Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM A-mount lens review by NIKO

reviewer#11993 date: Sep-25-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85 f1.4 (original), Sony 50 f1.4 and Sigma 70 f2.8 Macro.
price paid:N/A
positive:Obviously the f1.4 aperture. Solid build. Sharp without doubt. HSM for fast AF speed. Let's not forget about that great bokeh.
negative:Lens hood makes creaking noises when on the lens. Makes the lens seem cheap when it absolutely is not! Fringes at wide open apertures depending on lighting conditions. What f1.4 lens doesn't do that?!
comment:This lens is fantastic. I feel it is definitely a better lens than the Minolta 85 f1.4 for many reasons. IQ beats the Minolta 85 f1.4 and the Sigma focuses more accurately. I gave build rating a 4 because of the creaky lens hood noise when attached to the lens. Otherwise I'd give the lens a 5 build rating.

As for the Sony 50 f1.4 (a.k.a. Minolta 50 f1.4 with ADI) I feel IQ wise they are about even when it comes to sharpness at f2.8 and stopped down. The Sigma and Sony are different focal lengths I know, but they seem to be more alike than dislike when it comes down to the glass and color rendering. As for focus.....Sigma beats the Sony for speed and accuracy most of the time I feel due to the HSM.

Now for a Sigma 85 f1.4 to Sigma 70 f2.8 Macro (non macro focus range) comparison. Both are really great lenses. The Sigma 85 f1.4 has HSM and the 70 f2.8 does not, but the focus is fast on the 70 f2.8 in the normal focus range. The 85 f1.4 has a wider aperture. However, don't be fooled. The Sigma 70 f2.8 Macro is SHARP wide open at f2.8 and you can always shoot it at f2.8. I's not f1.4. I'm just sayin'..... Bokeh is great with both lenses, but the 85 f1.4 obviously has the edge here. Frankly, you can't go wrong with either lens. Get the 85 f1.4 if you need the aperture range. However, if you absolutely do not need a wider aperture than f2.8 go for the 70 f2.8 Macro. It's a hair sharper at f2.8 (though the 85 f1.4 is really about the same) and you pick up a Macro lens for real closeups for flowers and insects etc... The macro lens is cheaper as well.

All and all, if you need an 85 f1.4 you really can't go wrong with the Sigma 85 f1.4. So forget about used Minolta 85 f1.4's unless you really..... really want one. However, you won't have any warranty.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.82
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.36
  • distortion: 4.93
  • flare control: 4.64
  • overall: 4.75 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania