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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
108 153193 May 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $465.11
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.05
8.29
8.7
sigma50-14jpg

Specifications:
Standard lens with large maximum aperture of F1.4.
It creates sharp images with high contrast and ensures superior peripheral brightness.
Incorporates molded glass aspherical lens, perfectly correcting coma aberration and creating superior image quality.
Super multi-layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting.
Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensuring silent, high-speed AF.

• Lens Construction 8 Elements in 6 Groups
• Angle of View 46.8 degrees
• Number of Diaphragm Blades 9 Blades
• Minimum Aperture F16
• Minimum Focusing Distance 45cm/17.7 in.
• Maximum Magnification 1:7.4
• Filter Size Diameter 77mm/3 in.
• Dimensions Diameter 84.5mm X Length 68.2mm
3.3 in. X 2.7 in.
• Weight 505g/17.8 oz



 


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Hawki Pierce
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Registered: Apr 16, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 7, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness even wide open, build quality, silent quick focus.
Cons:
None

I wanted a fast 50mm that would provide good sharpness wide open with with a quiet, reliable focus. After reading tons of user and pro reviews, I decided to give this lens a shot. My only concern in purchasing this lens was the reported potential of front/back focus issues.
At the time I was ready to purchase, Sigma was providing a $100 instant rebate and I decided to pull the trigger on the purchase. It has turned into one of the best photographic purchases I've ever made. Upon receiving the lens, I put it through extensive focus tests and ended up with a -2 setting on my focus adjust. It has also proved to be very consistent.
Sharpness wide open is very good and razor sharp from F2.8. Focus has been very consistent, quiet and quick enough for most any situation. My copy has the more recent smooth finish that gives it a polished, professional look. Build quality is excellent and the widely reported large size and weight gives me good balance with my camera and grip. Vignetting and corner sharpness are non-issues on my APS-C camera. Bokeh has so far been smooth and very pleasing.
Most importantly .... it consistently provides images that are noticeably better than I would of ever expected.


May 7, 2014
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titi_67207
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 6, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, Contrast, Bokeh, Build quality (last "silk" version)
Cons:
Autofocus is a joke

After having this Sigma 50mm f/1.4 since 1 year, I would like to share my experience.
I use it on 5d MkII (and some months before on Canon 5D)

The bad: the Autofocus is not enough reliable, particulary in poor lights, and that's a pity. I've micro adjusted it (+4) on my camera but the main problem is the "inconsistency" of the Autofocus system. So I consider this lens more like a "Manual focus" with an autofocus usable when light is enough.

The pro: everything else! I really like the shape (relatively short and fat) and the new materials build quality (now "silk" instead the previous "velvet") used. Even the lens-hood is of good quality.

The IQ is fantastic (I've certainly a good copy for the optics) and at f/1.4 the sharpness is enough good, with a good contrast, vibrant colors (I've got in the past the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM and the Sigma is really the winner at wide apertures...). I really appreciate that the chromatic aberrations are very well controlled, unlike some other wide aperture lenses.
The bokeh is gorgeous! In the same league as the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. The distorsion is better than Canon's 50mm.

In summary: a great lens with a not-so-great autofocus ! If like me manual focus is not a problem, this is the best option to consider, for a Canon full-frame owner, between the 50mm lenses.

If autofocus is a priority, consider the Canon 50mm or wait for the ART version of Sigma which should arrive this year (but certainly with a jump on the price...)


Mar 6, 2014
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Carles77
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Registered: Sep 19, 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 18, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: bokeh bokeh and bokeh!!! useful at f/1.4
Cons:
many autofocus issues

one of the best bokeh and trust me I have 50L, Zeiss 50MP, Zeiss 50mm C/Y F/1.4 and F/1.7, canon 50mm f/1.4, f/1.8, etc... This lens like the Zeiss C/Y f/1.4 have the best bokeh.

But... I bought this one with terrible autofocus problem, no solution with microadjustments because has erratic autofocus. So the only way to use it is in manual mode...

If you don't have money to spend and don't matter to maybe have to focus manually go with this lens!!


