Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens Sample Pictures

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens
Sitting on the Swing Sitting on the Swing

When sitting on a swing, the ropes and hands holding them nicely frame the face. Light is from a cloudy sky. The 85mm focal length and f/1.4 aperture combine to completely eliminate the background.

85mm  f/1.4  1/1600s  ISO 100
Flowering Crab Apple Tree Picture Flowering Crab Apple Tree Picture

Flowering trees are amazingly beautiful, but capturing a quality picture of just them (not them as part of a larger landscape) can be challenging. Isolating a small part of the tree and letting the rest of the tree become blurred is one option - at least when using this lens or one similar to it.

85mm  f/1.4  1/800s  ISO 100
85mm Head Shot Portrait 85mm Head Shot Portrait

This head shot portrait represents the approximate minimum focus distance of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens - a 0.12x magnification. Of course, an APS-C body is going to frame even tighter at this focus distance.

85mm  f/1.4  1/500s  ISO 100
Piano Recital Picture Piano Recital Picture

When shooting an event with a prime (fixed focal length - not a zoom) lens, it is especially important to arrive early to secure the proper shooting position. When shooting a piano event, I prefer to give up the keys to gain some face if I cannot position to capture both.

85mm  f/2.8  1/125s  ISO 400
Bed of Lily Greens Bed of Lily Greens

The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens works well for landscape photography. I'm always looking for patterns in nature and decided that these young lilies qualified for a shot. The soft lighting is comlements of an overcast sky.

85mm  f/11.0  1/15s  ISO 100
Kid Swinging Picture Kid Swinging Picture

Want to capture kids' happy expressions? Capture them doing something fun. And what kid does not like to swing.
I was not getting good results using AI Servo focus mode on this camera and lens combination (primarily a lens issue here), so I opted to use One Shot AF and take the shot at the moment the pendulum motion stopped on the back-swing. My in-focus hit rate was decent using this technique.
The 85mm f/1.4 setting allowed the background to be strongly blurred and allowed for a fast, action-stopping shutter speed on this heavily overcast day.

85mm  f/1.4  1/1250s  ISO 100
Tulip in a Vase Picture Tulip in a Vase Picture

It almost feels like cheating when photographing flowers. They are so beautiful that a great picture is easy to create.
To create the white background, the tulip and vase were placed on a white sweep (an Elinchrom Shooting Table in this case) and a strobe in a softbox was fired into it from behind the subject. The main subject was lit by a strobe in a large softbox positioned to camera right. Having this setup readily available means I can capture subjects such as this tulip with little time expenditure - which is extremely important to me.
This picture also shows that you do not need a macro lens to photograph flowers.

85mm  f/11.0  1/160s  ISO 100
Giving Portraits a Different Look Giving Portraits a Different Look

Want to create a different look to your portrait photos? Have the subject lie down.
Lying down has a couple of advantages. One is that the subject's hair (as long as they have more than me) takes on a different flow. Another is that the subject will likely remain still for the shot.
The latter advantage is a big one when shooting with very shallow DOF. Any subject (or camera) movement after focusing will render the subject's eyes out of focus. Out of focus eyes is an immediate cause for rejection of most photos for me.

85mm  f/1.6  1/800s  ISO 100
Playing Piano Picture Playing Piano Picture

A young girl plays the piano post recital. A camera position such as used here would be strongly frowned upon during the actual recital. Simply take your subject back to the stage after the recital is complete and get all of the shots you want (or all that the subject will put up with).
For this shot I positioned the sharp plane of focus so that both the eyes and hands are sharp. The f/1.4 aperture allowed a reasonably short exposure at a noise-free ISO 100 under decent stage lighting. I kept the white balance on the warm side - representative of the tungsten lights.

85mm  f/1.4  1/160s  ISO 100
Serviceberry Tree in Bloom Serviceberry Tree in Bloom

In the spring, the serviceberry is the first tree to bloom in our woods. After looking at the bleak early spring landscape for a long time, these trees look wonderful. Capturing a beautiful picture of them can prove a challenge however. This picture is the result of my attempts to do so.
I used shallow depth of field to isolate the closer branches from the blurred more-distant branches. Does it work? I'm not completely in love with the shot, but it does show what can be done with shallow depth of field.
Note the 1/8000 shutter speed. If your camera has a max shutter speed of 1/4000, you may need a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor to be able to shoot at f/1.4 in bright sunlight.

85mm  f/1.4  1/8000s  ISO 100
Smiling Head Shot Smiling Head Shot

When shooting a portrait with settings that deliver a very shallow DOF (Depth of Field), aligning the plane of sharp focus so that both the mouth and eyes are in focus usually works best. Want sharp hair and ears too? Use a narrower aperture.

85mm  f/1.4  1/500s  ISO 100
Trail Riding Picture Trail Riding Picture

Trail riding was one of the situations I was using AI Servo AF for during review of the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX HSM Lens. Even with walking horses(not real challenging), very few results were properly focused. This was my favorite - it was in focus - I didn't need the others.

85mm  f/1.4  1/400s  ISO 100
Clump Whitespire Birch trunks Clump Whitespire Birch trunks

Layers of white trunks from a clump whitespire birch tree are rendered in various levels of focus by the wide aperture used for the shot.

85mm  f/1.4  1/500s  ISO 100
Golden Retriever Portrait Golden Retriever Portrait

A relaxed golden retriever stands out from the background blurred by shallow DOF from the wide aperture. An f/1.4 aperture was intended, but a photographer malfunction resulted in the still-very-adequate f/1.6 aperture used for the shot. Lighting was from large windows.

85mm  f/1.6  1/1250s  ISO 100
On the Piano Bench On the Piano Bench

A young girl sits at the bench of a Steinway piano after performing her recital.

85mm  f/1.4  1/160s  ISO 100
Relaxed Portrait Relaxed Portrait

As I said before, a subject lying down is likely to remain still. This leaves focus issues in the hands of the camera and lens - and photographer themselves. Lying down can also relax your subject for better expressions.

85mm  f/1.6  1/1000s  ISO 100
Portrait by a Tree Portrait by a Tree

If you are going to show hands in a portrait of a lady, try to show the back side of the hands with the thumb away from the camera. I would like to see a bit of the thumb in this shot - I was simply not paying close enough attention to that detail. I might also had her move closer to the tree so that the hand would be slightly more in focus.
The soft lighting for this shot was provided by an overcast sky. The subject is just inside some light shade which adds some direction to the light (avoiding flat light).

85mm  f/1.4  1/400s  ISO 100
Ant on Peoni Bud Ant on Peoni Bud

Although it is hard to see at this resolution, an ant is inspecting the bud on this peony. The balance of the peonies are increasingly blurred toward the edges of the frame.
The peonies themselves would make a nice picture, but adding one additional element to the frame is sometimes what is needed to make a good shot great.

85mm  f/1.4  1/640s  ISO 100
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