Formula 1

Half an Art. First images from the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art DN GN

Read more at www.diyphotography.net

When Sigma started the global vision range the Art series, in particular, became a household name for high-quality lenses.

My personal favorite is the lovely 105mm f1.4 Art that is as wonderful as it is large! That is a common theme with the Art series.  As they often sacrifice size and weight for image quality.

So imagine my surprise when Sigma released a new 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art lens that is roughly half the weight of their original DSLR version, the 85mm f1.4 DG HSM Art.

 

Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art DG DN L mount:

Size 82.8mm (D) x 94.1mm (L)
Weight (g) 630

Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art HSM L mount

Size 94.7mm (D) x 126.2mm (L)
Weight (g) 1130

This is quite a departure from the usual Art series. However, it is one that is welcome, particularly for use on smaller mirrorless bodies like my Sigma fp.

As well as a reduction in size there are a few other changes too.

  • The original 85mm f1.4 HSM only had a focus mode switch to change from Auto to Manual focus.
  • While the new DG DN version has a customizable button on the side (depending on camera support) and an aperture ring that can be locked in place or de-clicked depending on your needs.  And let’s not forget the lens now has a dust and splash-proof construction.

Image quality is lovely too.  While I can’t really test the sharpness on a 24mp FF body as the lens easily out resolves my senor I took some time to look for other aspects that I feel are important.

The first I looked at was Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration or LoCA.   Here I shot the Sigma wide open and grabbed my only other 85mm an old Pentax-m 85mm f2 just for demonstration purposes.

It’s very common for fast lenses to have some purple fringing and color shifts as the focus changes from back to front. Something that normally requires stepping down to remove yet here the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN is very clean wide open.  This allows for very natural looking images like in these examples.

The natural color of the barbed wire as it goes in and out of focus stays neutral even against the sky.

The lack of fringing on high contrast edges like branches in the sky, you can see how clean this is in the crop.

This combines to give a very natural look to the images even when shooting wide open like in this little photo of my dog I grabbed one frosty morning.

Bokeh

While a fast lens can be used to get faster exposure for shooting events. Others like the ability to create a shallow depth of field in their images. Helping to make their subject pop as I did above.

Bokeh while such a subjective matter looks pleasing and thanks to the new 11 blade aperture (up from 9 on the old model) the bokeh stays nice and circular as you stop down and at f16 allows for some nice starbursts.

In these examples, I shot at f1.4 all the way to f16 in one-stop increments just to give an idea of how it behaves.

F1.4

f2

 

f2.8

 

f4

 

f5.6

 

f8

 

f11

 

f16

While local restrictions and weather have stopped me from using the lens as much as I want.  I am enjoying the new 85mm f1.4 DG DN. The combination of size and image quality makes taking it out on my Sigma fp much easier than say the 105 f1.4 Art.  As I can easily pop it into my Cosyspeed Streetomatic and leave my larger bag at home.   Which overall makes it easier to take the camera with me to capture nice images like this of my kids with ease.

With how much I’m enjoying this lens I felt it was only fair to put this little photo up as a fun warning

Anyway, I personally welcome the direction sigma took here but what are your thoughts?

Read more at www.diyphotography.net

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