Reviews and Problems with Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM AF: Lens Test
12 July 2009
Excerpt: Similar in size, features, and price (though not format) to Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 high-speed "normal" prime for DSLRs with APS-C sensors, this 50mm full-framer ($500, street) also belongs to Sigma's EX family of pro-quality glass. Unusually expensive compared with 50mm f/1.4 glass from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Sony (the Pentax streets for $200), the Sigma scales up to an 80mm on most DSLRs, and is available in all popular mounts except Four Thirds.
Conclusion: When Sigma first announced the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM in March, our story headline (courtesy of our news editor and punmeister-in-chief) was 'A new standard?', and this has turned out to be remarkably prescient. This new lens essentially redefines its class, and for once the results really live up to the marketing hype; compared to previous designs, we see significantly improved sharpness at large apertures (presumably due to a reduction in aberrations through the use of an...
Pros: Class-leading image quality, Relatively low vignetting even at wide apertures on full frame, Reasonably fast and positive autofocus, with full-time manual override, Very good build quality
Excerpt: It is hard not to be drawn to a fast prime - the short, fat, solid-feeling lens with very low-light capability is very attractive. So, I don't find it surprising that the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens has received a lot of attention in the early days of its availability.
Fast Fixed Focal Length Lenses; Sigma’s 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM And 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
1 June 2001
Excerpt: Although zoom lenses are certainly versatile and convenient, they do have some drawbacks, including relatively small maximum apertures. A typical 28-90mm equivalent zoom may provide an aperture of f/3.5 at short focal lengths but it will be f/5.6-6.3 at longer zoom settings. Granted, a few high-grade zooms feature a maximum aperture of f/2.8, allowing for faster shutter speeds in low-light photography.
Excerpt: The classic ‘fast fifty’ back only this time with the benefits of modern lens design and manufacturing technologies. Paul Burrows finds that Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 represents a new standard. There’s no doubt things have come full circle when one of the most interesting developments in current lens design is fast primes. Before zooms dominated the SLR world, the royalty of lenses was anything with a maximum aperture larger than f2.0.
Excerpt: You know all is well with the world when you can again buy the traditional ‘fast fifty’ although Sigma’s revival of a classic design is packed with the latest technology. Report by Paul Burrows. In this era of ever more exotic zooms, it’s something of a surprise to find that the classic prime lens is making a comeback.
Summary: Sigma are clearly marketing this optic as a premium alternative to manufacturer's own lenses. In some respects the higher price is justified, but in others it is not. How you use the lens as well as the camera system you use will be the biggest factors in determining whether this lens is good value to you.
Pros: Excellent sharpness in the centre at most apertures, Low vignetting, 77mm filter size is the same as most professional level zooms
Cons: Maybe a little softer than I'd hoped at f/1.4, Heavier than any other 50mm f1.4 lens, Bigger than any other 50mm f/1.4 lens