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TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4
  
 
Arka
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p.3 #1 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


bboule wrote:
lens weight length diameter
EF50/1.4 10.2oz 2.0" 2.9"
EF35/2 IS 11.8oz 2.5" 3.1"
EF 85/1.8 15.0oz 2.8" 3.0"
EF 50/1.2 19.2oz 2.6" 3.4"
EF 35/1.4L 20.5oz 3.4" 3.1"
EF24-105L 23.6oz 4.2" 3.3"
50/1.4 Art 28.7oz 3.9" 3.4"


Those numbers are real eye-openers. As good as it is, I don't need my 50mm prime to be that big. I'll take less weight over absolute image quality any day.



Apr 16, 2014 at 11:02 PM
HopeIsEternal
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p.3 #2 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


While this 50mm f/1.4 Art lens from Sigma is a big deal from the point of view of performance compared to 1st party lenses, I'm not enamored by the recent trend of only improving lens quality by massively increasing the size and weight.

I've complained several times on this forum that it seems to me that the mass market lenses of today don't seem to be anywhere near an order of magnitude of improvement in quality/size/price compared to prime lenses that were produced fifty! years ago when we did not have any computing power (for optical design/optimization), automated manufacturing & measurement/verification technology and knowledge of esoteric optical materials and techniques.

Especially with today's massive computing power and advanced optics design & optimization software I would have thought that 50mm lenses with the quality of this Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art would have been easily produced weighing the same as the typical Canon or Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and selling for under $500. But that does not appear to be the case. Even optics R&D titans like Zeiss only have the monstrously sized Otus 55mm f/1.4 @ $4,000 to sell.

Even on the Sony mirrorless cameras where size and weight are prime selling points, both the semi-slow 35mm f/2.8 and expensive 55mm f/1.8 are much larger than I would have expected given the short flange distance and absence of a need for mirror clearance.

For those who argue that AF is primarily responsible for the large size of today's lenses, I would point you to the high quality Contax G lenses that covered 35mm FF and had autofocus but yet were much smaller than any equivalent lenses I've ever seen for any large sensor digital camera from APS-C to FF.

So why can't Sigma or Zeiss or whoever dust off the designs for the Contax G lenses, update them and re-release them for the new APSC & FF mirrorless digital cameras?



Apr 16, 2014 at 11:08 PM
JohnBrose
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p.3 #3 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


the "g" lenses were for a rangefinder body plus they did not have the focusing motor in the lens-two qualities that would allow them to be smaller. I don't mind a larger lens-I'm actually very used to it with all of my lenses being faster than 2.8 except for my 100-400. At least you have smaller, older lenses to pick from. I think what the current designs are doing is building a lens with a larger image circle basically and using more of the center of the elements so the quality is higher on what is actually getting used-just my theory tho. There are plenty of newer, compact lenses out there though. Not full frame, but the 20mm f2 and 11-20mm zoom for the M system are both very compact. It would be nice if the new Sigmas were a bit more diminutive, but I'm sure they didn't design them to be the size they are without a reason.


Apr 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Arka
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p.3 #4 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


HopeIsEternal wrote:
While this 50mm f/1.4 Art lens from Sigma is a big deal from the point of view of performance compared to 1st party lenses, I'm not enamored by the recent trend of only improving lens quality by massively increasing the size and weight.


I could not agree more. I have a 50 Lux that is smaller than pretty much any dSLR lens, and probably outperforms almost all of them optically (This Sigma and the Otus may be better wide open, though the images don't look the same). The 50 APO ASPH is even smaller, and though it's an f/2, it is a ridiculously high performance optic. Compare those mirrorless MF optics to the Sony/Zeiss 55 f/1.8 AF lens, which is gigantic by comparison...

Either there isn't an emphasis on making FF lenses small, or you have to start paying Leica prices for smaller tools (though Otus is already in the same price range as Leica optics)



Apr 17, 2014 at 12:06 AM
Gunzorro
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p.3 #5 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


The 50L is right at the edge of the sweet spot for me when mounted on a 1D-series body. That's a very nice combination of balance and size. Better still is the new 35 IS on the same body that seems just about perfect.

This damned Sigma 50A weighs slightly more than the new 24-70LII! (and just slightly smaller length and diameter!) That's too much for me for 50 prime.

I'll just stay with my 50L and 50/2.5 macro.



Apr 17, 2014 at 12:32 AM
fotosculptor
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p.3 #6 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


Arka wrote:
I could not agree more. I have a 50 Lux that is smaller than pretty much any dSLR lens, and probably outperforms almost all of them optically (This Sigma and the Otus may be better wide open, though the images don't look the same).


Are you comparing an $11K lens to a $950 lens, and dinging the $950 lens for not being as light as the $11K lens?



