The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art Solves an Issue with Aperture Rings

They’re claiming that the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art is better than the one they made for DSLRs.

If you’re a Sony E mount user, you’ve got a plethora of 85mm lens options. And today, you’re getting another with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art. According to Sigma, they’ve made it around 1lb lighter and 1 inch smaller than the previous version. As Sigma is a licensed Sony partner, you can also expect the autofocus performance to be as good as it possibly can be. That means this lens will fully realize the Eye-AF and Face detection algorithms that Sony cameras use. Couple this with weather sealing, Sigma’s aluminum/Thermally Stable Composite build combo, and the edge to edge sharpness they’re touting, and it seems to be a winner. All this for $1,199! But they’re also solving an issue many newer photographers have been facing with aperture rings.

As a guy who’s been shooting for 1/3 of my life, I sort of feel like an old man saying this, but I roll my eyes and vomit in my mouth at people that hate aperture rings and have issues with them. They’re fantastic. And if you hate them, you’ve got a few options with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art. You can either disable it altogether and use the controls on the Sony camera, or you can set your aperture and then lock it. When you want to change the aperture, you just unlock it and twist it. It’s a novel idea. And if you’re more of a rangefinder-style guy, then you’ll love this idea.

In a conversation with Sigma’s reps, we were told there is a slight variation between the sizing of the L mount and the E mount versions, so consider that when choosing whether or not you’re going to get the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art. If you’re an L mount user, it’s probably your best choice at the moment. But if you’re a Sony user, you’ve got a ton of options between this, Sony, Tokina, and Zeiss. Arguably there’s probably too much choice!

Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art Tech Specs

  • Main Specs
    • L mount and E mount
    • 5 Super Low Dispersion Elements, 1 Aspherical element,
    • 22.2 oz
    • 77mm filter thread
    • 3.7-inch length in L mount
    • Iris ring lock switch
    • Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups, with 5 SLDs and 1 aspherical lens
    • Compatible with high-speed autofocus
    • Compatible with lens-based optical correction
      *Only on camera models that support this functionality. Scope of correction varies depending on
    • Iris ring
    • Iris ring click switch
    • $1,199

      *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.

    • Worthy of note
      • AFLbutton
      • Focus Mode Switch
      • Dust-and splash-proof
      • Hood with lock
      • Compatible with SIGMA USB DOCK UD-11 (sold separately / for L-Mount only)
      • Designed to minimize flare and ghosting
      • Every single lens undergoes SIGMA’s proprietary MTF measuring system “A1”
      • 11-blade rounded diaphragm
      • High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount
      • “Made in Japan” craftsmanship

This doesn’t seem all too shabby! If you were to get the Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG DN Art, it would sort of be a tough choice. The price is right in that it’s cheaper than Sony’s G Master. It’s more expensive than the Sony 85mm f1.8, which is also incredibly good. I own the f1.8. As for Tokina’s, we weren’t the biggest fans, but this Sigma lens seems very promising.

Sample Images

Sample images from the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens courtesy Sigma Corporation.
Sample images from the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens courtesy Sigma Corporation.
Sample images from the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art lens courtesy Sigma Corporation.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.