Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens pricing, pre-order and shipping dates


Here is the pricing, pre-order and shipping information for the new Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens:

  • Pre-order start on March 17, 2017 (tomorrow)
  • Shipping starts on April 7, 2017
  • Suggested retail price in Japan: ¥175,000 + tax (around $1,546, US pricing will be lower - check Adorama and B&H, the pricing should be available tonight)

Additional coverage for the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens can be found here.

Via Digicame-info

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  • Wilson

    I wonder how this lens stacks up against the 105mm 1.4e. I just got one recently and was blown away, the autofocus is not the fastest but it hits every single time, my sigma 50mm art is equally sharp when focused but has roughly a 70% hit rate when shot wide open. That video posted from the Japanese camera show of the 135mm 1.8 art looks like it had an amazingly fast af system so Id be interested to try it out.

    • Jonathan P Soffa

      Have you noticed with your 105mm the images come out quite flat? Such as faces are quite a bit wider than other lenses of similar focal length?

      • Wilson

        I have not noticed this in my images, I will do a test when I get home, the closest I can compare it to is my dad’s zeiss 135mm f2 which arguabley should show a wider face relative to the nose based on the perspective difference in a matching frame. Which lenses do you know of that present differently with a similar range? Do you have a 105mm 1.4 yourself?

        • Semaphore

          The “flatness” nonsense is a theory TAP is pushing.

          • Wilson

            Who is TAP? Is that the fat bald troll on YouTube, Theoria Apophasis?

            • decentrist

              Don’t mention him…Aldo will make you wash his bidet.

            • Aldo

              Lol…

            • Aldo

              He is not that bad. I think he is a talented individual… but not in the way he thinks.

          • decentrist

            flat rendering is visible from high element count.

            • Eric Calabros

              Its like saying 70’s cars were more reliable than Camry 2017, because they had fewer electronic components.

            • decentrist

              Eric, if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right? wtf on the camry analogy?

            • Eric Calabros

              “I see it but I can’t prove it scientifically” just sounds too religious.

            • decentrist

              yes, if you cannot measure it, it does not exist…think of that logic

            • Sorry, but the whole thing about flatness having to do with the number of lens elements is total bullshit. Let’s talk about something that actually exists and matters.

            • decentrist

              Thanks for the information Pete.

            • ElDiablo

              Amen brother…

            • Lukasz

              That is positvism in science my friend – only analyze what you can measure

            • decentrist

              We are talking about lens attributes, how they render and draw. It’s sad to see a generation of photographers hung up on numbers who deny that modern lens design gains in certain ways, but also loses in other ways.

            • decentrist

              tell me how you measure perceptual depth?

            • ElDiablo

              Ken is that you?

            • decentrist

              I’ve owned and used every lens you speak of save the Petzval. It seems you have a visceral hatred for this guy that does not allow you to consider the obvious.

            • ElDiablo

              Hate? Nah, more a “discomfort”, a pain in the brain everyone I watch one of his stupid videos or read comments from his blind followers… if you’ve used all the lenses I’ve mentioned, please tell me in what cases you’ve noticed a lens being “flat”, “muddy” or lacking “microcontrast”… those keywords have being brainwashed into people’s minds so deep that you keep repeating them without any sense. The Nikkor 105mm has been praised worldwide for his attributes, the same with all Sigma Art lenses anyttributesnd yet fatty trashes them all.

              It is not hate, it is frustration cause in the land of the blind the one eye fat tatooed ahole is king. Have you really seen his methodology for reviewing any lens?

            • ElDiablo

              The only obvious thing is that you have no idea of what “flat”means… Photography is a bidimensional so quite flat I would say unless you shoot holographic frames (I doubt it).

            • chkchkboom

              To be fair, he said the 70-200 VC sux for depth..

            • chkchkboom

              Perceptual depth is measured the same way as perceptual megapickles. Mega twist: The AP runs dxomark.

