Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Lens Review - shafimon Choolookkaran

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART

Last week I got a chance to walk around Souq Mubarakiya, Kuwait. I also happen to have my camera in my hands, and by the look of the people around me gave, I was very sure they were surprised / shocked by what they had seen in my hands.

“Yes my dear friends, it my Canon 5Dmk3 mounted with the all new Sigma 85mm 1.4 art lens (the beautiful beast)”

As soon as I got my hands on this beast from AAB world, I decided I had to shoot something different from my normal landscape genre. This is how I ended up in the Souq Believe me, I got lucky as the location happen to be very colourful…

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 art - 85mm focal length was always and is known as an ultimate portrait lens with indescribable compression.

The moment Sigma announced the lens, i was eagerly waiting for its arrival at AABworld, Kuwait. And as expected I happen to the get the first one for my review. Compared to other brand lenses, sigma 85mm f/1.4 art is a beast. When I say beast, I mean it. It is a bit longer than the normal 85 mm lens and also wider than any other primes, standing out at 86mm diameter and quite heavier than normal. Also the focus ring is wider which give you a good grip, over all the build is awesome.

More technical details on the elements can be found on the Sigma site.

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

The evening I got it out of the shop, I happen to be informed of a circus happening in town. So circus it is. I happen to reach a bit late, and the show had already started. To my luck my FQ8 partner in crime helped in getting really close to the performing artists. This was where I really tested my low light action shots.

The results; Centers are perfectly sharp and the corners are much more than acceptable sharpness. I don’t think there is anything more I can ask for from an 85mm lens. This lens is a piece of art

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

The optical quality holds true to the “art” designation, and it feels like it can bear years of heavy use and still stay intact. If you are somebody who ends up shooting weddings, portraits, longer range street photography, and possibly indoor sports, do yourself a favor and get one of these beasts…. You will love it..

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/500, ISO640, +0.3EV

The next evening i was looking for models to shoot some portraits, unfortunately all my known contacts were busy as it was New Year ’s Eve...

Thinking out loud, I really did not need any super model, I could settle with the two home grown beautiful model who are mostly with me all the time. So I just picked them up and left for the Souq.. The Souq in the evenings, the interior areas are really low light, which could help testing the focus speed in low light.

As expected, the lens was just waiting on me to click, to get a focus lock. The focusing happened to be very fast compared to any of the lenses I have ever used till date.

F1.4, 1/80, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/80, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/15, ISO1000, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/15, ISO1000, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/60, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/60, ISO320, +0.3EV

Now that I have been using this lens for the past few days, the question I get frequently asked “how is the AF performance?” my response has been standard “Superb”. Nobody can refute the value and image quality that sigma is offering in their new art and sports series lenses. Compression takes on a whole new meaning when photographing with an 85mm focal length, sending the background into a hazy blur with incredibly beautiful focus fall off. The sigma 85mm art does not disappoint when it comes to compression qualities making it the perfect portrait lens for any professional.

The next day morning, I and my FQ8 mates set out into the desert, as we were leaving the city limits it was getting difficult to drive as the fog was getting denser to the extent of zero visibility. We pulled over as we could not drive anyways and got of the car. Pulled out the camera and ran some test with the lens.

Picture is worth a thousand words...    See for yourself the results

F1.4, 1/50, ISO100, +0.0EV

F1.4, 1/50, ISO100, +0.0EV

F1.4, 1/100, ISO100, +0.0EV

F1.4, 1/100, ISO100, +0.0EV

The sigma 85mm art is up against several lenses in its same class, considered alternatives. Although canon doesn’t have an identical f/1.4 equivalent, there are still options that it can be weighed against. This is definitely a great addition to a portrait photographer’s arsenal, giving you the resilience and accuracy needed for consistently dynamic imagery.

Few more shots during the test...

F1.4, 1/50, ISO400, 0.0EV

F1.4, 1/50, ISO400, 0.0EV

F3.5, 1/160, ISO50, -0.3EV

F3.5, 1/160, ISO50, -0.3EV

F1.4, 1/8000, ISO250, +0.0EV

F1.4, 1/8000, ISO250, +0.0EV

F1.4, 1/80, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/80, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/640, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/640, ISO320, +0.3EV

F1.4, 1/1250, ISO200, +0.0EV

F1.4, 1/1250, ISO200, +0.0EV

Lens in first look From left to right: Canon 85mm f/1.2L ii. , Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART, and Nikon 85mm f/1.4

The best thing, i saved a lot of post processing time using these ART series. 95% of the images above in this blog, are directly from the camera. Color correction have been done on couple of them.

Very impressed with the lens, be it on street, at events, candid or portraits. I will be buying one for myself very soon..

Follow me on instagram: @shamon_magichands

Thanks a lot to AAB World & SIGMA, for lending the lens.

Thanks my FotografiaQ8 team for the excellent continuous support provided...


Another time..... Another Gear....

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