Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Review

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is a high-performance prime lens that was created for both professional photographers and photography amateurs who are looking for great picture quality and adaptability.

This lens is excellent for a variety of photographic styles, including portraiture, street photography, and shooting in low light because of its large maximum aperture of f/1.4. It is a member of the illustrious Art series produced by Sigma, which is famous for its exceptional optical performance and high-quality construction.

$998.00 16 used from $644.00 22 new from $989.00
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Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF...

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.4
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Sigma SA
  • Lens Construction: 14 elements in 12 groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9, rounded
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 85cm / 33.5 inches
  • Maximum Magnification Ratio: 1:8.5
  • Filter Size: 86mm
  • Dimensions: 94.7mm x 126.2mm / 3.7 inches x 5.0 inches
  • Weight: 1.13 kg / 39.9 oz


Sharpness and bokeh are two aspects of image quality that are particularly well-served by the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. The lens has a sophisticated optical design that consists of 14 components organized into 12 groups, among which are two elements with a low dispersion (SLD) and one aspherical element. Even when shooting with the aperture wide open at f/1.4, this architecture efficiently suppresses chromatic aberrations, distortions, and spherical aberrations, which results in images with excellent clarity and edge-to-edge sharpness.

This is the case even when shooting with the lens at its maximum aperture. The lens also features a rapid and accurate autofocus mechanism called Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), which provides quick and exact focusing. Because of this, the lens is perfect for capturing subjects that are moving quickly or for establishing fine focus in difficult settings.

Autofocus System

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is equipped with a cutting-edge autofocus mechanism that enables users to get rapid and precise focusing results. The lens has a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM), which provides quick and silent autofocus operation. This enables photographers to capture critical moments without any distractions getting in the way of their shots.

After autofocus has been activated, photographers have the option to make precise changes manually using the autofocus system’s full-time manual focus override. This gives photographers more creative control over their images. In addition, the lens has an internal focusing mechanism, which means that the front element does not spin when the lens is being focused. This makes it much simpler to use polarizing filters and other accessories with the lens.

Vibration Reduction

There is no optical image stabilization or vibration reduction technology built into the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens. However, the maximum aperture of f/1.4, which is rather wide, makes it possible to use quicker shutter speeds. This can assist in reducing the effects of camera shaking and motion blur.

In addition, a large number of today’s cameras are equipped with in-body image stabilization (IBIS) systems, which may correct for blur caused by camera shake independent of the lens that is attached to the camera. Therefore, despite the fact that the lens does not have its own built-in image stabilization, users are nevertheless able to get clear and blur-free photographs in a wide variety of shooting settings because of the lens’s fast aperture and compatibility with IBIS systems.

Build Quality

The 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is yet another example of Sigma’s well-known commitment to producing lenses of exceptional construction quality. The lens has a sturdy design with a metal barrel, which provides good resistance to wear and tear on the lens over time. In addition to this, it includes weather sealing, which helps to protect the lens against dust and moisture, making it suited for usage in a variety of environments.

The focus and aperture rings both have a satisfying tactile feel and are well-damped, allowing for fine control over the camera’s settings. The lens comes with a lens hood that can be removed, which provides additional protection against glare and physical damage to the front element of the lens. The overall build quality of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is remarkable, which ensures that the lens will last for a long time and perform reliably even in challenging shooting settings.

Handling and Ergonomics

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens was developed to provide photographers a comfortable handling experience with settings that are ergonomically constructed. Because of its reasonable size and weight, the lens has the ability to maintain a balanced feel when attached to the camera body. It has a large focus ring that is ribbed in a way that makes it simple to get a grip on and revolve smoothly in order to make manual changes to the focus.

The lens has electronic aperture control, which is normally modified through the controls of the camera itself. As a result, the aperture ring is not present on the lens. The lens mount is sturdy and well-protected, which ensures a reliable connection to the body of the camera. In general, the lens provides a pleasant shooting experience, freeing photographers from the need to worry about any ergonomic obstacles that could get in the way of capturing their vision.

Image Stabilization

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens does not come equipped with an optical image stabilization system as standard equipment. On the other hand, as was said previously, many contemporary cameras now come built-in with image stabilization devices known as in-body image stabilization (IBIS). When used with a camera that possesses in-body image stabilization (IBIS), the lens is able to take advantage of the camera’s inherent capacity for image stabilization.

