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: Features
With the resolution of today’s sensors continuing to rise and photographers demanding the finest image quality, Sigma has looked to future-proof its lenses by designing them for today’s era of ultra-high resolution cameras.
To achieve the goal of creating first-class lenses for full-frame DSLRs offering a 50-million-pixel resolution, Sigma’s engineers have returned to the drawing board. In the case of this lens, an entirely new optical formula has been designed, which unites 14 lens elements in 12 groups – a rather more sophisticated construction than the 11 elements in 8 groups you get inside the older Sigma 85mm f/1.4.
By pairing special low dispersion (SLD) glass elements with an aspherical lens, Sigma claims to have been successful in achieving the finest image rendition, undiminished by residual chromatic aberrations.
The lens represents the fifth large-diameter f/1.4 model Sigma has introduced for cameras with full-frame sensors. It features Super Multi-Layer Coatings to prevent flare and ghosting causing issues when shooting directly towards the light and as we’ve seen many times before, the lens is equipped with Sigma’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), which performs autofocus duties and enables full-time manual focusing – a process whereby users can adjust the focus manually at any time without having to flick the AF/MF switch to manual first.
The lens’s nine-bladed aperture diaphragm offers settings from f/1.4 to f/16. With their curved edges, these nine blades are designed to create attractive out-of-focus backgrounds. Other features to note include a minimum focusing distance of 85cm and compatibility with Sigma’s USB docking device, which allows users to update firmware and refine the focus settings manually using the company’s Optimization Pro software.
The lens is presented in a protective lens case and comes with a large petal-shaped hood to prevent flare across the front element. Like many of the lenses Sigma has released recently, it’s available in three lens mounts, catering for Canon, Nikon and Sigma users.