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Wow, so ratings website, DxOMark just gave the amazing Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art the highest rating of any lens that they have ever tested!
“In short, the new Sigma is one of the best-performing full-frame 85mm lenses we’ve seen.” – DxOMark
This bumps the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 down to second spot which is a huge result for Sigma.
And the best bit about this is that the Sigma lens retails for about $1200 which, considering its competition at the top end comes in at closer to $4000, is a pretty damn fair price and within reach of a lot more photographers. (The 85mm 1.4s from Nikon and Canon are in the $1500 to $2000 range).
When it was released, Sigma called their 85mm f/1.4 Art the “Ultimate Portrait Lens” and they were not kidding. With 14 elements in 12 groups, two Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass elements and another glass element “with a high rate of anomalous partial dispersion and refraction,” the lens was designed with the portrait photographer in mind.
Now they didn't mention it would be big and heavy compared to the others but those build specs basically ensured it would be. To keep up with the size, Sigma increased the torgue of the Auto Focus by 1.3 times.
Who are DxoMark?
In case you're not familiar with DxOMark, they are a company that put cameras and lenses through some very rigorous testing in order to give each item a rating. Unless you're a total gear head, the site is a bit dry (full of technical data and ratings), but it's the industry standard for testing and their results and the most widely respected in the industry.
You can read their full rundown on the lens here.