REVIEW SIGMA 85MM F1.4 DG DN ART

Sigma 85mm tractor

Sigma has developed a completely new 85mm for system cameras with Sony E and Leica/Panasonic/Sigma L mount. This lens is noticeably more compact and lighter than the DG HSM version for SLR cameras. Optically, both portrait lenses are well matched. Here we test the new Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art.

Click on the lens for specifications, prices and test results.

TEST RESULTS Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art:

PROS

CONS

  • optical quality
  • mechanical build
  • pincushion distortion

The 85mm full-frame telephoto is also a useful and nice focal point when photographing reports, details and objects.

The lens is 96 mm long, and it weighs only 625 grams (E version). Bright 85mm lenses are popular as a portrait lens. At the shortest setting distance of 85 mm, you can photograph a head full-frame. The 85mm is very bright; when using the largest aperture(s), an extremely shallow depth of field is guaranteed; you basically focus on the nearest eye. Except for a few places, the face is already blurred, and that certainly applies to the background. The nature of the bokeh should be soft and smooth, without technical flaws such as chromatic aberration; the ugly distracting color hems on the border of light and dark areas. I can already reveal here that Sigma has succeeded in this excellently with this Art lens. The 85mm full-frame telephoto is also a useful and nice focal point when photographing reports, details and objects.

Backlight, without any flare. F2.8 and ISO 100.

 

productfoto Sigma 85mm

BUILD 

The 85mm DG DN is solidly constructed from aluminum and a composite (TSC). The mount is made of brass, the construction is dust- and splash-proof. The locked, 6 cm deep plastic lens hood with a diameter of 10 cm is also high quality with a rubber grip and flare-repellant ribs. Switches for autofocus or manual focus and an AFL function button are placed on the housing. The latter has assignable functions but will probably mainly be used for the standard function: locking the autofocus. A CLICK slider leaves the click stops in the aperture ring intact or turns it off for a quiet and stepless aperture setting for video. The aperture ring has a lockable A position and eight third-stepped aperture positions from F1.4 to F16. The optical design consists of 15 elements in 11 groups, five of which are SLD glass lenses and one an aspherically ground lens. The electrically controlled diaphragm has eleven blades.

The color and contrast rendering is realistic. Aperture F4.5.

FOCUS

The autofocus is controlled by a stepper motor optimized for contrast and phase detection AF. Operation on the Sony A7 II test camera is fast and accurate. Face recognition is supported. With manual focus, the focus peaking makes the focus area clear for checking.

Centrum-testkaartje uit de Center test card from the Focus test wall. Aperture F2.0, this rendering is absolutely perfect (jpeg from RAW file)

IMAGE QUALITY

Thanks to the new Nano Porous Coating, stray light is suppressed. A moisture- and dirt-resistant coating keeps the front lens clean. The resolution is high, on the same level as with the DG HSM version. Jpegs are corrected in the camera and errors in the RAW files are passed by the lens in Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, or Capture One. There is no chromatic aberration, but unfortunately there is a strong pincushion distortion in ACR 12.3. It almost disappeared after the conversion in Capture One 13.1.1. Undoubtedly, this is a software mismatch that will soon be adjusted. The resolution is already high from the full aperture in the image center; the corners lag only slightly behind. Aperture F2.8 is already top and only at F11 do the high values decrease again. The vignetting, which rarely disturbs portraits, is also low.

 Cloudy day, aperture F2.0 at ISO 100 and 1/1,000s by hand. The background blur is nice.

The same lighting conditions and settings. Thanks to Nathalie Schaafsma.

specificationsSigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art
field of view 28,6 degrees
sensor formatfull-frame
shortest setting distance 85 cm
filter diameter77 mm
diaphragm blades 11
image stabilizerno
length94 mm (L) 96 mm (E)
weight 625gr (L), 630gr 
mount Leica L , Sony E
particulars AFL-button, IRIS ring lock switch
importerSigmabenelux.com
list price € 1,299.00
  
quality  
resolution (10)9
contrast (10)9
chromatic aberration (5)5
distortion (5)4
vignetting (5)5
autofocus (5)5
flare (5)5
finish (10)9
total (55)51
final score 9,3
 A large wooden gear shaft turns in the grain mill. Shot by hand, aperture F1.4 with 1/13s and ISO 100. This quality is high.

ConclusiON: REVIEW Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art oN A Sony A7 II  

Not too big or too heavy, it works fast and pleasantly.

This is an incredibly nice lens. Not too big or too heavy, it works fast and pleasantly and with beautiful image quality. The list price of € 1,299 is favorable.