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The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is a large aperture, medium telephoto lens optimized for use with digital SLR cameras features a focal length of 85mm, ensuring a natural perspective. The large aperture of F1.4 is especially ideal for portrait and low light photography. When used on digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, the lens effectively becomes a 127.5mm F1.4 lens. One Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass element and one glass mold element give excellent correction for all types of aberrations and ensure superior optical performance. This lens is equipped with a rear focus system that minimizes fluctuation of aberration caused by focusing. The Super Multi-Layer Coating reduces flare and ghost, even in backlight photography. Incorporating Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), this lens provides quiet and high-speed auto focus, as well as full-time manual focus capability. It features a minimum focusing distance of 33.5 inches and a maximum magnification 1:8.6. This lens has a round, nine-blade diaphragm, which creates an attractive blur to the out of focus images. This lens is supplied with a petal-type hood to block out extraneous light. For digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, a dedicated hood adapter, which expands the length of the lens hood, is supplied and enables the hood to block out extraneous light more effectively.
Submitted by Mats "Morre" a Expert
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2011
Strengths: Compared to Nikkor 85/1.4D, the Sigma 85/1.4 is much sharper on all areas outside center on F1.4-F5.6. For F>5.6 I have not bothered to test but expect both are equal.
Filterhood is superior to Nikkor 85/1.4D since it can be detached more easily and protects front lens better.
Autofocus speed is faster and AF is totally silent.
Both lenses have correct calibrated autofocus and aperture.
Distortion is good, just as Nikkor.
Weaknesses: Build quality is not in class with Nikkor professional lenses. Compared to Nikkor 85/1.4D, the difference is obvious even for people with no photo interest. I would say that build quaity is basically on par with Nikkor mid-class lenses.
Manual adjustment of focus is very difficult due to only 90 degree turn between end points. I would say that manual adjustment is not really practically possible on F1.4 due to this. This is however not any important feature for me, I always use auto focus.
I bought this lens for indoor use mainly on my Nikon D700.
Before this lens, I had a Nikkor 85/1.4D which I loved to use on my previous camera (Nikon D300). But when changing to full frame camera (D700) the Nikkor 85/1.4D was not often used because I needed to step down to F2.8 to get it sharp and then the zoom Nikkor 24-70/2.8 was a better choise to have on the camera of practical reasons.
I am happy with the Sigma 85/1.4 EX: the pictures are great: colors, sharpness and vignetting is just what I want. To be honest, it is probably optically one of the best lenses I have owned, including professional Canon EF, Nikkor and Zeiss lenses.
But if money was not an issue I would probably purchase the new Nikkor 85/1.4 AF-S instead because of build quality and the image of Nikon.
But since money is a limited source for me, the Sigma is clearly a better choice since optical performance is basically similar as the new Nikkor 85/1.4 (based on what I read on the net).
What I like best with the Sigma is that I can get OK, usable results already at F1.4-F1.6 and really sharp results at F2.0.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $900.00
Purchased At: Thailand 2010
Similar Products Used: Nikkor 50/1.8D
Nikkor 50/1.4 AF-S
Canon EF 100/2
Nikkor 105/2 DC
Canon EF135/2.8 SF
Hasselblad Zeiss Planar 80 f/2,8 T*
Hasselblad Zeiss Sonnar C150 mm f/4 T*
Type of photography: People
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