December 12 2011 - Photo Jottings

December 12 2011


Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM review.

The Sigma 85mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM is a fast, medium telephoto lens suitable for portrait, environmental and landscape work, but also performs well in available light, hand-held conditions, such as night time street scenes, (but watch your DOF!). This somewhat large lens has a very good build quality, well implemented HSM focusing, and provides excellent center sharpness at F/1.4. Not surprisingly, this lens performs nearly the same as the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 HSM reviewed here a few months ago.

I would prefer the Sigma 85/1.4 HSM over the Sony CZ 85/1.4 for hand-held low light use because of the better control of axial color fringing at wide apertures, and the stunningly sharp centers.  Also, the Sigma’s HSM focusing was more accurate on my A900 and A580 than the Sony CZ 85mm, but your results might not be the same as camera and lens calibrations will vary.
See the bottom of the review page for a comparison between these two lenses, you’ll be surprised!
If you’re on a tight budget, and want this focal length but don’t need F/1.4-2, then consider the spectacular Sony 85mm F/2.8 SAM; it’s my second favorite Sony prime lens.  The first time I used this lens I photographed a Realtor for a business portrait, and paid for the lens with that job! Although, quite frankly, you don’t need a super sharp lens for website and business card images.
Click for review
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