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Posts Tagged ‘85mm’

Gear of the Year 2017 – Carey’s choice: Sony FE 85mm F1.8

27 Nov
Maybe it’s not everyone’s choice for a ‘landscape’ lens, but I like using the 85mm focal length for just about anything.
Sony a7R II | ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F8

There are times when I find myself dreaming of a make-believe world where I don’t worry much about camera gear. A world where I’ve simplified, and simplified, until I’m down to the bare minimum of what I think I need to accomplish the sort of photographic work that I like to do.

Obviously, that is not the world that I live in.

Nonetheless, in that carefree fantasy land of plentiful-yet-lucrative corporate jobs, wedding ceremonies and endless travel assignments, I skip like a child with a balloon from gig to gig with two interchangeable lens cameras, and a single lens for each; a fast wide-angle for one camera, and a fast 85mm for the other.

The FE 85mm F1.8 is exactly the sort of 85mm lens I’ve been looking for in Sony’s system since I started at DPReview.

I find the compression and reach of the 85mm focal length – neither of which are too extreme – make it a great contrast for 28mm and 35mm lenses, even just for walking around the city. Also, notice the roundness of those out-of-focus highlights, even at F4.
Sony a7R II | ISO 100 | 1/3200 sec | F4

The Sony FE 85mm F1.8 is an affordable, sharp and lightweight lens for Sony’s full frame E-mount cameras. No, you don’t have to just pick two of those.

On an a7-series camera, the 85mm F1.8 balances beautifully, focuses quickly and is more than sharp enough for the 42MP of the a7R II (or a7R III, for that matter). In Sony’s lens lineup, it sits below the FE 85mm F1.4 GM which is a great lens in its own right, but focuses slower and is far bigger and heavier.

And that’s really the kicker for me with this lens. Sony’s a7-series bodies are usefully more compact than full-frame DSLRs, but often, the lenses can be large and unwieldy. With the 85mm F1.8, you’ve got yourself a truly compact kit.

Though this verbiage is always to be taken with a grain of salt (a flake of snow?) the Sony FE 85mm F1.8 has some degree of weather-sealing.
Sony a7R II | ISO 800 | 1/60 sec | F2.8

So, why 85? In general, I find the 85mm focal length a great complement to 28mm and 35mm lenses. Historically, my most-used gear for shooting events were two Nikon D700s, a 35mm F2D and 85mm F1.8D. I first fell in love with this lens combination on a six-week trip to Nepal during college, photographing endless portraits, landscapes and urban life, and was never left wanting.

With longer lenses, like a 105mm or 135mm, I always feel like I’m backing myself into a corner. And yet, I consistently found that a fast 50 was way too close to 28/35mm to be truly useful as far as getting some variety.

Focusing close to your subject with a wide aperture gives you a nice, dreamy look on the FE 85mm F1.8, while maintaining sharpness at your point of focus.
Sony a7R II | ISO 100 | 1/400 sec | F1.8

But with 85mm, you can move in for a tight head-and-shoulders shot or a decor detail, back up to get a candid of a group interacting, and even with some distance, you can still get background separation if you shoot at a wide enough aperture. Speaking of wide apertures, I rarely use 70-200mm F2.8 zooms because of both their weight, and because I often am shooting at F2 or wider as the lights go down and the reception warms up.

I’ve said this before, but I’m a big fan of gear that ‘gets out of your way.’ For me, the FE 85mm F1.8 does just that. It’s straightforward and has a solid feel. I’ve never felt it’s too heavy, or focuses too slowly, and I can just concentrate on what I’m seeing through the viewfinder. If I were considering a new kit to start out with, a couple of Sony a7-series cameras with the FE 28mm F2 and FE 85mm F1.8 would be on my short list to check out.

Out-of-camera JPEG.
Sony a7R III | ISO 800 | 30 sec | F2

Sony FE 85mm F1.8 Sample gallery

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Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Top 10 sample galleries of the year #6: the Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art

19 Nov

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We’re counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Our #6 gallery was looked through more than 1.3 million times. So what product attracted this number of eyeballs? Why, the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art lens of course.

