Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART Review (Nikon mount)
This is our review for Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART lens (Nikon Mount) which Sigma India sent us for a duration of 10 days. With Interest for portrait photography and love for images which separates the subject from the background giving a creamy bokeh, telephoto lens was our our preference and we wanted to use it not only for our fashion and beauty work, but also to shoot weddings.
For our review, we have used the Sigma 135mm f1.8 lens mounted on a Nikon D750 body. Our intent from this shoot was to see if this lens gives us better results than our workhorse lens Nikon 85mm 1.8G lens which we have been using for almost 5 years now and still is one of the top performing lenses in Nikon lineup. Also we will make sure to keep this review as non-technical as possible which can help a lot of amateur photographers.
Build Quality :
Straight out of the box, just like all of the other sigma ART lenses, this lens looks like a premium product with amazing finish and build quality. One cannot help but notice its weight though, due to all that glass stacked inside it. To give you an idea , you will feel it a little less heavier than a 70-200 lens.
One issue wedding photographers face is fogging of lenses when they move from an air-conditioned banquet hall to humid place outside where they need to be quick in taking a couples portraits and this issue slows them down for good 1-2 minutes. With Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART lens, we observed very minimal to no fogging of the lens which was very helpful.
Anyone who is researching to buy a new lens is curious to know how fast it is for focussing, which is helpful especially in Wedding Photography, and this lens does not disappoint at all. The focussing on this lens is super quick, and can absolutely match Nikon 85mm 1.8G. When we started sorting the images that we took, we observed that it did a very good job focussing well on almost 60 to 70 of its shots and this number is actually good considering its focal length. The well focussed images shot by this lens look super sharp when you compare them with the portraits shot by other lenses at this focal length. Even the colors pop out so well in lightroom during post-processing of the Raw images shot using this lens on Nikon D750 body.
One area where this lens does amazingly well is the bokeh it creates. It gives excellent separation of a subject from its background and I am sure all the portrait photographers out there are going to love it. The pictures this lens creates, gives a much better perspective of a portrait compared to an 85mm or a 50mm in keeping the dimensions of the subject intact without distorting it. Obviously keeping in mind the focal length of this lens, the creativity of a photographer does gets challenged in terms of using it in closed spaces where this lens is not of much use.
Who should buy this lens:
The modern weddings these days require the wedding photographer to be close to the couple monitoring every small little candid expression of theirs and with this lens it becomes almost difficult to frame a good shot in terms of telling a story which can be done better with a wider perspective lens. 85mm or 50mm is still our favorite lens for taking tight candids in a wedding. However, wedding photographers can definitely use this lens for some amazing couple portraits or solo portraits of bride or groom.
This lens can be super amazing for someone whose majority of the portfolio consists of portraits. Good focussing speed, sharp images wen focussed properly, excellent separation form the background, less fogging, better perspective for portraits are some of the top features for buying this lens.
However there are cons like pricing ( costs almost 5 times the price of a Nikon 85mm 1.8G lens ), Weight ( weighs a lot compared to a Nikon 85mm 1.8G ), Less percentage of focussed images compared to a Nikon 85mm 1.8G lens are some of the factors which makes this lens a little less desirable than the ultimate king of portrait lens which is still Nikon 85mm 1.8G.
To summarise this review, Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART is a very good lens but at a price of around 1.3Lac INR, its still an expensive option for what it can deliver and we will still prefer Nikon 85mm 1.8G over Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART lens for our portraits work. Here are some of the pictures that we shot using the Sigma 135mm f1.8 ART lens.