I've got a bit of a thing for the 35mm focal length.
Let's start with some background - for me, 35mm is the perfect focal length. It's my 'desert island' lens. I use a 35mm f1.4 (Cosina) Voigtlander for my Leica M6. For digital street/personal work I use a Fuji X100, which is equivalent to a 35mm. I have previously owned the Nikon 35/2 D type which was fantastic, and when I shot on the original Canon 5D I used their 35/2. You can use a 35 for pretty much anything.
When Sigma announced this lens late last year, I was doubtful that it would even start to approach the level of the existing Canon and Nikon offerings. Before anyone saw any photographs taken with it, images of the lens itself started popping up on blogs everywhere.
It looks really nice, a departure from Sigma's chunky and sometimes 'plasticy' offerings so far. It's the first in a new line they are calling the "Art" range, complete with a little 'A' logo on the side and a totally new design. It almost feels like something from Zeiss. The construction is solid metal, and comes supplied with a really nice hood and pinch style lens cap. One notable omission is weather sealing on the lens mount, and whilst I have found no issues so far, this lens should have it.
I'm not really going to say much more about this lens. It handles well, with really nice dampening on the focus ring, if that's your thing. It balances well on anything I've used it on, which is most Nnikon pro bodies. The AF is great, I've been told it's not as fast as the Nikon 35/1.4 (and that's not super fast) but in a working environment it's fine. I've shot weddings and family portraits with kids running around and even at 1.4 I can get sharp frames. There are many folks online who review this stuff and complain about every little thing they don't like, but I make photos with my gear. So here are some photos. You can click on these to view in a lightbox. All processed with VSCO Film.
Just buy the damn lens. It's bloody fantastic.