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Sigma EX HSM 85/1.4 or the AF-D Nikon 85/1.4

CC Chang , Oct 21, 2010; 12:36 a.m.

Here is a review I found on line on the new Sigma EX 85/1.4 lens. Anybody cares to share your views on this lens, especially comparing it to the current Nikon AF-D version of the 85/1.4 lens. These two lenses will be priced similarly. With a D90, I am not sure if the AF-S version will offer me any great advantage in the AF area ... Any thoughts?

http://www.alanabramsphotography.com/category/equipment/

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Frank Skomial , Oct 21, 2010; 06:31 a.m.

Good to see more choices, but we also need some variations in pricing.
The lens seems to be a good one, but the review, comparisons, conclusions and the words used there are biased and unprofessional.  It is a one man's opinion out there on the web...
In order to compete with equivalent Canon or Nikon lenses, Sigma needs to be significatly less expensive, even if provides similar picture quality.

Leslie Cheung , Oct 21, 2010; 06:50 a.m.

Either the sigma or D version would do if you think it is not too narrow for portraits but for head and should shots on a d90. Samyang has a much cheaper non AF version. The f1.8 isn't bad either...

Eric Arnold , Oct 21, 2010; 07:30 p.m.

the sigma better be damn good since the nikon 85 AF-S is said to be better than the 85/1.4 D, which is legendary.

also, i think the sigma is priced a little bit more than the AF-D, @ $1400, so it competes with the new $1700 AF-S. which means it better be double damn good, LOL.

if you need a 85/1.4 professionally, you're probably gonna get the new nikon and pay the premium. for more casual use, where focus speed isnt critical, the AF-D, the 1.8, or even the samyang would do just fine, i bet.

not sure where this leaves the sigma. i have a few sigma lenses, but this one doesn't excite me too much. i will say their glass has been getting better than was the case a few years ago. the photos in the review look good, but the comparison is vs. Canon's 85/1.8, not any of the nikkors.if the sigma is sharper and faster in a head-to-head vs. the nikkor 85/1.4 AF-S, well, then i'd have to get excited. for now, i have other priorities...if you shoot primarily portraits, though, could be a winner. bokeh certainly seems nice.

one thing to keep in mind is that these newer lenses cost a lot because they are optimized for higher-resolution DX and hi-rez FX cameras, of which nikon has so far made only two: D3x and D7000. therefore if you have a 12mp or less camera, the 85/1.4 D will likely be plenty good enough. Eventually, this will not be the case--it may not be already for D3x owners--so nikon is trying to future-proof its lens selection with the 85 and the 24/1.4 AF-S.

as we have seen, some older legacy nikkor lenses aren't as good with newer bodies. and some, like the variable-aperture 24-120 VR, were optimized for film and can look soft and non-contrasty on digital.

i wouldnt worry about it too much in any event--the d90 will AF with the 85/1.4 D, and AF-S will be a bit faster but isnt going to be that much help, except maybe in low-light. With the D90, you're probably more limited in focus speed by the AF module and one cross-type sensor than by screw-drive vs. AF-S.

also, used prices on the 85/1.4 AF-D are going down since the new one was intro'd, so now might be a good time to scoop one.

Eric cHI , Oct 21, 2010; 07:50 p.m.

Why would you want a 3rd party lens? It needs to be either siginificant better in IQ, or in price, or both.

Did the new Sigma satisfy any of the conditions?

Eric

CC Chang , Oct 22, 2010; 12:53 a.m.

The Sigma 85/1.4 is reported to have a street price of $900, which is significantly less than the new Nikon 85/1.4.

Andre Noble , Oct 22, 2010; 10:07 a.m.

Sigma does not have the same good reputation for build quality that Nikon has. This is why I would not recommend the Sigma. Also, resale value is much lower on a Sigma lens than a Nikon lens.

CC Chang , Oct 22, 2010; 11:31 a.m.

Sigma does not have the same good reputation for build quality that Nikon has. This is why I would not recommend the Sigma. Also, resale value is much lower on a Sigma lens than a Nikon lens.

Have you ever used the Sigma 50/1.4, which many here recommend and which was also mentioned in the review that I posted above? If the Sigma is close to the Nikon in IQ, we are then talking about a price difference between $1,700 and $900.

CC Chang , Oct 22, 2010; 12:23 p.m.

used prices on the 85/1.4 AF-D are going down since the new one was intro'd, so now might be a good time to scoop one.

How do the AF speed and accuracy of the AFD 85/1.4 in low light (indoors) compared to those of the AFD 85/1.8, which I owned? The 85/1.8 is reasonably fast but hunts a little in low light.

Eric Arnold , Oct 22, 2010; 10:29 p.m.

looks like adorama is taking preorders. price is indeed $900, or less than a used AF-D. at that price, i might consider it.


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