With a vast investment in gear behind me, I took a break from buying more lenses and cameras for a good amount of time. In my series of work, my weeks are spent shooting events and portraits. The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art seemed like the perfect fit. Not only would it allows me to put down my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR, but make shooting long events less painful.
There is a lack of talk when it comes to the ergonomics of shooting and carrying gear. Every pound on you and in your hand adds up when it comes to 8 hour days, even 4 hour shoots. I am not saying, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is a light lens, but it weighs less than the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR and most of the times, I can get physically closer to make 85mm work. After spending a week with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art, it is a definite keeper. The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR doesn't even leave my camera bag, although there is a place and time for it.
I used the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art both in studio and on location.The lens is unbelievably sharp at f/1.4, but the sweet spot is f/2.0. This is my opinion, I haven't seen something this sharp since owning the Nikon 200mm f/2.0 VRI. If you would like to check out the rating, its has taken the top marks from DXOmark.
It has been a while since investing in a new lens, it brings me true excitement and wonder all over again. I know spending money and owning new things shouldn't be a reason to shoot more, but it's been so long. This is me convincing myself. Usually there's buyers remorse with gear, but after the first couple of shots, there is no doubt this lens will not become part of my arsenal. I look forward to leaving the 70-200mm in the bag, and moving to this lens as a lighter option.
Minimizing pain during a gig is paramount for me, because if you're not comfortable, there is no way you can preform your best. I know this from years of shoulder & back pain which adds up at the end of long shoots. This year, I have invested in supportive gear to help make sure pain in minimized. We all deserve a pain free career.