Sigma 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#42997 date: Jan-26-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200mm f/2,8 EX DG HSM
Sigma 70mm f/2,8 EX Macro
Sigma 50mm f/1,4 EX DG HSM (on APS-C)
price paid:€ 549,-
positive:HSM, bokeh, design, nice colours, sharp, f/1,4, EX built quality, 77mm filtersize.
negative:A little bit purple fringing, heavy.... yeah right.
comment:What a fantastic lens, ideal for portraits (both APS-C as FF) and indoorsports on APS-C. Sharp in the centre from f/1,4 and overall from f/2,0 a f/2,8 on. For portraits the IQ might be to good (is that possible?), the amount of details is very, very high, on par with the 70mm macro. I choose the 'portrait' style on the A900 for smoothing the skin a bit. Handheld for a long session the lens/A900 with grip is heavy, but that was to be expected. Love this lens and as long as I will use A-mount I will keep this lens. (unless your offer is astronomic...)
reviewer#16280 date: Jun-26-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 1,4/50, Tamron SP AF 2,5/90
price paid:500EUR (used)
positive:Excellent picture quality, HSM motor, great build
negative:It's very sharp so if you like soft portraits, you have to soften image in post-processing
comment:It's simply modern portrait lens delivering excellent picture quality with punchy warm colour and incredible detail
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
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 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 know.....it'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.
reviewer#11899 date: Jul-9-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100 f/2, Sony SAM 35 f/1,8
price paid:Too much
positive:
+Sharp in the center wide open
+Nice bokeh
negative:
-AFs differently depending on whether coming from MFD or ∞, as reported in the Cameralabs review, which makes AF useless at wider apertures

-Focus ring is a bit too stiff, as reported all over including by mr Munger, so manual focusing is rather useless

(purple fringing for things closer than the focus point and green fringing for things further back is plentiful, like with all mild tele to tele lenses I've tried)

comment:Sigma Scandinavia's repair agent replied that different AF results when coming from MFD as opposed to eternity cannot be helped, only from MFD is verified.

Perhaps only some examples of this lens has AF issues (even if rather a lot of reports can be found) so make sure you buy with a good return policy.
reviewer#11898 date: Jul-9-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 50/1.4
Tamron 90/2.8
Minolta 135/2.8
price paid:740€
positive:Very sharp, even wide open
Fast and accurate focus
negative:A bit heavy
MFD a bit long
Easily scratched hood
comment:I have been using it for 6 months, mostly for portraiture, on both A700 and A99
It is a really great lens (at least compared to the rest of my gear), sharpness is amazing, color rendition is nice, cooler than Minolta 135/2.8
reviewer#11897 date: Jul-8-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85/1.4 G
price paid:849€
positive:Sharpness wide open
Great controllable Depth of Field
negative:not relly anything...
comment:I was quite ofen thinking of this lens, trading the 85G with this one, and I have to say: I don't regret it! It is sharp from f/1.4 onward (center) and from f/2.0 also inthe corners. Build quality is really very well done, it is my favorite portraiture lens now; used for studio beauty shooting and I was not disappointed.
Compared to the Minolta it has slightly cooler colors but the total look is really great; relly happy!
reviewer#11103 date: May-10-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:50mm Minolta 1.7
price paid:729 euro (new)
positive:SHARP
Bokeh
Perfect potrait lens
negative:pricey
2 parts lens hood
comment:I've waited way to long before buying a 85mm 1.4 lens
Doubts between a (older) Minolta 85 1.4G, Minolta 100 2.0 and a Sigma 85 1.4 I finaly bought the Sigma
This has a (wonderful) HSM motor, which is fast en silent.
Pictures taken on a A57 crop camera are so nice. Sharp and a smooth bokeh.
Well worth the price (but a lot of money for a hobby!)

-------
20-3-2016
The pictures this lens produce makes me wonder I do not use it quite so often... It size and weight do not help on my A7s body )-; The balance is no good shooting handheld. But when I use it it blows me away in sharpness (from f1.7 onwards supersharp from f2.2). Colour&contrast is more natural as my zeiss lenses, no problem for me. Used with the type-4 sony adapter is hunts a bit, but this lens has focus-shift 'button' and makes it easy to manual focus with peaking! Get close for portrets wide open with a wonderful bokeh!
reviewer#10238 date: May-25-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16-80cz.
16-50ssm.
135f1.8cz.
70-200gssm.
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness.
Bokeh, oof and dof.
Price.
Hsm.
negative:Maybe the build quality when i compare it with the cz135.
comment:Fast, sharp and resolution.
Bought this lens new but the af didnt work on a77.
It needed a new firmware.

It will take 2 weeks by sending it to sigma,

Called Sigma and can bring the lens with me the next day,
When the update was done i got a special tour in there showroom.

I even played with the sd1 merril.
This is my first experience with Sigma, but a very good one.
Very good service,

reviewer#10086 date: Apr-4-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70/2.8 Macro
70-400G
price paid:$1180 (new, VAT inc)
positive:IQ
Build
HSM
negative:Large filters again, however, shared with Sigma 50/1.4 and 70-400G
A bit heavy, but not an issue for me.
comment:Slightly longer than the Macro, not the same kind of fly sharpness. Sharpness suits me fine as a perfect portrait lens at this FL. Also a perfect companion for the Sigma 50/1.4 sibling, I really like it.