Feb 18, 2014
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teglis
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Nov 21, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Build quality, reasonably sharp
Cons:
Not as sharp as Canon equivalent, focus hunting, unpredictable bokeh, was overpriced but price coming down

I bought this lens to replace the poorly-made Canon 50/1.4. The Canon's auto-focus stopped working, and after paying to have it fixed it stopped working again.

Overall I'm a little disappointed. The focus sometimes oscillates and it struggles to lock in. The sharpness is good, but not quite as good as that of the Canon. On the other hand, distortion and vignetting are better than the Canon.

I'm surprised that people praise the bokeh of this lens. While it is capable of producing nice soft background blur, I have had seen bizarre OOF areas as well. It's especially bad at large apertures with darker lines against a larger expanse of light background (e.g., tree branches against a cloudy sky). Branches in front of the focus plane can be blurred nicely, but are visibly purple. Behind they are green. I've also seen blurred areas with ugly sharp edges.

Nonetheless, this lens is still more usable than a broken Canon lens.


Nov 21, 2013
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peolund
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Registered: Aug 23, 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 5
Review Date: Nov 1, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Bokeh is great
Cons:
Everything else

My lens is crap, bad build quality and a nervous focusmotor. I´ve bought a manual zeiss instead, what a different! Would consider canon 1,2...if af is of importanse.

Nov 1, 2013
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asamimasa
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Registered: Jun 28, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 199
Review Date: Jan 23, 2013 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Quick AF, center sharpness, heftier than first party options, good OOF rendition
Cons:
Pricey, lots of LoCA, variance in quality control (esp. earlier Canon versions), focus shift
Jan 23, 2013
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MashuriBC
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Registered: Sep 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Jun 13, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Sturdy build, beautiful background bokeh
Cons:
Quality control

After my well-taken-care of Canon 50/1.4's focus motor took a dump, I decided to look for alternatives and found this Sigma to be a very attractive option. What's interesting is I didn't have problems with accurate focus on my 5d MkIII (after a little micro-adjustment tuning, of course) but, alas, my copy likely had an element or two askew. It was noticeably softer on one side and the focal plane was uneven. Compared to my Canon, it had a nicer bokeh but couldn't touch it as far as sharpness was concerned. I reluctantly sent back the Sigma and am now getting my Canon repaired. I'm bummed because I really had high hopes for this lens.

Jun 13, 2012
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haringo
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Registered: Oct 7, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Apr 24, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Awesome bookeh!
Cons:
not as fast AF as my Nikon 50mm 1.4

I ended up selling it on ebay a year ago after testing my friends Nikon 50mm 1.4 on my D3. The Nikon AF is just much faster! Sigma's colors and contrast is a little bit better than the Nikon 50mm 1.4 G and the Canon 50mm 1.4 and I even dare to say that similar Canon 50mm 1.2 ($1500!). They at the same level of quality. I wish Sigma would improve the AF! Go back a year in my blog and you will see plenty of examples of it: http://www.haringphotography.com/
The bottmo line: get the Nikon 50mm if you need fast AF. Get this if you need a little bit different look and feel to your pictures!


Apr 24, 2012
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Jeroenro
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Registered: Jan 11, 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 16
Review Date: Feb 22, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very light strong, excellent built quality.
Cons:
Little soft wide open but stopped down very sharp. Bit more expensive than the Canon EF 50mm F1.8

This a great light strong portrait lens. I use this lens on my Canon 5d mkII. It's a little soft used wide open but its super sharp from F1.8.
The build quality is exellent and got a nice EX coating.



Feb 22, 2012
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eeassa
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Registered: Jan 3, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 3, 2012 Recommend? no | Price paid: $379.00 | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: Nice bokeh
Cons:
Schizophrenic autofocus

I purchased this lens new 7 months ago and I have sent it back to Sigma twice for autofocus issues. The lens alternated between front and back focus. Sigma claims to have 'different firmware' that they install but thus far the lens is quite useless. I did a comparison / video review between the Sigma and the Canon 50mm f/1.4's here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNdNV0JfswY&context=C3472056ADOEgsToPDskLtnwbT8WYATmyyMrQGMA7u

Clearly the winner is the Canon 50mm f/1.4 for over $100 less than the price of the Sigma.