Apr 17, 2014 at 12:35 AM
AnthonyRay
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p.3 #7 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


I sure hope the people complaining about the size of the lens aren't the same ones who put grips on their 5D/6D/7D/60D etc. cameras!

I prefer small myself - and take it where I can. I'm reserving judgment on the Sigma until I see some real world shots. Bryan works hard for a great site, but he's also proven to me that Charts are only part of the equation. A lot of great lenses don't do that well on the resolution charts. Wonder how the Sigma would have performed if he'd have manually focused it as well?

Anyway, B&H and Adorama being closed for a few days has kept me from jumping at this - and luckily I was busy on a fine-art project missing the announcement. Being away from the computer for a few days is a healthy thing.

I'm still excited to see how this does - but I'm sure I'll be seeing lots of posts here shortly from all you folks who pre-ordered!

I knew this was going to be big - but wow. I carry the 24-105 a lot because it's a little smaller than my 24-70 f2.8? It certainly has me reevaluating a gigantic prime. As long as I'm getting a huge lens, why not the Tamron 150-600?



Apr 17, 2014 at 12:44 AM
John Caldwell
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p.3 #8 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


I'd be completely unconcerned about this size and weight, regularly tolerating much heavier and longer from other focal lengths, if the 50/1.4 lens performs better than the Canon 50/1.2. I am, just personally speaking, not ascending Everest with my camera.

John Caldwell



Apr 17, 2014 at 01:03 AM
Shield
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p.3 #9 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


Gunzorro wrote:
The 50L is right at the edge of the sweet spot for me when mounted on a 1D-series body. That's a very nice combination of balance and size. Better still is the new 35 IS on the same body that seems just about perfect.

This damned Sigma 50A weighs slightly more than the new 24-70LII! (and just slightly smaller length and diameter!) That's too much for me for 50 prime.

I'll just stay with my 50L and 50/2.5 macro.


Well Gunz, at least the new 50 from Sigma is 8 oz. less than the 85 L II. I might be buried with that lens though...



Apr 17, 2014 at 01:04 AM
johnctharp
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p.3 #10 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


fotosculptor wrote:
Are you comparing an $11K lens to a $950 lens, and dinging the $950 lens for not being as light as the $11K lens?


And one that's a manual focus rangefinder at that- totally different design and totally different method of employment.

Well-corrected DSLR lenses aren't going to be small or light, but they'll retain their advantages over their rangefinder/mirrorless brethren until on-sensor AF supersedes discrete phase AF.



Apr 17, 2014 at 01:11 AM
 

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splathrop
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p.3 #11 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


I'm pondering the business/fiscal implications of the Otus/Sigma Art equation.

Absent the Sigma, I was satisfied that I had a valid business rationale for an Otus 55, based on a special task I had in mind for its wide-aperture performance. My thinking was that one—or at most two—successful images would pay for the lens, and I expected that would probably work out. But if the plan didn't work, it seemed like there would be enough market for the used lens to keep the cost of trying to an acceptable minimum.

Now comes the Sigma Art 50, which can't do the large-aperture job I planned for the Otus. What it can do, I fear, is diminish the market for a used Otus, notably raising the stakes on my planned experiment. This is frustrating. As usual, I think I'm going to end up a cautious buyer (or not), instead of an early adapter.



Apr 17, 2014 at 01:19 AM
Yang Ye
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p.3 #12 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


bboule wrote:
Anyone worried about the monkey in the room with this lens in that it is really, really big & heavy for a 50mm lens?

It is 1/3 heavier than the 50L. It's just huge... otherwise it looks amazing to me, but the weight is more annoying than the price if I have to look for a reason to not want it.

I threw this together, just a list of some of the lenses I've used a lot to get an idea..

lens weight length diameter
EF50/1.4 10.2oz 2.0" 2.9"
EF35/2 IS 11.8oz 2.5" 3.1"
EF 85/1.8 15.0oz 2.8" 3.0"
EF 50/1.2 19.2oz 2.6" 3.4"
EF
...Show more

Well said. I think that's exactly why Canon hasn't even bothered to try to come up with something similar.



Apr 17, 2014 at 01:26 AM
skibum5
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p.3 #13 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


johnctharp wrote:
Also important is that unlike it's predecessor, it's just about as sharp as the 50/1.4 USM at f/8-f/11 .


Yes, that was the one thing I forgot to mention. Before you had to either get a little sharper wide open but less sharp stopped down or the Canon. Now it seems you can have your cake and eat it too (although now you also have to pay for it though $950 vs $400ish, but cake is not free especially if you get to eat it).

Of course the Otus does prove itself to be the true king, no LoCA/PF and even sharper near wide open, both noticeably so it seems. Of course no AF for 50mm is a bit of a drag. As is the $4000 .

