A new lens (the Sigma 85 mm f/1.4) | Jim Kofron Photography | Jim Kofron

A new lens (the Sigma 85 mm f/1.4)

Well, the good news is that I had a bunch of money left over from not being able to afford the Sigma SD1. The bad news is instead of punishing the company and running out and buying a Nikon (or a new Epson printer), I decided to splurge on a new lens for my SD-15. I had put a few lenses into my Amazon shopping cart to keep an eye on the prices. The 85 mm f/1.4 regularly sells for $969 on Amazon, but it dropped a few weeks ago to $929. And then it dipped to about $890. I started to think about buying this in earnest, but while I was considering it, it kept dropping in price every few days until it hit $811. It's at that point when I decided that I had waited long enough—this lens is a very good match for my portrait shooting, and it was something that I had been waiting for Sigma to come out with for years (they just released it about a year ago). I pulled the trigger and ordered it. The next day, the price had risen another $20, and on the day it showed up it was back to the regular $969—so I timed this purchase pretty well.

The only problem? The first lens that showed up had some major autofocus issues. It was extremely fast in focusing: but it would go beyond, then back too close, and cycle like that a few times a second for a while before it would lock (if it did). Definitely a problem. I wonder if the fact that Amazon shipped it in a cardboard box with virtually no padding was an issue. Anyway, they have a great return policy and they sent me my second copy, which came today. No AF issues. The lens also seems to focus pretty accurately on my SD15 (the Sigma cameras are known to have some problems with the large aperture lenses that necessitate sending in camera and lens for calibration). The lens isn't perfectly sharp at f/1.4, but it's pretty damn good. It gets nice and sharp by f/2.0 (at least what I can tell with playing with it for a few minutes). Handles great, and the bokeh is to die for.

I'll be happy to loan it to Chunsum after his 70-200 OS f/2.8 shows up...  :D

f/1.4, 1/800s, ISO 100

f/4.0, 1/320 s, ISO 100


f/1.4, 1/1600 s, ISO 100


f/1.4, 1/3200 s, ISO 100


f/1.4, 1/60 s, ISO 100


f/1.4, 1/60 s, ISO 100


f/1.4, 1/400 s, ISO 100


Copyright 2014, Jim Kofron. All rights reserved.