Which of These Premium 85mm Lenses Is Better?

Wide-aperture 85mm lenses are some of the most popular out there, and both Canon and Sigma make some of the most impressive options out there. If you are looking for a high-quality portrait lens, check out this excellent video comparison of the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM and Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art.

Coming to you from Alex Barrera, this great video review compares the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM and Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lenses. While there is no arguing that the Canon lens offers superlative performance and results, there is also no arguing it is extremely expensive, retailing for near $3,000. On the other hand, the Sigma lens comes in at less than half the price of the Canon option, and while it is an EF mount lens, it is worth noting that EF lenses generally perform flawlessly with a Canon EF-to-RF adapter. In fact, half of my current lens library is still my older EF lenses, and they perform perfectly on my newer mirrorless cameras. No doubt, while it performs beautifully, it is worth considering if you need to drop an extra $1,500 on the Canon version. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Barrera. 

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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for sure Canon should be afraid!

I have always used the camera manufacturers’ own lenses in the past and they still make good sense when it comes to resale value. However, having used several Sigma lenses recently and been highly impressed, I wouldn’t only consider a Sigma alternative now, I would actively compare the Sigma version of a lens with the manufacturer’s own before making a purchasing decision.

The problem with lack of third party lenses is lack of choice. People either have to stump up for some very expensive premium, large and heavy lenses or settle for the less than premium range that may not even cater for the focal lengths people want. Third party lenses also offer unique lenses not found in Canon's lineup plus can offer a totally different look to the images. Canon really are just hoping their customers are happy with the expensive premium lenses which is an extremely risky gamble. Sony have proven the days of third party reverse engineering are gone and third party lenses can compete with the first party lenses.

So buy the current EF versions of the Sigma lenses and adapt them. Evidence tells us that the Art lenses work as well or better than they do on the DSLRs. It's certainly been my experience.

I thought the colour temperature looked slightly warmer on some of the Canon shots, particularly in the grass.

I would love to have access to a review with the following contenders:
- Canon RF 85mm 1.2
- Canon EF 85mm 1.4 IS USM
- Canon RF 85mm 2.0
- Sigma EF 85mm 1.4 ART
- Samyang AF RF 85mm 1.4
- Viltrox RF 85mm 1.8