Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG ART

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Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG ART

7th March 2017, Singapore – Sigma Singapore sent us the latest 85mm F1.4 ART recently and we were thrilled when receiving it. Why? This is the Sigma lens that almost the whole world had been  anticipating since this lens was announced last year. Sigma’s prime lenses had come a long way since the pre-Global Vision time and some of Sigma’s prime lenses had been a strong challenger to propietory brands especially their famous 50mm F1.4. For the previous version of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG, it was already commanding the portrait lens market with its unsurpassed sharpness and asking price, and now, meet the NEW Art Series 85mm F1.4 from Sigma!


Before we proceed with the review, I would like to (again) share that if you ended up here looking for technical in-depth review, then you are certainly in the wrong place. Over here we are only keen how the lens behaved & performed, the image quality etc. If you are cool with this, read on.


Build like a solid weapon, the new 85mm F1.4 ART uses the same TSC (Thermal Stable Compound) for the lens barrel and the same high quality standard are carried out throughout the external design & build of this lens. Focusing ring are precise and creamy smooth and the feel & handling of the 85mm F1.4 ART is addictive to the touch. Designed for portraits & wedding photographers, this lens is much capable of more genres like close-ups or discreet street photography.

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At wide open, the 9 round iris blades apertures ensures a round and consistent bokeh that is pleasing and and gives the out-of-focus area a nice and dreamy background. Inside the lens, Sigma did not compromise in the use of elements and you get a whopping 14 elements in 12 groups for all the corrections that You think of. The result is a stunning lens that produces razor-sharp image and separates the image plane effortlessly so you can concentrate on shooting and composing while the lens ensures you get surprisingly good results!

The lens focuses from F1.4 to F16 which is common for large aperture lenses and the weight (1.1kg) had been kept very manageable for hours of continous use.  Size wise it is pretty much like most of the 85mm in the market (3.73 x 4.97”) which spot a square-ish but large front look! The front accepts 86mm filters if you are after tele-landscape, a ND filter might find its way there. However, as far as I know, most portrait photographers that I personally know do not really use a front mount filter on their 85mm and to add, a 86mm filter is not exactly cheap too.

The lens operation is quiet as this lens works on internal focusing like many of its Art series siblings and it is run by the company’s long proven Hyper-Sonic motor (HSM) that focuses at breakneck speed and proven accuracy! There’s a distance scale meter for those who still look at it anyway. The Sigma 85mm ART starts focusing from as near as 85mm (coincidence?) which are typical of lenses of this focal length. Sound good so far? We decided to pass the new Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG Art to our guest Reviewer Gary Chow, a portrait & street photographer for a weekend. Let’s check out what he did with the new Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG ART.



My Encounter with the New Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG ART
– by Gary Chow
Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens. 

When Editor AL called me out of the blue, I know he have a lens for me to review and I was surprised that he has the NEW Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG ART for me. I’ve long heard about this lens since it was announced and I am very curious about all the raves and waves that this lens is making on the internet. Now I have it for a week and I decide to use it for my work as well as leisure and see if this lens lives up to its expectations.  


Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens.  

On first look, the lens looks every bit the portrait lens that all of us are familiar with and the distinctive profile of a Sigma Art series lens. Not only it feels expensive (although it’s quite cheap), it feels like a super-grade lens from Sigma and it’s even better than some brands that I know. The switches are well-placed and the focusing is very quiet and fast, so good that it is so easy to use. 

20170216-GCP_2429.jpg Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens. 

The colors rendered are very nice and balanced with no visible sway to a particular color band or hue and it works really well with my Nikon FX DSLR. The focusing lands on the subject easily and the accuracy is great. However those of you who are new to portraits may wish to note that most wide-aperture prime lenses have a sweet spot that is usually stopped down to 2 stops. Likewise, this Sigma 85mm ART will be at its prime at F2.0. However, I do like to experiment shooting F1.4, F1.8 & F2.0 with the occasional F2.8. Like some people say, if you buy a F1.4, why not use F1.4? Then again, you must know what you are doing, hahaha.   


Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens.  

I used the lens for a couple of jobs over the week and I find it very manageable to use for long hours without having my hands feeling like that it is dying of fatigue and no dust seems to be able to stick itself on the lens front – must be the super coating from Sigma I guess. And the switch is easily reached when I need to switch from Auto Focus to Manual Focus and I do not even have to take my eyes off my viewfinder, now that is good design if you ask me.  Importantly, my clients saw the images and they were impressed with the image quality and isn’t that what every portrait photographer is going after?   

Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens.    



Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens.

Image: Show with Sigma’s New 85mm F1.4 DG ART lens.

In conclusion, the new Sigma 85m F1.4 DG ART is a great portraits lens that gives ultimate value for its high quality images, color accuracy, fast, accurate & silent focusing, averaged weighted & a reasonable asking price. What more can I ask for? Right? Thanks Editor AL for letting me try and review this new Legend Lens from Sigma. For the rest of you, go get it!

Gary Chow

Professional Photographer.

Image: Gary Chow
Editor’s Note: Thank You Gary for helping out with the review and sharing your images that was shot using the new Sigma 85m F1.4 DG ART! I must say that the images are awesome and bokeh are beautiful & attractive. Hope you enjoy using this lens and continue to support Sigma’s lenses too!

OK Guys, You heard the man.
Buy your Sigma 85mm F1.4 ART & Other Great Sigma lenses here.


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