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      10-31-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
no longer a BMW owner

Drives: 2011 Ford Edge Sport
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Suffolk/Chesapeake, VA

iTrader: (0)

Sigma 85 1.4 for Canon Initial Review

I just bought a Sigma 85 1.4 for Canon. I wanted an 85mm, but the Canon 85L is a little out of my price range, and i can't stand the focus on it. The 1.8 is a little below my price range, and i wanted that extra bit of aperture.

I purchased it from B+H for $969

First impressions on unboxing.
Well boxed up, much bigger than i expected. It feels very solid, not cheap at all. It looks a little cheaper than Canon L glass, but if it holds up, i won't complain. The lens hood is interesting to put on, but it works. I like the method better than Canon's. I also like that they included an APS-C hood adapter for additional coverage. I don't have an APS-C camera, but I'll eventually try it out on APS-H.

First impressions on camera.
Mounted it on my 5Dii, and it's certainly quite substantial. It's a heavy rig, but extremely well balanced. I wouldn't tire of holding it quickly. I took a few shots around the house just to get some initial quality impressions, and I was pleased. Focus is quick(not Canon USM quick, but close), pretty accurate, and it doesn't hunt. As expected, i had to make a micro adjustment (+1 for this copy), and i was in business.

Putting it to use.
I have yet to use it for controlled portrait work, but i shot a birthday party and a little video with it on Saturday. IQ is good, with minimal distortion. Out of focus highlights are quite pleasing, not harsh at all. It hunted a bit in low light on dark subjects, but it was minimal. it hunted for about a second and a half before locking on. That's acceptable for me, as I won't be using it for low light action.

Bottom Line:
Pleased with my purchase so far. I think it's going to get a whole lot of use, and i'll continue to update everyone on it. Feels like a fantastic lens so far, and it's a great price. Nikon's 85 1.4 is upwards of $1500!