For the past three weeks I have been shooting with the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM Lens.  In this review I compare it to the Sigma 85mm ART which I also recent reviewed vs the Canon 85mm f/1.2L Lens.

The Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM lens is a $1,798.00 f/1.4 to f/16 lens with an 11-blade aperture design The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART is a $1,199.00 f/1.4 to f/16 lens with a 9-blade aperture design AND you need the MC-11 Adapter because they do not make it in FE mount which brings the total cost to $1448 though Sigma sells bundles that might bring the price down to $1400

Support our work – buy via our links

  • Buy the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 – B&H Photo (no sales tax outside NY)
  • Buy the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART- B&H Photo (no sales tax outside NY)
  • Buy the MC-11 EF to FE Adapter  – B&H Photo (no sales tax outside NY)

Sample FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master Sample Photos

20170212-DSC042711-640-sec-at-f-2.0ISO-64 20170212-DSC042111-2000-sec-at-f-1.4ISO-100 20170212-DSC042091-1250-sec-at-f-7.1ISO-800 20170212-DSC042081-1250-sec-at-f-3.5ISO-125 20170212-DSC041781-800-sec-at-f-5.0ISO-2500 20170212-DSC041641-400-sec-at-f-2.0ISO-100 20170209-DSC039951-500-sec-at-f-2.0ISO-100 20170208-DSC039721-250-sec-at-f-1.4ISO-100 20170208-DSC039661-250-sec-at-f-1.6ISO-100
 

Sample FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master vs Sigma f/1.4 ART Series (Full resolution RAW images for download below)

Sony FE 85mm at f/1.4 vs Sigma ART 84mm at f/1.4
Sony FE 85mm at f/8 vs Sigma ART 84mm at f/8
Sony FE 85mm at f/4 vs Sigma ART 84mm at f/4
Sony FE 85mm at f/4 vs Sigma ART 84mm at f/4

Download Full Resolution RAWS to make your own comparisons 

 

Build Quality:

Both of these lenses are exceptionally well made though the Sony gives you aperture control on the ring with a click/de click switch along with a focus hold button that can be assigned eye-af as well as several other options. The Sony len is dust and moisture resistant and significantly lighter at 1.80 lb (820 g) with a front filter size of 77mm. The Sigma weighs 2.49 lbs not including the extra weight of the adapter and the front filter is a massive 86mm. Another lens you should consider in this focal range is the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8 which weighs just 1 lbs and is noticeably smaller too – I have not personally tested this lens so cannot comment on how it compares but based on the reviews I have seen it too offers a sharp lens and costs less at $1199 no adapter needed. The Sony can be a little noisy to focus at times I don’t hear the same from the Sigma.

Focus:

I expected the native sony lens to blow away the Sigma using the adapter and while the Sony certainly is faster and offers all the additional AF modes like tracking and eye af it really isn’t a fast focusing lens and even with the adapter the sigma does quite well though it starts to slow and hesitate noticeably when you move the AF point near the edges.

Image quality:

After spending a few days shooting and comparing images I can say that I have an extremely hard time deciding if one lens is sharper – wide open at f/1.4 I find both to be exceptionally and sharp. The 11 bladed aperture might contribute to slightly smoother bokeh but the difference is slight. In some lighting scenarios the sigma produces a slightly warmer image. Overall though from center to edge from wide open to f/16 these are two fine lenses.

Summary:

While I’d like to save you a couple hundred I would recommend the Sony 85 for most users – it’s smaller/lighter, offers weather sealing and a few bells and whistles that make it a more versatile lens. The Sigma though is a fantastic value if you don’t mind bigger/heavier and the clunk of using the MC11 adapter. And finally I briefly mentioned it the Zeis batis 85mm f/1.8 which isn’t as fast but much smaller, lighter though it’s almost the same price as the Sigma.

Support our work – buy via our links

  • Buy the Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 – B&H Photo (no sales tax outside NY)
  • Buy the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART- B&H Photo (no sales tax outside NY)
  • Buy the MC-11 EF to FE Adapter  – B&H Photo (no sales tax outside NY)

 

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 They all had dreams. They all had family. They died for us. Arlington National Cemetery is a heavy place, I can't help but think about all the pain and suffering when presented with row upon row of a headstone representing a fallen soldier and my mind boggles that this still happens today. On this little planet hurtling through an incomprehensible ginormous space - some people think it is ok to kill each other. :( p.s. You should google Cornelius H. Charlton - his story is interesting p.p.s My grandfather is buried in Arlington- my Mom's father was instrumental in designing and implementing early radar systems for the Navy in WW2. Captured with the #Sony #a7RII and #Canon #70200L at 200mm and f/3.2
 #mondaymorningshare - I want to see your failed experiments or favorite photos from the last week. GO TO http://photorec.tv/fb to share your fav image from the past week. Here's my #failedexperiment The US Capitol at Sunset. File this under because I could - a 2 minute exposure with the use of a NISI Filters 10-stop ND. I hoped I would get some interesting wispy movement in the clouds but nothing developed. Next I tried a 6 minute exposure (swipe to see it) and while there may be a little more movement in the clouds it certainly wasn't anything to get excited about. And while I often recommend very carefully shooting building and monuments as symmetrically as possible, I purposefully shot from right of center to avoid losing Ulysses S. Grant statue in the front of the capitol. *  Sony #A7RII and #Canon 2470mm with #NiSiFilters #10StopND
 I love traveling with other photographers on #mckaylive trips. Kari, a trip participant, noticed this line of trees and shared her perspective with me. I had glanced at them but hadn't noticed how nicely they lined up when standing at a certain spot #teacherbecomesthestudent :) We had a great day leaving behind the cherry blossom crowds for a much quieter walk around #HarpersFerryWV. And a visit to #BolivarHeights a much fought over hilltop during the civil war and the site of the largest surrender of Union troops - over 12,000 men surrendered to Stonewall Jackson. *  Captured with the #Panasonic #GH4 and #1235mm lens


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