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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

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108 155600 May 7, 2014
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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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helimat
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Registered: Apr 6, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3745
Review Date: Mar 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Dreamy bokeh, sharp right from wide open
Cons:
AF issues

Well, it took two tries to get a properly operating one. The first had serious issues; If I micro adjusted for shooting in the portrait range, it was way out at about 30 feet. If I micro adjusted for 30 feet, it was way out in portrait range. Unfortunately I had to send it back, but fortunately after hearing what a properly operating one was capable of, I didn't give up on it. The second one I bought has spot-on AF, and it is a true performer, in a variety of shooting styles including both large-aperture portraits, and stopped-down landscapes. I would recommend this lens, but only if purchasing from an outlet that has a proper return policy. I would go even further and suggest trying to find a used one from a reputable seller instead, that way the performance can be verified before receiving it, rather than getting a sealed 'Sigma Lottery Box'. Smile

Mar 28, 2011
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tororo
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Registered: May 26, 2010
Location: Japan
Posts: 31
Review Date: Mar 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharpness from wide open, build quality, contrast
Cons:
AF inaccuracy, very nervous foreground bokeh at wide apertures

This was the only Sigma lens that I thought I would keep for a long while.
After having tested many 50's on 5D Mark II, I was pretty amazed with the center sharpness from wide open with this lens (there seems to some copy variations though). I also liked the build quality and contrast that this lens produced.
However, as many people noted, the AF accuracy of this lens is totally unreliable, especially between 1.4 and 2.8.
Another major issue for me was the very nervous foreground bokeh, which is also mentioned on photozone.
http://www.photozone.de/canon-eos/522-sigma50f14eosff

After a little while, I sold this lens and got Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 50/2 which is going to stay with me for a long time.

Here are some images taken with Sigma 50/1.4.

You can see the nervous foreground bokeh at wide apertures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/4413962586/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/4413194207/

Sharp throughout the entire frame when stopped down to f8:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/4413966790/

Great center sharpness even at very wide apertures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/4413195811/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ippei-janine/4413966218/


Mar 2, 2011
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Photonic
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Registered: Apr 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 671
Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: $499.00

 
Pros: IQ, bokeh, build quality, and focus speed for the price.
Cons:
Inconsistent Sigma quality control. 46mm focal length.

This is my second review of this lens (not allowed to change my initial rating) and third copy. I tested on a 5DM2.

First copy was not as sharp as I was expecting.
Second copy had serious focus motor issues.
Third copy is a definite keeper and I would rate a 9.5

Sigma has made a change to the finish on this lens. It is now smooth and uniformly black with no texture or white flecks. I strongly suspect they have also made some refinements to the design or manufacturing process since their initial production because this version is clearly superior to my first two copies.

I recently compared the following three lenses side by side:
Sigma 50/1.4
Canon 50/1.4
Canon 50/1.2L

I have never had a QC problem with Canon and both my copies were excellent.

The 1.2L is a sweet lens. I loved everthing about it except the price tag. I found the IQ at f/1.4 to be a toss up with the Sigma (if anything a slight edge to the Sigma). Bokeh is beautiful on both lenses. Smoother but slower focusing on the Canon. The Sigma is faster and more abrupt, although every bit as accurate. If the Canon were more reasonably priced I would probably have hung on to it but there is no way it is worth more than twice the Sigma and I am anticipating there will be a version II out in the "near" future.

The Canon 1.4 is perhaps one of the best IQ values in the entire Canon line. It is not as sharp as the Sigma wideo open but in my tests surpasses the Sigma and Canon 1.2 as you stop down (which seems crazy). I am not fond of the focus motor on this lens nor do I feel it is a very robust design (my first copy sustained damage to the focus mechanism and never gave satisfactory results after the repair). For me the price premium for the Sigma was definately worth the improved wide open IQ and build quality.

Although I am keeping the Sigma and have sold the Canons I do have some observations about Sigma that are less than flattering.

(1) Quality control remains an issue for Sigma. Will someone over there please WAKE UP.
(2) My tests at normal shooting distances have the Sigma as a 46mm lens.
(3) My tests showed that the Sigma produced darker images than the Canon 1.2 with the same lighting and manual camera settings (about 1/3 of a stop).

The last two items are not a real problem for me but I can't help resenting Sigma for their specmanship.

