Sigma is one of the most prestigious and advanced lens companies globally, specializing in lenses for many cameras, with a magnitude of different features and settings allowing photographers to capture the best images all around.
Dubbed the “bokeh master,” the Sigma 105mm f1.4 is one of the first lenses of it’s kind. We’ve seen 105mm lenses before, however, not with a maximum aperture of f1.4. No matter the aperture you set, you will always have a smooth Bokeh image and a razor-sharp focus on everything you snap.
When looking for a fantastic lens, you want to consider the following attributes to ensure the lens is for you, and if it will pull out all the stops to ensure you’re happy with the quality of the pictures you’re taking. Let’s take a quick look at some of the features that you may want to consider if you were to buy this lens.
When looking into the specifics for this Sigma lens, you’ll probably consider the following features. The size of the lens is 116 x 129mm (diameter x length). When adding this to the 128mm x 43mm lens hood, you get a total length of 172mm. When comparing this with other similar lenses, this is quite big but compacts excellent quality into its size.
Moving on from the lens’s size, the weight is again quite heavy compared to other lenses on the market. The Sigma 105mm f1.4 lens is around 1723g, including the carbon fiber lens hood (104g) and the detachable tripod collar (123g). This does seem to be a lot heavier when compared to other lenses, but maybe down to the build quality, which we will cover later on in this overview.
As with any Sigma Art lens, the Sigma 105mm is built like a tank. It’s very robust design features an all-metal main body build (apart from the glass elements). As we can see from the above attributes, the robust metal design does weigh the lens down as a whole, and the 105mm element at the front of the lens does cause its own problems with filters.
Despite all this, the lens still does feel very solid as a whole and makes you feel like you’ve paid for what you get in terms of its build quality and overall feel.
The most important part of this lens is the optics inside. The Sigma 105mm has a total of 17 elements in 12 separate groups. This lens also features five unique dispersion elements and a singular aspherical lens.
If you were wanting to get some close-up shots, the closest focus distances are roughly 1.0m with standard magnification of 1:8.3. There have been reports of being able to close this down to 1:7.7 and a 0.94m using a manual focus approach.
When you look for a lens, you need to ensure that consistently crisp and efficient focusing is a priority. The Sigma 105mm does offer a fast focus speed of around 0.6 seconds, with standard magnification of 1:10. Using and utilizing the focus ring, you’ll realize there is no slack or play between any of its movements, and the throw of a pleasant 135 degrees is perfect for an excellent manual wide-open focus. The 33m rubber ring offers a great deal of control, but not for a single finger, which is how some users may want to operate it, as it is quite firm.
When using eye auto-focus, there have been issues where the camera itself will notify you that the focus is set and is ready. However, in the viewfinder, the lens is not correctly focused. This doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it can be quite annoying if you are trying to capture a one-time event or live scene.
Sharpness and Level of Detail
The Sigma Art collection of lenses has never pulled out any stops when it comes to the level of detail and sharpness that the lens can produce. As you may expect, the Sigma 105mm has an excellent level of detail and sharpness. Edges of all the main focus points are well-adjusted by the lens giving vibrant edges and corners and providing a very sharp image overall.
As for detail with the lens, any images that are taken will amaze you. All details on the pictures are rendered perfectly and will really bring up any lackluster colors from the scene and incorporates them all blissfully into any image. Overall, the level of detail that is brought to the surface using the Sigma is astonishing.
When using this lens for portraits, there is an unbelievable amount of detail, no matter the apparatus you use – which can be great for any image situation or scene, should you need to edit anything after taking the picture.
When using the f1.4 aperture, vignetting is slightly noticeable but doesn’t really make much of a difference to images. Distortion and chromatic aberration is also kept to a minimal with the Sigma 105mm.
Rendering and Bokeh
As mentioned above, the lens does a great job, and making an image stand out. When taking any pictures with the Sigma, you will not only get an excellent quality, sharp and well-rendered image but a beautiful, soft render of any background that may need blurring. These qualities are what make the Sigma stand out in front of any other lens.
Although not directly related to the lens itself, it does have issues when being used with filters. There are not many companies and brands specifically designing 105mm filters for the Sigma 105mm lens as standard. That’s not to say there are none, but there does seem to be a premium on the cost for these filters, but it should be worth it for the quality of the image.
• Full-frame compatible: Yes
• Elements/groups: 17/12
• Minimum focus distance: 1.0m
• Max magnification factor: 0.12x
• Manual focus override: Yes
• Focus limit switches: No
• Internal focus: Yes
• Filter size: 105mm
• Iris blades: 9
• Weather seals: Yes
• Out-of-box accessories: Hood, Soft case, Tripod mount/counterbalance.
There is no denying that the price resembles its quality, weight, and build when looking at this lens. With its incredible focus, outstanding razor-sharp images, and excellent bokeh, the Sigma 105mm f1.4 is a lens that should be considered a primary lens for your pictures.