Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens size specs

I fear I run the risk of sounding like all the iPad prognosticators I grow extremely tired of hearing, but I have a little more data on the upcoming 85mm f/1.4 lens from Sigma.

I was really interested in actual dimensions and weight on this lens for better comparison "on paper" with comparable lenses by Nikon and Canon in terms of handling. In response to a post I made on another forum, I was handed a link to lens specs that do include physical dimensions, but still nothing on weight. Here, we see the Sigma measures 84.7mm in diameter, and 87.6mm in length. Weight is listed as "TBD." One might guess that some materials are still not settled upon with finality, which could affect lens weight.

We can now see the Sigma is somewhat larger than the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens (80mm diameter and 72.5mm long) even considering Nikon's dimensions apparently do not include the lens mount flange. And Sigma comes in considerably smaller than Canon's f/1.2 hog, which measures 91.5mm diameter by 84mm long.

This Sigma lens, along with their previously introduced 50mm f/1.4 lens (shown at left), seem targeted to hit Nikon and Canon at points in their lens line where they are weak. Nikon recently introduced an upgraded 50mm f/1.4 lens, and canonrumors.com reports rumblings that Canon is about to follow suit with a 50mm f/1.4 update of their own. Would either company be likely to make a move on this type of lens without non-OEM competition?

How the Sigma lens will compare optically is a completely open question, since virtually nobody, save possibly for a few chosen souls covered by NDA, has shot with one yet. The added bulk of the Sigma compared to the Nikon lens may be explained by the HSM focusing motor, and will very likely be justified by better performance of the AF. The size reduction compared to the Canon offering will also with near certainty be accompanied by improved AF and MF performance at the paltry cost of 1/3 stop of light gathering power. (The f/1.2 max aperture serves Canon better in terms of bragging rights and profit margin than it does users in terms of usable lens aperture.).

While I enjoy and appreciate the faster apertures and (often) better optics of fixed lenses compared to their zoom counterparts, I don't own any right at this time and choose to rent them as needed, as Robert's Distributors in Indianapolis is a readily available source for me. I am normally reticent to go with non-OEM optics but Sigma has my attention with the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.4. It is impressive to me that Sigma is competing directly on lens build quality and performance and not just on price. Their 50mm is actually pricier than Canon's and about the same price as Nikon's. The Sigma 85mm will pleasantly surprise me if it comes in much below $1000.00 US, which would be lower than Canon's price and roughly the same as Nikon.. Whether or not I end up buying one or both of these lenses, I appreciate Sigma's mixing it up in the fixed-length marketplace.

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