Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM DG ART ( Nikon FX ) - Review / Test - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D3x and RAW-converted via CaptureOne.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 125
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 125
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 125
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 125
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 125
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 125
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/6400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/4000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/8000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.0
Exposure 1/5000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/1.4
Exposure 1/6400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s

Verdict

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM DG Art is awesome. Full stop. Albeit still not perfect. ;-) In terms of resolution it is amazingly sharp at f/1.4 already and the quality is breathtaking between f/2.8 and f/5.6. Low lateral CAs are the cream on the cappuccino in terms of subjective quality perception. Speaking of cream - the bokeh is generally very smooth although you may spot some rough edge transition in the image foreground and, yes, you still have to live with “cat eye” highlights in the image corners. It also suffers from some bokeh fringing at large aperture settings.

Image distortion is practically none. There is the usual amount of light falloff at f/1.4 but it's no real issue from f/2 onward. Based on what we've seen out there, we'd also state that the Sigma is comparatively resistant to image flare in back-light scenes.

Ever since Sigma started with their “ART” lens lineup, we have been impressed by the build quality and the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM DG Art reconfirms our opinion once again. The used materials are of top notch quality. Unlike in previous Art lenses, Sigma finally implemented a dust/splash-proof construction - it was about time to be honest. The AF is fast and silent. In terms of AF accuracy there is room for improvement (RSAs) in close focus scenes though.

All results taken into account, the Sigma easily beats the Nikon AF-S 85/1.4G, however the real contender is the AF-S 105mm f/1.4E, the current benchmark of AF portrait primes. The Sigma comes very close to this one, the minor differences in the lab results are likely irrelevant in the field. The best news about it is that it delivers almost the same high quality for roughly half the price of the Nikkor.

Well done, Sigma... and "highly recommended"!

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