Sigma AF 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review

Lens Specifications

Lens construction: 11 elements in 8 groups inc. 1x aspherical and 1x SLD elements.

Maximum aperture f/1.4 – Minimum aperture f/16.
Lens No. of diaphragm blades 9 Rounded.
Lens closest focusing distance 0.85 m (max. magnification ratio 1:8.6)
Dimensions 86 x 88 mm
Weight 725 g
Filter size 77 mm (non-rotating)
Hood petal-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other features Lens provides distance (D) information to the camera, Silent Wave AF motor.




Nikon D700 and Sigma AF 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM with one lens hood.

These are the accessories that comes with the lens.

Sigma AF 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM with both lens hoods.

This is my number one go to studio portrait lens.

I bought this lens almost two years ago and I rarely take this lens out of my studio for outdoor photography, but when it comes to studio portrait photography I use this lens 90% more than other lenses that I have.

If you like to shoot with lenses wide open then you’re gonna love this lens, I usually never go below aperture f/2.5 when I’m using this lens and I find this lens to be sharpest @ f/1.8.

Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/2 - 1/125s - ISO 64
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/2 – 1/125s – ISO 64
Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/2,8 - 1/160s - ISO 32
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/2,8 – 1/160s – ISO 32
Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/4 - 1/250s - ISO 100
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/4 – 1/250s – ISO 100
Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.8 - 1/250s - ISO 64
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.8 – 1/250s – ISO 64

Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.4 - 1/160s - ISO 500
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.4 – 1/160s – ISO 500
Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.8 - 1/250s - ISO 64
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.8 – 1/250s – ISO 64
Nikon D810 - Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.8 - 1/8000s - ISO 100
Nikon D810 – Sigma 85mm 1.4 @ f/1.8 – 1/8000s – ISO 100

This lens has a lot of chromatic aberration from f/1.4 to f/3.2 but that won’t interfere much when used in studio portrait photography.

I almost never use 85mm prime lenses for outdoor portrait photography or for outdoor photography at all, I usually use Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 for outdoor portrait photography, so my 85mm prime lenses are usually sitting at home in the meantime.

This is not a new lens that I’m reviewing, this lens was announced in February 2010, so now it’s seven years old, but who cares, good lenses are timeless and that’s why so many love old vintage lenses, and sometimes good old vintage lenses can cost more than a new one. I think this lens could become a good vintage lens in the future.

Conclusion and recommendation

If there is anything I can recommend then it is the 85mm f/1.4 lenses – Sigma – Nikon or any other brand – for portrait photography.

Most 85mm 1.4 lenses have 9 aperture blades vs most 85mm f/1.8 have 7 aperture blades, except (Tamron 85mm f/1.8 VC USD) and (Nikon 85mm 1.8D) for close up portraits you can really tell a difference in bokeh.