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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 Menzie's Penstemon or as the nerds say - Penstemon davidsonii ;) Found these little purple flowers on the way down from Paradise in Mt Rainier National Park and thought they made a nice foreground to the beautiful and still snowcapped peak in the distance. Captured with the GH5 and 12-35 f/2.8 Lens #lumixloungegh3
 Rainy Day Reflections of Seattle's coolest public library - I almost said coolest building but the new Amazon spheres are crazy cool. I like living in the future - now if we could just ecotopia this place up all would be peachy!
 Upper Sunbeam Falls - Powered by melting snow(seen at the top of the frame) - Captured with GH5 and 12-35 f/2.8 lens 0.4 second exposure.


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