15 November, 2017

A confessed Sigma "Art" shooter

Susanne at the Shornecliffe Pier - Sigma 85mm, f/1.4

I think it's fair to say that for portraits, I'm a Sigma "Art" shooter. To begin with, I'm a pushover for fast primes. And the Sigma Art series has some of the best, fast primes in the world — in my opinion equal to or better than the best Canon, Nikon, or Zeiss lenses.  The last time I looked, the highest rated lens in the DXO lens database was the Sigma 85mm, f/1.4 Art.

A while ago, I was shooting in a market and I had to carry the lenses that I expected to need over an hour or so. I picked the 135, 85 and 24mm Sigmas.  This meant that I could keep the MC-11 on my Sony body and switch between these Canon-Mount Sigmas. And, as icing on the cake, Sony's 5-axis stabilisation gave the Sigmas better hand-held performance than possible with either Canon or Nikon bodies. 

Would I prefer Sony glass? Sure, but only if Sony had the primes I want with prices I could afford.

Sony doesn't have an FE mount 135mm, f/1.8, or a 24mm, f/1.4 — yet. The 85 G-Master is great, but the Sigma 85mm has equivalent or better optical qualities.

As I've mentioned before, it seems to me that Sony gouges it's Australian customers. For example, in the US (using B&H prices), the Sony 85mm G-Master costs 50% more than the Sigma 85mm. Here in Australia (using CameraPro prices), the Sony is 99% more expensive than the Sigma.

The Sigmas aren't perfect on Sony bodies: I have to use the MC-11 mount converter, so the already big and heavy Sigmas are even bigger and heavier, the weather sealing isn't there, and the Sigmas aren't as fast focusing as the Sonys. 

If I really need to brave the weather or need faster focusing, however, I have some Sony natives that are wickedly sharp, sealed, and fast focusing (albeit with slower apertures).

If the day comes when I can afford the A7Riii, I expect it will speed the autofocus and eye-focus on the Sigmas, as it does for the Sony lenses.

And, you never know, perhaps the rumoured Canon mirrorless DSLR may do a better job with the Sigmas than Sony does now. Only time will tell.

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