          • ElDiablo

            Absolutely! That fake prophet is preaching all kind of nonsenses all over the place and his blind flock “sees” what he wants them to see…

            And yet, no portfolio is to be found or any proof of “Mastering the light and Composition”…

          • dabug91

            I had been wondering what Ken Wheeler had been up to lately and to my surprise I was able to find a recent article featuring him in it:
            http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/trump-supporter-credits-trumpcare-which-hasnt-taken-effect-for-dramatically-lower-health-costs/

            • decentrist

              That’s pretty clever

      • A few weeks ago I bought a lovely Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 AIS for a cool $200. I use it for landscapes on cloudy or rainy days, it’s just what the doctor ordered. Lovely lens, the image it produces is so gorgeous it can practically make random weeds and garbage look good. It’s a little soft at f/2.8 (DX camera, though, so it should be sharper on a full frame), but for this kind of shot, where most of the frame is out of focus anyway, that’s kind of what you want isn’t it? Could I use the increased DOF isolation I’d get with the f/1.8 Sigma? Maybe for more distant subjects, but for closer shots, f/2.8 is perfectly adequate, sometimes more than I need. And, I have $1,300 to use for something else.

        And guess where I got the recommendation from? 😉

        • Wilson

          I’m glad that lens worked out for you, there is a lot to be said about the solid metal construction of the old Nikkor lenses, they have a great quality feel and their simplicity in manual focus will ensure they will work for a very long time.That being said, I would be highly sceptical of someone like that whiny chap that is so polarized in his opinions, narrow in focus and self absorbed.. (He’s sounding a bit like the American president now that I see it in writing.) Regardless, Nikon has always made fantastic glass and while I think their price increases are ridiculous, their image quality has improved dramatically over the previous few decades. The singular focus of the lil basement dwelling troll ignores the improvements that have been made that plagued previous lenses like CA that made wide open shots unusable on large aperture lenses. The other thing that bothered me with him and others who parroted the same remarks, is the fetishization of Japanese made products, especially in Nikon’s case with the devastation of their Japanese production facility, they have proven with several releases that they are capable of producing products out of countries like China and Thailand with excellent quality control and no attempts at cutting costs of the materials used. I’m glad you’re happy with your lens, there are plenty of items out there that have lost preference with age that still produce amazing results. Don’t forget to make your own judgements though, a minor deviation for some people, may blind them to the bigger picture.

        • ElDiablo

          The fact that that particular lens fits your needs shooting “random piles of garbage” doesn’t mean that it is the right tool for everyone. I want to take pictures of my son and he moves quite fast (manual focus out of the question). I also don’t like to bump up my ISO so an AI-S 2.8 is a no go FOR ME. That doesn’t make fatty a guru of any kind… people needs to start questioning that bozo and ask for some proof of his work. His portfolio is non existing and his snapshots on Flickr are as bad as they can be and yet he auto-proclaims himself as the best in the industry. Awake up folks!

  • Aldo

    Any word on the 24-70?

    • Jon S

      Thats the one I really want to know about.

  • Aldo

    I tried the new tamron 70-200 for portraits and it only confirmed what I already knew. The compression at 200mm min focus distance (or 150mm when you factor in focus breathing) prevents you from grabbing a significant amount of background to blur out. So you buy lenses like this sigma for example, thinking omg that must be some awesome bokeh, but such FL limits the amount of background you can turn into creamy bokeh. This is why an 85mm will yield a more interesting background rendering…. it just gives you the right amount of compression without the ‘closed in’ effect. I wish more people understood that concept. Many out there are spewing misleading information about focus breathing that does not take this concept into account, and VERY few people mention the drawbacks of using longer FLenghts for bokeh and subject isolation purposes.

    • Just Me

      I’m just glad you’re around to educate us! 😉

      • Aldo

        It’s just that nobody talks about it… Tony Northrup for example… has a very good video that talks about focus breathing… but completely disregards this concept. He seems to revere lenses that would let you take a macro shot at 2.8

        • Just Me

          I was just teasing you. 🙂

    • Your isssue is distance to the subject not subject distance from the background.