But the new Sigma does seem to beat all the older lenses wide open and tie the best older ones stopped down (perhaps the old canon 50 1.4 is still just barely the f/8-f/11 king but the new Sigma seems to be close enough).

Of course I do tend to be a touch wary about TDP tests....



Apr 17, 2014 at 02:44 AM
skibum5
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p.3 #14 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


Spikey131 wrote:
But how good will the AF be?


It's almost a moot point in that it is impossible that it has worse AF than the Otus and nearly so compared to the Canon 50mm 1.4.



Apr 17, 2014 at 02:46 AM
skibum5
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p.3 #15 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


The new Sigmas are pretty large and heavy though. 24-105 f/4 IS is larger and heaver than 24-70 f/2.8 II, new 50 1.4 is larger and heaver than 24-70 f/2.8 II.

So that means the their upcoming 300 2.8 IS will be.... larger and heavier than Canon 400 2.8 IS?



Apr 17, 2014 at 02:53 AM
kezeka
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p.3 #16 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


skibum5 wrote:
It's almost a moot point in that it is impossible that it has worse AF than the Otus and nearly so compared to the Canon 50mm 1.4.


If you are relying upon the AF and it misses, then you are worse off than manually focusing correctly from the start.

Sigma 50 art 28.7 oz
85L 34 oz
Zeiss 135 APO 32.4 oz
70-200 mkII 52.4 oz

Looks light weight compared to the rest of my kit. Interestingly, the 135 FEELS heavier than the 85 but isn't actually heavier. Probably something to do with the weight distribution towards the end of that lens vs the fairly compact 85L.

In any case, looking forward to hearing about TDPs real world impressions as well as seeing how some event and concert photogs like the lens before even considering it.



Apr 17, 2014 at 04:44 AM
kaycephoto
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p.3 #17 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


very impressive sharpness! bokeh (unfortunately) doesn't seem to come near that of the 50L upon seeing early samples from the Sigma 50 Art.. looking forward to seeing/hearing some event-coverage experiences with the lens in artificial/mixed lighting


Apr 17, 2014 at 05:40 AM
MintMar
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p.3 #18 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


kezeka wrote:
The 50L was/is an embarrassment for Canon. It is soft even if you nail focus, the focus is slow (though not as slow as the 85L), and it took 4 years and a complete redesign of the AF units in Canon cameras in order to get the damn thing to even focus reliably. I hear the 50/1.0 was significantly better in terms of focus reliability but was no speed demon or star performer in many other ways either. I hope Canon is actually working on a replacement but doubt it.


50/1.0L had the floating focusing elements, whereas 50/1.2L didn't. IIRC these compensate better for focus shift problem.

[snip]



Apr 17, 2014 at 08:18 AM
Matt Grum
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p.3 #19 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


HopeIsEternal wrote:
I've complained several times on this forum that it seems to me that the mass market lenses of today don't seem to be anywhere near an order of magnitude of improvement in quality/size/price compared to prime lenses that were produced fifty! years ago when we did not have any computing power (for optical design/optimization), automated manufacturing & measurement/verification technology and knowledge of esoteric optical materials and techniques.


All the computing power in the world can't change the refractive index of glass. What can change the refractive index is additives such as lead, which were used in those 50 year old lenses and is illegal to use today.


Even optics R&D titans like Zeiss only have the monstrously sized Otus 55mm f/1.4 @ $4,000 to sell.


I don't know what you're talking about, Zeiss don't only have the monstrously sized Otus to sell, they have many normal lenses in many different price/weight categories.

But they're not all f/1.4 and do not have the level of correction wide open offered by the Otus or Sigma Art.


Even on the Sony mirrorless cameras where size and weight are prime selling points, both the semi-slow 35mm f/2.8 and expensive 55mm f/1.8 are much larger than I would have expected given the short flange distance and absence of a need for mirror clearance.


Until the ray angle problem is solved lens designers cannot exploit the short flange distance for mirrorless, especially for fast lenses.

So why can't Sigma or Zeiss or whoever dust off the designs for the Contax G lenses, update them and re-release them for the new APSC & FF mirrorless digital cameras?

Because ray angle issues the Contax G lenses don't perform as well now as when they were released (when film was far more tolerant of ray angles), which was also a time when consumers weren't as discerning as now when it came to resolution.

Hence the ultra-corrected lens from Sigma, that sadly has to obey the laws of physics, which don't go away no matter how much computing power you have. If you don't need that performance wide open there are plenty of alternatives.




Apr 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM
Snopchenko
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p.3 #20 · TDP: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art vs Zeiss Otus 55 f/1.4


Actually the older Sigma 50/1.4 seemed pretty good over APS-C and APS-H frame (per SLRGear review - I love their graphs!), then had steep sharpness falloff towards FF edges. But no generalized softness wide open like many "classic" lenses.


Apr 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM
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