Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens now available for pre-order

As I already reported earlier today, here are the pre-order links for the new Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens:

Shipping will starts on April 25, 2017. Additional coverage for the Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art lens can be found here.

Full press release:

Sigma Announces 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art Lens Pricing and Availability

Sigma’s highly-anticipated telephoto prime lens, designed for shooting events and studio/location portraiture, begins shipping in May 2017 for a retail price of $1399.00USD

New York, NY – March 17, 2017 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, announced today that its 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens will begin shipping in May 2017 for a retail price of $1399.00 USD. Making its public debut at the 2017 CP+ Camera + Photo Imaging Show in Yokohama, Japan in February 2017, the 135mm F1.8 Art lens enters the market as Sigma’s new premiere mid-range telephoto prime lens, touting outstanding sharpness and great IQ from edge to edge. Ideal for events such as concerts, weddings, indoor sports, conferences and press events, the 1.8 F-stop delivers greater “shallow depth of field” and isolation of subjects. The outstanding compression effect makes it equally as powerful for up-close and full-length portraits. Its new large Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds and allowing for fast autofocus photography.

The all-new Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm for enhanced high-speed shooting.

Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens Features and Benefits:

> Superior optical performance

  • Optimal image quality for ultra-high-megapixel DSLRs: This lens offers top performance from the center to the edges of the image thanks to the signature floating system of the lens focus mechanism. By minimizing distortion, the lens delivers impeccable image quality without the need for digital adjustment during image processing.
  • Ideal for portraits requiring a dramatic bokeh effect: Delivering a stunning compression effect, even when positioned fairly close to the subject, the telephoto ring allows photographers to achieve a variety of dramatic perspectives. This effect truly shines in both close-up and full-length portraits, making composition easy. The large F1.8 diameter allows for more creative control over light and paired with the nine-blade rounded diaphragm produce a desired creamy bokeh effect.

> Fast and nimble autofocus photography

  • The large HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds. Along with the optimized AF algorithm, this feature delivers fast autofocus photography. In addition, the focus limiter makes AF highly responsive to distance from the subject for even more nimble performance.

> Fast AF with full-time manual override (the operation of full-time MF may vary based on mount type)

> Compatible with Sigma Mount Converter MC-11

> Mount with dust- and splash-proof construction

> Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism included

> Available Sigma USB Dock makes updating firmware and customization possible

> Available Mount Conversion Service allows use with another camera body

> Rounded diaphragm for desired bokeh look

> Designed to minimize flare and ghosting

> High-precision, durable brass bayonet mount

> Crafted in Aizu, Japan with each lens individually tested with Sigma’s own MTF measuring system “A1”

> Lens barrel is engraved with the year of release

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  • Rick Johnson

    $1399 – that’s less than I expected, and only $200 more than the 85mm!

    • fanboy fagz

      Thats £200 more than i expected.

      • Hans

        I too agree that $1199 is more reasonable compared to their very own 24-105mm f/4 @ $899 with about the same complexity and size of optical elements with f/1.8 but without OS.
        But I am glad that they didn’t add OS to compromise a prime lens.

        • fanboy fagz

          Yes 1200 would be fair. 1400 is too much.
          Its not a fl one uses often. Its very limiting. So while it was on my to get list. Its bumped off unfortunately.

  • Colin Stuart

    can’t wait to hear the price on the new 14mm….

    • Joachim Lehmann

      Same here – I’m very excited about that.

  • Jon S

    Any news on the 24-70mm?

    • Aldo

      It’s not looking good… (pricewise)

      • fanboy fagz

        I think sigmas gotten sick lately with snoberitis. The reason people buy then is the performer for the price.

        • Aldo

          Yeah I’m willing to overlook the ‘cheap zoom’ design if the price is right…. but I guess they are doing well that’s why they feel confident with these prices. I may just wait for the tamron updated version if they charge too much for it.

          • fanboy fagz

            im waiting for tamron

          • That’s not what Sigma is going for lately. Nor ever really. Their thing has always been the same or better quality for half the price, or something that others aren’t offering.

            In this case, the Nikon 24-70VR is $2400. I expect the Sigma 24-70 will MSRP for $1800 and sell for exactly that if it out performs Nikon’s version. If it is only just the same, it’ll have a lower MSRP to match.

            It’s not snobby–when they have something better to sell, they are smart to ask more for it. And people will buy it. If it turns out not to be worth it, you’ll see it selling for less.