Oh the portraits you will take! This lens is capable of outstanding image quality – read our full review and find out why we gave it a gold award. Not only that, it’s one of the most affordable 85mm F1.4 lens available. So peak through our gallery and see just what all the hype is about.


Top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017:

#10: Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art
#9: Fujifilm GFX 50S
#8: Nikon D7500
#7: Olympus Tough TG-5
#6: Sigma 85mm F1.4
#5: To be revealed on 11/20
#4: To be revealed on 11/21
#3: To be revealed on 11/22
#2: To be revealed on 11/23
#1: To be revealed on 11/24

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Canon 85mm F1.4L IS USM sample gallery

01 Nov

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The Canon 85mm F1.4L, announced at the end of August, updates the company’s series of 85mm primes with a useful new feature: image stabilization. The lens isn’t as fast as the 85mm F1.2L II that came before it, but should offer the ability to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds.

True to its L-series branding it’s dust- and weather-sealed, and it ships this month for $ 1600. DPR staffer Carey Rose and friend of the site Michael Bonocore have been shooting with it on the road and closer to home – take a look at some sample shots.

See our Canon 85mm F1.4L IS USM
sample gallery

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Canon unveils stabilized EF 85mm F1.4L lens

29 Aug

Canon has announced the EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM stabilized portrait prime. It’s the company’s first F1.4 offering at that focal length, joining its current EF 85mm F1.8 USM and EF 85mm F1.2L II USM lenses. The EF 85mm F1.4L provides up to four stops of stabilization, uses a nine-blade aperture and offers a dust and weather-resistant build.

In terms of the competition, the new EF 85mm F1.4L doesn’t aim to beat the $ 1200 Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art on price: it will debut at $ 1600. At 950g / 33.5oz it does weigh significantly less than the Sigma, even with stabilization, but that may say more about the quite heavy 1130g / 39.9oz Art lens than it does about the Canon.

The Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM is expected to ship in November.

Press release

CANON U.S.A. EXPANDS ITS LENS PORTFOLIO WITH THE NEW EF 85MM F/1.4L IS USM LENS AND THEIR FIRST-EVER MACRO TILT-SHIFT LENSES

New Canon EF Lenses Support a Variety of Photography Applications including Architecture, Portrait, Food and Landscape

MELVILLE, N.Y., August 29, 2017 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the new Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens as an addition to the Company’s existing 85mm focal-range lens line-up and three new Tilt-Shift macro lenses: the TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lens and TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro lens. Canon also announced a new Macro Twin-Lite MT-26EX-RT flash. These new products will help provide both advanced amateur and professional photographers the unique photography tools for a variety of applications and solutions including architecture, landscape, food, product and portrait photography.

“Creating a powerful, timeless image requires more than just a camera. It requires high-quality, well-crafted optics and flashes to capture compelling photography,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., “These new lenses along and the Macro Twin-Lite flash will continue to push the boundaries and expand the possibilities of what advanced amateur and professional photographers capture and share with the world.”

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 85mm focal-length lenses are traditionally very sought-after options for portrait photographers. With that in mind, Canon is expanding its EF 85mm line up with the introduction of the new Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM; the first Canon EF 85mm lens to feature image stabilization, providing up to four stops* of shake correction for smooth and crisp imagery.

The EF 85mm utilizes one large diameter, high-precision molded glass aspherical lens and features an ASC coating. The large f/1.4 aperture produces shallow depth-of-field, fast shutter speeds and a bright image inside the viewfinder, allowing photographers to focus and compose their image reliably. In addition, a circular aperture with 9-blade iris allows for beautiful bokeh.

The New Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 L IS USM is scheduled to be available November 2017 for an estimated retail price of $ 1599.00††.

New Tilt-Shift Lenses
Tilt-Shift lenses have several applications for suitable photographers because of their ability to provide enhanced creative control over perspective through the tilt function and depth-of-field through the shift function in their images. This ability can be optimal when photographing landscapes, portraits, and architecture.

