It may come as little surprise to followers of our reports to learn that the Sigma 35mm f1.4 HSM Art series lens continues to do out-do rivals as the best performing prime lens in our database. Nikon’s current AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G is very close in overall optical quality but the Sigma is far ahead of rival full-frame offerings of the same focal length.
|Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon||899||30||13|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G||2199||29||13|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G||690||28||13|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED VR II||5899||26||14|
|Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon||969||25||11|
|Samyang 85mm f/1.4 Aspherique IF Nikon||328||25||12|
|Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D IF||1230||24||12|
|Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G||195||24||10|
|Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon||1840||24||11|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 25mm f/2 ZF.2 Nikon||1700||24||12|
|Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Nikon||499||24||12|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm F2.8G ED VR||8999||24||13|
|Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Nikon||499||23||11|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/2 ZF2 Nikon||1005||23||11|
|Carl Zeiss Planar T 85mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon||1280||23||12|
|Samyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC Nikon||599||23||9|
|Carl Zeiss Distagon T 35mm f/1.4 ZF2 Nikon||1843||23||11|
|Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G||1797||23||11|
|Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D||329||22||12|
|Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED||2200||22||11|
As far as trends are concerned, the full-frame 85mm models continue to offer the highest image quality, followed by 35mm and 50mm focal lengths. It will be little surprise to learn that these models are relatively simple to design and manufacture with a high-degree of correction for image degrading aberrations.
That said, there are one or two anomalies. The high-grade Zeiss 25mm f2 and the Nikon 200mm f/2G ED VR II and 400mm f2.8G ED VR models stand-out for their high image quality, as optimally corrected models. Image quality like this doesn’t usually come cheap.
We revealed earlier that the 24-MPix sensor is capable of capturing higher levels of sharpness with certain lenses over the earlier 16-MPix sensor in the D5100. But, it’s also worth noting that the somewhat low-ish scores overall imply the sensor isn’t particularly efficient. As pure speculation, could this be one of the reasons why Nikon removed the low-pass filter in the D7100 and the new D5300?