Review Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art
The Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a sublime portrait lens. The sharpness is exceptional, and the bokeh is fantastic. And that's not only at full aperture, but also after stopping down one or two stops. In comparison with the few lenses that are qualitatively somewhat close to this Art lens, it's also relatively cheap. If you're looking for the ultimate lens for portraits, then this Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 Art certainly deserves your attention.
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art: available in lens mount for Canon, Nikon and Sigma, reviewed by us on Sony A7R III with a Sigma MC 11 adapter.
PORTRAIT GIANT: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
The Art series from Sigma stands for high quality and high brightness. The Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is fully in line with this. It's an impressive lens in all respects. You feel that immediately as soon as you have it in your hand. It's namely quite big and heavy. This isn't a handy little travel lens. There's no way around that if you want to make a lens that should also be almost perfect on modern cameras with more than 40 megapixels. Then you need a lot of glass. And this 85mm is full of that. Its predecessor, the Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, put up a very high score in 2013 in our lens review. That Sigma 85 mm lens is still high in the list of lens reviews, even though its longitudinal chromatic aberration, AF speed and AF accuracy are not as good as on modern lenses. The Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 Art does it even better on almost all fronts. The finish is also of a very high level. The days when you would consider a manufacturer like Sigma primarily when you didn't have enough money for a lens from your own camera brand are long gone. Budget can still be a good reason, because this Sigma is a lot cheaper than alternatives from the established camera brands. But that isn't necessarily the main reason to purchase the Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 HSM DG Art. Even if you prioritize quality over everything else, if you're looking for a lens for the best portrait photos, then this Sigma ought to be at the top of the list.
DThe Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is an impressive tool for portraits with a beautiful bokeh. It's hefty and weighs a full 1130 grams. That's largely in the glass. The Sigma 85 mm f/1.4 is made up of 14 elements in 12 groups. Two elements are of a special type of glass and one element is aspherically ground. The front lens is big, and that means a filter size of 86mm. The lens comes with a sturdy, flower-shaped lens hood that is fortunately made of plastic. That limits the weight. The wide, front part of the lens consists almost entirely of the focus ring. Sigma couldn't have made that much bigger. Behind it is a window where you can read the set distance and get an indication of the depth of field. The lens narrows at the end, towards the mount. At the end, we only find one switch, for the AF/MF function. So you can switch between autofocus and manual focus. The autofocus can also be manually adjusted at any time. The lens has no image stabilization, although you will of course get it if you use it with the Sigma MC-11 on a Sony A7 or A9 with built-in stabilization. The only downside that we possibly could come up with is that this lens is not extra weather resistant and has no gasket at the back. That's not a problem for portrait photography, but perhaps for documentary work.