Sigma has a superb selection of wide-angle primes. Michael Topham reviews the latest addition
Sigma 28mm F1.4 DG HSM Art review: Build & Handling
The 28mm F1.4 DG HSM is the third heaviest wide-angle prime in Sigma’s current collection of lenses behind the 14mm F1.8 DG HSM (1170g) and 20mm F1.4 DG HSM Art (950g). Although the size difference between it and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 doesn’t look huge when the two are viewed side-by-side, the difference in weight is discernible.
Most of my time was spent testing the lens with a Canon full-frame DSLR, but out of curiosity I did try handling it with a smaller Canon APS-C DSLR with which it was equivalent to 44.8mm. This combination confirmed what I thought would be the case in that it can make smaller cameras feel a touch nose heavy.
There are no surprises in terms of build quality. You only need glance at it to tell that it shares a common likeness to Sigma’s other primes in the Art range. The section of the barrel adjacent to the camera body is made of metal, with the rest formed of high-quality plastics.
Around the circumference of the metal mount you’ll find a rubber seal that compresses against the mount of the camera to prevent dirt and moisture working its way between. Just beyond the focus distance window that displays its information in feet and meters is a large, rubberised manual focus ring that operates fluidly with sufficient resistance to make precise manual focus adjustments. Just over a quarter turn is all that’s needed to get from infinity to minimum focus.
The AF/MF switch is raised from the barrel and is easy to locate with your thumb when the viewfinder is lifted to your eye. In its forward position it’s set to autofocus and a white background behind the switch acts as a useful reference when you want to glance to see what it’s set to in low-light. The switch offers a reassuring click so you clearly know when you’ve engaged manual focus or autofocus.
Sigma has started to introduce the locking type of hood with their latest lenses. The LH828-01 hood that’s supplied has just that. It’s the bayonet type and secures with a 90-degree twist, but can’t be removed until a small release button is depressed. The hood also has a strip of rubberized texture to make it easier to grip when your hands are wet. This is a good idea in principle, however it is prone to getting marked and does attract dirt and dust.