Even when shooting handheld or in conditions with low light, photographers are now able to capture crisper shots by adjusting for camera shake thanks to technological advancements. It is essential to keep in mind that the performance of image stabilization might change significantly based on the particular camera body that is being utilized. Nevertheless, the lens, when used in conjunction with a camera that possesses IBIS, has the potential to improve the performance of image stabilization considerably and to increase shooting capabilities in a wide variety of environments.

Shooting Experience

The superior picture quality, adaptable focal length, and quick aperture of the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens provide for a very enjoyable photographic experience. This is due to the lens’s fast aperture. Photographers are able to catch minute details and create engaging pictures with the help of this lens because it creates photographs that are incredibly crisp, have rich colors, and have amazing contrast. The large maximum aperture of f/1.4 delivers great low-light performance, allowing photographers to shoot in difficult lighting settings without sacrificing the quality of their images.

Because it provides a perspective that is attractive and allows for a comfortable distance between the person and the camera, the focal length of the lens, which is 85 millimeters, is often considered as perfect for portraiture. Additionally, the lens’s portrayal of bokeh is so smooth that it generates a gorgeous blur in the backdrop, which helps to isolate the subject of the photograph and adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the photographs.

Image Quality

The image quality produced by the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is unparalleled and exemplifies the company’s dedication to achieving the highest standards in the optical industry. Because of the intricate optical design of the lens, which includes elements with special low dispersion (SLD) and aspherical surfaces, a variety of aberrations and distortions may be successfully reduced, resulting in images that are exceptional in terms of their sharpness, clarity, and contrast. The lens delivers outstanding center sharpness and steadily improves towards the corners as the aperture is shut down.

Even at the lens’s largest aperture setting of f/1.4, the lens works very well and delivers stunning results. Because the lens has low levels of chromatic aberration, fringing, and distortion, it is able to provide renderings of subjects that are realistic and faithful to reality. The colors are rich and highly saturated, and the bokeh, which is made possible by the lens’s wide aperture and nine-blade diaphragm, is incredibly smooth and aesthetically attractive. The picture quality produced by the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is constantly breathtaking, regardless of the subject matter being captured with it (portraits, landscapes, etc.).

Teleconverter Compatibility

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is designed to be used in conjunction with Sigma’s teleconverter series, which gives photographers the ability to expand the focal length of their lenses and increase the variety of shots they may take. When used in conjunction with a teleconverter, such as the Sigma TC-1401 (1.4x) or the Sigma TC-2001 (2x), the lens is capable of being converted into either a 119mm f/2 or 170mm f/2.8 lens, depending on the particular teleconverter that is used.

Because of this versatility, photographers are able to attain even wider focal lengths and effortlessly catch subjects that are further away. When utilizing teleconverters, it is essential to keep in mind that the increased focal length may result in a modest drop in image quality as well as a reduction in the maximum aperture of the camera. This is because of the longer focal length. In spite of this, the fact that the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is compatible with teleconverters broadens its scope of application and makes it easier for photographers to adapt to a variety of shooting conditions.

Comparison with Competitors

It competes in the premium prime lens sector, where it confronts competition from other manufacturers that provide comparable focal lengths and wide apertures. The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is one example of this type of product. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens is considered to be one of its most significant rivals. There are several obvious variations between the two lenses, despite the fact that they both have the same focal length and maximum aperture.

Because the Sigma lens has a slightly bigger aperture, it has the potential to produce images with a deeper depth of field and improved performance in low light. The Canon lens, on the other hand, is equipped with an optical image stabilization system that is built right in. This may be of great assistance when shooting handheld or in difficult lighting settings. Both lenses deliver fantastic results in terms of picture quality, with exceptional sharpness and bokeh rendition. Neither lens is much better than the other. The decision between the two lenses must eventually be made based on the unique requirements and preferences of the photographer as well as the camera system that they are employing.


Focal Length85mm
Maximum Aperturef/1.4
Minimum Aperturef/16
Lens MountCanon EF, Nikon F, Sony E (full-frame)
Format CompatibilityFull-Frame
Angle of View28.6