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Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for Portraits (UPDATED with examples now published)

Get Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for Canon, Nikon, Sony mirrorless at B&H Photo.

The Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art debuted in July 2018, and is available for Nikon, Canon, Sigma SA, and Sony mirrorless for about $1599. It offers very high lens speed at the 105mm focal length while claiming outstanding performance.

I have the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 in Nikon mount now, I’ll be reviewing it in diglloyd Advanced DSLR; later when the Sony version arrives I might give it a go on Sony.

DSLR vs Eye AF

I speak to this in my examples: how well did I do with the Nikon D850 autofocus?

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

I really missed the Eye AF feature of the Sony A7R II / III; DSLRs are clearly inferior for portraits once one gets accustomed to a near-perfect hit rate of Sony Eye AF. Moreover, DSLR autofocus tends to focus on eyelashes, particularly so for women with mascara—so the iris of the eye goes soft at full aperture. Sony Eye AF does not have that problem, which I deem a superlative advantage of Sony mirrorless.

I like the way that Sigma has designed the lens in terms of performance at wider apertures. It certainly sets a new high-grade standard at 105mm.

Examples

Update: I struggled a bit with color rendition in these examples. It seemed like each one needed its own tweaks; I hand-tuned each one. As it turns out, a few days later I found the cause: the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art itself yields a significantly different white balance and tint at f/1.4 versus the other apertures.

Presented with image sizes up to full camera resolution:

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Examples: Portraits

With extensive commentary on the challenges of shooting portraits.

f1.4 @ 1/2000 sec, ISO 800; 2018-07-04 18:00:53
NIKON D850 + Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

[low-res image for bot]
f2 @ 1/320 sec, ISO 200; 2018-07-04 17:57:37
NIKON D850 + Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

[low-res image for bot]
f2 @ 1/320 sec, ISO 200; 2018-07-04 17:57:31
NIKON D850 + Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

[low-res image for bot]
Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
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