With a perfect focal length for portraits, the multi-award-winning SIGMA 85mm F1.4 is the prime lens of choice for many professional portrait and wedding photographers and film-makers. Designed specifically to operate with the latest ultra-high resolution mirrorless cameras, its exceptional optical quality provides ultra-sharp in-focus results right across the frame, and the lens is also well known for its pleasing out-of-focus rendering when shooting with a shallow depth-of-field.
The 85mm has a very wide aperture of F1.4, providing fast shutter speeds in lower light conditions and a very shallow depth-of-field for blurry backgrounds. The lens has an advanced optical design with 5 SLD elements and one aspherical element, which help ensure a clear image throughout the plane free of chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion. It is considerably smaller lighter than the DSLR version of the lens, weighing just 630g, and it has a lockable and de-clickable aperture ring built in, as well as a lockable lens hood and a customisable AFL button.
The exceptional build quality of the 85mm F1.4 DG DN is exactly as you’d expect from an Art-line lens, in the materials used, the overall ergonomics and the quality of craftsmanship.
The exterior barrel is made of a polycarbonate called Thermally Stable Composite (TSC). Not only is this very strong and light, but it has a similar thermal expansion rate to aluminium. This ensures that the interior aluminium parts and the exterior TSC parts behave in the same way as temperatures change.
The focus ring is rubberised for easier operation and focusing is internal, meaning the lens never changes length. This makes it ideal for use on a gimbal as the centre of gravity remains fairly constant.
Towards the rear of the barrel is an aperture ring so that aperture can be changed on the lens, and it has an Auto setting should users prefer to change aperture using the camera.
To reduce flare and ghosting in bright sun, and to help protect the front element from damage if dropped, the lens has a robust petal-type lens hood with lock button. A rubberised ring on the hood makes for easier removal and fitting.
The durable brass mount is surrounded by a rubber seal to help keep out dust and moisture.
Precision brass mount with seal
Protects against dust and moisture.
Made from a strong and light polycarbonate that behaves in a similar way to aluminium.
Focus Mode switch
For changing between AF and MF.
Customisable depending on camera body.
Aperture Click switch
Clicks or de-clicks the aperture ring.
A range of controls on the lens include an AF/MF switch, and a customisable AFL button (depending on camera model).
The lens also has a click/de-click switch so that the aperture ring can be adjusted smoothly rather than in hard stops, which may be useful for film-makers. There’s also a lock switch that keeps the aperture ring in either Auto or Manual. This stops the ring accidentally being knocked out of Auto to F16 during use.
A powerful stepping motor ensures fast, accurate and quiet AF and excellent AF tracking capability.
The 85mm delivers incredible image quality with fine details such as hair and eye lashes rendered perfectly even right into the corners at F1.4.
Its advanced optical design is made up of 15 elements in 11 groups, including 1 aspherical element and 5 SLD elements. These help to ensure razor-sharp results and virtually completely eliminate chromatic aberration, flare, distortion and vignetting.
Advanced Super Multi-Layer Coatings reduce flare and ghosting when working in bright direct sunlight, creating high-contrast images with rich colours and strong blacks.
The lens’ optical design eliminates virtually all chromatic aberration, even in high contrast scenes. This is important as coloured fringing is difficult to remove digitally.
Distortion and vignetting are also well controlled, and flare and ghosting is minimal thanks to the lens coatings that reduce internal reflections.
Although mostly used as a portrait lens, the 85mm is also ideal for other photo or video applications, including landscapes. The short-telephoto focal length allows photographers to pick out a small vignette within a scene.
SIGMA has two classic portrait primes for mirrorless cameras: the 85mm F1.4 DG DN | Art and the 90mm F2.8 DG DN | Contemporary. Both have a premium build, aperture rings and comparable image quality and AF speed. The 85mm has a wider aperture than the 90mm by two stops, producing a much shallower depth-of-field. But the 90mm is less than half the weight and considerably more portable. Also to consider for portraits are the 65mm F2 DG DN | C, 105mm F1.4 DG HSM | A and the 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | A.
All Sigma cameras and lenses are designed, manufactured and assembled at our sole factory at Aizu in Japan. This domestic production model is unusual in today’s industry, with most imaging companies opting to outsource to other countries to reduce costs. But SIGMA believes that keeping virtually all manufacturing, processing and assembly in Aizu is essential for creating innovative, carefully thought-out and impeccably constructed products that meet the high standards demanded by professional photographers and film-makers around the world.
Sigma chose Aizu as its main production base in the early 1970s. Situated at the base of Mount Bandai in the Fukushima Prefecture, about four hours’ drive north of Tokyo, Aizu has an abundance of very clean water from mountain streams, which is essential for grinding and polishing lenses. Sigma’s founder, Michihiro Yamaki, was also drawn to this area for its workforce, who have a reputation for their craftsmanship, work ethic and attention to detail. Mr Yamaki’s son, Kazuto Yamaki, now the owner and CEO of SIGMA Corporation, has the same unwavering commitment to keeping production in Japan.
Today Sigma’s factory is more than 50,000 square feet in size, and packed full of some of the most advanced optical manufacturing technology in existence. So when you buy a Sigma camera or lens you can be sure that virtually every single component part has been manufactured and assembled by SIGMA, in Japan, with the greatest level of care and attention. We hope you enjoy using our products.
If you want to see how a particular SIGMA lens or camera performs, why not test drive it with our SIGMA Select hire service. Available for selected SIGMA lenses, short-term loans are free of charge (including shipping), with a small fee if you want to test it for longer. Refundable deposit required. Subject to availability.
15 elements in 11 groups
Angle of view
Number of diaphragm blades
11 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum focusing distance
Maximum magnification ratio
Dimensions (diameter x length)
ø82.8mm × 94.1mm
Corresponding AF mounts
L-Mount | E-Mount
Sony E barcode
Specifications are for L-Mount
A special coating applied to the front element to help repel water and oil.
This suppresses flare and ghosting by minimising reflections within the lens, ensuring punchy, high-contrast results. All lenses in the current Sigma range feature this technology.
Internal focus or an inner focus system means the lens configuration uses movable internal lens elements that adjust focus without changing the length of the lens barrel. This helps keep the centre of gravity of the lens more constant when changing focus.
The lens has an image circle large enough to be used on a full-frame camera. It can also be used on cameras with a smaller ‘crop’ sensor, provided the mount is compatible.
The lens has a filter thread around the front element onto which filters and filter holders can be attached.
The mount is the part of the lens that attaches to the camera body. A coated brass mount is used for strength, and is surrounded by a rubber seal to keep out dust and moisture.
Found on the barrel of some Sigma lenses, the AFL button can be assigned to various functions to widen the range of operations available on the lens (available functions depend on the camera model).
This switch toggles between autofocus and manual focus.
The diaphragm is constructed of 11 rounded blades for a circular aperture opening and round out-of-focus highlights.