See my reviews of Sigma DG HSM Art lenses at 20mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm.
Update: see the MTF discussion.
Looks like another fine 'Art' lens from Sigma. I’ll be testing it and adding it to my Sigma Art lens reviews just as soon as it ships. At about $1199, it offers performance that looks to be superior to the Canon and Nikon competition, at a considerably lower price.
- Stellar optical performance
- Updated AF system with 3X the Torque
- Designed and tested for high mega-pixel cameras
- Full frame coverage for Nikon F, Canon EF, Sigma SA mount
- Aperture Range: f/1.4 to 16
- Two Low Dispersion Elements
- Super Multi-Layer Coating
- Hyper Sonic AF Motor, Manual Override
- Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
- TSC Material, Brass Bayonet Mount
- Compatible with Sigma USB Dock
With 14 elements in 12 groups including two elements claimed equivalent to fluorite, the Sigma 85/1.4A is a very highly corrected lens offering unbeatable distortion and outstanding performance. Its 86mm filter size further reinforces the idea that its performance can be expected to be outstanding: bigger tends to mean more measures were taken to to optimize the lens, just as the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar does.
Fit and finish are attractive, just like all its siblings, and more attractive than Nikon and Canon offerings, to my eye.
Selected comments from Sigma
It’s unclear what “rigorous testing” means, but it presumably refers to quality control, and possibly helps explain the relatively high price compared to its siblings.
The Sigma 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art is a latest addition to the world renowned Sigma Global Vision Line. Designed and engineered for unparalleled image quality, the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art employs a completely new optical design and premium components.
Two FLD (performance equal to fluorite) glass elements and 1 element boasting a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and high refraction achieve a class leading level of performance.
The highly anticipated 85mm 1.4 Art is an ideal lens for a variety of photographic subjects, particularly portrait photography, both in-studio and on-location. The newly updated Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) allows for 1.3X the torque of previous generations for fast and efficient autofocus.
Through rigorous testing, the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art ushers in a new era of quality and performance for this popular fast prime focal length.
A 9 blade rounded diaphragm creates beautiful background bokeh to isolate and accentuate the subject. Full Time manual focus can be engaged by rotating the focusing ring, even when shooting continuous autofocus and a state-of-the-art electronic diaphragm is included for lenses in the Nikon mount..
A Super Multi-Layer Coating has been applied to lens elements in order to minimize lens flare and ghosting and contribute to producing contrast-rich and color-neutral imagery, even in backlit conditions.
The integrated HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) realizes quick and quiet autofocusing, which is further complemented by an optimized AF algorithm to produce smoother focusing performance. The HSM also permits full-time manual focus control simply by rotating the focus ring at any time.
Specialized electromagnetic aperture mechanism provides greater exposure control stability that is especially beneficial when working with fast continuous shooting rates.
Constructed using a Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material, along with traditional metals, for greater precision and use in wide temperature variations. The bayonet mount is constructed from brass for ensured accuracy and durability. Compatible with the optional Sigma USB Dock for fine-tuning different lens characteristics and updating its firmware.
Tested for Optimum Performance
Sigma lenses are born of well thought-out design concepts, exceptional Japanese craftsmanship and manufacturing, and advanced lens performance testing and evaluation. To this end, Sigma has developed its own A1 proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Even the most elusive high-frequency details are within the scope of Sigma’s quality control inspections. Every Global Vision lens is A1 tested, analyzed and approved before leaving the factory, ensuring maximum performance out of the box. For more information on Sigma’s industry leading testing, please visit https://blog.sigmaphoto.com/2012/a1-mtf-testing-for-new-sigma-lenses/
Nominal except as noted.
|Focal length:||85mm (nominal)|
|Aperture scale:||f/1.4 - f/16|
|Diaphragm blades:||9 blades, rounded|
|Number of elements/groups:||14 elements in 12 groups|
|Focusing range:||85 cm / 33.5 in|
|Image ratio at close range:||1:8.5|
|Weight, nominal:||not specified|
|Weight, as weighed||TBD|
|Dimensions:||94.7 x 126.2 mm / 3.7i x 5.0 in|
|List price:||about $1199|
|Includes||LH927-02 Lens Hood
Limited 1-Year Warranty