Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art Review

Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG “Art” : Prime lens perfection?

We know the new Sigma 85mm f1.4 “Art” lens performed amazingly in the lab when tested by DxO, now online review site Cameralans has published a user review and here’s what they concluded:

Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Review Image

From Cameralabs:

“The Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG HSM Art is the latest addition to Sigma’s hugely successful series of “Art” lenses. My tests show that the new lens delivers excellent optical performance: it’s very sharp across a full-frame sensor right up into the corners whether at infinity or normal distances. In fact it produces the sharpest FF/FX-corners of any 85mm I’ve seen with very low coma. And it has a superbly soft Bokeh which makes for very pleasing out-of-focus rendering. Its focus is fast and quiet plus the lens features sealing at the lens-mount and can be updated and adapted to one’s needs from your computer through the separately available USB-dock. Add Sigma’s build-quality of the “Art” series and the option to swap the lens-mount should you change your system or mount it on Sony’s E-mount via Sigma’s MC-11 adapter and you should have a clear winner.

The new Sigma 85/1.4 Art finally brings Sigma’s 85mm prime up to the performance one can expect from a modern lens designed with 36+ MP sensors in mind: It offers the best performing FF/FX-corners and the softest Bokeh of any 85mm lens I know. Plus it is astonishingly resilient against strong contra-light. And although it is not the sharpest in the center, has a little more longitudinal CAs than others, and is a huge and heavy beast of a lens I’d award Sigma’s new 85/1.4 Art a Highly Recommended”.

Good points
Very good image quality across the full-frame area.
Smoothest Bokeh in its class.
Weather sealing at the lens mount.
Quiet and fast AF operation.

Bad points
AF needs fine-tuning via USB-dock.
AF is not the most accurate.
LoCA could be lower.
No image stabilization.

February 2017

Sigma 85mm f1.4 “Art” : As good as it get

Sigma 85mm f1.4 DG “Art” : Amazing value and performance

The technical review site DxO that undertakes lab test inorder to score lenses on their optical prowess has published its test of the Sigma 85mm f1.4 ” Art” prime lens and it produced the highest score EVER.

Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Review Image

The  Sigma which is designed for full frame DSLR’s was paired to a Nikon D810 and D800E both 36mp full frame cameras.

It will be interesting to see if the lens can maintain its amazing performance on more resolute 48mp and 50mp sensor’s, I  can’t see why not?

Once again Sigma’s “Art” lenses have proved themselves as good ( and if not better) than their big named more famous rivals.

February 2017

Panasonic G80 : Worth serious consideration

Panasonic Lumix G80: Don’t dismiss this gem from Panasonic

Online review site Cameralabs has posted a full and detailed review of Panasonic’s mid-level mirroless micro four thgird (M43) camera, the Panasonic Lumix G80.

Here’s a few thoughts and observation from the review.

From Cameralabs:

“Panasonic’s Lumix G80 / G85 is a highly compelling entry into the competitive mid-range market. Like most rivals at this price point, the G80 / G85 offers a viewfinder, articulated touch screen, loads of manual control and Wifi, but goes beyond the pack by additionally packing great quality 4k video, built-in stabilisation that rivals industry leader Olympus, and a weather-sealed body and kit zoom; the icing on the cake is Panasonic’s innovative 4k Photo which exploit 4k video to shoot 8 Megapixel ‘stills’ at 30fps, or adjust the focus or effective depth-of-field after the event. It all adds up to a camera that’s hard to beat for the money.

When comparing the G80 / G85 against the competition, the first most obvious difference is the sensor: a 16 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor that’s both smaller and lower resolution than the 24 Megapixel APSC sensors used by Sony, Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon. But it’s important to note Panasonic has eeked everything it can out of this sensor and in my tests there wasn’t a great deal of discernable difference in real-life detail between them. Even in low light they performed similarly up to 1600 ISO. At higher sensitivities, the APSC sensors suffered from lower noise, but you need to ask yourself how often you’ll need to shoot above 1600 ISO, especially when you take the G80 / G85’s superb image stabilisation into account. If you need to freeze action in low light, such as indoor sports or street photography in the evening, and you demand the cleanest results, you may be better-served by a bigger sensor, but for most situations the G80 / G85 will be more than good enough”

“Panasonic’s Lumix G80 / G85 is a feature-packed camera that stacks-up very well against its rivals. As a mid-range mirrorless camera, you’ll enjoy the usual features including a decent viewfinder, articulated touch-screen, loads of manual control and built-in Wifi, but the G80 / G85 goes the extra mile with great quality 4k video, built-in stabilisation that rivals industry leader Olympus, and a weather-sealed body and kit zoom. Panasonic’s unique 4k Photo modes let you extract stills from video, refocus and even adjust the depth-of-field after the event, and while continuous autofocus during fast bursts is bettered by some rivals, it’ll still track action at 3-6fps with big zooms, and the single autofocus remains one the best around. Overall I find it hard to think of a better general-purpose all-rounder at this price point – highly recommended!”

Good points
Good quality images out-of-camera, close to 20MP models.
Weather-sealed body with big EVF, articulated touch-screen, UHS II slot.
Very impressive built-in stabilisation for stills and videos.
Great quality 4k video with mic input.
Very fast single autofocus speed that also keeps working in very low light.

Bad points
No movie frame rates above 60p, so limited slow motion possibilities.
Rear buttons are too small and flush to the surface.
No USB charging in-camera.
Needs to slow to 3-4fps for continuous AF and live feedback.
Refocusing during movies not as confident as rivals with PDAF.

February 2017