The image quality derived from Canon Tilt-Shift lenses has evolved considerably since their first inception several years ago. Enhanced optical elements like molded aspherical glass and UD lenses are at the core of the new Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lens and TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro lens. These features provide users with edge-to-edge resolution, improved image quality over previous Canon TS-E lenses and minimum distortion. Canon also included two anti-reflective coatings, SubWaveLength Structure Coating (SWC) in the TS-E 50mm f/2.8L and TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro lenses and Air-Sphere Coating (ASC), into the TS-E 50mm f/2.8L and TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lenses. SWC helps to reduce flare and ghosting, while ASC is a new technology that provides amazingly high, anti-reflective performance, particularly when alleviating incidental light that can enter a lens.

The new Canon Tilt-Shift lenses also offer improved operability over previous models, including larger tilt, shift-and-lock knobs, lock-release button and a new tilt-locking mechanism that firmly locks the lens in the zero-tilt position to help prevent unintended tilting to increase more precise shooting capabilities. The rotation of the tilt-shift lenses also allows users to freely change the axis of tilt movement and shift from right angles to parallel to better adapt to various shooting conditions and situations.

The new Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro lens, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro lens and TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro lenses are scheduled to be available November 2017 for an estimated retail price of $ 2199.00††.

Canon Macro Twin-Lite MT-26EX-RT Flash
To further enhance a photographer’s ability to shoot macro photography, the new Canon Macro Twin-Lite MT-26EX-RT Flash can be the ideal tool. The use of a macro twin-lite allows for a more ideal lighting situation for photographers, and can be adjusted and shifted depending on the direction the photographer would like to control. Detachable macro twin lites can be rotated up to 60 degrees, and features a maximum guide number of 85.3 ft (26 m)**.

The new Canon Macro Twin-Lite MT-26EX-RT Flash inherits the ease of use and operability of Canon’s latest Speedlite EX series flashes and increased brightness of the focusing lamp compared to previous Canon Macro-Twin Lites. There is also less noise produced from the charging of the lights.

The new Canon Macro Twin-Lite MT-26EX-RT Flash is scheduled to be available November 2017, for an estimated retail price of $ 989.99††.

For more information on all of these products, please visit usa.canon.com

* Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards. Testing performed using the EOS-1D X Mark II SLR camera. The number of stops may vary based on the camera model used.

**Guide Number reflects the amount when both sides are fired. Flash output for quick flash (green ready light) is approximately 1/2 to 1/6 of full output (depending on the charge status).

†† Availability, prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set be individual dealers and may vary.

Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM Specifications

Principal specifications
Lens type Prime lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 85 mm
Image stabilization Yes (4 stops)
Lens mount Canon EF
Aperture
Maximum aperture F1.4
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Optics
Elements 14
Groups 10
Special elements / coatings One molded glass aspherical element + air sphere and fluorine coatings.
Focus
Minimum focus 0.85 m (33.46)
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Focus distance limiter No
Physical
Weight 950 g (2.09 lb)
Diameter 87 mm (3.43)
Length 105 mm (4.13)
Materials Magnesium alloy
Sealing Yes
Colour Black
Filter thread 77.0 mm
Hood supplied Yes
Tripod collar No

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Comparing a 50mm Versus 85mm Lens for Photographing People

12 May

As a writer for Digital Photography School, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from beginner and intermediate photographers is, “If I have to choose just ONE lens to buy right now, which one should I choose?” We’ve previously discussed the differences between a 24mm lens and a 50mm lens for photographing people, and in that same vein, it’s time for another lens showdown!

lens photographing people

In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between an 85mm and a 50mm lens for photographing people. Once again, I’ll walk you through several sets of similar images taken with each lens so that you can easily see the differences between the two. Hopefully, you can walk away with a better understanding of which lens might be the best upgrade for you.

