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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
108 153123 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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Fr3d
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Registered: Nov 28, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 292
Review Date: Nov 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: f1.4, sharp, bokeh heavens, comes with hood
Cons:
only worth it if you buy it for the bokeh, strange wave like distortions

After reading about the focus issues and soft copies I almost didn't go for this lens. But after trying it out in a shop I soon changed my mind not to buy it. It is sharp (on 5DII) wide open (center) and gives a lovely creamy bokeh that realy makes the subject in focus pop. Something my 50mm f/1.8 coudn't do. The only thing I don't care for is the wave like distortion. But this only shows up when photographing something with straight lines going from side to side in the frame. Overall I would recommend this lens to anyone who wants the sharpness and bokeh.

Nov 14, 2009
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Ralph Conway
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Registered: Jul 30, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 3827
Review Date: Nov 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ, Bokeh, colours, sharpness wide open
Cons:
I tested 5. All had a FF with my Canon Eos 5D MK II. My dealer sent in two copies for calibration. Nothing changed. I bought two and brought them to sigmas service together with two bodies (5D MK II). They calibrated both lenses, which are excellent now!

I owned a great EF 50mm 1.4 (here I tested 7 and bought the best). I was happy with that lens, except its weekness (??? - sorry about my english) at 1.4. Then I saw some pictures of sigmas competitor. Its bokeh looked superb and the pictures seemed to be sharp wide open, too. So I went out to check it and ended up with a horrible FF of 30 mm within 50-70cm distance. Jere I read that many happy customers had the same issue that was fixed by factories recalibrating. So I bought one after my dealer promised he would take it back, if I am not happy with the result.

There is still a FF of 6-7mm in nearest distance. And I first fixed it with lens adjustment. It was sharp in that area after but not in further distances. So I set adjustment back to zero and founf out that the FF does not make any problems in daily use.

The opposite is fact. This lens now is an excellent peace of glas. crispy sharp even at 1.4 great colours, contrast and bokeh and a fantastic smooth gradient to blurring.

It even feels better then the Canon equivalent. The manual focusring is imo fitting to tight, but this feels more comfotable to me than Canons "loose" one.

They could have sealed it better to make a great competitor against Canons "L". But for me it is the better choice.

Great lense after calibration to my body.

Ralph



Nov 11, 2009
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mckenzy
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Registered: Mar 19, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 5
Review Date: Oct 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sigma glass when done right is very VERY nice...
Cons:
heavy, abit of a tight squeeze on the mount... focus issues... fix one, break the other...

Had it. Sold it.

I still have the 30/1.4 and that is probably what spoiled me...

Physically:
Heavy. fits better on a xxD and above series of bodies... on a xxxD body its just to large and imbalanced.
Focus ring is nice
the mount however is pretty tight and needs a little bit more of a twist. i'm nitpicking of course...

AF:
aside from the usual BF/FF issues, the focus hunts when lighting goes abit low... i'm not talking about late evening low... just cloudy... overcast skies... end up pre-focussing and using AF at the last part (something like shooting macro photography kind of method)... in essence... not fast enough for the type of shooting i do when i use this lens.. i.e. portraits...

FOCUS:
my copy could not focus to infinity after Sigma calibration for front-focus issues... so they solved one aspect but created a a new problem...

IQ:
colours are nice but a tad poorer that the 30mm... nothing to shout about...

for this price... expectation goes up... and Sigma fails... i wish it didn't...



Oct 26, 2009
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BrentM
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Registered: Jul 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great Bokeh Solid feel Focuses well on 5D MKII
Cons:
N

I was missing a 50mm prime in my bag and for once, I decided not to get L glass as I've lived without a 50mm for quite some time and wasn't sure how much I'd use it. Well, I picked one up off of craigslist after reading the reviews here and was worried about focusing problems, but so for mine is great on a 5D MKII. I've never had as good a lens for under $500, so I'm impressed. Maybe the 50mm 1.2L would be better, but I'll bet I wouldn't get ~$1000 more value out of it. I feel like I got a bargain....

