The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

10.20.2016
31x41_AshA4A6771a

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 11.0 s 1/125 ISO 125 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

I had the opportunity to photograph with Sigma’s brand new 85mm 1.4 DG HSM Art lens a few days ago and I must say OMG!!!! What an amazing lens. I started my session inside my studio with strobes and styled my image for high key, (all white) to see how the lens would respond to the level of detail I was looking for. As you can see from this image, it totally blew me out of the water with a quality of sharpness that was almost unbelievable. The separation and detail in the whites in the pants, the top and the background were perfection.

I downloaded this image into Photoshop and magnified it to 600% and could not believe the detail in the eyes, in the highlights and in the overall sharpness throughout my image. My aperture was set at f 11.0 s 1/125 and ISO at 125 as well. Hand holding my camera, a 5D Mark III, I was able to move around and allow Ashley, my subject to dance and feel free to be herself. My focal point was on her eyes and I was about 10-12 feet from her.

 ©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 11.0 s 1/125 ISO 125 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens
f 11.0 s 1/125 ISO 125 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

Moving closer to her, still focusing on the eyes and with the same settings, the detail just gets better because now you can see a closer version of all that beauty, hard to believe that anything can be that sharp.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 1.4 s 1/640 ISO 400 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 1.4 s 1/640 ISO 400 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

This next image of Ashley was photographed outside and at f 1.4 to see how well the lens handled natural light and to better understand it’s sphere of sharpness. Photographing with a wide-open aperture is one of my favorite style choices. The Bokeh effect, “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light” is simply incredible. Ashley’s eyes are beautifully in focus while the rest of her face has a very natural fall off of sharpness due to the 1.4 aperture and my distance to my subject, about 4-7 feet. This can be used for portraits where you don’t want total sharpness throughout the image. I use it to soften skin tones and to draw attention to my subject’s eye’s, the sharpest part of the image.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 2.8 s 1/250 ISO 400 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

©JudyHost 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 2.8 s 1/250 ISO 400 Hand Held, Manual Mode.

Changing the aperture to f 2.8 and stepping back from my subject, I once again focused on her eyes. The size of the Bokeh changed. Moving away from her, the Bokeh gets smaller and the sharpness spreads across her body. When shooting with an open aperture beware of your distance to your subject. It will have an effect on how wide spread your sphere of sharpness is.

©Judy Host 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 2.8 s 1/250 ISO 400 Hand Held, Manual Mode

©Judy Host 2016 | Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art – The Ultimate Portrait Lens f 2.8 s 1/250 ISO 400 Hand Held, Manual Mode

This last image of Ashley demonstrates the amazing capacity of this lens to showcase your subject in perfect sharpness while shooting with an open aperture. By stepping back even farther, now about 13-15 feet from my subject, from her toes to her finger tips, my image is tack sharp and I’m still able to get a nice Bokeh effect in the background. For a portrait photographer who prefers to photograph in natural light it really doesn’t get any better than this.

1 comment so far

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  1. I’ve heard Sigma was working on a replacement for their 70-200mm f/2.8.
    Note to Sigma; if you do a shorter focal lenght lens like the 50-100 art for apsc . Please please make the long end a little longer for greater compression. Please give it OS . Please work on the bokeh the 85 art and 50-100 are phenomenal . Keep it along the lines of these.
    Suggestion 90-175 mm f/2 or 2.8 OS HSM 1.3x torque motor . Fast and accurate autofocus is a must. I don’t care if it’s heavy if it out performs the competition. I’m a Sigma fanboy keep em coming. I did buy a Tamron 15-30 VC . Two days after the purchase Sigma announced the 12-24 art. I was bummed. But I needed the f/2.8 and the VC. This is why I chose it over the Nikkor 14-24. I had been using the Sigma 8-16 and loved it. But needed better low light performance. The perspective you get in the 12-24 mm range cannot be replicated especially 12-15 mm . This was defining my style and giving me a name for the look I was giving my clients. Now I may have to get the new Sigma 12-24 art to regain my look. Even f/3.2 would have helped a ton the OS would have knocked it out of the park. I know that would have been a super task of building that lens. And it would have been even bigger.
    Thanks for the great glass you have been giving us.