A Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens for Sony Cameras

Sigma's Art series of lenses took the photography world by storm a few years ago, and perhaps none was more hotly anticipated than the 85mm f/1.4 Art lens. That lens finally came to the Sony E mount last year, and this great video review takes a look at it to help decide if it is the right portrait lens for you. 

Coming to you from Dustin Abbott, this awesome video review takes a look at the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens for Sony's E mount. Sony has quite a few awesome lenses for their E mount, including the 85mm f/1.4 G Master, but with that optical quality comes a correspondingly high price. Sigma is well known for offering image quality that matches and sometimes exceeds first-party lenses while undercutting their prices, and the 85mm f/1.4 Art certainly comes at a price much cheaper than that of its Sony cousin. Still, there are other issues to consider, particularly the weight and size (Sigma seems to be taking a no-compromise approach when it comes to balancing size with optical quality) and autofocus performance. Depending on your needs and budget, the 85mm Art could be a great option for portraiture work. I personally use the 105mm f/1.4 Art and absolutely love it. Check out the video above for Abbott's full thoughts. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Amazing quality, but I really wish these lenses were lighter...

When it comes to glass you get a choice
Light + Fast = Expensive
Light + Cheap + Fast = Heavy
Light+Cheap= Slow

It all a compromise. If you got the money you by the G Master because for its size Its fast 1.4, reasonably sized for an 85mm and the quality is great.

I went with the Sigma 85 as I don't usually travel with an 85mm unless I specifically know I am going to do portrait work. When I travel I take a 70-200 2.8 as this can be great for portraits and its just a solid well rounded lens, a 55mm 1.8 because of its size and speed and a 16-35mm F4 because of its size. For traveling it works for me and the 85 I keep at home for portrait and studio sessions.

The Sigma is super heavy because it introduces additional, hefty, corrective elements in order to maximize sharpness. Not because it is fast. Faster does usually introduce more weight but if you take two lenses with the same aperture and focal length, the heavier one isn't always cheaper.

You can spend less than the cost of the Sigma and get a lighter 85mm that is just as fast if you want but it won't rock the resolution tests as this lens does.

For example, the old Sigma 85mm 1.4 EX was just as fast as the Art, cost much less, and weighed 70% less. The primary difference between the two is image quality.

The weight, more than anything, is determined by the specific optical formula used to achieve the manufacturer's desired result but it doesn't usually correlate to price. There are cheap, fast, and light 85mm lenses just as there are expensive, fast, and light 85mm lenses.

Also, when thinking about weight, having autofocus or not does have an impact. Part of why the Zeiss 85mm is lighter is because it doesn't need any sort of autofocus mechanism or motor. (Though it also has fewer elements, nobody makes heavy formulas these days quite like Sigma. ;) )

I think you missed my point..... there is a compromise. I could have added a “Quality” to that equation. But at the end of the day you cant get Image Quality, Speed, Light and Cheap in the same package. To get those four you will pay for it!
The trade off for the sigma is the weight to get good image quality and speed.