Canon 85/1.8 Or Sigma 85/1.4

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guidenet Forum Pro • Posts: 15,748
Re: Canon 85/1.8 Or Sigma 85/1.4

aulrehpotsirhc wrote:

I just want to compare whether it is worth buying the sigma over the canon's since canon's is already so good.

I am using a 5dm2 so I would like to hear your opinions

I shoot Nikon and use the Nikon 85 f/1.4G. When it came down to it, it was close run between the older Nikon 85 1.4D, the new 85 f/1.4G and the Sigma 85 f/1.4 HSM. All three had beautiful almost magical micro contrast and tonal ramping I love in a good 85mm portrait lens. I down checked all the other 85mm lenses available for just not having that magical output I love.

My old Nikon cream machine 85 f/1.4D had been stolen and I can't do my job well without one. I chose the new Nikon 85 f/1.4G for $1700 but probably would have been just as happy with the Sigma 85 f/1.4 HSM for less money. The output is very similar. In fact the output on the Sigma is almost identical to the Nikon that was stolen. It seems to be similar to the Canon 85 f/1.2L as well.

Obviously, I've never owned the Canon 85 f/1.8 but from what I've seen, I don't think it holds a candle to the Sigma 85 f/1.4 HSM. I think it's a totally different league. I think it looks sterile somehow. The only Canon I'd consider would be the nice 85 f/1.2 but it's much more expensive and I'm not sure the output is any better than this Sigma 85 f/1.4 HSM.

So, if you want to save the money and get a slightly slower Canon 85 f/1.8 and don't mind the more sterile, flatter look, go ahead. If you want that magic that a few 85mm portrait lenses can give you, Sigma is one of those, in my opinion. If it were me, there's just no other choce between the two you mention. Pay the price for something a little special. You'll be happier for it for the long term. Really happier.

Caveat: Buying any 85 f/1.4 or f/1.2 isn't for the faster aperture most of the time. It's for the other attributes the lenses seem to be capable of. I rarely shoot mine at f/1.4. It is the beautiful look the lens gives at any aperture I'm using and what makes it worth the money. Also, you need to learn the lens. These wonderful 85s take a little longer to learn how to get that special look out of them.

Take care and have fun. Get your own "cream machine"  

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Cheers, Craig
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