|Sigma 85mm f1.4 Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon|
The Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX DG HSM Lens, is exciting for two reasons:
- Wide Aperture for a reasonable price
And now, after a long wait, the alternative to the Canon EOS 85mm f/1.2 actually became available in November.
The Sigma 85 turns out to be a wonderful alternative to Canon’s own 85mm f1.2 because the price is almost $1000 less than the Canon model.
Right up front, I will admit that if you are a Canon shooter, and money is not an issue, go ahead and get the f1.2 version.
However, if you are not yet decided, by all means check out this comparison, because this new lens has gotten the attention of some “pixel peeping” experts in terms of its excellent performance.
I was personally interested in the release because of the perfect focal length and aperture for portrait photography. At f1.4, you will get superior Bokeh, as good as the more expensive lenses. And this is the goal of portrait photographers. It turns out the the Sigma really delivers Bokeh, so much so, that when I first viewed the images from my Canon 30D, I was literally shocked at the background creaminess and the image color. In the absence of a human model, I took a photo of my dog, Colby, sitting on my office chair.
As you can see, the background is nicely blurred, and, although it looks better in full resolution, you can see the nice color and contrast. This is without any post processing or enhancement of any kind. Taken at f/1.4, there is a very shallow depth of field, as you would expect. I was about 4 feet away from Colby for this shot, so even parts of his head are out of focus due to the wide aperture.
Aside from portraits, there are two other aspects of a really fast medium telephoto lens.
Low light images are the specialty of a wide aperture lens, because you can take pictures in areas that are impossible with other lenses hand-held.
The first is indoor sports. The wide open aperture will get you some extremely fast shutter speeds in low light at events like basketball (my personal favorite). I have used my Canon 70-200 f4.0 lens with mediocre results. The Sigma 85mm f1.4 with its HSM (hypersonic motor) is “the cat’s meow” in this type of light and action.
The second place this lens really shines is when using the video function on your digital SLR. The prime lens has such good image quality that it makes video look absolutely amazing. Again, the bokeh in your video (if taken at the wide open aperture) will look smooth and professional.
Tests against Canon and Nikon have placed the Sigma lens at equal or just below equal in image quality. And Sigma has been working hard to gain the trust of the expert photographic community.
This handsome lens deserves your attention.