To keep things consistent, all images in this article were taken with a Canon 60D, and either the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens or the Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens. The Canon 60D is an APS-C sensor (cropped sensor) camera, so in order to determine the functioning focal length of these lenses on this camera, multiply the lens focal length by 1.6 (multiply by 1.5 if you use Nikon). So on a cropped sensor camera, the 50mm lens functions roughly as an 80mm lens, and the 50mm lens functions as a 136mm lens.

1. Differences in Depth of Field

lens photographing people

This image was taken with Canon 85mm lens at f/1.8.

One of the biggest differences between the 85mm lens and the 50mm lens is the distance that you’ll need to stand from your subject. With the 85mm lens, the minimum focusing distance is 2.8 ft, and with the 50mm lens, the minimum focusing distance is 1.15 ft.

This means that in general, you will be standing further away from your subject with the 85mm lens, than you will with the 50mm. In turn, this decreases the depth of field, which means that images shot with the 85mm lens tend to have much blurrier bokeh than images shot with the 50mm lens, even when using the same aperture.

lens photographing people

This image was taken with a Canon 50mm at f/1.8.

You can see the difference clearly in the cherry blossoms in the background of the two images above, both of which were shot at f/1.8. The cherry blossoms are fairly well blurred in both images, but the shape of the blossoms is more defined in the image taken with the 50mm lens, and the blossoms are significantly more blurred and creamy in the image that with the 85mm lens.

Of course, everyone has a different preference when it comes to bokeh. Some prefer the more uniform creaminess that the 85mm lens offers, while other photographers prefer to have a little more definition in the background.

lens photographing people

Left: 85mm lens | Right: 50mm lens.

You may even find that you prefer different approaches in different applications! For example, I usually favor the more uniform bokeh of the 85mm lens. However, when I’m photographing in the grass, I prefer the bit of texture which the 50mm lens provides (see the examples above).

This is purely a matter of preference, so start making mental notes about which type of images you tend to prefer when you look at other photographers’ work. If you find that you are always drawn to the creamier texture, then the 85mm lens may be a better fit for you. If you prefer a bit more texture in the background, you may want to consider the 50mm lens instead.

2. Differences in Framing

lens photographing people

This image was taken with 50mm lens.

In addition, spend some time thinking about the content of your backdrops. Using an 85mm lens will result in an image that is more closely framed on your subject. On the other hand, shooting with the 50mm lens will result in an image that includes more of the background (though not nearly as much as shooting with the Canon 24mm lens).

Do you happily hike up to the top of a mountain for a photo session? You might want to consider the 50mm lens in order to more fully capture the trees and vistas in the background behind your portrait subject(s).

lens photographing people

This image was taken in exactly the same place as the previous one, only using the 85mm lens instead of the 50mm.

On the other hand, do you often find yourself trying to disguise the background in your images? Do you shoot on location with backgrounds that are sometimes out of your control and/or unpredictable?  In that case, you may want to consider the 85mm lens.

When you combine the decreased depth of field of the 85mm lens with the closer framing of your subject, the 85mm lens is stellar at creating beautiful portrait images at almost any location.

3. Differences in Shooting Distance

lens photographing people

This image was taken with 50mm lens.

Remember when I said that when you’re using an 85mm lens you’ll be standing further away from your subject than you would be using a 50mm lens? Here’s another reason why that’s important to know, I almost never use my 85mm lens inside our home.

Our house is just over 1,000 square feet, and depending on the room, sometimes I physically cannot back up far enough to use my 85mm lens. Aside from official photography business, it’s important to me to be able to capture little day to day moments of our family, and so having a fast lens that I can use indoors is a must-have for me.

As much as I love my 85mm lens, it just isn’t a great fit for that purpose given the size of our home. Your mileage may vary.

Lens photographing people

This image was taken with 85mm lens.

On the other hand, when we’re outdoors I often prefer my 85mm lens. In that situation, standing further away from my subjects is a good thing. I can let my kids play and have fun without being all up in their business. Having a bit more space between them and the camera means that they’re able to relax more easily, which in turn leads to more genuine expressions and candid smiles.

