Michael Topham is certainly impressed with the new Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art - find out why
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art review: Build and handling
The first thing that strikes you when you get the lens in your hands is that it’s quite a different proposition to the now discontinued Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. It’s no longer what we’d class as an average size full-frame lens and is quite a brute when paired up with a full-frame DSLR. Those looking at it as a potential update from the older model will notice that it extends much further from the front of the camera and has quite a thickset barrel. It’s 400g heavier too, so you definitely know when it’s packed as part of your kit.
The front element is larger than the one on the lens it replaces. Instead of accepting filters and adapters via a 77mm thread, it now has a much larger 86mm filter thread.
The overall build quality is comparable to other Sigma lenses that have the letter A engraved in a silver circle on their barrel. The section of the barrel adjacent to the camera is made from metal, just like the large manual focus ring at the front of the lens, whereas the middle section of the barrel and lens hood are formed of high-quality plastic.
The focus distance window displays its information clearly and there’s no slack when the manual focus ring is turned one way and then the other. This ring offers a delightful smooth feel with just the right level of resistance and it functions across its focusing range with a 140° rotation. Switches are kept to a minimum, and the switch to control AF/MF is easy to locate and offers a reassuring click when it’s used.