Tonight was my first time using the new Sigma 35mm f/1.2 L mount lens. My first impressions of this lens is that the build quality is not on par with the Panasonic branded lenses. All of the L mount Panasonic lenses feel more solid and sturdy than the Sigma 35mm. The Panasonic lenses feel like they are built with better quality materials, and look quite professional. This Sigma lens while big and heavy with an aperture ring, doesn’t feel as solidly built. Little things like the aperture ring, the smooth barrel, the lens cap, and lens hood don’t feel as premium build as the Panasonic 50mm f/1.4 lens (the new gold standard for the system). The autofocus motor doesn’t sound quite as good either, but it’s very effective and I had no issues with it. I wish it were faster, but then again, this is an f/1.2 lens.
Now that’s not to say that the Sigma isn’t a good lens. I’m still learning how to use it to it’s fullest, and it’s still too soon to have any real opinion about the lens, these were just my initial thoughts – they might prove to be wrong. Regardless of all that, the autofocus is accurate, and the lens seems plenty sharp, and even at f/1.2 the results are quite decent. Stopping the aperture down a tad really shows the sharpness of the lens. I do wish that Panasonic had released their own 35mm f/1.4 lens though along the same feel and quality as their 50mm. For now, this is the only affordable 35mm option for this system unless you want to invest in the Leica 35mm Summicron lens for over $4,000.