The new Art Series of lenses from Sigma have been getting some outstanding reviews since their release, so how does the 85mm f/1.4 Sigma Art lens stack up against the tried, trusted, and far more illustrious Canon 85mm f/1.2L II?
In this review, popular photographer Julia Trotti takes the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens and puts it through some tests in a variety of situations and scenarios. In the first section, she pairs the lens with a Sony a7 III and a Metabones adapter for Canon mounts and shoots a model in good light during the day. Some of her key observations were that the lens worked flawlessly with the adapter and was super fast to focus. Interestingly, she noted that when she'd tried some native Canon lenses paired with the Sony a7 III and an adaptor, she'd experienced some lag issues with them.
In the second part of the review, Trotti puts the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens up against the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens. She uses both on a Sony a7 III and a Canon 5D Mark IV. The key takeaways were:
- The Sigma has a rear focus element whereas the Canon has a front focus element
- The Canon's bokeh was a little softer and creamier than the Sigma's
- The Canon's colors were a little warmer straight out of the camera
- The Sigma had less lens flare (which could be a good or bad thing depending on your artistic tastes)
The most interesting part for me was that, at a certain distance (when Trotti tried to get all of the model's body in the frame), the Sigma struggled to find focus quite a bit. The example photos show many that are blurry and pretty much unusable. Up close, the Sigma was outstanding, but at that particular distance, it was very hit and miss.
The reason my eyes lit up when I saw this is that I recently got my hands on the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. I debated long and hard whether to go with that or the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens. I opted for the Sigma, but in my limited use so far, I've found that it misses focus more than I like in certain scenarios. I've played with all manner of settings but haven't been able to nail down settings to guarantee a 95 percent or greater keeper rate on shots just yet.
Make no mistake, when the Sigma does get it right, the results are absolutely outstanding, and Trotti's review here confirms as much. But for a new lens that is priced at close to $1,000, I can't say I'm 100 percent sold just yet, even though I absolutely love the results when they do come out right.
What about you? What have your experiences been with any Sigma Art Lenses, particularly the 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens reviewed here or the 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.