Jake Owens Photography

Passive Aggressive, Spec Free Reviews - #3; Sigma 85mm 1.4 ART

Yes indeed. Everyone’s favourite camera equipment review segment is back. Contain your excitement. 

Today I’m going to be reviewing the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art lens. I would have done this earlier but I couldn’t be bothered. Here’s some back story, because that is what bloggers do before they say anything ‘important’. It was summer. It was hot as fuck, remember? I managed to sell my Nikon 85mm and decided to get the Sigma one instead. I found one on gumtree in Watford (I know, what a mission) and ventured over to pick it up in the middle of the heatwave. I think I paid £680 for this lens? I can’t remember. It was cheaper than retail though, so that’s good isn’t it. 

Here’s a photo of it. Looks cool doesn’t it.

Look at this beast

Let’s get into it.

Things that are good

Image Quality - Pretty self explanatory really this one. Compared to the Nikon 85mm 1.8, this thing absolutely smokes it for image quality, which is good. There’s not much, if anything, in the way of chromatic aberration or other annoying things like that, so that is good. 

Colour Rendition - For me, the Sigma Art lenses reproduce colour much better than anything else I’ve used. Granted I’ve not used a lot of lenses, but these ones are my favourites, and this is another good example. Tones are rad, which is good. Good tones are important guys.

Focus Speed - Speedy. Accurate. Better than the Nikon one. Happy days.

1.4 Goodness - Obvious really. I shoot everything as wide open as possible because flash is for cowards. Having 1.4 is better than 1.8. That’s just simple maths. Shallow depth of field is cool.

Ability To Fine Tune - I also have that Sigma USB dock thing so you can fine tune the AF (that’s ‘Auto Focus’, not ‘As Fuck’) to your hearts desire. It’s a cool feature. I have no idea how it works.

Weight - It’s heavy. I like that. I don’t like light lenses on the front of my heavy camera, so this big heavy thing balances real nice, and makes me slightly less weak, which is also good.

Feels - Feels good man. Metal, matte black paint, satisfying rubber focus ring. Feels quality. It should though, it’s expensive. But it’s nice to have nice things!

Looks Sick As Fuck - Duh. Look at it. Sick. As. Fuck. I know you shouldn’t be shallow, but having nice looking stuff is nice. 

Things that aren’t good

Weight - I think I like being contrary. It’s heavy, so if you don’t like heavy things, maybe this isn’t the one for you. I’ll be honest, at the end of a 9 hour wedding shoot, my wrists don’t love this lens.

Size - It’s really big. This lens isn’t the easiest to travel with, especially when other people book your flights and you only get carry on. Not a huge problem, but it does take up a lot of space in your bag.

Lens Hood - Kinda really stiff to get on and off. Maybe it’s just my one. Hard to say. I find it quite annoying.

People In Forums - ANY EXCUSE TO SLAG OFF INTERNET NERDS. Nah, I don’t care for people who LOVE to debate specs and technical stuff because I find it incredibly boring. This lens tends to invite people asking about it and I just can’t be bothered to debate whether it’s better than a Zeiss or whatever. I am a prick though so take or leave this point. 

Cost - I guess it’s pretty expensive. I think it’s less than the Nikon 85mm 1.4, but it’s still not cheap.

Weather Sealing - Apparently this is still a problem. I still try and avoid the rain though because I’m not Bear Grylls. I shot Bloodstock Festival this year and it shit it down all weekend but the lens was fine, so the internet should probably shut up.


Is It Any Good? Yes. 

Should I Buy One? Yeah. I mean it’s expensive but if you get one second hand like I did you can save a bit of money.

Where Can I Get One? Any camera based retailer will probably have the hookup. Gumtree is also a shout. I don’t like camera shops because they all have absolutely shit customer service unless you’re one of those freaks that wears a waistcoat with 18 pockets and shoots closeups of flowers or pays to go on a ‘glamour photography vacation’. Looking at you WEX IN WHITECHAPEL. Stop ignoring me every time I come in your shop. So yeah, but it online.

Any Tips? Nah. The camera industry gets progressively more and more expensive and no retailers seem to offer any discount that’s actually worth bothering with anymore.

Hi, We’re Sigma, Can We Give You Free Stuff? Yeah. Email me. I’ll say all the good stuff about you.


Using Format