Although I am sure it is not going to happen I would love to see Canon update their f/1.4. Until then I think the Sigma is the current value leader for IQ and build quality at 50mm provided you can find a good copy.

If the system permitted I would raise my initial rating of 7 to 9.5


Feb 19, 2011
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asamimasa
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Registered: Jun 28, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 199
Review Date: Feb 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Big and solid feeling (unless weight is an issue to you), sharper than the Canon equivalent wide open, silent focusing
Cons:
heavy, big risk of misfocusing

My copy wasn't as good as it could have been. I'm sure with a god copy it's a pleasurable lens to use, but mine focused very slowly, and on the 1D2 that I had at the time, produced an unpleasant focal length.

Feb 6, 2011
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beeber00
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Registered: Jul 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 741
Review Date: Dec 30, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, F 1.4, contrast, *background blur*, focusing speed.
Cons:
The what seems to be focusing issues people have had.

First off, I'd like to say something about Sigma.

Ive owned 5 Sigma lenses. Every one of them has been good to me and I've never had any focusing issues, mechanical errors, or other problems. I'm sorry to read that other people have had these issues.

I'm not denying their existence. As you can see, its happened to a lot of people. Consider this, though: are you more likely to leave a review for a lens if it works perfectly, or if it had a problem? I think that most people who have a good-working lens won't care to leave a review.

Most people. As you can see, I'm leaving a good review. Summation: some people have problems, I never have.


Now, to the lens:
Ive owned the Canon 50 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2. Though all lenses I would buy again, theres a reason why I sold them all: because I have this one now. Do all the lenses do the same thing? Essentially - separate the background from the subject and perform well when there isn't much light. All the lenses did this.

The Sigma, however, did it the best.

First off, the focusing is quick, easy, and silent. Someone next to you couldn't tell you you even focused it (its that quiet). If you've used USM, its sort of like that. A little quieter? I think so.

The build of this lens gives you some confidence. You can toss it in the bag and not worry about it (though I don't). You could brush up against something and not worry about it falling apart. It's tough.

Most people love this lens for the bokeh, or background blur. As silly as it sounds, its nice to have a lens that does good in rendering things that ARENT in focus. If you see a picture taken with this lens, you'll notice how smooth the backgrounds (or foregrounds) look. It certainly will complement a sharp subject. The background blur is apparent at all F stops, but the best ones to use are 1.4-2.2 in my opinion. The way I see it, if you buy a lens that specializes in big f stops, use them!

I was not bothered by the price (ball park of 410-450). Once you start using it, it pays for itself, even if you don't sell your pictures.

If you are looking for one, check this websites BUY AND SELL board. If you haven't made an account, make one and then subscribe so you can get a lens from a member of the Fred Miranda community. Subscribing to the BUY AND SELL board will let you exchange lenses, cameras, and other equipment. It beats the hellacious fees ebay throws at us, and it keeps Fred Miranda from getting a real job!

10/10. (for me). Do poor copies exist? According to other users, sadly, they do. Get your hands on a good one and don't let it go.


Dec 30, 2010
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Schuit
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Registered: Mar 9, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 10
Review Date: Dec 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Finally a nice finish, well build, serious weight, bokehhhhhhhhhh, sharp wide open
Cons:
lightcap a little loose, needs microadjustment

This is my second Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX HSM. The first one got sold because it was a hit or miss situation. When I made 20 shots with my Canon 30d only a few were sharp enough for print or use on a website. I got fed up with it. After purchasing a Canon 7d I couldn't resist the urge to give it another try with the Sigmalux 50mm. This time I got one with the new finish (lovely) and tried it with the 7d. Most shots were quite well but not razor sharp. I then made some changes with the MA tool the 7d has and tuned it to -5 because the lens had some backfocus issues. Thats something different from the frontfocus most buyers are complaning about. Im happy with the adjustments I made and can recommend this lens to anyone who has the MA in their camera. The only thing that bothers me is that this lens seems only to have focus issues with Canon gear and produces stunning sharp pictures with the Nikon gear!

Dec 28, 2010
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djpapa
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Registered: Nov 4, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 234
Review Date: Dec 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $431.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp at 2.8 ,New version design for hood and body build good,Bokeh.
Cons:
F16 only,HSM squeak,some CA wider open in between f1.4-2.0,a bit soft wide open

Bought this lens in last months and this review base on i have 35mmf1.4, 50mm f1.2, 24mm f1.4II and 85L II to compare with sigma 50mm.

