Today I did something crazy – I ordered a Sigma 105mm lens for my Sony A7RIII and it is a beast of a lens.
Originally, bokeh was a generic noun meaning “out-of-focus parts.” Therefore, it was never expected to be an important element in photography before the main subject, let alone the center of attention.
However, it is the Japanese who started to regard it as a “taste” (of all things) even though it is blurred. They have established something which was nothing but “out of focus” in Western culture as one of the ways of photographic expression. The Westerners must have had a difficulty in understanding it at first, wondering what Japanese people are talking about. Even after the idea was popularized, their language did not have the word for “bokeh as a mean of artistic expression” and the expression “out of focus” simply means the state of blurring. I think it is natural because they did not even have the concept in the first place. So, they had to import the word “bokeh” as it was. Even though it has become a universal term now, it is still a young concept – first appeared in 1997 in a photography magazine in the United States.
The new SIGMA 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art has the longest focal length in the Art line featuring F1.4 brightness. Like some other SIGMA lenses, this one looks magnificent. When the SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art was released last March, many asked Sigma about the possibility of F1.4. They claimed that they tried to design such a lens only to discover that physical size and weight was becoming impractical for a commercial product. Fortunately, the engineers at Sigma have found the perfect balance by using the focal length of 105mm rather than 135mm.
Though the size made me think twice I eventually decided that it is not so big that it was not a practical addition to my lens collection.
By the way, the focal length of 105mm was not something that I had being considering especially as I had decided, more or less, to purchase a Batis 135mm.
This lens has an alias, “BOKEH-MASTER.” indicating it expresses Sigma’s confidence in its bokeh quality. Of course, just having a good bokeh does not make a good lens but I will let you know at a later if I made the right decision today