            Historically, Sigma 24-70 lenses have been weak–good build, but not terribly sharp. If they make something competitive, the price will reflect that.

            • Aldo

              Oh wow… so the price maybe even higher then… Im currently covering that range with the 24-120 f4… I was thinking if the price difference wasnt a lot, I would just get the sigma but no way Im gonna pay more for it than I did for the tamron 70-200 g2.

            • Depends what you need. A 24-120mm ƒ/4 lens just wouldn’t cut it for most of my work. I need that extra stop, not the reach.

              And my comments on price are just a guess, but an educated one.

            • Aldo

              I agree that the f4 could be too slow. I use primes instead when I need more light hitting the sensor.

      • Jon S

        Really? how much do you think it will be?

        • Aldo

          I think it may be over 1k.. even 1300.

          • Jon S

            hmm I was thinking around 1k, which would be pretty good in my opinion as long as the image quality and OS were great.

          • Bob Thane

            24-70 f2.8 lenses tend to be pricier than 135mm f2 lenses, so even though this one’s f1.8 the 24-70 might be on par or more – 1300-1600 probably. Maybe even 1800 if they go crazy.

            • Jon S

              I’ll just wait and pick it up in the used market then. Sigma’s drop in value very quickly.

  • Hans

    It is looking good for this lens with Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm, but would it work as well as Nikon intended? Will have to wait and see after they shipped.
    Now! Are they going to update all their previous lens firmware for this feature or are they all obsoleted? If so all our previous A/C/S lens prices is going down very quickly because buyers will only buy what is future proof and not what is already obsoleted.

  • Sounds cheep 🙂 The specs are good, especially this: “Lens barrel is engraved with the year of release”

    • Viktor

      😀 Yeah that one is very important 😀

  • RC Jenkins

    This lens doesn’t make as much sense to me. An ultra-wide with great ‘edge to edge IQ’ for landscapes, astro, etc.? Sure.

    But for a portrait lens…?

    It feels like everyone’s chasing chart performance rather than pleasing portrait lens characteristics like tonality & contrast, bokeh, and center-mid sharpness. I couldn’t care less about things like corner sharpness. If corners are sharp on a portrait, I’m doing it wrong. And sadly, that’s probably one of many tradeoffs they made…

  • karayuschij

    I have never understood the utility of the “bastard” 135 mm focal lens…

    • Viktor

      Then it only means that you are not the targeted customer. Nothing bad about it 😉 That is all. There are many lenses designed only for special usage and everybody does not have to buy them eg. 11mm lenses, fisheye lenses, 800mm lenses, PC lenses or even someone can say it about nifty-fifty…. That is all, you do not have to worry about it 😉

      • karayuschij

        Yes, of course I was speaking according to my personal experience 🙂

        • fanboy fagz

          Btw ive shot small group family pics at 135mm. Fabtastic perspective. Many times i dont have the space though. And btw, its not only for shooting people. You can even shoot landscapes. Like mountains

          • Just Me

            Of course you can use it for landscapes but I can’t think of a reason to do so. If you want a longer FL for landscape, a 70-200 or better yet, an 80-400 is much more practical.

            • Eledeuh

              Primes offer another kind of flexibility: aperture. You don’t always want to stop down and focus at close to infinity. I personally often carry both a 70-200 f/4 and a 105 f/1.4 for landscape/nature photography.

            • Just Me

              I don’t have a lot of imagination so maybe I just can’t imagine needing a greater than f/4 aperture for landscape photography at that focal length. Maybe a wider angled lens…

  • Yair

    1399$ in my opinion is passing a line , the art series lens charm is they were approachable to more people while optically superior ( yet not up with first party AF performaces ).
    This might be a great lens yet it will be first time people won’t buy it in expected quantity.
    I certainly was planning to buy it yet 1,399$ is too expensive.

    • Viktor

      I also think they are going to reach the line when the amount of sold pieces is going to get lower. They had their policy, their targer market fair price/good quality which they left with 85Art.

      They are now going to be competing with others and many people might start thinking whether such investment is not better somewhere alse….. I am also one of those….. At this price I have started thinking – Zeiss 135 Classic (currently lowered prices), Zeiss Milvus (excellent), Nikkor 135DC (very old but with additional feature) any 70-200 – much more uviversal usage and having VR…..

      • Yair

        With all respect I have for Sigma ( I own 20,35,50 and 85 ART ) they are not Zeiss nor Nikon.

        The 85 ART was already priced too high but I went with it , giving Sigma a credit that they improved.