Conclusion

As you can see, both of these lenses are great for capturing portrait-style images of people – I personally keep both in my camera bag and use them with near equal frequency.

That said, if you’re only able to purchase one lens right now, both lenses have situations in which they outshine the other, so it’s important for you to think realistically about your preferences and the way you’ll use a portrait lens most often in order to get the most bang for your buck!

If you have one of these lenses – which do you use the most for people photography?

The post Comparing a 50mm Versus 85mm Lens for Photographing People by Meredith Clark appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Speedmaster 65mm and 85mm fast primes for Fujifilm GFX on the way

26 Apr

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Chinese manufacturer Zhong Yi Optics has shown of a pair of manual focus prime lenses for Fujifilm’s medium format GFX 50S at a tradeshow at Beijing. The lenses are currently the fastest yet announced for GF mount.

The new lens is a Speedmaster 65mm F1.4, which is exclusively designed for the GFX system. Details are scarce, other than what can be seen from photos of the lens. It has manual aperture and focus rings and supports 77mm filters. Mounted on the Fujifilm it will be equivalent to a 51mm F1.1 lens on a full frame body.

The second lens already exists and is being made available for the G-mount. The Speedmaster 85mm F1.2 is equivalent to 67mm F0.95 and features ED, HRI and low-dispersion elements. The lens has a minimum focus distance is 1 meter and 11 aperture blades. It too accepts 77mm filters.

This pair of lenses will ship sometime in 2017 at prices to be announced later.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

20 Mar
Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Portrait sample using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.

Last summer I had the opportunity to test out the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art lens and review it for dPS. I absolutely loved the lens, so when the opportunity arose to try Sigma’s 85mm f/1.4 Art lens, I jumped at the chance.

I continue to be excited by Sigma’s lineup of Art lenses, as they offer incredible image quality for a great price. Several of my photographer friends were singing this lens’s praises since it began shipping, so I was eager to see if it lived up to its reputation.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A

First Impressions of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

As a Nikon shooter, I tested the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens in a Nikon mount. The first thing I noticed about this lens is that it is an absolute beast. The lens is 3.7 inches wide by 5 inches long (94.7mm x 126.2mm), and weighs in at a whopping two and a half pounds (1113 g / 39.3 oz.)!  Compare this to Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L II lens, which weighs in at four ounces lighter and is more than an inch and a half shorter. The filter thread is 86mm, compared to 72mm for the Canon one. For another comparison, Nikon’s 85mm f/1.4G is also more than an inch and a half shorter and 2/10 of an inch slimmer, weighs more than a pound less than the Sigma at 595 g / 21oz.), and accepts a 77mm filter.

Specs

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens consists of 14 elements in 12 groups, featuring two low dispersion SLD elements and an aspherical element to help reduce chromatic aberration. The construction of the lens feels as solid as other Sigma Art lenses I’ve used. The metal barrel has a nice finished look, the switches and focusing ring have a high quality feel to them and they are easily located when looking through the viewfinder. The ribbed rubber focusing ring takes up a large portion of the lens barrel and provides a long, smooth throw, perfect for manually focusing if you desire.

There is rubber sealing around the lens mount to protect against dust and moisture, as well as oil repellent coatings on the front and rear elements. Sigma also states that the lens’s hypersonic motor (HSM) has 1.3x more torque than its predecessor, allowing the lens to focus faster. Minimum focus distance is 33.3 inches, similar to competitors’ lenses.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

The Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM A

Fast glass

The fast maximum aperture of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art makes this lens a workhorse for many applications. At f/1.4, you’re getting a lot of light through the lens and onto the imaging sensor, making it ideal for low light situations. In addition, that fast aperture allows for use of lower ISOs, helping to minimize noise. Finally, working at wider apertures such as f/1.4 mean you can force your viewer to look exactly where you want by creating images with extremely shallow depth of field.

Accessories

The lens ships with a high quality padded soft case, ideal for transporting the lens. Sigma also provides a sizable plastic hood, ideal for helping to eliminate lens flare off the sizable front element. The hood locks into place securely and offers good protection from impact as well.