      • Aldo

        No you see… again it’s a concept few people talk about so not many understand. Max effect of subject isolation and bokeh comes from min focus distance of a particular lens at max tele range wide open.

        I don’t have any issues with my portraits because I dont dream about an 800mm 1.4 to take them

        • Fly Moon

          Can you elaborate?

          • Aldo

            I will post some examples later… I think it would better show this concept.

            • Jon S

              +Aldo yes please do. You’ve perked my interest

            • RC Jenkins
            • Aldo

              Do you know what FL the top lens is… woman with curly black hair photos

            • RC Jenkins

              https://www.quora.com/Why-a-70mm-lens-is-considered-excellent-for-portrait-Photography

              Looks like clockwise, from the top left:
              50, 85, 540, 200

            • Aldo

              Thanks. The way those photos were framed, the best FOV for bokeh is out of the 200mm

            • RC Jenkins

              Yeah I agree. But I’d also guess that those were taken with a smaller aperture–the background looks too close to focus.

              Focal length, distance between the subject & background, aperture, etc. all make a difference.

              I think there are a lot of variables to take into account, and there just isn’t a ‘perfect’ portrait lens.

              Except the Nikon 105mm F/2 DC. 🙂 LOL j/k

            • fred Nil

              Wow, the wider you go the messier your hair looks. I never knew that. So that’s why the 105 is so good, it makes people look beautiful. 😉

            • Rick

              Yes, please post examples. I think you’re referring to the small amount of degrees included in the (background) of the shot with longer focal lengths?

            • Aldo

              Precisely. For example people who shoot lights to show bokeh, imagine shooting a portrait with your subject in front of a xmas tree. A shorter FL will grab more ‘lights’ in the background vs a longer lens.

              This has a great impact of how your photograph looks when shooting real world portraits…more so than people seem to know or care for that matter. It’s much more important than focus breathing.

            • Eledeuh

              Well, I don’t know if “not many understand that”, it’s just perspective compression at work.
              I think it really depends on the situation, maybe 85mm is a bit more versatile overall, but you’d probably find situations where longer focal lengths are preferable too.

            • Aldo

              Why use a longer focal length at min focus distance? That’s what I’m focusing on. Not, needing a longer FL to simply bring your subject closer when you can’t get closer to it.

            • Eric Calabros

              You want a lens tele enough to soften the background but wide enough to give viewer a clue whats going on in the background. But 85mm is not the only FL its possible to achieve that.

            • Aldo

              No I dont want to give a clue about what’s in the background. That’s not it.

            • DFogle

              Aldo m, your point is very much aporeciated by me and it’s something we should all be thinking about when people are going crazy over focus breathing being this horrible thing. I too do not dream of taking an 800mm lens and shooting it from mere inches away. I don’t think lens mfgs think that way either. It’s also why I like my 85mm the best for portraits. I also know when I should use my 200mm, and no it’s not from 1ft away. 🙂

            • Aldo

              Wow Im glad someone understands. Your comment is much appreciated as well.

          • Aldo
            • Aldo

              Ok so I think I took this with the 85mm… If it was shot at 200mm the number of ovals produced by the leaves would drop by more than half… regardless if you frame the shot the same. I will try to pull out more stuff when I get home. It would probably still look nice… but in some locations stuff to make for a nice bokeh isnt as abundant.

            • Spy Black

              I dunno man, I think it’s really just a matter of where and how you shoot. Different situations will yield different results. Below is a shot I took with a 200mm f/4 Ai Nikkor wide open on my D600. I don’t see this background being a problem. Mind you, I’m 3 stops down compared to your f/1.4 sample.

              Bokeh is a matter of taste. You’ll have your “bokeh police” out there that say it has to be this and that, but it can be whatever you want it to be, really. I personally find the background behind your model a bit too focused and busy for my tastes, and prefer the smoother transitions you see in my example. I’ve seen 85mm f/1.4 lenses like the Samyang and D Nikkor give bokeh like this at 85mm.

