is a slightly odd omission.

Another question is whether the Sigma lens is cheap enough to nudge potential customers away from Sony. Something closer to $550 would have positioned it nicely in between the Sony and Samyang glass, though notably, Abbott’s conclusion suggests that it might be worth all of the money — especially for those who like the tactility of a dedicated aperture ring.

What are your thoughts? Will you be picking one up in the new year? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 Comments

John Nixon's picture

‘Not every lens without weather proofing succumbs to water ingression if a cloud comes overhead.’
That was the rather condescending reply I received from the Sigma rep when I asked the weather-sealing question on a Facebook launch event the other day. There speaks a man who never ventures far from the office!

Troy Phillips's picture

I shot with several Sigma and sigma art lenses without weather sealing in extreme snow storms and heavy all day rain combined with cold or high heat and humidity. Never once an issue. But both my Tamron and Nikon fully sealed lenses had bad fogging issues. My older Nikon lenses without weather sealing did not have issues when used in the same weather conditions. Because I carried dual Nikon dslrs shooting outdoor action sports and live music festivals with all these lenses used in these exact same conditions on the same days .
I don’t recommend others doing what I do or have done but I do know the experiences I’ve had .
Just saying Sigma seems to know what they are doing maybe?

Andy Day's picture

I borrowed the new 24-70 and spent a day photographing inside a climbing gym. By the end of the day, I had chalk particles behind the front element.

Umit Pala's picture

"It will be $639, making it marginally cheaper than the Sony 35mm f/1.8 (currently $698) " marginally cheaper ? come on: $639 vs $698. I have sony it has very fast and accurate AF, very compact and lightweight as well, sigma should have make compact 35mm f1.4 DN in my opinion

Randolph Knackstedt's picture

$698 for the Sony is their sale price.
$639 regular price vs $748 regular price is a considerable difference.