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Gear Rumors

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up On A Sigma 85mm F/1.4 Art Anytime Soon

By Anthony Thurston on June 1st 2014

I’ve been seeing a lot flying around about a rumored 85mm F/1.4 Art from Sigma possibly being announced this September. In fact, one of my colleagues here even posted about it. As much as I think people would like a new 85mm, I really don’t think it would be in Sigma’s best interest to come out with one right now. Here’s why.

The current Sigma 85mm F/1.4 was released not all that long ago in terms of lens cycles, and it is currently one of the best performing 85mm’s on the market. If you had one of the best lenses in its class and was still fairly new from a lens age standpoint, why on earth would you waste R&D on developing a replacement?

sigma-85mm

I think that the rumored 300-600mm and 24mm F/1.4, even the 135mm F/2 are much more likely to be announced than a new 85mm. Virtually the only thing a new Sigma 85mm would have going for it is the new Global Vision styling, performance wise the current version is already near the top of its class.

Add to that the fact that I have chatted with multiple people who have connections over at Sigma. One, who asked to remain anonymous specifically, claims that an 85mm is not on the table for Sigma right now. Based on this, I think we are much more likely to see a 7D II and D400/D9300 in September than a Sigma 85mm Art.

[REWIND: Sigma Rumors For The Upcoming Year]

That being said, I think it may be worth Sigma looking into switching out the styling on the current 85mm for the new Global Vision styling. I am not a lens engineer and I don’t know much about it, or know if it would even be feasible. But if it is, I think that many people would be more willing to purchase the current 85 while Sigma updates more pressing matters.

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What are your thoughts on this Sigma 85mm business? Do you think that Sigma should update the 85mm, even though it is so new? Leave a comment below to join the discussion!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joel Conner

    I have had the Siggy 85 since launch, and while it is a good lens, it honestly is significantly behind the art 35 and 50. Both of those lenses are massive steps forward. I would go nuts if they came out with an art 85…would pre-order in a heartbeat.

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  2. Aaron Grubb

    I agree. I own the 85 and it is very good, but it could benefit from better construction

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  3. Matthew Saville

    I think that it seems Sigma has used their “old” 50 and 85 to demonstrate effectively that they can beat Canon and Nikon at the game of affordable primes. Now, with their new Art lenses, they’re going after the Zeiss Otus range.

    And considering that the next Zeiss Otus lens is an 85mm, it is in my opinion much more likely that Sigma will indeed make an 85 Art before they make a 24 Art.

    Honestly, I’d love to be wrong. In fact I have a couple huge projects this summer that I’d love to secretly test a Sigma 24 1.4 Art on. But I feel like Sigma’s target right now is Zeiss, and proving to the world that they can produce not only lenses that match / surpass Canon & Nikon’s mid-range and high-end glass, but go many steps beyond that.

    Considering their release timing with the 35 Art and 50 Art, however, I’d say that we could see BOTH new lenses within the next 12-18 months, so I’m not too worried either way.

    =Matt=

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  4. ahsanford

    Disagree with the author’s assessment. Compare and contrast against the 35 Art:

    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/602-sigma85f14eosff?start=1

    http://www.photozone.de/canon_eos_ff/848-sigma35f14eosff?start=1

    The Sigma 35 Art @ F/1.4 is sharper in the corners than the current Sigma 85 is at **F/8**. So as much as some folks might be fond of it, the pre-Art lenses do not stack up to the resolution of the newer Art line. An 85 Art lens would therefore be welcomed.

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  5. dave b.

    sigma should manufacture a camera that’s worthy of the lenses they have (i.e. full frame)

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  6. Ido Scharf

    Not sure… Their 120-300mm f/2.8 was a pretty damn good lens and wasn’t so long in the tooth (in the standards of premium fast telephoto lenses), yet it’s one of the first lenses they redesigned for the Global Vision ideas. They kept the optics unchanged, but improved upon everything else. That may be what we’ll see with an 85mm refresh.
    I think that the problem here is with the public’s perception, that older Sigma lenses, those that aren’t part of the Global Vision, are always inferior to competitors, which is obviously false, as evident by the 85mm. Redesigning it to meet the Global Vision standards sure will attract more consumers.

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