SIGMA recently announced a new full-frame prime lens for both Sony E-Mount and Leica L-Mount. The SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art is a more compact version of SIGMA’s original 85mm f/1.4 Art lens. It offers 77mm front filter thread, IRIS ring with Click and Lock switches, and a programmable AFL button.
85mm has usually been a popular portrait focal length on full-frame cameras. Almost every lens manufacturer has a full-frame 85mm prime lens in its portfolio. SIGMA itself already offers an 85mm f/1.4 lens. Let’s take a closer look at how this new lens differs from the original and what features and specs it brings.
SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art Lens
Because the lens was designed exclusively for mirrorless cameras, SIGMA could keep the dimensions and weight down. The new SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art weighs only 630g / 22.2oz. It has a 77mm front filter thread and a body length of 94.1mm / 3.7in.
The AF motor system employs a stepping motor which is optimized for both phase-detection AF and contrast AF. This has also made the lens body itself much smaller as the focus lens has been made smaller to better suit a stepping motor.
The lens construction is consistent with other lenses from SIGMA’s Art line. In addition to five SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements and one aspherical lens, the 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art has incorporated the latest high refractive index glass, which, according to SIGMA, works to thoroughly correct aberrations (like the axial chromatic aberration) that cannot be handled by the correction functionality on the camera side.
As SIGMA further stated, thanks to ray-trace simulation and real-world testing, the lens was designed to minimize ghosting and handle backlight well.
A new feature of the SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art is an “Iris ring lock switch”. This prevents an unintended movement of the iris ring during shooting. When turned ON at the position A, the iris ring is locked at A. When turned ON at a position other than A, it is locked within the range between the maximum to minimum apertures and will not engage at the position A.
The “AFL button” allows various functions to be assigned from a compatible camera body. In addition to the dust- and splash-proof structure, the lens uses materials such as aluminum and TSC (Thermally Stable Composite).
Comparison with SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
The original SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens (for Sony E-mount and Leica L-Mount) weighs 1130g / 2.49lb (almost twice the weight of the new lens) and its dimensions are 94.7 x 126.2mm / 3.73 x 4.97″. That is a huge difference. This lens was originally designed for SLR lens mounts and then ported for mirrorless mounts, hence the large size.
It also seems that the new lens does not provide a direct connection between the focus ring and the focusing element – it uses the so-called fly-by-wire focus. As a result, it will be virtually impossible to use follow focus systems with the new lens. The original 85mm lens used a standard manual focus ring mechanism with a direct connection.
Another difference is the filter thread diminution. The original SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art uses a massive 86mm thread whereas the new 85mm has a “more reasonable” 77mm thread.
SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art – Key Specs
- Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups, with 5 SLDs and 1 aspherical lens
- Iris ring, Iris ring click switch, Iris ring lock switch
- AFL button
- Focus mode switch
- Dust-and splash-proof design
- 11-blade rounded diaphragm
- High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
- Angle of view: 28.6°
- Number of diaphragm blades: 11 (rounded diaphragm)
- Minimum aperture: f/16
- Minimum focusing distance: 85cm / 33.5in.
- Maximum magnification ratio: 1:8.4
- 77mm front filter thread
- Maximum dimensions: φ82.8mm × 94.1mm / φ3.3×3.7in.
- Weight: 630g / 22.2oz.
- Hood with lock included
- Compatible with Sigma USB Dock UD-11 (sold separately / for L-Mount only)
Price and Availability
The SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens is available for pre-order now. Both, the Sony E-Mount and Leica L-Mount versions are priced at $1,199 (around €905 + VAT in Europe).
What do you think about the new SIGMA 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art lens? Would you like to see more compact-sized fast full-frame primes? Let us know in the comments section underneath the article.