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is compatible with Sigma’s USB dock, which helps facilitate the updating of firmware, lens calibration, or other customizations such as focus parameters. Unfortunately, I was not provided with the USB dock for this review. My first time shooting with the lens I found it to front focus quite a bit. This was corrected by using my Nikon D810’s AF Fine Tune feature, but in my 25 years in photography, that’s a feature I’ve never had to use before, so I was a little put off by the need to do so.

In Practical Use

Once the AF issues were corrected, the lens was awesome to use. The autofocus was fast and quiet and the lens was tack sharp. The beauty of a portrait lens at f/1.4 is the ability to blur the background way out of focus and have the sharp areas of the image really jump out at you. This made the initial front-focusing issues all the more of a problem because when you photograph using such shallow depth of field if you miss your focus, you really miss it! It’s imperative that you’re precise and that the lens can be counted on to focus where you tell it to.  See this article I wrote: Fast Glass: Tips for Working With Wide Aperture Lenses for more that.

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art is an excellent portrait lens. The bokeh is buttery smooth and the contrast and sharpness make for a beautiful look to the image straight out of the camera. Repeatability of focus was a bit of an issue at times, and I occasionally had to refocus the lens when taking multiple shots at the same distance.  While for me it wasn’t a major problem, it’s worth noting when you may need to work under greater pressure than what I was facing in my test shoots.

Portrait sample with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 art lens.

Portrait sample with the Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art lens.

Other applications

The lens does exhibit some focus breathing when changing focus from one distance to another. Focus breathing is where objects in the image become more or less magnified as the focus is changed. This won’t be a major problem for still shooters unless you are focus stacking, but for video shooters, this may be a slight cause for concern, especially when doing drastic focus pulls.

While I did not have a chance to use the lens under these circumstances, I was struck by how quickly the lens focused and thought it would have made an excellent lens for photographing sports such as basketball, back in my sports photography days. In addition, the excellent image quality and wide aperture mean the lens can be used in many other situations. Those include; landscape photography, when either a moderate telephoto focal length is needed, or when photographing a flower, tree, or another object when you want a shallow depth of field to blur the background or foreground.

Wildlife Example Using Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Wildlife example shot with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens. Photo courtesy Dennis Clark / dennisaclark.com

Pros

When properly calibrated, the lens is tack sharp and provides stellar image quality. Build quality is outstanding, and the lens felt good in my hands. The autofocus was fast and smooth, as well as quiet. Image quality was outstanding.

Price-wise, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is a bargain, comparatively speaking. The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G retails for $ 1599, while Canon’s 85mm f/1.2L lists for $ 1899 (at the time of writing this review). At $ 1199, the Sigma provides outstanding image quality at quite a bit less than its competitors. The lens is available in Nikon, Canon, or Sigma mounts.

Portrait sample using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens

Portrait sample using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.

Cons

This lens is heavy. Combined with a pro body, you could be lifting almost 6 pounds every time you take a shot. For wedding and portrait photographers who might want to use this lens a good portion of their workday, that means a lot of heavy lifting and arm fatigue after a while.

Also, there is no image stabilization on the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art. While neither Nikon nor Canon offers image stabilization on their fast 85mm offerings, it should be noted that Tamron’s SP 85mm f/1.8 lens, while a stop slower, does have that feature. That allows the lens to be handheld at shutter speeds slower than could be achieved with the Sigma at 85mm f/1.4.

 

Summary

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is an outstanding value that provides incredible image quality at a good price. While I would prefer it to be a bit small and lighter, there’s no denying that the bottom line for image makers is image quality and the Sigma delivers that. Four stars.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Portrait example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

 

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Another portrait example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Portrait example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens.

Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens

Nature example using the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art. Photo courtesy Dennis Clark / dennisaclark.com

The post Review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens by Rick Berk appeared first on Digital Photography School.