              Again, I don’t think it’s that big a deal, and large aperture lenses in 50-135mm range are capable of great portraits.

              https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a5a1369b461299c251057aff74040798bf2778c7bb457adb120c726ca1c0fb48.jpg

            • Aldo

              I agree that bokeh could be a matter of taste…. otherwise the Petzval lenses would be worthless and the maker out of business lol

              The picture above was by no means taken at min focus distance (that means you have plenty of room to amplify the out of focus effect), but it was shot at 1.8.

              If you don’t like that busy of a background… consider the one below… shot closer also at 1.8. Both illustrate how much ‘stuff’ you can grab with the 85 and still have excellent subject isolation and blur effect. The background would look very different with a 200mm. I picked this location for these particular set of photos with bokeh in mind. I wanted to pick up the shades of yellow tones and greens. I also wanted to pick up ovals generated by the leaves. With a 200mm, I would be limited as to what I can pick up (at min focus distance), but this is a great location even for a 200mm. Not all locations are like this though. Sometimes you have to make art out of a fence (as someone mentioned above). The 85 helps you achieve that where other lenses ‘tunnel’ on your subject. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a88c5ab31dec58f6e0e074c59a1bbcf485d29a3037c4850c2d018d27cf9a031.jpg

            • Aldo
            • Craig Bailey

              I’ll agree with all you say here Aldo also great couple of images, the bokeh blur works perfectly. As with the colour ect. Well done.

            • Aldo

              Thank you for your feedback. I think the idea here is really useful information to consider when one chooses a lens for portraits

            • Aldo

              Your shot is great. I would have framed it differently but you did well in capturing a moment, however your shot doesn’t make me think about ‘bokeh’. I like it, but it does not ‘showcase’ bokeh Imo.

            • Spy Black

              It’s an event shot, and the subject is what I was concerned with. However I would disagree that it doesn’t “showcase bokeh”, inasmuch as I wasn’t really concerned with that in that moment. If I wanted to use the lens in a more portrait composition, it’s obvious it would make for a great background with excellent bokeh.

              I don’t really use a 200mm for portraits, I work with 50-135s for that, but I posted this shot to show that it’s really how you shoot a shot that will dictate how you’ll make use of the inherent bokeh of any lens.

            • Aldo

              Im with you… but strictly bokeh I just dont find it ‘good’ in your shot. The greens are too dark… and you have shadows in it. It also looks a tad ‘raspy’. Like you say it also has to do with perspective.

            • Spy Black

              I’m merely referring to how the lens is rendering the background.

            • Aldo

              The rendering, the bokeh.. in that particular shot, I dont find it good. But in my point of view, it doesnt matter because the shot doesnt make me think about bokeh in the first place

            • ElDiablo

              Sorry to interfere, I also love the look of the 85mm but portraits at 200mm are nevertheless extremelly beautiful. The “number of ovals” are subjective to the look you want to create, the compression and isolation targets. They are also “smaller ovals” (can we call them bokeh balls?). From my point of view, I prefer bigger out of focus areas and smoother. 85mm fits your style better (good for you and nice pic by the way), it doesn’t mean that you need to create a “strawman” around the 200mm mark… I salute you.
              ps. I mainly shoot at 85mm too but because I prefere to carry less weigth and have a brigther aperture.

            • Aldo

              Your input is much welcomed. The photo above was not taken anywhere close min focus distance. I was going for that sort of look. The photo below is much closer and the ‘bokeh balls are bigger’ at that point with a 200mm same thing would happen, the number of ‘balls’ would be minimized and I wouldnt wanna lose any more at that point. That is what I was trying to illustrate. I realize I have to take the same picture with the tamron 70-200 and compare them side by side to really illustrate how both would look. Maybe it could be a future project.

            • Stuart Crowther

              Great shot Aldo.

            • Aldo

              Thank you!

            • VanHoff

              Aldo has a point here, D810 + 50 1.4G at 1 meter:

              https://www.instagram.com/p/BOIuujvBk6R/?taken-by=nicolaioterov

            • ElDiablo

              And if I use my 35mm Art I will get even a wider scene… longer lenses compress more the background, whats your point? Suddenly everyone discovered different focal lengths? Your pic is fantastic without rendering the backround as nicer as an 85mm.

