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Sigma 40mm ....

christilou

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Having sold my Batis 40mm I'm now hankering after another 40mm lens. I have the 35mm 1.4 ZA and the 55 1.8 ZA. I found that the 40mm just hit the spot for general around the home stuff. I really like the bokeh from the 85 1.4 GM and so I'm wanting to replicate something like that. This brings me to the Sigma 40mm DG HSM. I've been eyeing it for a while and it's been emphasised over and over that the weight is massive! That apart, it is classed as a cine style lens and I'm wondering if anyone knows what that means?
 

JonathanF2

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Having sold my Batis 40mm I'm now hankering after another 40mm lens. I have the 35mm 1.4 ZA and the 55 1.8 ZA. I found that the 40mm just hit the spot for general around the home stuff. I really like the bokeh from the 85 1.4 GM and so I'm wanting to replicate something like that. This brings me to the Sigma 40mm DG HSM. I've been eyeing it for a while and it's been emphasised over and over that the weight is massive! That apart, it is classed as a cine style lens and I'm wondering if anyone knows what that means?

I believe the lens was first designed for Sigma's cine line of manual lenses, prior to making their AF version. I also like the 40mm focal length, but the Sigma 40mm 1.4 Art is massive. If I'm going that big, I'd rather get the Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art DG lens which is designed for mirrorless. Smaller options are the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 MF lens or if you can go a bit longer the Samyang 45mm 1.8 FE is tiny and sharp with very swirly OOF rendering.
 

christilou

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I really need af for Lucy pics. I already have a manual Voigtlander 35 1.2 so don't really want to get any more 35's! Voigtlander 40mm 1.2 also looks like a really lovely lens and to be honest I was looking at that and the Sigma 40mm. Although manual focus is pretty easy on the A9/7RIII I just wonder if I would miss lots of shots without af.
 

SpecFoto

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Although manual focus is pretty easy on the A9/7RIII I just wonder if I would miss lots of shots without af.

I bought the Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 Nokton last year and used it for a few outdoor portrait model shoots. I liked it a lot but my hit ratio with MF and my A7III was in the 40-50% range. Not having the excellent Eye AF that I had with my Batis 85 and 135mm lenses with 98% focus accuracy and then switching over to MF was difficult, and I returned it within a month. Then I bought the Batis 40mm f/2 and liked it too, but the rendering was not as good as the Voigtlander, which is special, and I missed the fun of shooting at f1.2 at times. So it got sold, and last week I rebought the 40mm f/1.2 Nokton.

This time I am not going to try to use the 40mm f/1.2 Nokton to compete with the Batis lenses or the 55 f/1.8 in a portrait session, that was my mistake. Instead it will be my walk around and have fun lens, that does more casual portraits, and I will take the time to get the focus right. I am pairing it with the Voigtlander 21mm f3.5 for a general 2 lens MF kit and have now set up my new A7RIII to work with MF lenses via custom settings stored in the C3 dial, something I did not do previously. Having the better viewfinder in the A7RIII, plus focus peaking set to low and mapping the focus magnification to a button, makes MF much easier and I should be able to significantly improve my hit ratio.
 
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bdbits

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A cine lens generally has very consistent performance. No focus or aperture breathing, everything stays very constant as you change the parameters at which the lens is operating. This is important in video, hence the cine lens nomenclature. It is also non-trivial to make and design such a lens, so they tend to be rather expensive relative to non-cine equivalents.

I have had the Voigtlander 40/1.2 for quite a while now and it is easily my most-used lens. I often have it mounted when I grab the camera on my way out not knowing if/when I will capture something. Tons of character when you want it, yet stop it down to f4 or more and turn the focus ring to the infinity hard stop for really nice point-and-shoot-like landscapes. Still, I am admittedly a MF diehard and not a people photographer very often and understand the MF may not work well for that. If you do go MF, I highly recommend focus magnification. Either assign it to a button (what I usually use), or turn on DMF and the magnification will kick in automatically when you turn the focus ring. This makes quickly focussing pretty easy, and is much better than focus peaking in my opinion. I mostly use magnification over peaking.

If you are not stuck on 40mm, the Sigma 45mm is supposed to be pretty good, though it sometimes has issues with AF-C (AF-S is fine I guess). The Sigma 35/1.2 Art is also reputedly pretty good. And of course the Sony 35/1.8 and the 35/2.8. I had the 35/2.8 at one point - very small, very sharp, but some people find it too clinical or some other nebulous term. I know, too many choices, and I am not helping much.

What did you not like about the Batis 40mm? That might bring some additional ideas out.
 

