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Home » Camera Lens Reviews » Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Review

Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Review

Sigma has recently started making lenses that were previously only available for Canon and Nikon cameras, and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens is its most popular one.

The important question is: Is it worth the price tag? Is this portrait lens actually better than other competing ones? Let’s find out!

About This Lens

This lens is one of the best portrait lenses available, but it’s also just superb for other types of photography.

Let’s start with some background information – this lens has been out for a while, but Sigma keeps pushing out new updates to improve things. The version I reviewed was their third major release.

This lens has an aperture of F1.4, which is incredibly fast for a prime lens. If you’re looking to shoot in low light or capture that ideal bokeh then this will be perfect.

Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Camera Lens Specs

Indicative Price: $1200Zoom Type: /
Release Date: 09/16/2016Mount Type: Nikon F FX
Focal Range: 85mmTripod Mount: No
Aperture: F/ 1.4Colors Available: Black
Filter Diameter (millimeters): 86Full-Time Manual Focus: Yes
Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 94.7Number Of Lenses: 14
AF Motor: HSMLength (millimeters): 126.2
Stabilization: NoWeight (grams): /

Aperture Settings

This lens has an aperture of F1.4, which is incredibly fast for a prime lens. If you’re looking to shoot in low light or capture that ideal bokeh then this will be perfect.

The aperture controls the size of the hole inside the lens that lets light into your camera. The bigger it is, the more light will hit your camera’s sensor. This is essential in low light situations like concerts or when taking photos at night, but it has other uses too.

For example, you can use the shallow depth of field to focus on a subject and blur out the background. This makes for some stunning portraits!

Build Quality

This is a prime lens that feels sturdy and well made. It comes with a metal lens hood and petal shaped sun shade which are both very tough. It has some weather sealing on the focus ring, but the construction isn’t as strong as dedicated professional lenses.

Nikon vs Canon Compatibility

This will work wonderfully with Nikon cameras. For Canon, you may need to adjust the aperture in your camera to make it work properly.

Handling and Autofocus

It weighs 725g, but this lens is surprisingly easy to carry around due to its great balance and nice wide grip. My only complaint is that the focus ring doesn’t rotate very smoothly – I’ve been seeing a few reviews where people complain about the autofocus being slow or inaccurate, but I didn’t have that problem at all. It’s fast and accurate enough to capture action shots in good light, but don’t expect it to beat a Canon USM lens without spending around 5x more.

Image Quality

This is a great lens for capturing images in low light. It has very little distortion and you can even shoot wide open in the dark!

It’s also sharp enough to get good results on medium format cameras, but it may not be razor sharp at F1.4 like other lenses.

Features That Stand Out

This lens has a beautiful bokeh and great color rendition. It’s also got a very wide angle – the equivalent to 85mm when used on full frame cameras.

Who Is This Lens For?

This is a good all-rounder for Nikon shooters who want a fast portrait lens. It can handle most shooting conditions, except for low light.

Is This the Only Lens You Need?

If you already own a telephoto and wide angle lens then you probably don’t need this one. If you’re starting out with just one prime lens, I would suggest getting a fast wide angle.

Pros

-Beautiful bokeh

-Fast focus

-Very little distortion

Cons

– Aperture ring doesn’t rotate that smoothly (some seem to return the lens because of this) – see other reviews for more information.

– The hood is very expensive (~$100 USD). If you break it, you’ll probably need to replace the whole lens.

– It can be kind of soft at F1.4 depending on your distance from your subject. This is only really noticeable when viewed at 100%, so most people will be happy with it if they don’t pixel peep too much.

Final Verdict

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon lens. This is one of my favorite lenses because I love bokeh and it gives me just that with this sharpness added into the mix.