    • To put this another way. . . with the subject (let’s say a face) at a given size within the frame, an image taken with an 85mm lens will show more of the background than one taken with a 105, because the 85 is wider.

      • Erick Tessier

        Yes, if you are at the same distance. But if taking a step back you can recreate the same coverage percentage of the sensor with the same face.

        • Wilson

          BlueSwanMedia has it right, if you match the size of the face by stepping back with the 105mm you get less of the scene in because the angle of view is smaller. Eg the mountain in the background doesn’t change much in distance by taking a step back but a longer focal length will show less of that mountain because the angle of view does drastically change these proportions.

          • Erick Tessier

            Totally agree on that. Compression is different for the background. I didn’t read the full comment before posting my answer.

            • Wilson

              All good, it’s an interesting topic of conversation, I didn’t fully understand until recently when I did some reading about it. I didn’t know for example that if you took a 50mm at 1.4 at 1m and a 100mm at 1.4 at 2m that they would have the exact same depth of field, I always assumed the longer the lens at the same aperture had a smaller depth of field on a matched subject but it’s just that you’re seeing less out of focus background and with that more compression of the background. The Nikon 200mm f2 for example has way more intense and uniformly smooth bokeh than the 105mm at 1.4 in matched subject sizes but the actual depth of field produced is greater on the 200mm f2

            • Alphageist

              I’m not entirely sure your math is correct regarding the 105mm and 200mm with respect to DOF.

              If both lenses were shot at f/2.0 (same aperture) with a subject that equally filled the frame (which means you would have to step back further with the 105mm lens to achieve the same subject size to frame ratio), then the 105mm lens would have greater DOF, and not the 200mm lens.

              You might be confusing actual DOF with perceived DOF.

              I don’t have the super 200mm f/2, only the 105mm f/1.4. I would love to try this out with a static subject and compare DOF of both lenses on a subject that is of equal ratio between both frames of the two lenses. Unfortunately, I don’t have $6k to try this out. 🙂

              You can play with online DOF calculators and you will see that the 105mm has greater DOF at the same aperture as it’s subject distance will be greater in order to do this.

            • ElDiablo

              There is another topic no one is mentioning here… facial features. Different focals also affect facial distortion within a similar framing. The longer the lens the more natural look…

          • Aldo

            Bingo! and this make a huge difference when trying to ‘blow out’ (bokeh) a background.

            • ambient_exposure

              thank you! i got halfway through a response to your photo & this sums it up perfectly, thank you for the explanation & great photo example!

            • Aldo

              You are most welcome.

      • Aldo

        Sort of… as long as you don’t confuse with simply having more background pixels in the frame within your portrait.

    • Erick Tessier

      And this is why this should be taken into account when selecting the right lens to obtain the results you have in mind. The background (even if totally disapearing in bokeh) is an important part of the picture. The selection between my Art 24 / 35 / 50 / 85 / 135 (to come) and Nikkor 105 f/1.4 is totally dependant on the result I want to get (and is linked to the individual personality of each lens too).

      After it’s all a matter of taste. You prefer the 85mm FL, fine.

      I prefer the 135mm FL and am very glad Sigma is launching the Art 135mm. But I know that every shot require a different lens depending on what I want to achieve.

    • decentrist

      Peter reminded me you need to wash his cars this weekend

      • Aldo

        did them already… cuz I have a wedding to shoot this weekend. btw I liked your review of the tamron.

    • MB

      That should be common knowledge, longer the lens and closer the subject equals thinner DOF, and that makes 105 at f/1.4 useless at portrait distances unless you are after the speck of dust laying at the tip of an eyelash. But the whole point of 105/1.4 is that it gives superb images at 2.8 and slower and that is perfectly usable for figures and even some portraits with great background rendering…

      • Erick Tessier

        What is “portrait distances”? Do you mean the distance at which the camera must be to take a portrait? If so, the focal length doesn’t mean anything since you just have to go farther or nearer to be at the right distance for the focal length…

        • MB

          Portrait distances means magnification usable for portraits, at this distances focal length means everything because DOF directly depends on focal length (having the same aperture) …

          • Alphageist

            DOF also depends on subject distance and not just direct focal length.

