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Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
42 99536 Jan 15, 2022
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $885.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.12
9.34
9.0
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Specifications:
Designed for use with full frame digital cameras. May also be used with smaller APS-c size sensors with a corresponding effective increase in focal length to about 127.5mm with most cameras
HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) ensure a quiet, high speed autofocus and full-time manual focusing capability
SLD (Special low Dispersion) glass element and glass mold elements for superior optical performance
Minimum focusing distance of 33.5

Lens Construction 11 Elements in 8 Groups
Angle of View 28.6
Number of Diaphragm Blades 9
Mininum Aperture f16
Minimum Focusing Distance 85 cm / 33.5 in
Filter Size (mm) 77mm
Maximum Magnifications 1:8.6
Dimensions
(Diameter x Length) 84.7x87.6 mm/3.3x3.4 in


 


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ryan aguas
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Registered: Dec 7, 2006
Location: Philippines
Posts: 42
Review Date: Jul 14, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $960.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very Sharp starting @ f1.4, solid build and feel, fast and accurate AF
Cons:
front element can get scratched easily, colors are not as good as the Canon L

I bought this lens to replace my Canon 85 1.2L which I sold last year to a friend who insisted on buying it. The Canon 85L was optically spectacular, but I find it too bulky, cumbersome and too slow for everyday use. And also it feels somewhat fragile because of the exposed rear element.
I read a lot of good reviews about the Sigma 85 1.4 and decided to give it a try. I used it with my 5Dmk3 and here are a few observations and comparisons vs the Canon 85L:

1. The lens is very sharp wide open, optically it is as good as the Canon 85L at the same apertures.
2. The colors are slightly muted and warmer compared to the images from the 85L.
3. The build feels solid and does not have an exposed rear element
4. The AF is accurate and I did not experience any compatibility issues with my 5Dmk3.
5. It focuses faster than the 85L
6. It is cheaper (cost $1200 less than the 85L)
7. The bokeh is comparable to the 85L (although IMHO the Canon is slightly better)

I would have rated this lens 10 if not for one major glitch I encountered with it during field use: the front element of the lens can get scratched easily (I don't use protective filters as they can degrade image quality). It happend one day when I was changing lenses, I was in a hurry so I just put the lens in my bag without a lens cap - unfortunately it hit the bottom part of my 580EXII flash - the metal part brushed against the front glass of the lens causing a very small scratch that I cannot remove. I have have had a similar scenario with my other L lenses and did not have the front element scratched so easily (I guess canon L-series glass are also more durable).

Nonetheless, even with the tiny scratch in the front, the performance of the lens was not affected and it is still very sharp. The lens is a good value for its price and performance.
But then, should anyone consider buying this lens, they just have to be careful with the front element (or just use a protective filter).


Jul 14, 2012
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Kevin Sanders
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Registered: Jun 4, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 2, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Pin-sharp focus at maximum aperture. Good build quality and solid feel. Silent and fast AF. Excellent bokeh.
Cons:
None.

I love this lens. For candids or formal portraits I can't imagine there is anything better. I haven't tried the Canon counterpart, but I have studied images taken with it and, apart from the weather sealing, I doubt it has anything I would pay an extra 700 for.

Good Sigma glass is terrific value for money, but their QC leaves a bit to be desired. That said, I don't understand people giving a 2 just because they have a faulty copy. It would be much more helpful to get it fixed first (and it must be a faulty one judging by all other reviews) and then review it properly and, perhaps, the service?


Jun 2, 2012
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Mike Mahoney
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Registered: Mar 8, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 5465
Review Date: Jun 2, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

Pros: Build quality
Cons:
Inconsistent focus

This is a well made lens and the images are very nice if and when you get one in focus.

And the inconsistent focus cannot be fixed by micro adjusting because the lens does not focus consistently. So even if you do adjust it to be good focus it will still be out-of-focus on the next shot, or the one after. Basically a useless lens for anyone who needs to have accurately focused shots.


Jun 2, 2012
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markshelby
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Registered: Sep 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 718
Review Date: May 21, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp!, excellent contrast, well-constructed and fast-focus
Cons:
None

This is my sharpest lens; with fast, quiet and accurate autofocus; solid construction and freakishly awesome contrast.

Anyone in the market for an 85mm should definitely take a look.


May 21, 2012
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Kevin Sherman
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Registered: Nov 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1045
Review Date: Jan 19, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh, Sharpness, Price, Focus speed
Cons:
Build quality

Canon mount.

Excellent value. Significantly better all around than the Canon 85 f1.8 USM. Gets you comparable image quality to the 85L II (which I have used several times) but with much much faster focusing speeds, all at a significantly lower price point compared to the 85L II.

Build quality is pretty good, I do not like the soft touch finish at all. The copy I rented was really good, except at one point towards the end of a two day outdoor shoot the focus got stuck. So it's not designed for work in rougher weather conditions. Not unexpected, really.

At the end of the day, I was impressed with this lens enough that I plan to purchase my own copy very soon (buying primes!).


Jan 19, 2012
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Chestnut
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Registered: Feb 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 818
Review Date: Dec 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $799.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality, sharp, great bokeh, fast AF, price compared to Nikon equiv.
Cons:
No weather sealing (but no big deal), ever so slightly less pop (contrast) compared to Nikon's new 85G

This lens is 90-95% of the newer Nikon 85 f/1.4 G. But at half the price.

