I’ve reviewed Sigma’s Art Series lenses on this site in the past and each time I’m blown away by just how impressive they are. So, when the opportunity to test out their 24-70mm F2.8 and 85mm F1.4 came up, I had to jump at the chance. For the better part of a month, I had the opportunity to use the Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 and 85mm F1.4 with my trusty Sony a7R II and even got a chance to try it on an a7R IV – here’s how it went down.
Tech Specs via Sigma
Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art
|Lens Construction||15 Elements in 11 Groups|
|Angle of View||28.6º|
|Number of Diaphragm Blades||11 (Rounded diaphragm)|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||85 cm / 33.5 in|
|Filter Size (mm)||77mm|
(Diameter x Length)
|?82.8mm×94.1mm / ?3.3×3.7in.|
|Weight||630g / 22.2oz.|
|Corresponding Mounts||Sony E|
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art
|Lens Construction||19 Elements in 15 Groups|
|Angle of View||84.1–34.3°|
|Number of Diaphragm Blades||11 (rounded diaphragm)|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||18–38cm|
|Filter Size (mm)||?82mm|
|Maximum Magnifications||Wide 1:2.9-Tele 1:4.5|
|Dimensions (Diameter x Length)||?87.8mm × 122.9mm / ?3.5in. × 4.8in.|
|Weight||835g / 29.5oz.|
|Corresponding Mounts||Sony E-mount|
Skip the Kit Get This Zoom Instead
While I’m not going to lie, there’s a big jump between the kit lenses that are included with a new camera purchase and this lens but make no mistake that it’s worth the investment. While many kit lenses focus on a wide range of covered focal distances you’re often left sacrificing large apertures (needed for collecting more light). Many of today’s full-frame cameras allow you to bump up the ISO levels in your settings but that might not always be ideal. Instead, investing in a fast zoom lens, like the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art lens will give you the perfect focal distance range for event photography with a solid f/2.8 maximum aperture that delivers beautiful bokeh and can handle challenging lighting conditions.
For Portraits, This is a No-Brainer
The 85mm focal length is a personal favorite. Before COVID effectively shut down my photography business, shooting headshots and portraits at an 85mm equivalent was always on my shot list. So much so in fact, that I put money down on the Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM – a serious portrait lens with a serious price tag. The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art brings over everything you’d expect from a professional portrait lens but does it a considerable cost savings over the Sony G Master. It is a no-compromises lenses that delivers on weather-sealing, beautiful bokeh, a slight weight savings, and is not only tack-sharp but doesn’t lose out on Sony’s Eye AF capabilities. Having used this lens for a few weeks, it had me longing to shoot headshots and portraits again. I found myself mostly using it around the house (our own little bubble) but am giving serious thought to offloading the G Master and picking this up instead.
Sigma Art Series Lenses – Design & Construction
It’s not hard to keep recommending Sigma’s lenses to anyone that’s looking for options to growing their lens repertoire. They’re beautifully constructed and rugged to boot. I found myself loving the option to switch between a “click-less” aperture on the 85mm F/1.4 DG DN Art as it’s tactile experience that I love when shooting with my FujiFilm cameras. Both lenses offer on-lens AE/AF lock options that can help you keep your attention to your subject if that’s how you prefer to shoot.
During my testing period, NY was getting rained on pretty consistently. I found that the weather-sealing in the Sigma lens lineup can more than hold its own. While I didn’t torture-test these lenses, I never thought twice about getting out into the elements with them. Sigma makes some great glass and can confidently recommend these two lenses whether you’re shooting in a studio or in a more rugged environment.
Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art DG DN
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art DG DN
There’s a lot to love about the Sigma 24-70mm and 85mm Art lenses. They provide photographers with high-quality images in no-compromises lenses and these two are no exception. While fanboys/girls may want to refute anything that isn’t coming directly from an OEM, the truth is that Sigma has been making exceptional glass for multiple systems (including their own) for years and have only gotten better at it. If you’re an event photographer or portrait photographer, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art and 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art should be in your gear bag ASAP. Solid construction with equal if not better results than their pricier Sony counterparts makes these lenses easy to recommend.