            • MB

              You are absolutely right, I was trying to talk about DOF at the same magnification that also changes with distance, obviously, unfortunately I was not very successful:)

            • Alphageist

              No problem at all. 🙂

      • Aldo

        DOF is more what’s in focus (and what’s not) in your background… I’m referring to what you can capture to ‘blow up’ (blur up). I’m assuming our background is not in focus as we are trying to capture more of the background to have a nicer bokeh effect with the isolation of our subject.

        • Erick Tessier

          So you want more background just to hide it more? I do understand a little bit better why you prefer the 85mm.

          • Aldo

            Not to hide it, but to show it more… to ‘showcase’ bokeh… as opposed to having nothing to work with due to the compression of the background.

            • Erick Tessier

              Anyway it’s all a matter of taste and what the photographer want to show. If it’s the person’s portrait or the bokeh background you want to emphasize you just choose the right lens.

            • Aldo

              That’s why I started this whole discussion. Because A LOT (not all but a lot) of people buy these longer FL (such as 135mm 200mm) to be used wide open in portraits to simply attempt to maximize subject isolation and showcase bokeh. But at the same time, a longer focal length narrows (compresses) perspective so much… that you end up with little (to nothing at min focus distance) stuff in the background to showcase bokeh… which is why you bought the lens in the first place.

            • Erick Tessier

              Assuming for others decisions is never good. I’m not convinced everybody want to “showcase” the bokeh part. They may want bokeh (which is one amongst other reasons to consider a 135mm f/1.8 but not the only one) but it migth be for totally different reasons too.

            • Aldo

              You can do your own research and find out for yourself. My assessment or ‘assumptions’ are warranted.

            • Erick Tessier

              Then you got wrong about me. If you are right then that means I might be the only one in the world with this idea…

            • Aldo

              You can benefit from the concept I presented here… but I cant force you… like trying to force your hand open to give you a hundred dollar bill. All info is useful… well almost

        • mas921

          you mean how the background is “zoomed in”/blew up by longer FL’s; hence there are less details to blur in bokeh, correct? in that case i think its interesting….85mm would have more “things to blur” in the background than 135! …. interesting..

          • Aldo

            Yes! But when I say blown out.. I simply mean blurred to extreme.

          • Alphageist

            Not sure if you’re serious. Look at the photos above with the gentlemen and the leaves behind him. With the 85mm vs a 105mm (of 200mm since that seems to have entered the discussion), you will have to step back further compared to the other lenses in order to maintain the same subject ratio within the frame. You don’t get more things to blur. You get more blur of the things in the background.

            More as in “quantity” of blur doesn’t necessarily equal more in “quality” of blur.

            • Aldo

              No… with a shorter focal length you do get ‘more things’ to blur even if your subject is the same size as with a 135 or 200mm. The quality of the blur is the ‘bokeh’ and that is different. The size of the blurr is also different. Im specifially illustrating how a narrow field of view will yield less ‘things to blur’ in the background… because there will be ‘less’ of it showing.

            • Alphageist

              Ok, I get what you are trying to say. The misconception here is not DOF, but rather FOV. With all things being equal (aperture, ratio of subject in frame), the wider FOV showcases more of the background which is then blurred out even more than the longer FL lens. I get it.

              However, the DOF will be the same for both cases. I see people here tossing DOF around as being larger/smaller. This is not the case. The DOF will be same, but the FOV won’t be because of compression. The “perceived” DOF will look different than the actual DOF.

              Personally, the quantity of blur in my background doesn’t keep me up at night. The quality of the blur or out of focus elements is more important to me as it guides the viewers eye to the main subject. With fewer (quantity) out of focus elements, the quality of those OOF elements are likely to improve (based on lens design/character). To me, this is important because the blur is not distracting…unless that is what you are looking for or are limited in choice of lens.