Great optics, fast and silent AF, dreamy bokeh. I had the Nikon 84 f/1.4 AF-D, and needed the upgrade for faster focusing... Researched a long time, and tried both... the Sigma give me 200% more bang for my $$.

It does lack weather sealing, but my use of this lens will not coincide with foul weather anyways, so it's a non-issue for me.

The price has gone up by a good bit since I bought it, but even so, it's a very great lens for the price, esp when comparing with the Nikon 85G.

I'm very happy with it.


Dec 11, 2011
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martsmith42
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Registered: Feb 25, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 398
Review Date: Nov 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Good build quality, excellent sharpness, colour and contrast. Much lighter than the Canon!
Cons:
none

I've had mine for nearly a year, and used it all through the wedding season on my 5d classics with great results. I don't use it wider than F2, but even at this apperture you can get fantastic 3d type images. The colour and sharpness always makes me smile.

Nov 3, 2011
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dealaddict
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Registered: Jun 11, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 36
Review Date: Sep 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: smooth bokeh
Cons:
inaccurate focus

I first tried the Canon 85 1.8, somehow, the color and contrast is not good. then bought the 85L MK I, color and contrast are excellent, but the focus is too slow to take picture for my kids. And I don't want to spend $2000 on the 85L MK II so give this lens a try. the color and contrast are good, better than the Canon 85 1.8, 90% of the 85 L. Focus speed is very good. Bokeh is smooth comparable to the 85 L. My copy is front focus by 2-3mm at MFD at F1.4. This is not a big deal in real life unless I shoot at a poster, because at f1.4 at MFD, taking picture of my kids at an angle, the DOF is so thin that focus on the right eye the left eye will be out of focus anyway, so front focus by 2-3mm is not noticeable in real life. Overall, I am happy with this lens. At least 90% picture quality of the 85L with less than half of the price.

Sep 3, 2011
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edatc
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Registered: Jul 17, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 75
Review Date: Aug 24, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The bokeh, feel, focus
Cons:
none

Tested focus in store using 5dii and outer focus points at my preferred portrait distances..... wow, dead on.

This lens really works for me. Use it a lot. Really like its drawing style..... Focuses quickly enough that I never use the Canon 85 1.8 anymore.


Aug 24, 2011
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gwaww
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Registered: Nov 20, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 737
Review Date: Aug 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great IQ, bokeh, price, fun to use, well-balanced, build, fast-focusing.
Cons:
None I can think of.

In slowly converting back to all prime lenses, I found this lens to be a much better fit than the Canon 85 1.8 for me. I had the Canon and it never wowed me like my 135 f2 and my 200 f2.8. This lens wows me and the focusing has been right on and reasonably fast. An excellent and reasonably priced alternative to the pricey Canon 85 1.2L. This is one of my favorites!

Aug 11, 2011
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Le_Slacker
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Registered: Apr 18, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Review Date: Apr 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great lens - pretty fast, pretty sharp... awesome results on 7D and 5D2
Cons:
1st lens was DOA - AF was a mini jackhammer and would not lock at all - 2nd was everything it should be!

if you can TRY IT IN-STORE...

Apr 25, 2011
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Xoa.
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Registered: Apr 11, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Review Date: Apr 11, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh; Sharp Wide Open; Build Quality
Cons:
AF after a month or two it has become unreliable, temperamental

Fantastic Lens... Just need to send mine in to get the AF tweaked.

The AF was rock solid for a month or two, but has become temperamental out of the blue. It hunts every so often, and is stuck on hunting. Despite that... I still pick it up, and struggle because of what it does WHEN it works.

When it works, it creates beautiful images. As other people have said, get a good copy and you will love it.


Apr 11, 2011
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ukkisavosta
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Registered: Nov 27, 2010
Location: Finland
Posts: 418
Review Date: Apr 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp wide open, overall image quality is superb, AF is reasonably quick and consistent, pleasing bokeh, very good build quality. Reasonably priced.
Cons:
None.

This review is based on my experiences with this lens on an APS-C body. This is a professional lens with a reasonable price tag. Image quality (sharpness, color, contrast) is excellent from corner to corner even wide open. The lens is shipped with a hood and detachable hood extension for APS-C bodies.

AF is consistent and reasonably fast. The AF appears to complete a series of very fast micro-movements when trying to acquire focus on a difficult target, and I have had one instance when an AF lock could not be acquired under such circumstances.


Apr 9, 2011
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NatX
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Registered: Mar 1, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 7, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $969.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Faster AF than Canon 85mm f1.2L II, beautiful bokeh, excellent price for same 85mm f1.2L II image quality.
Cons:
Needs slight microadjustment

A wonderful piece of glass that is worth every cent.

Apr 7, 2011
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aquaman0001
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Registered: May 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 264
Review Date: Mar 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast, build, effectiveness in low light
Cons:
None

QC issues...AF issues...Bla Bla Bla.
Keep at it till you get a good copy. You will not be disappointed. I have it on my 40D 3/4 of the time while walking around. Sharp, fast, and did I mention bokeh?


Mar 2, 2011
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fsiagian
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Registered: May 23, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 3291
Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, beautiful rendering.
Cons:
None.

Stunning lens, simply beautiful. I use it for portrait only. Cannot comment on other uses. Get one, you will not regret it. I have not heard too many complaints about af and qc. Well built.

Feb 19, 2011
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Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
42 99536 Jan 15, 2022
Recommended By Average Price
98% of reviewers $885.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.12
9.34
9.0
image_copy


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