Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art for Sony E-mount - a brilliant monster

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ntsekov New Member • Posts: 3
Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art for Sony E-mount - a brilliant monster

I'd try to keep it short - I've considered the idea of buying an adapter (the Sigma MC-11 or Metabones) with Canon 135mm f/2, but then decided against it. The Sigma adapter makes any lens work as native, but I'll have to live with the knowledge my next Firmware could screw everything, and the Metabones doesn't support the Eye-AF. Othern than that - buying the MC-11 and the Canon is always a good idea, especially if you find the Canon cheaper.
My other choices for 135mm were the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art and the Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8. I thing both are great lens and come at a fair prices, a bit higher for the Batis in Europe, and at the end I chose the Sigma, because:

  • More light with usable f/1.8 aperture. Better to close when I don't need it than don't have the option at all.
  • It's super sharp even wide open (in corners too, doesn't matter) and can be stopped to f/2.2 w/o noticable change in the bokeh, becoming even sharper. At 2.8 it's superb, and by f/4-f5.6 you just cannot make it better.
  • Also extremely well controlled - no CA or any other type of aberration, coma corrected to a pixel it seems, not even a need to shoot with the huge hood, since you have to deliberately set up a scene to see a flare.
  • Off focus areas don't show purple or cyan casts (something I hate in my 85mm f/1.8 FE), the transition to focus areas is perfect.
  • Has superb bokeh. No swirly or busy stuff, smooth, no rings. Stays pretty much the same up to f/2.2, then starts showing some forms at f/2.8, still staying smooth.
  • Superb build quality, as is to be expected from the new Sigma series.

What can be considered against buying it:

  • It's huge and heavy. I cannot stress enough on both. Hood makes it enormous. By no means this is travel lens.
  • IMO SSIgma just slapped the MC-11 inside, or something similar, meaning the lens is longer than the Canon/Nikon variants. Same length as the lens plus adapter or similar.
  • AF is super quiet and fast, but sometimes it makes mistakes, and I don't like how it follows movement. From what I gathered, the Batis is no better for static photos, but it's much better for video or AF-C mode. Compared to the popular Sony 85mm f/1.8 FE - it's pretty much the same, but you have worse time to refocus if it hits something not when you need it.
  • Doesn't have optical stabilization. With A7RII and above it doesn't matter much, and it doesn't help with people anyway, but still - the Zeiss has it. Probably the reason it's f/2.8, I guess.

Overall I'm super happy with it. I'd advise to buy the Batis if you need it for travel, or the Canon + adapter if you want more flexible system (this will also allow you to get some pretty nice lens later for much less compared to some Sony/Sigma alternatives). I love how Sony turned out to be the "multisiystem" (or sort of).
I also have a longer review on my website but I think it's probably against forum rules to place a link.

 ntsekov's gear list:ntsekov's gear list
Sony a7R II Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Sigma 135mm F1.8 Art Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 III
Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art
Telephoto prime lens • Canon EF, Nikon F (FX), Sigma SA Bayonet, Sony FE
Announced: Feb 21, 2017
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