SIGMA recently announced a new full-frame prime lens for Sony E-mount and Leica L-mount. The SIGMA 85mm f / 1.4 DG DN Art is a more compact version of the original 85mm f / 1.4 Art lens from SIGMA. It offers a 77 mm front filter thread, an IRIS ring with click and lock switches and a programmable AFL button.
85mm was usually a popular portrait focal length for full-frame cameras. Almost every lens manufacturer has an 85 mm full-frame prime lens in their portfolio. SIGMA itself already offers an 85 mm 1: 1.4 lens. Let's take a closer look at how this new lens differs from the original and what features and specifications it offers.
SIGMA 85mm f / 1.4 DG DN type lens
Since the lens was developed exclusively for mirrorless cameras, SIGMA was able to keep the dimensions and weight low. The new SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art weighs only 630 g. It has a 77 mm front filter thread and a body length of 94.1 mm.
SIGMA 85mm 1: 1.4 DG DN Art Lens – Compact size for the fp camera. Source: SIGMA
The AF motor system uses a stepper motor that is optimized for both phase detection AF and contrast AF. This has also made the lens body itself much smaller as the focus lens has been made smaller to better fit a stepper motor.
SIGMA Youtube presentation of the new 85mm lens.
The lens construction is the same as that of other lenses from the SIGMA Art line. In addition to five SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements and an aspherical lens, the 85mm 1: 1.4 DG DN Art contains the latest high refractive index glass which, according to SIGMA, thoroughly corrects aberrations (such as axial chromatic aberration) produced by the correction function on the camera side cannot be processed.
As SIGMA further explained, thanks to ray-trace simulation and practical tests, the lens has been designed to minimize ghosting and handle the backlighting well.
SIGMA 85mm f / 1.4 DG DN Type Lens Buttons. Source: SIGMA
A new feature of the SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art is an "iris ring lock switch". This prevents unintentional movement of the iris ring during exposure. When the iris ring is on at position A, it is locked at A. If it is switched on in a position other than A, it will be locked within the range between the maximum and minimum opening and will not lock into position A.
The “AFL button” can be used to assign various functions from a compatible camera housing. In addition to the dust and splash-proof structure, materials such as aluminum and TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) are used for the lens.
Comparison with SIGMA 85mm f / 1.4 DG HSM Art lens
The original SIGMA 85 mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM Art lens (for Sony E-Mount and Leica L-Mount) weighs 1130 g (almost twice as heavy as the new lens) and measures 94.7 x 126.2 mm / 3.73 x 4.97 ". That's a big difference. This lens was originally developed for SLR lens mounts and then ported to mirrorless mounts, hence the large size.
SIGMA 85 mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM and DG DN Art size comparison. Source: SIGMA
It also appears that the new lens doesn't make a direct connection between the focus ring and the focusing element – it uses what's called fly-by-wire focus. As a result, it is virtually impossible to use follow focus systems with the new lens. The original 85mm lens used a standard manual focus ring mechanism with a direct link.
Another difference is the reduction in the filter thread. The original SIGMA 85 mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM Art uses a massive 86 mm thread, while the new 85 mm has a "more reasonable" 77 mm thread.
SIGMA 85mm 1: 1.4 DG DN Art Key Specifications
- Lens construction: 15 elements in 11 groups with 5 SLDs and 1 aspherical lens
- Iris ring, iris ring click switch, iris ring lock switch
- AFL button
- Focus mode switch
- Dust and splash-proof design
- 11-blade round membrane
- High-precision, durable bayonet cover made of brass
- Viewing angle: 28.6 °
- Number of membrane sheets: 11 (rounded membrane)
- Minimum aperture: 1: 16
- Minimum focusing distance: 85 cm.
- Maximum enlargement ratio: 1: 8.4
- 77mm front filter thread
- Maximum dimensions: 82.8 mm × 94.1 mm / 3.3 × 3.7 inches.
- Weight: 630 g.
- Hood with lock included
- Compatible with Sigma USB Dock UD-11 (sold separately / only for L-Mount)
Price and availability
The SIGMA 85mm 1: 1.4 DG DN Art Lens is available for pre-order now. Both the Sony E-mount and the Leica L-mount version cost 1,199 US dollars (approx. 905 euros plus VAT in Europe).
What do you think of the new SIGMA 85mm f / 1.4 DG DN Art lens? Want to see faster, full-screen prime numbers in a compact size? Let us know in the comments section below the article.