Medium-Range Telephoto Prime Lens

Review by Michael Corsentino

Sigma’s series of Art lenses requires little introduction. Suffice it to say that people love their stellar optics, creamy images, and real-world prices. They’ve more than earned their street cred among even the most discerning photographers worldwide. The Art series lenses have been designed from the ground up to deliver outstanding edge-to-edge image quality with today’s high megapixel cameras.

The new 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | A, the sixth 35mm full-frame prime lens to join the Sigma Art family of lenses, continues the tradition with one of my favorite focal lengths for portraits. Matched with an equally impressive f/1.8 maximum aperture, this lens is not only fast but also allows the shallow depth of field photographers need to capture truly magical environmental portraits. Add to that the strong perspective compression this lens provides and you’re in business. If portraits are your bag and you had to choose just one lens, this would be my recommendation.

In addition to stellar image quality and great bokeh, the Sigma 135mm is no slouch in the autofocus department either. By way of its large hypersonic motor (HSM), this lens is not only on point in high-speed applications but works equally well at lower speeds where stable performance is key. With its internal accelera­tion sensor, this lens is able to detect orientation and respond to varying loads on the focusing group—futuristic stuff! What does it all mean? Fast focus, I’ll take it! Full-time manual override is also included, depending on the lens mount in use.

Other amenities include compatibility with Mount Converter MC-11, dust- and splashproof mount construction, a rounded diaphragm, a Nikon electromagnetic diaphragm, a high-precision durable brass bayonet mount, a lens barrel engraved with the year the lens was released, and a design that minimizes flare and ghosting. Also available are the A Sigma USB Dock to facilitate customization and flexible lens adjustments, and a mount-conversion service that allows the lens to be used with a variety of cameras. ■