Ok, so it's not perfect. It's not Canon quiet or canon quick while focusing, but I have those lenses in the bag.

Here's a few samples:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4021810312/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4021781238/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4020782429/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/automotomedia/4021542558/


Oct 22, 2009
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xxcromxx
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Registered: Jul 22, 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even at 1.4,creamy bokeh, hsm, build quality, comes with hood.
Cons:
Not found yet

Very sharp. The bokeh is creamy.
Mine fokusing perfectly, I think I have more miss with my 85/1.8..
comes with hood.


Oct 11, 2009
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JRKO
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Registered: Jan 12, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: Aug 17, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Great for low light non flash photography - lightweight
Cons:
more expensive now than when I bought it!

I've had more experience with this lens now and realize that my initial complaint of focusing issues was all my fault!

When you've got f1.4 at your disposal your gonna use it. Just make sure you are not too close to your so that you DOF is more than a knats wing deep!!

Here are some better examples I think

http://jrko.zenfolio.com/p353921713/h39c4c1ee#h39c4c1ee
http://jrko.zenfolio.com/p353921713/h39c4c1ee#h26ef5d5c



Aug 17, 2009
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SoCalHaze
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Registered: Jan 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 314
Review Date: Aug 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: bokeh, HSM, razor sharp. Did I mention the buttery bokeh?! Works like a champ on the 5D.
Cons:
needed a factory visit to straighten out the focusing issue. Now focuses at all distances extremely well.

Totally worth the extra effort to get the focus right. Will be holding on to my copy for the foreseeable future.

Aug 11, 2009
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Mingming Lu
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Registered: Feb 4, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 309
Review Date: Aug 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp wide open, decent build(better than Canon), nice bokeh
Cons:
A little soft around MFD, warmer color(may not be a problem)

I jumped on this lens after doing research online for many weeks. Finally I decided to part with my Canon 50/1.4 and give this Sigma a try. So far I'm pretty happy with the switch. I feel my Sigma is slightly sharper than my Canon from f/1.4-2.0 though Canon is not bad at all within this range. As I'm a picky person on image sharpness, before I always used my Canon at f/2.0. Now I find myself use my Sigma at f/1.6 most of time happily.

The AF is pretty good most of time. The only problem I noticed is the images around MFD look a little soft sometimes, but not all the time. As I haven't done any extensive testing, I'm not sure if this is caused by the infamous AF issue or just some accident.

Color from this lens tends to be a little warmer(yellowish), which is not a big deal and can be fixed easily in photoshop. Bokeh is a big advantage over Canon. It's smooth and silky, better than Canon's. Overall, it's a very good purchase if you're a normal lens person and don't have over $1,000 for 50L.


Aug 4, 2009
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Digital Fury
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Registered: Jun 10, 2009
Location: France
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Boken, out of center focus, very usable at f/1.4, built quality, comes with hood and case, money saved vs. Canon 50mm f/1.2
Cons:
Boken CA (true of most such lenses), a bit pricey for a Sigma but the quality is there, no weather sealing.

I'm using this lense on a Canon 5D MK II and I believe it's much better than the Canon 50mm f/1.4, and much cheaper than the Canon f/1.2.

I'm not using this lens stopped down and/or for distant objects, but for photojournalism and/or indoor shots it's quite awesome, light, well constructed and very usable at f/1.4 ...if only it had weather sealing.

Very happy with it.


Jul 30, 2009
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LZ7J
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Registered: Feb 22, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 165
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: First off, I love L-glass and I own both this superb lens & a 50L. Everything about this lens is great, bokeh, sharpness wide open, color/contrast, flare & CA control. I would have rated this lens a 3/10 before I had sent it to Sigma (twice!!!). So be warned, you will most likely have to send it in for calibration... but let me tell you, the 1 week wait was very well worth the effort. I'll be selling my 50L (UV, my 7th copy I tried that still focus shifts).
Cons:
Needs calibration/Poor QC. Manual focus is no where near the 50L. Build is 9/10 vs perfect 10 for the L.



