DA: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Review

Dustin Abbott recently released his 35 minute Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Review around launch but I didn’t have time to summarize it until now. Below is a summary of the above video:

  • Sigma’s new 85mm design is significantly smaller than their previous revision
  • A great reasonably priced alternative to Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM
  • Designed from the ground up for E-mount
  • Aperture ring at 1/3 stop detents that can be declicked
  • Unique aperture lock
  • The manual aperture ring can be disabled and controlled in camera
  • AF/MF switch
  • Focus hold button that is programable
  • Features match the G Master at a much smaller size
  • Old design 1213g new design is 626g and the Sony GM is 821g
  • The Samyang 85mm f/1.4 is the only lighter lens at 568g
  • Sigma has superior build to the Samyang
  • 77mm new design vs 86mm old design
  • Side by size the new design is crazy small compared to the old coming in about half as long and half the weight
  • Very unique Sigma compact lens
  • 85mm has 11 aperture blades now
  • Nice lens hood with a rubberized area
  • Can focus down to 85cm with a higher magnification than the original because the original was really an 85mm
  • 15 elements in 11 groups
  • Sigma has gone from the largest lenses to the smallest
  • The old lens was spectacular optically but it shouldn’t have been that large
  • Sigma is using stepping motors for AF and so far it works well
  • Good AF speed
  • Some small glitches on the preproduction firmware
  • A little bit of hunting
  • Very fast and very quite unlike lenses like the Sony 85m GM which has a grading sound
  • Faster and smoother than the 85mm GM
  • More consistent than the old 85mm Art
  • The GM is the easiest to do focus pulls with followed by the new 85mm
  • Sigma is right up there with the Sony options
  • Pincushion distortion and vignetting had to be corrected in software to make the lens this small
  • Sigma’s original lens was very well corrected, but too big
  • Performance of the new and old lens are very close and sometimes you might prefer one or the other
  • Compared to the Sony GM the Sigma looks very similar, but sometimes the Sigma outperforms the GM
  • In the corners, the ART lenses look better but in the center, the GM looks a little better
  • Compared to the 85mm Samyang the Sigma is sharper throughout the frame
  • The Sigma is extremely sharp
  • At f/2 the results get even better and there is additional contrast
  • f/2.8 both Art lenses perform fantastic, but the old art has a slight sharpness advantage at times
  • Compared to the GM lens stopped down the Sigma is a little sharper and the GM is not as bright of a lens as the Sigma so its light transmission isn’t as good
  • At f/5.6 things are fantastic and at f/16 there is diffraction
  • Lots of detail so even good for landscape
  • Colors/contrast/details everything looks great
  • Outside of the software corrected distortion this is a fantastic lens
  • The original 85mm frames lose so it was probably an 84mm
  • At minimum focus distance, the new 85mm is superior to Sigma’s old 85mm
  • Very well controlled chromatic aberration
  • Sony GM lens has some strong green fringing
  • A little bit of cat eye in the corner stopping down the new 85mm
  • Stopped down you can see the high aperture blade count which can get a little distorted, but they are more pleasing and round on the new lens
  • Beautiful Bokeh in the background and foreground
  • You’re not going to notice the distortion without straight lines in the frame and most 85mm vignette
  • Sigma’s new ART lens is a superior lens
  • Keeping the old price point where the old lens was at gives you a big value over Sony’s 85mm GM lens

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Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art: B&H Photo / Adorama


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