An Artist at Work: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM | Art

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens performed very well on a Canon 5DS R body. Autofocus was fast and silent. The lens controlled darkening of corners extremely well. We observed some darkening at the widest aperture, but it vanished completely from f/2 onwards. We would consider this excellent control of darkening. The lens did not produce any distortion.

The 85mm lens produced excellent sharpness and f/1.8 to 11 delivered the best results. Even f/16 could be used in a crunch, while f/1.4 was too soft to be of any practical use. Sweet spot was found to be f/4. We were impressed by the corner sharpness of the lens. Surprisingly, we did not observe much sharpness falloff towards the peripheries. We would consider this extremely good. Bokehs were pleasing, rounded and smooth.

Sigma takes pride in the flare and chromatic aberration control. However, the lens disappointed in strong againstthe-  light shots. We observed heavy flare and ghosting at the widest aperture. It decreased when aperture was stopped down, but continued till the very end. Chromatic aberration was confined to the widest couple of apertures. Do note, however, that we test lenses in extreme conditions and you may not push these equipment to such extremes in most practical situations.

Value for Money
The 85mm f/1.4 Art lens in Canon mount retails at an MRP of Rs.1,04,000. This is good value for money for this fast portrait lens. |SP


FINAL SCORE                                                                        84%

Design and Build Quality                                             19/20
Key Features                                                                   18/20
Ergonomics                                                                   16/20
Autofocus                                                                                  4.5/5
Sharpness                                                                                  4.5/5
Distortion control                                                                      4/5
Aberrations                                                                                 2/5
Darkening of corners                                                                4/5
Extra features                                                                              3/5
Sub-Total                                                                       22/30
Value for Money                                                          9/10

• Superior build quality
• Weather-sealed
• Excellent edge-toedge sharpness
• Pleasing bokeh

• Heavy and bulky
• Excessive Flare and ghosting

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is one of the best portrait lenses we have tested in recent times. This is one category of lenses where competition has been intense. If you are looking for a portrait specialist prime, this Sigma should certainly be on your list. Best Buy indeed.

Sujith Gopinath