Focus:
no focus shift compare with 50mm L stop range f1.4 to2.8(luck),but squeak when focusing,this 50mm version is made with new material body and hood(nice)

color contrast:Not much better compare with 85L II and 24L II,a bit look like a 35mm L but better than 50mm f1.8

CA :Stong CA at f1.4 when shooting some high contrast subject (like shooting letters on computer keyboard with black bg and white word on key)but 24mmL almost the same

Sharpness : sharp at f2.8 compare with 24-70mm f2.8 L.

Some review notice this lens heavy but for me is not even 85L II.
S50 boken is nice but the 50mm f1.2L have better creamy and good color contrast boken.

Here with some image shooting by this S50mm.
http://www.pbase.com/kpo/image/131268837


Dec 20, 2010
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Marco Costa
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Registered: Nov 26, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 6
Review Date: Dec 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This is an increasingly sharp lens. I was worried about purchasing anything other than a Canon L lens but with canon's 50mm L costing over $1500, I decided to order the Sigma from my ocal camera store where I can return it with 30 days, no questions asked. I few shots and I was sold ; even at 1.4 the pictures look great. Very pleased.

Dec 18, 2010
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tell
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Registered: Aug 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1421
Review Date: Dec 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast accurate focus in low light. BOKEH.
Cons:
$150 MORE than Canon "equivalent"

If you're looking at this lens, you're obviously looking at it for the buttery bokeh. Why else would you purchase a 3rd party lens for MORE than a Canon or NIkon 50 1.4? I came from a 50 1.8, and while it performed great, I wanted that beautiful bokeh I've been seeing people post. My lens is delivery wonderful results. I couldn't be happier, unless of course it was priced the same as Canon. Sigma knows they've got a kick ass winner here and they're going to charge accordingly. Wake up Canon!

Dec 14, 2010
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Pi Chapman
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Registered: May 11, 2010
Location: Poland
Posts: 239
Review Date: Dec 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The best picture quality among 50's for Canon. Great colour rendition, contrast, resolution, AF speed and accuracy.
Cons:
Sometimes inconsistent colours and contrast between the shots. Some versions of this lens have problems with focus - service fixes it easily. Uncommon filter size for 50mm lense (huge I mean).

If not for some well known problems with AF on Sigma lenses - a perfect 50mm lense. okok - it could have weather sealing, small filter size, more consistent colours, less weight, be cheaper than Canon 1.4, but c'mon that's the best 50 on the market.

Dec 14, 2010
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nthomas
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Registered: Oct 16, 2010
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 7
Review Date: Oct 16, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Usable sharpness at wide open, extremely sharp when step down to F2. Lovely color tone and boken. Comparable to 50L when considering IQ, with only 1/3 price.
Cons:
Sigma need to fix their QC problem. May need to send back for calibration when you encounter focus issue. A little bit too heavy.

Most of what I want to say are in pros and cons. This lens is one of the most fascinating lens that you must buy. A lot of people nicknamed this lens as SigmaLux, a Sigma product but with Luxury quality. When you considering a 50mm AF lens, go grab this one.

Oct 16, 2010
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jrizz
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Registered: Dec 28, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 55
Review Date: Sep 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, creamy bokeh, built solid.
Cons:
None

I bought this lens in April 2010 and found no problems as mentioned in other post. My pictures are sharp and the bokeh is beautiful. I have shot hundreds of photos with very good results. I have other Sigma lenses as well as Canon L series lenses. My other Sigma lenses have performed very well with no problems. The 150mm, 10-20mm and 30 F1.4. I'm very happy and have no regrets buying this lens. I'm presently using this lens on the Canon 5d-2.

Sep 29, 2010
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davidmarsh
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Registered: Oct 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 140
Review Date: Sep 22, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Well built, feels good, looks good, it it worked, good price!
Cons:
poor quality, poor images, very disapointing, see report below....