Jan 3, 2012
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NCB7
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Registered: Oct 16, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 17, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Looks, Build quality, Price, Bokeh, Focus
Cons:
I guess image softness at 1.4 around edges...

I shot these primes to compare: Canon 1.8,1.4,and 1.2

The canon 1.8 feels like a cheap toy but took a good shot after f4

The canon 1.4 was decent but also felt cheap compared to the sigma

The L is the L and was way too much for not that geat of improvement. I spent my money on the 85 1.2 instead!

I love this lens. I get great shots from it and am very impressed by it. It holds its own against my other primes.
85l and 135l Every now and then I check my metadata to see what lens takes the best shot and this one comes up with some winners!


Nov 17, 2011
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--Lucio--
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Registered: Feb 22, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 1, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: reasonably sharp in the center when used wide open, build quality
Cons:
needed calibration, not tack sharp when stopped down, some CA, heavy and bulky, diffraction from f/8 on on APS-C, expensive

Canon EF mount, APS-C (40D). Here is a test I did, showing both the diffraction beyond f/7.1 and the now-corrected autofocus issue: http://skidemontagne.free.fr/tests/sigma50f14_on_40d.jpg

Nov 1, 2011
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SilkyStrings
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Registered: Aug 1, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 11, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Finish, weight
Cons:
Focus problems, poor performance

I REALLY wanted to like this lens. It looks gorgeous, it's weighty, looks the business but unfortunately (for me) it isn't. Not useable at f1.4 because what you focus on won't end up being in focus. I'm sure the bokeh has the potential to be absolutely gorgeous but for that to work your intended part of the frame has to be in sharp focus. It's been back to Sigma once. I've tried MA on my 5D2 but it's not consistent and drifts over time. I know mastering shooting wide open is a bit of an art but I've had plenty of practice with my EF 85mm mk II f1.2! The real shocker came recently when I was using it and thought I'd double up the shots using the plastic fantastic (Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II). In terms of sharpness & accurate focus the Canon floored it, even at smaller apertures. Like I said, I REALLY wanted to like this lens but simply can't rely on it to ever deliver the goods!

Sep 11, 2011
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pingflood
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Registered: May 3, 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 1556
Review Date: Aug 15, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Great optics
Cons:
Results are like a box of chocolates depending on where it opted to focus

Superb optics, and I wish Sigma had put a proper focusing ring on it and made it a manual focus lens competing with the Zeiss 50s. The autofocus was a disaster where at first it would completely misfocus on closer subjects and after a "repair" and "calibration" by Sigma completely misfocus on anything past 8-10 feet.

Stupid me bought another Sigma product later (since I did like the 15-30 and 50-500 I owned), a DP2, which now has dust on the sensor (cannot be cleaned) after a month.

Never again, Sigma.


Aug 15, 2011
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trillium
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Registered: Sep 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 832
Review Date: Aug 7, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: $500.00

 
Pros: The lens is wonderful IF your image is in focus (which is unlikely).
Cons:
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.

I thought I had a good copy since it was relatively new. Sometimes photos would be in focus and the clarity and Bokeh were amazing. In fact I was so happy I rated this a 10 a while back. That was before I lived with the lens for a year.

You just can't trust the lens. It's actually very difficult to determine when the lens is going to mis-focus.

Sigma will recalibrate it, but that is a hit and miss prospect too.

I'll never buy Sigma again just because of this POS lens.

I'll quote the Wesley from the Princess Bride.

If you buy this lens, "BE PREPARED FOR DISSAPOINTMENT".

I'd rate the lens a 2 now. Just because it looks good on the camera.


Aug 7, 2011
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banpreso
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Registered: Apr 18, 2011
Location: N/A
Posts: 94
Review Date: Apr 18, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, great bokeh, fast HSM focus, cheap
Cons:
none

compared to the canon 50L this lens is such a good buy! bokeh is great and focus is accurate and fast for me. the canon 50 1.4 isn't really a 1.4 because it doesn't get sharp until f2, and the bokeh sucks imo. the 50L is about 3 times more expensive. i'm so glad i got this sigma. it's a solid performer.

Apr 18, 2011
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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
108 153193 May 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
80% of reviewers $465.11
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.05
8.29
8.7
sigma50-14jpg


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