The 70-400G delivers the same IQ IMO, but has a quite different application of course.
reviewer#9835 date: Jan-23-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 35/1.4
Minolta 50/1.7
Zeiss 16-35/2.8CZ
price paid:750GBP (new)
positive:Build quality
Image quality
Lens hood
Flare resistance
negative:Purple fringes at 1.4
comment:I've had this lens over a year and used it on film, a580 and a850 full frame. Sharpness is great across the board.

At 1.4 you will have purple fringes around highlight edges (i.e. text on white background). It isn't much of a problem in real life use. If you're shooting at 1.4 in low light, you'll never see it. If you want to generate maximum smooth bokeh, f1.7 or f2 does this with no purple fringes.

f2 is as sharp as you could want, and f2.8 all the way through to f11 is extremely sharp across the whole full frame.

I use this lens for portraits and it's beautiful. It focuses quickly, although not super quick. You'll struggle with continuous focus if the subject is moving directly towards or away from you. But for portraits, or weddings, no problem. People don't tend to run around or move erratically!

It needed +8 microadjust on my camera, which is quite a lot. But now it's consistently accurate. The depth of field is VERY thin at 1.4, especially if your subject is close. For a headshot you can easily have the front eye in focus and bridge of the nose and rear eye totally out of focus. Personally, I'm not a fan of that look, but if you want bokeh and subject isolation, you definitely get it.

The lens hood is large, light and shades the lens brilliantly.

I haven't used the CZ85, but most reviews say that the Sigma is pretty comparable. For a budget price lens, I'm thrilled with the performance. Allegedly the CZ is sharper on average across the whole frame than the Sigma at 1.4, but the Sigma has slightly better center performance. I've never found cause to complain about sharpness. The main limitation of 1.4 is purple fringes along bright edges, which you'll never encounter in most circumstances.
reviewer#9610 date: Nov-19-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Cosina 100 F3.5 macro
Minolta AF 70-210 F4 (beercan)
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 D
price paid:869 USD (new)
positive:Silent focus
Sharpness
Super-thin DOF
negative:Weight
Slow focus ring (for MF)
purple fringing
comment:Fantastic on my A100 and α77! Very sharp, even wide-open in corners. A veritable portrait machine, at f/1.4, faces look like they're out of this world.

The HSM worked really well on the A100, but the lens had to be re-chipped (free service by Sigma) to work on the α77. Fast, smooth and quiet.

Lots of purple fringing at high-contrast areas wide-open. Purple fringing will show up on astrophotography. Cleans up well, e.g., in lightroom CC.
reviewer#9361 date: Aug-26-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200mm f2.8,
Sony 70-400mm f4-5.6,
Minolta 400mm f4.5,
Minolta 600mm f4.0,
Sigma 500mm f4.5,
Sigma 10-20mm F4 - 5.6
Sigma 105mm F2.8,
Sigma 85mm f1.4,
price paid:969 USD (new)
positive:Everything, the sharpness, color, build, distortion & flare control!!!
negative:The only thing that goes against it the adapter aps-c but I go with FF sensor shade even tho I've got A700 & A77.
comment:None
reviewer#9016 date: May-13-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 50 f/1.4, Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8
price paid:900 USD
positive:Solid build. Reproduces color accurately. Smooth focus ring. Quick, quiet and accurate auto-focus. Tack sharp from f/2 and up. Smooth bokeh. Lens hood for full frame and adapter for crop sensors.
negative:Noticeable purple fringing at f/1.4 (mostly gone by f/2). Plastic build. Edges are a bit soft until ~f/4
comment:Shot with this lens yesterday on my a900. Instantly impressed with the focus speed and accuracy. The lens captured the colors very accurately. My Zeiss looks a bit saturated compared to this. The lens does have a plastic build, but feels extremely solid. There was noticeable fringing at f/1.4 but was mostly unnoticeable by the time you open up to f/2. Edge to edge sharpness is excellent at f/4. Larger apertures start to soften edges, which blends into the excellent bokeh. Highly recommend this lens, along with most others who have tested this. PopPhoto rated this slightly higher than the Zeiss 85 1.4.
reviewer#8798 date: Mar-17-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Sony 50 1.4 Carl Zeiss SSM
- Tamron 90 2.8 macro
- Minolta 80-200 2.8G
- Sony 28-75 2.8
price paid:899 euro
positive:- Sharpness from f2.0
- Bokeh
- Autofocus (very silent and precise)
negative:- Plastic hood
- af-mf selector seems not very solid
comment:This lens is the best I have for portraiture.

Precise focus (about 70cm of minimum focus distance), even in low light, but not as fast as Sony's SSM in the 50 F1.4 Carl Zeiss.

Useable shots even at F1.4; sharpness peaks at F4.0-F5.6.
Not too strong logitudinal chromatic aberration (but visible and removeable in post production).
Good bokeh, not much cat-eyed shaped at full aperture

A very recommended lens
reviews found: 14   

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

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