            • Aldo

              Right on… you got it. BUT! when you say the “quality of the blur” is more important to you in your background (as opposed to what doesn’t keep you up at night)… you are NOT taking into account that what YOU decide to blur out will greatly and directly impact how your photograph will look. Wanna bet? take a picture of someone standing in front of a black wall… see how you like that bokeh lol…. too extreme? Take a picture of someone with nothing but blue sky in the background…

            • Alphageist

              Sure, you can shoot a subject with a clean and uniform background and not get much blur (or any) at all. At this point, the quality of blur is moot since there really isn’t much to blur. Hahaha

              Of course this is all dependent of subject to camera devices stance and whether or not the background is busy and whatnot. 🙂

            • Aldo

              there you go =]

        • MB

          I presume you are talking about image plain compression and the fact that background (and foreground) is blown up much faster with longer FL, but that effect is DOF … I actually like how 105mm lens “blows” the background for portraits isolation, but I use it down to f/4 …

          • Aldo

            Not quite… Im not talking about how ‘big’ the blur is… that would be in fact dof… could be illustrated with one lens by simply going from f1.8 to 2.5 for example. A greater focal length changes the ‘field of view’ thus narrowing down on the subject and limiting the ‘amount’ of background that is captured… as though the background was stretched behind the subject. For example: at 200mm 2.8 a lens will give you relatively the same amount of ‘blur’ size as an 85mm at 1.4 would. The difference is that the field of view will be greater on the 85mm. A greater field of view would yield more of the background to show… but with similar amount of blur and bokeh.

            • MB

              I see, yeap wider lens will definitely show more of the background … the thing is how much of it you want in your image:)

            • Aldo

              Right. A tele lens may yield too little… and a wider lens may be too much… for bokeh purposes anyway.

      • Espen4u

        Isn’t the 105/1.4 just Nikons answer to Canons 85/1.2? Because the F-mount won’t allow brighter lenses?

        • MB

          You are correct that it would be extremely technically challenging and expensive to make f/1.2 lens in F mount with CPU contacts, it is possible though and I know of some handmade examples … use of electronic diaphragm may make this a bit more plausible …
          But no, I dont think the reason for 105/1.4 is Canon 85/1.2, Nikon made it because it is a great lens …

        • harvey

          damn, does that mean I will have to trash my 50/55 f1.2s?

          • Espen4u

            Yup, or I could do it for you (for a small fee) 😉

    • hje

      Thanks for pointing that out. I like to educate others about this topic, too 😉
      I think this is one of the reasons why many professionals love medium format (real medium format, starting with 6×6/6×7).

      • silmasan

        I’d like to amend myself on the topic of Fuji GFX50S we had a while back. As they’re going to release a 110mm f/2 soon… and even with the shorter lenses I see that they consistently produce very smooth out-of-focus transition. I guess it has to do with the lenses being of longer focal lengths and simpler designs (as you or someone else might have said before iirc :p).

        Also, Fuji seems to excel at making good lenses too, esp. with their past MF experience (I wish I could try the GX680 monster someday).

    • Completely agree with you Aldo. I see so many people ask things like “is this 300mm 2.8 good for portraits?”, then I usually tell them it won’t really help them create interesting photos, because they will have this “from too far away”-look. Sure it will give more geometrically correct images of the face, but the flat perspective will ruin the intimate feeling of the photo. And as you said, showing short DOF in a nice way also requires something that goes in and out of focus, like the ground, a fence, a table or so, and longer lenses make this harder. I never use longer than 85mm for this reason (I could use 135mm if I had one). So it really disturbs me when guys like Matt Granger advertise the 300mm 2.8 as the “ultimate portrait lens”. Perhaps for technically perfect geometry, but not for interesting perspective…

      • Aldo

        Absolutely! And as for the face geometry, I’ll leave that discussion for another time…. but I can hint that not all face shapes benefit from longer lenses… this is another thing I see ‘pros’ overlook many times.

