Sigma 85mm f/1.4 – Unboxing and Quick Testing

I skipped the weekend, but today I have a quick update. My Sigma 85mm f/1.4 came in last Thursday. I ripped the box open and marveled at its build quality — very impressive. It has a nice almost rubberized matte finish that’s much better looking (and feeling) than their other lenses.

Here are some pics of what came in the box (click to enlarge):

Sigma 85mm f/1.4
Sigma 85mm f/1.4

Sigma 85mm f/1.4
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 with Hood and Lens Bag

Sigma 85 w/ APS-C Hood Extension
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 with APS-C Hood Extension and Hood

The lens bag it comes with is very nice — of much better quality and offering more protection than the silly bags that canon’s L lenses come with. Probably even better in quality than the ones canon’s L tele-zooms come with. I’ll never use it, but it’s nice to have.

The lens also comes with an APS-C hood extension, which increases the shading of the stock hood [effectively making it about 1″-1.5″ deeper] for cropped sensors. My guess is that since the lens is effectively a telephoto @ ~135mm, it needs better shading since cropped sensors will really only use the center of the lens.

Once I was done admiring the lens, I decided to take some quick t est shots to test its sharpness and focus accuracy. The main reason behind this is that i’ve heard many tales of inconsistencies in Sigma’s manufacturing process that had people sending back their lenses 2 or 3 times before they got a “sharp copy” or one that focused accurately. I was impressed in this area too, as the lens seemed to nail focus every time (and very quickly compared to Canon’s 85 f/1.2L — both versions) It’s still sharp at f/1.4, very sharp by 2.8 and ridiculous by f/4. Check out the samples below:

Sigma 85mm @ f/4
Sigma 85mm @ f/1.4

Sigma 85mm @ f/2.8
Sigma 85mm @ f/2.8

Sigma 85mm @ f/1.4
Sigma 85mm @ f/4

I skipped a stop (f/2), but the image _does_ sharpen considerably from f/1.4 to f/2.

Overall I’m very happy with my purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking at getting a lens at this focal length. 85mm is useful on both a crop and a full-frame camera for portraits or any other close-up work.

check out my other post for my reasoning behind purchasing this lens.

I got a chance to shoot some live music with this lens the day right after it came in, so hopefully I can write about that very soon along with a more in-depth review of the Sigma 85. In the meantime, you can check ‘em out in my gallery. This lens is really amazing, all things considered.

If you wanna impulse buy it like I did, I picked mine up at Amazon.com for $20 cheaper than anywhere else online (and free 2-day shipping with prime!) — its about $950 for Canon mounts, and $970 for Nikon and others.

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