If you’re in the market for a new lens, it may be hard to decide whether to go for a third-party option, or stick with the same brand as your camera. The Sigma Art series has received a lot of praise, and photographer Julia Trotti put it to a test. She used the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art and compared it to the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II. In the video below, you can see how the lenses compare on Canon and Sony bodies.
Julia used the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art on the Sony A7III. But, since she also wanted to try it out with her Canon 5D Mark IV, she got the Canon version of the lens. She used a Metabones adapter to fit the EF lens onto the Sony camera body. Additionally, she tested the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II lens, and in the video, she shares a lot of raw, unedited files for comparison.
Comparing the lenses
First of all, Julia was surprised how fast and accurate the AF was when shooting with the adapter on the Sony body. On the other hand, the Sigma lens is slightly heavier than the Canon, and it’s huge (especially in comparison to the small Sony body). Still, Julia found it comfortable to shoot fit and it sat nicely in her hand.
When she tested the Sigma 85mm lens with the Canon counterpart, Julia used both lenses on the Canon 5D Mark IV body. The images looked sharp and contrasty on the back of the camera with both lenses. The colors in raw and unedited images look really good, too. You can see the comparison between the images in the video.
On the plus side for the Sigma, there was significantly less lens flare compared to Canon. Still, if your creative choice is to include the lens flare in your images, this is when you should opt for the Canon lens.
In Julia’s test, the Sigma was generally a bit faster to autofocus than Canon. Still, in a busy location, it had some trouble to achieve accurate focus on the model’s face.
Julia tested the proximity to the subject with both lenses. You can get slightly closer to the subject with the Sigma, which is not too obvious in the images of lavender Julia shares in the video. However, she saw this as helpful when doing portrait shoots, as it gives you more flexibility.
When it comes to bokeh, Julia clearly prefers Sigma, and it has slightly smaller and sharper bokeh balls. She shot both lenses at f/1.4, and Canon still has creamier, larger bokeh. I’d say it’s a matter of preference which one you prefer. Personally, I like Canon better.
Well, there’s basically no verdict here: it all comes down to personal preferences and what you want and need from your photography. If you’re into a more contrasty, sharper look, then Sigma is the option for you. If you prefer creamy bokeh and slightly “softer” look, then you should opt for the Canon. And finally, the price may determine your final choice. If your budget is higher, then go for the $1,900 Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II. And if you wanna save up $700, go for the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art. Hopefully, this comparison and side-by-side images will help you make the final decision.