Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM

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Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM

Postby James » Sat 14 May 2011 21:36

Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM lens mini review

OK, I'm not really sure that this is a lens review for everyone but still, here we go!

Firstly why would you even look at this lens? The Nikon f1.4D version is a classic and the G version is at least as good in every way and in most ways it is better, if you're on Canon you have the legendary f1.2 and if you're on Sony you can get and autofocus Zeiss planar. In absolute image quality terms you can probably make a case for all of them beating the Sigma, so why would you go off brand?

Initially there were 2 reasons... Cost (not as big a jump as you would hope for!) and availability, I looked for either copy of the Nikon lens and everywhere I tried was sold out - they were going for well above list on ebay, I understand the reasons behind this and I am often thinking of the people of Japan recently.

So I said initially - when it came down to it and I thought some more I was thinking about why I wanted this type of lens and to me it came down to low light shooting and portrait photography with a shallow depth of field and captured during a moment (my type of style I think) so I realised that the most important thing to me was quick autofocus and this is where the Sigma wins vs all of the others.

The only issue that I have is that the HSM is so silent that I didn't realise when I was inside the minimum focus distance at first, I just could not see the picture popping into focus in the viewfinder but as soon as I moved out it snapped into focus right away.

I had heard (and seen examples) of the bokeh being pretty harsh but I've not found that at all yet (but I like the background so OOF a lot of the time that the quality of bokeh almost becomes irrelevant.

I've really enjoyed it so far - I haven't posted many images anywhere from it yet as I've only had it for a few days and I've been very busy on other projects but already it's my favourite lens for B&W and for taking pictures of Lucy. (She's going to be the most photographed baby ever!)

Anyway, I thoroughly recommend it, coupled with the Nikon D700 you can pretty much shoot anything that you can see, if you want specific test or samples or want to ask any questions then please feel free to get in touch!
James
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Re: Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM

Postby James » Mon 16 May 2011 21:41

OK - I've got some example photos now first some 100% crops:
Image

Image

Image

And a whole image so that you can get more of a feel for the overall impression
Image
James
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Re: Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM

Postby Guy Van Hooveld » Sun 8 Jan 2012 18:01

The Sigma 85mm 1.4 is an excellent lens for portraiture on full frame.

My mini-review is available here:
http://www.techniphoto.com/wiki/index.php?title=85mm_1.4_EX_HSM_Sigma
Guy Van Hooveld
Nikon equipment, semi-pro photographer My website http://www.techniphoto.com My wiki http://www.techniphoto.com/wiki
Guy Van Hooveld
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Re: Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM

Postby pam.meier » Tue 10 Apr 2012 20:57

I still have no 85 1.4, even though I love my Sigma 50 1.4. Nowadays, I would lean towards the Nikkor 85 1.8, though. Best bang for the buck I estimate.
Anyone who owns both?
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Re: Sigma 85mm f1.4 HSM

Postby James » Tue 10 Apr 2012 21:28

I would go with the Zeiss on Sony if you still have your A900, that's a phenominal lens, so sharp and subtle at the same time, the images are very special. I've not tried the Nikon f1.8 though
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