Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM impression

by Enche Tjin on April 15, 2011

I tried Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM for Nikon today, and I’m quite impressed by it. The build quality is very good, the lens is quite big and fat (87.6mm x 84.7mm / 3.4 in. x 3.3 in.), 726g plus big lens hood. It looks more like a zoom lens than a fixed-lens. However, it is very balanced with big DSLR cameras such as Nikon D300s, Nikon D700, D3 etc.


Compared to my old Nikon 85mm f/1.4D, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM has quiet auto focus system. The auto focus mechanism seems to work very well and snapy. I also like the smooth finishing but I like Nikon 85mm f/1.4D metal construction + aperture ring better.

Compared to the new Nikon 85mm f/1.4G, Sigma 85mm f/1.4 is a lot cheaper (about $750), Nikon version has Nano coating to reduce flare. But other than that, both lenses are almost similar.

Therefore, I recommend Sigma 85mm f/1.4 as a great alternative to Nikon 85mm f/1.4D or f/1.4G. It provides better value for your money.

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM strong points:

  • Excellent built-quality
  • Great and smooth handling
  • Snapy and quiet auto focus
  • Great picture quality
  • Great out of focus bokeh
  • Under $1000 (competitor lenses are more than $1000)
  • Sharp even at wide open (f/1.4)

Sigma 85mm f/1.5 potential weak points

  • Quality control might not be as strict as Nikon lenses

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 sample pic 1Sigma 85mm f/1.4 HSM sample pic 2DSC_6898

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Egle April 25, 2011 at 8:09 am

Hi There,

I accidentaly came across of this website while googling some info about Nikon lenses. I found your article about the best portrait photography lenses for Nikon cameras, which is Nikon 85mm f/1.4D AF, i am so tempted to buy it as all reviews are SO good, but the price… it is a little bit expensive :( So was very happy to read review on Sigma 85mm f/1.4 as a alternative to Nikon 85mm f/1.4, however, is it really worth spending on Sigma, or is it better to save for a little while and buy Nikon? I own D90 and want to invest into lens for portrait photography. I love your website, by the way :) thanx.

Enche Tjin April 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

It worth the spending on Sigma 85mm in my opinion :) thanks for reading.

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