What two things does a photographer want from a medium telephoto, large aperture lens like the Sigma 85mm f/1.4?
The first would be Low-Light Performance, and the second would be Bokeh.
What about low-light performance? The Sigma delivers in spades.
It has an amazingly wide aperture of f/1.4 with excellent build quality. In fact, it makes the Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens feel and look like a toy in comparison. The high quality build and excellent glass do not disappoint, even wide open. Wide open is the term for the lens’s largest aperture. Many lenses do not perform well at either end of the aperture spectrum, but this one does. Reviewers report that there is little or no vignetting or barrel distortion bokeh.
And Bokeh? Well, the Bokeh of this lens is nothing short of breath-taking. Bokeh is the blurred background that separates good portraits from normal portraits. Portrait photography excellence is based on creamy smooth backgrounds, and this lens is amazing at that.
So the Bokeh and low light performance are great, but what else can be said about this awesome piece of glass?
*Build quality! If you were able to hold a Canon 85mm f/1.8 in one hand and this one in the other, you would be shocked at how much of a difference there is. The f/1.8 feels like a toy in comparison. Of course, the Canon 85 f/1.8 is also plastic compared to the metal of the Sigma, but size and feel are quite impressive.
HSM stands for hyper-sonic motor. It delivers extremely fast focus. So, when paired with the wide aperture, the quickness is going to make a believer out of you.
Color – personally, there has never been a lens that I used that made me stop and try to figure out why the images looked so darn good. And it is the quality of the color and contrast.