Sigma UK has announced that the price of the highly anticipated 40mm F1.4 is to be £1099.99 inc VAT. The retail price is significantly higher than either the 35mm or 50mm F1.4 models but the new lens is features a much more complex optical construction than either. It is expected to be a highly attractive option for filmmakers.
A spokesman for the company said the new lens will be available this month (November) in Sigma, Canon and Nikon mounts. When launched at Photokina, the lens was slated for October. No reason for the slight delay has been given. The Sony mount version will be available in January 2019.
The lens can be pre-ordered at the following:
According to Sigma’s own MTF charts, the performance is exceptional. But, I’m unsure as to whether these results are theoretical or from real samples. If you’re not familiar with MTF, the left-hand side represents the center of the lens with the right hand-side stretching out to the corner. The four plotted lines are together a visual representation of overall sharpness.
Large structure contrast shown by the red solid and dotted lines is excellent and higher frequency contrast, or the ability to resolve small scale detail, is outstanding and someway ahead of the already superb performance of the 35mm F1.4 and 50mm F1.4 lenses. Note Sigma measure at 10 and 30 lp/mm, and so can not be directly compared with MTF charts from other makers using different spatial frequencies. For example, Hasselblad and Zeiss measure even higher frequency contrast than Sigma, at 40 lp/mm.
High contrast across all spatial frequencies is desired however a drop to the corners in higher frequencies is still usually acceptable so long as the lower frequency contrast remains high. Sigma don’t say which aperture the two graphs are measured at, which is a surprise, but usually one is at the initial aperture and the second is at the optimum, usually f5.6.