Review: Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art “Bokeh Master” (Nikon F Mount)

sigma prime lenses 105mm 1.4

Portrait photographers will love the Sigma 105mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens, and not just for the bokeh!

Marketed by Sigma as the “Bokeh Master,” the Sigma 105mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens is one the latest additions to the Japanese optics manufacturer’s Art series of lenses. The ninth lens in Sigma’s Art series to feature a wide aperture of f1.4 (six for Full Frame, three for APS-C), it is also the longest focal length currently available in the series. Bokeh addicts will sing songs of praise about the Sigma 105mm f1.4 DG HSM Art lens, provided that they’ve got the adequate arm strength to wield it.

So with that said, start doing those arm curls–because you’re gonna need it.

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Review: Zeiss 75mm f1.5 Biotar – the LEGENDARY Original Version

When a door closes, a window opens. I was expecting to be loaned an M-mount lens, or at the very least, a lens with an M-mount adapter. Instead, what I received from the UPS delivery man was an Exakta-mount lens with a Sony E-mount adapter.

Exakta? I haven’t seen one of those since high school? I guess I won’t be shooting with a Leica M10.

The specific lens I was loaned was a Zeiss 75mm f1.5 Biotar (circa 1939 to 1960), which just happened to also be the same lens Oprema used to base the design of their new 75 Biotar. In case you haven’t heard, Oprema is the company that’s bringing back the 75 Biotar. They asked me if I was interested in writing about it. I accepted the opportunity, because I was curious. When I first heard the announcement, I was going to invest in an M-mount version of this legendary lens. But then, I discovered on eBay how much of a premium legendary demanded, and thus quickly came back to my senses.

Oddly in this case, legendary also meant the lens I was loaned came attached with a Sony E-mount adapter? That was completely unexpected. But then, it didn’t matter. In the end, it worked out all the same… opening doors with a full frame Sony.

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Review: Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 (Sony E Mount, Full Frame)

When the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 was put into my hands a few months ago, I was really curious about this lens. The previous one coming in at 56mm was incredibly soft. Now, that’s all part of the charm of the Velvet series–but when it’s so soft that focus peaking sometimes won’t even work, then it can be tough to get anything in focus with the lens. But the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 is different in a whole bunch of ways. It’s still soft wide open, but you can make that work for you in a number of ways: one of which is to work with a studio flash system.

With the announcement of the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f1.8 available in a number of mounts, this only makes the choice of which 85mm lens to choose for the Sony camera system even more difficult.

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Which One? Sigma 85mm f1.4 or Canon 85mm f1.8 for Portrait Photography

Portrait photographers often find themselves in a bit of a predicament trying to figure out what lens is the right one for them. For Canon photographers, you have two choices under $1,000 in the form of the Sigma 85mm f1.4 and Canon 85mm f1.8. We’ve reviewed both the Sigma and Canon lenses, and thought very highly of both. There are differences to both of them—but in real life practice only one is right for you.

The question is: which one?

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