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Canon 85L 1.2 vs Sigma 85 1.4... Has anyone tried both?

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Cptn Rigo:
Hi Everybody!

I just sell my 24-70L and get a 35L, I love the new lens :D but I'm missing a fast prime between 35L and 135L...

Sigma 85 1.4 have stellar reviews, fast focus, excellent IQ... and the canon 85L... well, its the 85L  :), the only issues are price and focus speed (maybe weight, but I really don't mind that).

Has anyone tried both? 

The canon focus is really that slow?

How those lenses focus in the dark?

I already have searched a lot of reviews, but I want some experiences from people of this forum :D

I've tried both; I found Sigma to be slightly faster focusing than Canon but the Sigma copy I tried was not as sharp wide open as the Canon (1.4 vs 1.2!)

Weight is not an issue for me either.

If you can afford it, get the Canon 85 1.2L - magical  ;D

what body are you going to use it on
this is the most critical fator asside from the fact the canon f1.2 is 2.5 times more expensive than the sigma 85

if you are using a 1Dmk4 or 1Dx or 1Dsmk3 and have piles of cash get the canon 85 f1.2L II from F1.2 to F2 its sharper than the sigma

if you are using 5D series or lower with AFMA capability get the sigma 85 f1.4 from f2 onward i feel its sharper than the canon L its AF is significantly faster on non 1D bodies it doesnt have focus by wire
and its 2.5 times cheaper

if you have a body without AFMA then you probably cant afford the canon 85 f1.2 so get the canon 85 f1.8

Ben Taylor:
Have tried both, although not extensively with the Canon.

But to answer your questions:

1. Yes, it is THAT slow

2. That depends a lot on the body you are using. The Sigma locks focus well in low light with the 5D3.

I use the Sigma, it's pretty much the only Sigma lens I will trust. I dropped mine onto a cobblestone road while travelling through Europe last year and broke it (AF Motor died from the impact I believe). I missed having it so much that I bought another copy in Berlin a day later.

It's a damn fine lens, I use it very often. Does have some purple fringing wide open but only in certain high contrast lighting situations - this doesn't bother me very much.

It depends on what you're using it for and your style. As a street and portraiture photography, the 85L is fast enough for me. I tend to take my time to direct, compose, and making sure i nail the focus. Having a faster lens wouldn't help me in anyway and in this case, I'd lose magical 85L characteristics. I have also used the lens for events. As long as you're not zooming from end to end, you won't really notice it.

With the sigma, you may be faced with multiple exchanges to get yourself a perfect copy. Save yourself the trouble and get the 85L!


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