        • Our “normal” perception of people’s faces has a lot to do with commonly accepted social behavior. The comfortable distance for conversation between friends and acquaintances is around six feet. Obviously, with our loved ones it’s closer and with some of the folks that post on here, I might not want to be nearer than fifteen feet or so. :-). But, seriously, we are somewhat conditioned to assess people’s faces from that six foot distance. Thus, an 85mm lens will frame a person in a somewhat tight “head and shoulders” manner at six feet. Personally, I like to use a 135mm lens for business headshots and just back up accordingly. Using a similar logic to that above, one could argue that we are accustomed to seeing people in a business environment at longer distances. I used an 85mm f/1.8 on my crop sensor cameras when I was getting started a few years ago and liked the results better than what I was getting with a 50mm f/1.8. Booked is another matter…I’m referring to headshots done against a plain studio backdrop.

          • Aldo

            I agree 100 percent. A 135 would make a great lens for head shots. You don’t qualify to be part of the crowd my critique is aimed at though, since you are not much concerned about using this lens exclusively for bokeh purposes.

            As for your other good points you made about social behavior, it’s a bit different with me and my customers because I specialize in wedding/event photography and my first priority is to break the ice with them. My success in doing so greatly affects how the photos will turn out in the end. This is the number one reason I like doing engagement shoots prior to the wedding day. I use that day to have them become more comfortable with me and with having a camera in their faces. By the time the wedding day comes… I feel like part of the family… at least for one day, which is all I need to make great photos and great memories for them.

            Now if someone walks in to your studio to get some express head shots, you don’t have that luxury. Any tools/tricks you can use to make your client more comfortable (in this case distance) will be welcomed. A 135 is also a very flattering focal length to many face/head types, even more so than an 85mm. When my subject has a’round’ face I usually prefer using wider FLs such as 60, 50 or even 35mm for portraits. I don’t even bother using the 85….. I know they will hate the photos and it will be a waste of time.

            Most of this comes from personal experience… I didn’t read about it anywhere. Like I think it is with you, I think finding your needs through your own personal experiences is the best way to go when choosing/buying gear.

            • Making a personal connection with your subject is probably more important than anything else.

      • Matt Granger’s vendetta against non-Canon 70-200’s has always puzzled me. What the crap is he doing that warrants so much complaining on that subject?

        Both an 85 and a 70-200 can kill a background quite nicely. Neither can match a dedicated macro lens for close-up portraits. Buy a Sigma 150 or 180 macro if you really want to shoot distortion-free headshots or something, I dunno.

        Personally, I kinda prefer the slight distortion that 50mm and 85mm offers when shooting shoulder-up portraits, it offers a “closeness” that adds impact to the portrait. And as far as bokeh goes, I’d rather shoot on a 35mm or 50mm, because that’s the “look” that smaller sensors really have the hardest time emulating; a wide angle view that still has shallow depth.

  • Markus

    So what can we expect here in europe? 1.800 €?

    • Jeffry De Meyer

      If they bother introducing it in Europe.

  • Viktor

    Seems to me that now even the prices of Sigma lenses are rising. From $1199 for 85 to over $1500 for 135….
    It seems to me that Sigma manufacturing plant is so busy, they need to lower the enormous demand or they figured out that their products are so better then competition so they do not want to be selling under prices of worse Nikkor and Canon lenses 😀 Remembering when they came with the very cheap 20mm? 😀

    • Eric Calabros

      US price will be lower. But I agree, they are smoothly increasing the price. They already normalized that.

      • Markus

        Sigma also has the same Situation as Nikon. So this is a normal situation.

  • DSLR MAn

    I’ll give you $900 US

    • RC Jenkins

      Who, me? Wow, thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Fly Moon

      I’ll take it.

    • Aldo

      Do I have to kill anybody? because I promised not to do that again…

  • Alphageist

    I agree completely! 😀

  • All of a sudden I miss the days when the Sigma EX line was all there was, and it was pretty damn good and pretty damn affordable.

    Wait nevermind, the Sigma 150 OS macro was pretty dang pricey at first too. Although the non-OS model was just as awesome, and a lot cheaper.

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