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Sony FE 85mm F1.8 sample gallery and first impressions

28 Feb

The Sony FE 85mm F1.8 joins Sony’s full-frame E-Mount lineup as the most affordable native lens that offers a short telephoto focal length. Other full-frame systems have had comparably low-cost 85mm lenses for quite a while, and it’s nice to see Sony filling in some of the gaps for budget conscious users.

The FE 85mm balances superbly on Sony’s a7-series bodies, and though it’s no G Master lens, it feels solid enough. Focusing is silent and fairly quick (contrary to Sony’s ‘nifty fifty’ FE 50mm F1.8), and it has excellent sharpness wide open, even well off-center. It’s even sharper by F2.5, seemingly peaking by F4. There’s an awful lot of purple and green fringing wide open though, as you’ll see in our gallery, but this is to be expected, and is indeed common, in lightweight fast primes (they’re far less distracting by F4.5). Careful software corrections might be able to take care of most of it (remember: it’s lateral CA that’s easy to remove, not axial), albeit typically at a cost to other areas of the image – download a few of the Raw files to see for yourself.

On an a7R II, this lens focuses wide open, quickly and accurately.

Of particular interest is our observation that this lens, currently, focuses wide open* on an a7R II (or, technically, opens up to F2 if you’ve selected an aperture smaller than wide open). This addresses one of our largest complaints with recent Sony lens releases that focus stopped down, often slowing focus in low light or forcing otherwise capable phase-detect AF systems to revert to contrast detect-only. It appears that, at least for now, Sony’s recent 100mm STF and 85mm F1.8 lenses address this issue, and without an image cost to boot: take a look at our aperture series with our LensAlign target here (please choose the option to ‘Open Link in New Window’), and you’ll note no focus shift as we stop down (the lens was focused once wide open, then switched to MF for the series). You can also judge problematic apertures for axial CA in this series, as well as how circular out-of-focus highlights remain as you stop down the 9-bladed aperture.

Oddly, the same doesn’t hold true on other Sony bodies: the lens focuses stopped down at the shooting aperture on an a7 II, a7S, and a6300/6500. Oddly, this sometimes leads to slight front-focus at smaller apertures on those cameras, though it’s not a huge deal as the focus shift is often masked by the increased depth-of-field. It’s interesting from an academic standpoint though – as focusing at the selected aperture should increase focus accuracy, not decrease it. We have our hypotheses, but for now, we’ve reached out to Sony for comment. 

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See our Sony FE 85mm F1.8 sample gallery


 *Note this only holds true for AF-S and for initial focus acquisition in AF-C, after which the lens stays stopped down, presumably to avoid having to constantly open and close the aperture during continuous drive. We still wish this weren’t the case, as (1) AF-C is often useful even in Single drive mode, and (2) DSLRs are fully capable of opening and closing the aperture in between shots, even at 14 fps. There may be other nuances we’re missing that explain why Sony chooses to focus stopped down, but the inconsistencies between bodies is confusing. Rest assured, we are in constant discussion with Sony engineers about this issue.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Yongnuo YN 85mm F1.8 lens now available

18 Feb

Yongnuo has announces its full-frame 85mm F1.8 lens, for Canon and (eventually) Nikon mounts. This budget-friendly lens, which closely resembles Canon’s 85mm F1.8, first surfaced a couple of months ago. It features 9 elements in 6 groups, as well as a 0.85m minimum focusing distance, a 58mm filter diameter, and an overall weight of about 460g/16oz. It’s offered Canon EF mount now, with reports pointing to a Nikon version coming soon.

Yongnuo announced the launch on its Facebook page, where it is also giving away three lenses for testing. The lens features an AF/MF switch and according to its B&H listing, gold-plated contacts. The new lens is priced at $ 177 at B&H, but is currently backordered.

Via: PhotoRumors

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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Video overview: Sony’s FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM and FE 85mm F2.8

10 Feb

We got a closer look at some of the headline features of Sony’s newest FE lenses on the show floor of the Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference and Expo in Las Vegas. The FE 100mm F2.8 STF GM OSS and FE 85mm were both introduced earlier this week – take a closer look at what’s new and notable in the overview video above.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
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