I recently posted a report on our experience with the new Sigma 120-400 zoom lens. As a user of many Canon ‘L ‘and Sigma lenses we have, in the past, been impressed with Sigma. Sadly our recent tests with our Sigma 50mm 1.4 has only made us more committed to NOT purchasing any more Sigma lenses.
We do tend to purchase most of the new lenses that Canon & sigma make as they come out and immediately upon getting them; we test them against lenses we know to be good. In this instance we used a friend’s old canon 50mm 1.8 version 1 lenses that cost approx £75.00 new.
We are not qualified test engineers but having been photographing for over thirty five years we tend to test lenses under real conditions. In almost every test we did the £340.00 Sigma failed against its much cheaper canon 50mm lens at just £75.00!
For example we first placed a canon 7D on a tripod and set the ISO to 100, the ‘F’ stop to 1.8 and the camera selected the speed. Under these conditions the Sigma gave the better result with the Canon being more blue in its colour balance but also less sharp. Both lenses looked ‘milky’ but the Canon lost out here. However, under all of the other tests the Canon won.
We set the Canon 7D to ISO 200, the ‘F’ stop to F2 and photographed a landscape shot of the end of the garden. We used the same standing point and focused on a single apple thirty feet away. The Canon was relatively crisp across the whole image. The Sigma was blurred across the whole images in comparison. We repeated this exercise using different areas of the garden but got the same results.
Both lenses vastly improved from ‘F’ 2.8 onwards but using the same areas of the garden we repeated the same set of comparative shots but using ‘F’ 8. Once again, the Canon was far crisper.

We then setup a portrait shot and focused on this object nose using the centre red square. Using ISO 200, ‘F’2, The Sigma still fell short of the Canon on quality and detail.
Indeed, we so wanted the Sigma to win as it looks so bloody good and is built so well, we persevered all day to try and get the Sigma to take better shots than the Canon. Sadly, we failed and have now agreed to get our money back on the Sigma and buy a Canon 50mm 1.4 at £240.00.
We do have the Canon 50mm ‘L’ 1.2 and whilst we love this and have left forum comments, we really can’t see the point in spending six times the cost of the Canon 50mm ‘f’1.4 when the results are not that different.
We have had to ask ourselves juts how often do we actually need anything below ‘F’2.8 and the answer is, hardly ever. Why then spend so much on an ‘L’ lens? You could say because its built like a tank and is weather sealed but who would use a £1,600 lens in the rain anyway?


Sep 22, 2010
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spentomuch
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Registered: Oct 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 525
Review Date: Aug 18, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, very sharp at f/2.0 - The creamy Bokeh is to die for
Cons:
It chunks into Focus ,hunts a little in low light

Got mine here on FM's B&S broad
My copy is dead on with no adjustment's
If your looking at this lens then it's probably for the DOF and or the Bokeh.
Well f/1.4 is pretty thin, and the Bokeh is best in the 50mmf/1.4 class (don't know about the Zeiss)
My take is that you should probably stay within 30-40 ft or so, this lens is not as good at real long distance's
hunt's a little in lower light.
chunks or rams into Focus.
AF is fast enough for most things on a D700
It lives at f/2.0 on my 700 very sharp there with no loss in creamy Bokeh. great contrast, good colors

There are a few short comings, but
Can't see myself letting go of this lens
Giving this Sigma a 10
As always YMMV


Aug 18, 2010
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form
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Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3809
Review Date: Aug 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent bokeh for 50mm focal length on Canon
Cons:
QC - image softer on left side than on right side

I want this lens. What I mean by that is I just purchased this lens and I want a good copy. I know what this lens is capable of as far as image quality is concerned, so I am convinced that it is a good design. However, the one I just received is definitely defective: images are sharp on the right side and center, but they never get sharp on the left side. Sure, this would be alleviated somewhat by stopping down the aperture, but I purchased the lens because I intend to use it at f/1.4 through f/2 most of the time.

Therefore, the lens gets high marks for quality, but poor marks for quality control: Please improve your quality control, Sigma.


Aug 12, 2010
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peolund
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Registered: Aug 23, 2009
Location: Sweden
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jul 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The most is said already, bokeh is fantastic and the sharpness is very good from about 1.8 to 11 on my ex. Top is 2.0 - 2.8. One dissapointment though...focusring, it feels like a bad fitted gearbox, no smothness at all. Buildquality is Sigma, if you like Sigma it΄s ok, but it΄s noway near Canon L.

Jul 29, 2010
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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
108 155600 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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