I recently caved in a acquired a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens. After testing several copies of the Nikon D and G 85s, looking at other folk's images with this new Sigma offering, and comparing price / value -- I settled for value. I have not been disappointed.
The primary reasons for purchasing a "fast" lens are 1) the ability to isolate your primary subject with a wide aperture that creates a very shallow depth of field, and 2) shooting in low light with minimal or no flash. These features make it an excellent portrait lens. I don't shoot many portraits, but I do shoot many low-light situations (concerts), and love the isolation effect on the focal point. So... I took a day out of the office today and, among other things, took a quick hike through the Julington-Durbin Creek Preserve in the south Mandarin area of Jacksonville.
This turned out to a fun lens for shooting outdoors, even in imperfect early afternoon light. The trip gave me the opportunity to try out new techniques and alternate camera settings compared with my habitual static style. I shot these in digital RAW at 14-bit depth. The extra bits increases the range of color variants available (by tens of thousands).
It was great to get out a bit, on the day before the first hard freeze of the season here in Northeast Florida. We're expecting 12 hours of sub-freezing temperatures tonight (temperatures in the mid to low twenties fahrenheit -- hey, that's cold for Florida!), and our world be be much browner tomorrow.
Today also happens to be the 35th anniversary of the day that Mrs. Muse and I ties the knot... another bridge crossed....