Sunday, September 11, 2011

Canon EF85mm f1.8 USM vs. Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX DG

As mentioned a few weeks ago, I would like to compare the Canon EF 85mm 1.8F with the Sigma 85mm 1.4f.
The reason why I compare these two lenses, is because the Sigma lens in my eye, the competitor of this Canon and Canon 85mm f1.2 L does not. Moreover, this comparison was already done by other users. If you are interested  in, you can take a look at the links at the bottom of the article.

As you to read in many laboratory tests, these two lenses are very similar, sometimes the Canon is slightly better in other tests, sometimes the Sigma. The Sigma has a wider aperture, but it costs even 500 € more than the Canon. But the Canon should have the faster autofocus.

So the question is whether the larger aperture is 500 € more value.
For the solution I have different pictures in different scenarios made ​​with both lenses. This comparison is no laboratory test, it was made ​​in daylight performed, where to have sun and wind may affect the photo. In general, I think, however, that these influences to be ignored. All tests were done from a tripod. After each change, I checked the lens focal point. The pictures were all taken with the self-timer. All photos were taken with a Canon 40D. With "Digital Photo Professional" I got these images without adjustments in the JPEG format and with Lightroom I have generated the 100% crops, also with no adjustments. The full-size images can be viewed using the links at the bottom of the article.

Here now the comparison.

First test
the object is 15m away, the focus point is on the brown screw.

Sigma 85mm F1.4 Canon EF 85mm F1.8
F1.4

F1.8
F1.8
F2.0
F2.0
F2.8
F2.8
F4.0
F4.0
F5.6
F5.6
F8.0
F8.0
As you can see from the pictures, both lenses have problems with purple fringing, with aperture of f2.8 can be ignored. It looks as if the Canon f2.0 aperture from less purple fringing than the Sigma. Sharpness of both look great. The Canon seems to produce a bit more warmer colors, but this can be easily edited later with software.

Test 2
The object now is only 5 meters away, the focus point back brown on the screw.
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Canon EF 85mm F1.8
F1.4
F1.8
F1.8
F2.0
F2.0
F2.8
F2.8
F4.0
F4.0
F5.6
F5.6
F8.0
F8.0
Again, both lenses at full aperture have purple fringing. Starting at f2.8 aperture, it stops. This time, the Sigma seems to be a bit better.
Both lenses are very sharp again, it seems as if the Canon with an open aperture is a little sharper.
It also looks like this as if the Canon images are slightly overexposed, but that can be adapted very quickly during the raw processing.

Test 3
This test was done from a distance of just 1m, that is about to need at least 85cm distance from the two lenses. The focal point should be in the middle of the flower, it was a bit hard to keep him there, because the flower has been moved by the wind a little.
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Canon EF 85mm F1.8
F1.4
F1.8
F1.8
F2.0
F2.0
F2.8
F2.8
F4.0
F4.0
F5.6
F5.6
F8.0
F8.0
In this test, it seems to be no difference.
The Canon has re-heat a little color.
This image is nice to see how sharp these two lenses are.

Test 4
This was done from a distance of 2 meters. The focal point lies near the center of the image.
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Canon EF 85mm F1.8
F1.4
F1.8
F1.8
F2.0
F2.0
F2.8
F2.8
F4.0
F4.0
F5.6
F5.6
F8.0
F8.0
As pungent both lenses are very good again.
It seems that the Sigma only very few purple fringing at maximum aperture have. The Canon has slightly more problems here, but from f2.8 aperture, it no longer interferes.

Viewed from the sharpness both lenses are very similar, one can actually not see any difference. From this point it does not matter which lens you choose.
So I made ​​a few more tests to check the purple fringing and also to compare the bokeh.

Test 5
Distance was about 3 m, the focal point should be on the right eye. These images are reduced in size by about 60% of the extract from the middle.
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Canon EF 85mm F1.8
F1.4
F2.8
F1.8
F1.8
F2.8

F1.4

F1.8

Difficult to compare because I've made ​​fewer pictures with the Canon. But as it looks, both lenses have purple fringing at wide-open aperture. By changing the size of the images they are almost invisible, and no longer available aperture of f2.8.

Test 6
check the bokeh
Sigma 85mm F1.4 Canon EF 85mm F1.8
F1.4
F1.8
F1.8
F1.4

F1.8
F1.8
F1.4

F1.8
F1.8


The bokeh is mostly a matter of taste. The difference between an aperture of F1.4 to F1.8 can see how very little. I think you know the difference between just f1.4 and f1.8 aperture only when they know that an image was created with aperture f1.4. Otherwise I think one will suggest there does not different apertures. The bokeh of the Sigma looks a bit more round and smooth out. The Canon however is a bit more fritter. Since I am a fan of bokeh of old Leica lenses, I prefer that of the Canons.


We come to a conclusion.
Let's see what we have:

  • Both lenses are very sharp. 
  • Both have purple fringing at maximum aperture, which stops almost at f2.8, but it seems the Sigma usually a bit less. 
  • The difference of the aperture f1.4 to f1.8 can not really be seen on my 40D. Also, the exposure time, which will increase at f1.4 is not that important to me. Because when you come into practice in situations where times of 1/15s or 1 / 30 s necessary, I generally use a flash. These exposure times are so long that you need at 1/15s or 1/30s a very steady hand to shoot sharp images. This is because the longer the focal length of 85mm lenses. With a full frame body this may look different, but as long as I only have a crop body, I interesst not. 
  • Both lenses have a good bokeh. But I prefer the Canon there I do not like this super smooth bokeh.


Answer to the question whether the sigma is worth the price of 500 € more than the Canon:
I say no.
For my 40D, the Canon is more than sufficient. I don't need spend 500 € more for a larger aperture that is to hardly to see. But that's just my personal opinion, others can come to a different result.
feel free to talk about


Links:


http://darwinwiggett.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/sigma-85mm-f1-4-vs-canon-85mm-f1-2l-ii/
http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/85mm/index.htm
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Le ......

Full Size Canon images:
Canon EF 85mm f1.8 full size test images

Full Size Sigma images:
Sigma 85mm f1.4 full size test images

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