Sigma officially announces the 105mm f/1.4 Art series “Bokeh Master” lens

Feb 27, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sigma officially announces the 105mm f/1.4 Art series “Bokeh Master” lens

Feb 27, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Now, this is one that Canon, Sigma and Sony shooters have been waiting for. For almost two years, the 105mm focal length at f/1.4 aperture has remained exclusively in the domain of Nikon shooters. Now, thanks to Sigma, that possibility opens up to a lot more people, and probably at a better price, too.

Available in Nikon, Canon, Sony and Sigma mount, the new Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art series lens is the second of today’s announcements from Sigma. The first was the 70mm f/2.8 Macro Art, in case you missed it. Being hailed as the “Bokeh Master” (I’m sure there’s a trademark issue there), the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 could become an instant favourite for portrait and wedding shooters everywhere.

When Nikon announced its 105mm f/1.4E back in 2016, it kinda shocked people. It was a world’s first. An autofocus 105mm lens with a ridiculously wide f/1.4 aperture. It was a lucky save for Nikon amongst many Nikon shooters I know who ended up sticking with the brand purely because of what this lens offers.

A few months later, Sigma announced their now legendary 135mm f/1.8. Being able to get one of these in a Canon mount and use it on Sony bodies with the Sigma MC-11 adapter finally convinced some of those Nikon shooters to make the switch. And quite a few Canon users, too.

  • Focal length: 105mm
  • Mount: Nikon, Canon, Sony E-Mount, Sigma
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.4
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Minimum focus distance: 100cm (39.4″)
  • Diaphragm: 9 blades, rounded
  • Optics: 17 elements in 12 groups
  • Weather sealing: Dust and splash-proof mount design (except for Sigma version where it’s on the body anyway)
  • Dimensions: 115.9 x 131.5mm (4.6 x 5.2″)
  • Weight: 1645g (58oz)

Unlike the earlier mentioned 70mm f/2.8 Macro, this lens is available in Canon, Sony, Sigma and Nikon mounts. It’s compatible with the Sigma USB dock, although a dock has not yet been released, or even announced, for Sony yet. The Sigma and Canon mount versions are also compatible with the MC-11 adapter, for those who shoot dual systems, or want to keep their options open.

As you can see from the specs listed above, this is an absolute monster of a lens when it comes to its physical attributes. Now, I’m not one to fat-shame a lens, but it’s quite a bit larger and significantly heavier than the Nikon 105mm f/1.4E, which comes in at a relatively svelte 985g, making the Sigma 66% heavier. So, you’re probably not going to be hand-holding this one comfortably for as long. Which is probably why included a tripod collar. There’s also a lens hood, too.

I gotta say, while Sigma releasing a 105mm f/1.4 is very exciting news, that weight puts me off a little. If you shoot Canon, Sony or Sigma, then this will be your only option, but Nikon shooters DO still have another choice. This thing is going to have to about near knock me unconscious with shock at the images it produces to convince me to go for it over the Nikon. Either that or it better be seriously undercutting the Nikon when it comes to the purchase price.

Of course, we know it’ll be good. For a start, it’s a Sigma Art series lens. And it’s a 105/1.4, it’s not going to suck. And the increased size and weight does allow them a little more freedom to optimise the optical design. But whether it’ll be worth it for Nikon shooters to choose this over the Nikon lens remains to be seen.

As with the 70mm f/2.8 Macro, there’s no word on prices or a release date for this one. But also like the 70mm f/2.8 Macro, this is part of their “Spring Lens Series”, so hopefully it’ll be soon. You can find out more about the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art on the Sigma website.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Sigma officially announces the 105mm f/1.4 Art series “Bokeh Master” lens”

  1. Jukeboxjohnnie Avatar
    Jukeboxjohnnie

    use it with a monopod with a good Gitzo head, I do… Why am I the only monopod shooter? I feel Ive an edge over others without one on group shoots…