        Yet again it is an excellent lens with minor optical issues but ( a big one) AF is far from perfect, I done all calibration needed using the USB dock yet The problem is not in the calibration it’s in the inconsistency of the focus and that cannot be changed .
        As long is pricing is lower it can be accepted yet at the current asking price it doesn’t make sense any longer.
        Any doesn’t matter how sharp a lens is if it’s not in focus !

        • Viktor

          I do not have the 85Art as that one already left the price range I was willing to pay for 3rd party, non magnesium alloy, non fully weather sealed body…. Other Sigmas Art were great for that almost level price under 1000$….. bought like bread and butter, no competition there 😉
          For these “new” prices they really have to give us superior all round quality, which you are right is questionable.
          I think they are doing it mainly because their manufacturing plant was so busy fulfilling demand of those begining Arts…..
          That is why I am thinking about that superior Zeiss I have already been working with 😉

          • Yair

            I don’t want to even go into the quality assurance issues they have and the low resell value as well .
            I had to examine various samples of all the lenses I bought in order to get a good copy my supplier did very good service but this doesn’t defend Sigma low QC and QA standards.
            Now if pricing is no longer attractive they are going to lose a lot of business

        • Jaron Horst

          I agree. I was going to replace my 85 EX with the Art version until they announced the price! Considering I lucked out and have an exceptional version of the 85, I see no reason to spend that much on the Art version. Especially considering how much heavier it is, how it doesn’t address the shortcomings I have with it, and that I would need larger filters for it.

    • 120_300 OS for nikon

      so wait and wait etc this an to good lens just seen in the small review i am waiting for the 14mm price also high i think when not ….

  • jstevez

    Why do I need a super sharp lens for portraits? I am not trolling, I think is a valid question. Almost every tutorial I’ve seen includes how to process portraits with softening filters of technics. hence my confusion.

    • karayuschij

      You always have the possibility to make a sharp image softer (filters, postproduction).
      But it is hard to make sharp a soft one 😉

    • Just Me

      I’ve never seen a tutorial on how to make eyes softer!

  • Viktor

    $1000 magical line which Sigma has left (85, 135). I wonder how the sales of these two will look like compared to the previous Art lenses 😉

    To gain customers at this price level it should have been made up of magnesium alloy and completely weather sealed…. if not water proof 😉

    Lets see, but I thing after some supply&demand reevaluation the prices of these two will be going down a little to level with the 20mm Art (which is now at around $900) heading for that around average $1000 level.
    We will see 😉

  • br0xibear
  • Michael Wright

    They are going to sell a $#!tload of these to nikon people. The current nikon 135 stinks. It’s soft and a very old design. The best alternative is a Zeiss 135 but those are manual only. Maybe you could get the 105 1.4 but it’s around $2200. So you are kind or stuck with either an 85 1.X or 70-200 2.8. They may not sell a lot of these to canon owners. But the Nikon versions will be sold out for awhile. The price isn’t high at all for us in comparison.

    • cdstum

      Yep, its a no brainer for Nikon users. I own the 135mm DC but I have no doubt this Sigma will be the better lens optically and AF wise. I can envisage more 135mm DC’s soon appearing on the secondhand market.

  • John

    Thanks Sigma but I will keep my Zeiss 135 f2 APO that I got for $1200 used mostly landscapes and few portraits here and there. 85ART should be $999 and this should be $1199 max or lower. Canon user would get 135L for $999 or lower for used and be done with it. Sigma made a mistake with prices on 85 ART and 135 ART.

  • Colin Stuart

    why? this 135 is only $1399. I would expect anywhere between $999-1399 IMO.

    • Yasfaloth

      The 14mm is said to have the same, very expensive, front lens as the 12-24, and there is also a lot of glass inside. The 12-24 Art is currently around 1700€ here in Europe. And they have no competition on that focal at this aperture.

  • psv

    i think Sigma is starting to suffer the some Canon and Nikon price obsession. this lenses are very expensive for certain countries. this lens should be around 1KUSD, not mor , not less , all art lenses ( exception on 14 mm range ), should stay below 1KUSD. i bought my 18-35 mm when it come out for 550USD and now is around 800 USD , madness

    • 120_300 OS for nikon

      Ye pain in all of our pockets prices are going to much up you may be lucky when you bought that 18-35 i was thinking about that one but for full frame different cookie

  • Yair

    first review with real samples , i have to say looks great , shame the price is so expensive…

  • Mirrorless Sucks

    I’ll wait for a price drop. $1400 is too much on a Siggy.

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