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.
Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A Nikon Camera Lens Specs
|Indicative Price: $1200||Zoom Type: /|
|Release Date: 09/16/2016||Mount Type: Nikon F FX|
|Focal Range: 85mm||Tripod Mount: No|
|Aperture: F/ 1.4||Colors Available: Black|
|Filter Diameter (millimeters): 86||Full-Time Manual Focus: Yes|
|Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 94.7||Number Of Lenses: 14|
|AF Motor: HSM||Length (millimeters): 126.2|
|Stabilization: No||Weight (grams): /|
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!
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
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.
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.
-Very little distortion
– 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.
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.