Jul 28, 2009
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bysensitivo
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Registered: Jan 1, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 44
Review Date: Jun 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Boken = 10 Focus = 10 Build = 10 I have used Planar and Summicron 50/1,4 but this prime lens is really fantastic.
Cons:
none



Jun 20, 2009
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Enche Tjin
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Registered: Jun 14, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent built quality and image quality, fast AF tracking, very sharp
Cons:
heavy, bulky, price

Following the success of Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Sigma launches 50mm f/1.4. It is Sigma premium prime lens ($475 street) The build quality of this lens is very sturdy.

Mounted in Canon Rebel XSi / 450D, the lens body texture is very pleasant to grip. It is heavier than other prime lenses but it is not a big issue. The lens cap from Sigma has a similar built quality like the lens body. Unfortunately the lens front and rear cap are made from cheap plastic and quite flimsy.

The manual focus bar is wide, smooth and anti creep. Overall this lens has an excellent body construction, up to par with pro grade lens.

Due to the big aperture, the lens are wider than other prime lens, this is helpful for people with average to big hand.

Auto focus operation is fast and quiet due to Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM). But in low light situation such as sunset or dark skin tone, this lens auto focus have problem to lock in the target.

I took several snap shot today to test this lens wide open, the result is impressive. The result is good contrast, and very smooth bokeh or blur due to shallow depth of field. Chromatic Aberration is minimal even in aperture wide open.

Mounted in small sensor camera (Canon Rebels, X0D series, Nikon D40 up to D300, Sony and Pentax digital slr cameras), this lens is equivalent to 80mm (medium telephoto). This focal length and big aperture is ideal for portrait. Other purpose will be low light condition such as indoor sports or art performance.

In Sony or Pentax body, this lens will gain advantage of the image stabilization which gain 1-2 stops than Nikon or Canon cameras. The lens will come with a lens box to store lens when it is not in use. Extra cushion is provided to absorb shock.

Visit my blog www.radiantlite.com for sample photos


Jun 16, 2009
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RudydG
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Registered: Oct 7, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 99
Review Date: Jun 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: image and build quality, wonderfull bokeh
Cons:
Price for a sigma, and i had to try 3 before i got a good one

Loved the image quality from day one, but not so the focus, it was "all over the place", front, back, you name it, but after the third copy (bought recently 103xxxx serial), the focus is much better, not perfect, but at 1.4 the canon is also not 100% all the time.
For me it is the alternative tot the 1.2L (not the Canon 50 1.4, i think that is an "old design" lens, which should be upgraded as soon as possible.
Ps, i use it on a Canon 5DmkII


Jun 2, 2009
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jacksons31
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Registered: Mar 9, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 83
Review Date: May 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, crisp, focus is spot on
Cons:
none



May 29, 2009
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cdgerston
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Registered: Mar 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 314
Review Date: May 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp wide open, very sharp f/2 and on. Gorgeous bokeh and fine transitions from focus to out-of-focus. Focus is quick and accurate on my copy at all distances.
Cons:
It's pretty big (but balances nicely on a 5D).

It's pretty much all been said in previous reviews, and its a shame that some people have had trouble with focusing, but a good copy of this lens is a treasure. I love it. I'm not comparing it just with L glass, of which I've used plenty, but also to some of the Leica glass I use on my M8. Set aside minor issues of build-quality, MTF charts, focusing accuracy, whatever: images from this lens are beautiful.

May 18, 2009
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poodlelvr
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 507
Review Date: May 13, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh......gorgeous Sharp Comes with hood & nice padded, zippered case
Cons:
Don't like the exterior material of lens - not important compared to lens quality

After reading reviews I was hesitant to buy this Sigma lens but I am very pleased with my copy. I have owned the Canon 50 f1.4 and this lens is superior in my estimation. That bokeh alone is worth the increase in price; I am also pleased with the sharpness. The lens is not that big to me but definitely larger than the Canon. Much less CA than the Canon 50 1.4. No focus issues for me. It sits in my bag and is always with me. I would recommend this over the Canon.
Canon - Sigma includes the hood and a quality bag for this lens - why don't you?


May 13, 2009
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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
108 153123 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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