Sigma announces it as the definitive portrait prime for the mirrorless age but it may well be more than a portrait lens, as the images suggest. Discover the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens.
There is something special about Sigma’s Art line. The series has been consistently redefining both imaging excellence and pleasing in-the-hand experience, since its launch in 2012, and this new lens continues that legacy. It’s not just the looks and touch, it’s everything under the hood, from the dust and splash-proof design or aluminum and TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) construction to the aperture ring that allows for clicked and de-clicked operation, a feature filmmakers will appreciate.
This is not just another portrait lens. Sigma says that with the 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens the company is redefining the portrait lens category. What we’ve here is a completely new design for full-frame mirrorless cameras, as the “DN” designation indicates. It’s not just a name, the lens is a complete reinvention of the definitive fast-aperture portrait prime that pairs class-leading optical performance with a compact, dust-and splash-proof design.
Available for L-Mount and Sony E-Mount
Offered in both L-Mount and Sony E-Mount, this lens features a completely new optical formula that includes five Special Low Dispersion Elements and one aspherical element for exceptional edge-to-edge image sharpness. This new optical formula, Sigma claims, “also thoroughly corrects aberrations, resulting in visually pleasing images with no color bleed, even at maximum aperture. Plus, the 11-blade rounded diaphragm ensures smooth, attractive bokeh. The 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens is handcrafted to the most exacting optical and mechanical tolerances in Sigma’s Aizu, Japan production facility.”
“Briefly put, the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art pairs large-aperture, professional-caliber optical performance with a lightweight, sturdy, and compact body, a combination which has long been difficult to achieve,” reports Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President of Sigma Corporation of America. “This vision is finally realized with the new 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens.” he adds.
A smaller focusing lens is paired with the stepping motor, which is optimized for both phase detection and contrast detection autofocus, allowing for this lens to be notably smaller than the 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art lens — over an inch shorter and more than a pound lighter than the previous version — while achieving a higher degree of edge-to-edge sharpness from F1.4 and through the entire aperture range. Designed exclusively for mirrorless cameras, it has a “large lens diameter and superb optical performance” and “a lightweight and compact body,” a combination which has long been difficult to achieve.
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art features a brass bayonet, plus well-damped switches and rings demonstrate the level of build quality that the Art name represents. Additional benefits include the declickable aperture ring mentioned before, a programmable AFL button on the lens barrel, and a new Iris Ring Lock Switch that prevents unintended movement of the aperture ring during image capture.
More than portraits
Sigma believes that thanks to a whole new world of technical possibilities that will satisfy both professional and advanced amateur photographers, and the unprecedented level of portability, free from size- or weight-related limitations, users can now take out a large-diameter 85mm F1.4 lens for an everyday use such as taking snapshots. The company adds that this is a lens for everyday use and invites photographers to to enjoy photography in an unconventional way.
The images I selected to share with PVC readers surely suggest that you can do more than portraits with this new addition to the Art series, one which opens a new chapter in terms of lenses for mirrorless cameras. The minimum focusing distance: 85cm / 33.5in. paired with the luminous aperture make it an exciting lens for some flower compositions, something that immediately attracted my eye. It would be interesting to explore the potential of the lens for some of my flower photography.
For those who like to browse through the key specifications, here is a short list of features:
- Fast-aperture full-frame prime lens that is surprisingly compact
- Dust and Splash-proof construction
- Completely new optical formula with 5 SLD and 1 Aspherical element
- Stepping motor optimized for contrast and phase detection autofocus
- Clicked and de-clicked aperture ring with Iris Ring Lock Switch
- Available in L-Mount and Sony E-Mount
The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens weighs 630g/ 22.2oz., with a filter size of 77mm and a body length of 94.1mm/ 3.7in. The lens will begin shipping late August 2020, with a price of $1199.