102 of 107 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic lens! A comparison to Canon's f1.2 L mk II and f1.8...,
This review is from: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Large Aperture Medium Telephoto Prime Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Electronics)I've always been hesitant to try sigma lenses because I hear a lot of problems that people have with the focusing on them. I passed up on the widely regarded 50mm f1.4 and 30mm f1.4 even though they got stellar reviews for the most part. When Sigma came out with the 85mm f1.4 for less than half the price of Canon's 85mm f1.2 L II, I had to see if it would save me a bundle in my search for a great 85mm.
I took some time to compare this one to the 85mm f1.8 and the 85mm f1.2 L II by renting all three before making any decisions, and I have to say that this lens really impresses!
The Sigma lens is much lighter than the Canon f1.2 and therefore, much easier to handle. The first thing that comes to mind when putting the canon f1.2 on my camera is how awkward everything feels - it's weight and "top-heaviness" really throw the balance off (I'm using a 7D) and makes the whole set-up feel wrong. With the sigma, I don't get this feel.... it feels right. It feels like almost a rubbery-plastic, and while the canon f1.2 feels more solid, the Sigma feels more modernized to me. The Canon f1.8 is no slouch, but feels lacking compared to the other two in build quality. The Sigma comes with a unique 2-part lens hood to help avoid hood vignetting on full-frame cameras. There is a middle section that you leave off if you are using a full-frame camera, but then add back on if you have a crop camera.
As for image quality, I'm not going to go too much into detail here because other reviews across the web have conducted much more scientific tests than me and provide images to compare. I will just summarize my experiences though: in my opinion, the Canon f1.2 has the sharpest photos, especially in the center of the image. The Sigma bests the other 2 in corner sharpness though. The f1.8 has the fastest autofocus, with the f1.2 far behind and Sigma trailing only slightly behind. For bokeh quality, I actually prefer the Sigma to the f1.2. Color and contrast is a tie between the Sigma and f1.2... the Sigma offers slightly warmer photos. The Sigma handles flares better than the f1.8, but not as well as the f1.2. All three seemed to handle chromatic abrasion well in my tests. Just as an overall picture, I really found that I enjoyed the f1.2 pictures the best, but did I enjoy them $1000 more? Probably not. The Sigma really wasn't far behind the f1.2 in image quality.
If I were a professional photographer, I would probably go with the canon f1.2 over the Sigma just because that slight edge in image quality and extra light from the f1.2 would probably pay for itself over time. As a hobbyist though, I can't see myself paying over twice as much for the only slightly better lens. The Sigma really provides an excellent option for a midpoint between the Canon f1.8 and f1.2. In addition, it opens up a new way for indoor sports photographers to capture fast action. Because of its slower autofocus, I constantly found that the f1.2 had less keepers when I did indoor fast action photography. The Sigma and f1.8 handled these situations fine. I shoot a lot of indoor dog shows and competitions, so the Sigma is now going to be my go-to lens for those. The f1.8 would have been a great option and still is probably one of the best quality/value ratios out there in my opinion, but the better image quality of the Sigma is apparent. Plus, the extra light from the wider aperture really does help in many situations. I also like the bokeh quality much better than the f1.8.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 17, 2011 4:17:19 AM PDT
Keith Moore says:
Great review, and the last paragraph, very well said. The Canon 85 1.2 isn't really designed for action, indoor shots, but their 135 f2 is an exceptional lens for that purpose.
I have not ever purchased a Sigma lens, but like you, and many others out there, you have to weigh the differences in both price and quality of results with the two lenses, and decide if the 1.2 is really worth twice the price of the Sigma.
Thanks for your review....
Posted on Oct 22, 2011 1:58:01 PM PDT
Huu Lam says:
I just bought this lens, everytime I turn the lens up and down it make a movement like something is loosse inside the lens, does this happened to your lens?
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