Richard Crowe

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Although MF with the Sony line of mirrorless cameras is easier than with a DSLR (due to focus peaking and magnification) I originally purchased my Sony mirrorless gear because of the excellent AF (especially Eye-AF and Animal Eye-AF) these cameras offer. And, although, I have several MF vintage lenses that I use on my Sony cameras, I far prefer an AF equipped lens for my general shooting... Even with relatively steady subjects like formal portraits, the Eye-AF nails it every time while the MF lenses are not as quick and easy to use. Few things gripe me as much as shooting a portrait with a great expression only to have the eyes slightly OOF.
 

JonathanF2

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Your other bet is to get the Voigtlander 40mm f/1.2 in M-mount and mount it to a Techart Pro or Fotodiox Pro E to M-mount auto focus adapter. You'll loose EXIF info and might not have optimal corners, but you'll have AF with a compact/fast 40mm!
 

christilou

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Looking at the Voigtlander 40mm. Does anyone have any experience of using it with the Techart adapter. I had one for the Voigtlander 35 1.2 but it didn't work very well. This may be because that lens is over the weight that they recommend.
 

somnambulist_squirrel

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No experience with the Techart, but if the Voigtlander turns out to be too heavy, I wonder if the Minolta Rokkor 45/2 might be an option there, as it's so small and light? Also, that would be a cost-effective option, as a good copy of that lens and an MD-LM adapter to fit it to the Techart will run you less than £100...
 

somnambulist_squirrel

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I shot this event with that Minolta 45 entirely, and I think it gives a good indication of what to expect from it (yes, those images were adjusted in Lightroom for color balance and exposure, shadows and highlights, but you can see the quality and nature of the bokeh, get a sense for its sharpness, etc.).

See also my recent posts of some fall foliage landscapes in the Fun with Adapted Lenses thread with this lens (tl/dr - it's decently sharp).

Here are a few examples I just took at MFD, wide open at f2 (raw files brought into Lightroom, but wiped out all of my standard import adjustments by using the "Reset" button, so just the processed raw files without my editorializing):
DH003315.jpg

DH003317.jpg

DH003320.jpg
 
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bdbits

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I did have a Techart autofocus adapter for a while. It was a little quirky, but once you got things set up it worked pretty well. If you were way out of focus, say at 2 meters and trying to AF to infinity, it would sometimes hunt rather badly. This was easily resolved by manually getting it somewhat nearer to the correct range, then AF kicked in again and it was fine. Some have reported developing a wobble in the mount after extended use, but I never had that problem. I suspect they were using it with heavier lenses, which I never did myself. Also note that you will need to be aware/careful about things like IBIS. Native glass sends focal length to the camera but you have to set it yourself when using the Techart. Also the EXIF will be missing some things, though you can set the adapter to send the focal length for the purposes of EXIF. This is covered in the rather small instruction sheet that accompanies the adapter.

There is a really long thread on this over in the Sony forum on FM. Actually there were a couple of them as I recall. Should be fairly easy to find if you want more detail.

So it worked pretty nicely for me. I sold it when I switched to mostly manual focus FE Voigtlanders because I wanted the 'native' lens advantages like auto IBIS, EXIF and DMF. If I had stuck with more legacy glass I would likely still have it. Fotodiox makes a knockoff that is quite a bit cheaper, but I do not support getting that. It is such a copy that the Techart firmware can even update it. That amounts to intellectual property theft in my book.

I did not have the M version of the 40/1.2 but I have the emount now - it is my favorite lens and has a lot of character to it.

The Minolta 45/2 is an underrated lens. But I might be biased - it was my first lens on a Minolta XG-M film camera a looong time ago. I still have both, actually.

Hope that is some help.
 

serhan

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I don't know if you picked up a lens, but wanted to post regarding Techart... I stopped using Techart adapter when I was reviewing a M lens and that was with A7R II. AF might be fine more distant shots with A7R II, but the close shots the adapter goes back and forth a lot so it might be faster to mf... The SA in shorter shots with M lenses might be the reason... Usually lighter lenses af faster... Heavier lenses might cause the wobble... I switched to Voigtlander macro adapters also.

With the newer cameras, techart might need firmware update ... I have not followed it lately much as the firmware update is also not an easy one...
 

christilou

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I don't know if you picked up a lens, but wanted to post regarding Techart... I stopped using Techart adapter when I was reviewing a M lens and that was with A7R II. AF might be fine more distant shots with A7R II, but the close shots the adapter goes back and forth a lot so it might be faster to mf... The SA in shorter shots with M lenses might be the reason... Usually lighter lenses af faster... Heavier lenses might cause the wobble... I switched to Voigtlander macro adapters also.

With the newer cameras, techart might need firmware update ... I have not followed it lately much as the firmware update is also not an easy one...

I had the Techart a year or two ago. I used the Voigtlander 35mm 1.2 II which is very heavy and it was very hit and miss, and as you say, it was quicker to manual focus I returned it!
 

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