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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
108 153142 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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mister wiggles
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Registered: Dec 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: May 7, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build quality, bokeh, HSM, weight of glass. The lens comes with a hood and a carry case.
Cons:
The actual texture and feel of the lens is a bit "plasticy." The lens does hunt a little under low light conditions.

The lens is worth the extra money over Canon's varient in the build quality alone. Although the lens doesn't feel "L Class" worthy, it is a significant improvement from the Canon 50 1.4. The bokeh from the lens is very satisfactory; smooth. The sharpness wide open isn't as sharp as say a 35L, but definitely not a deal breaker by any means. The lens takes a 77mm which in my opinion is great so all the little lens children in my bag can share filters; sharing is caring. All focusing issues aside, the Sigma 50 has been a pleasure to use.

May 7, 2009
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mik68
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Registered: Jan 23, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 4, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: good solid feeling, hood included
Cons:
strong backfocus

I had this lens for two weeks. Even with my 5dmk2 I could not get rid of the backfocus. If you have the time and patience to send the lens to Sigma for focusing it is probably a great lens. If you are not patient don't buy the lens.

May 4, 2009
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myy001
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Registered: Jul 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 464
Review Date: Apr 28, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp even at 1.4, good IQ, build and felling, with hood
Cons:
Inconsistant focusing. 5D2 micro adj +10, can focus well 50% only.

Exchanged to EF 50/1.4 eventually due to the focusing issue.

Apr 28, 2009
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trajan
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Registered: Dec 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 133
Review Date: Apr 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: bokeh, fast, little vignetting, sharp, good colors, AF, good at f/1.4-2.0, good at short distance
Cons:
CA for OOF objects in front of the focus point, build quality, outclassed at f/4.0+, non-planar design


Photos I took with this lens: http://highaperture.com/Sigma50mm-Index.html

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is an amazing lens. But you should know its strong and weak points:

1. Bokeh. Unique bokeh, very smooth and washed. Different rendition than the Canon 50mm f/1.2. I bought this lens for this bokeh alone.

2. Size: big for a 50mm lens. It's actually bigger than the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2, and almost as heavy.

3. Build quality look ok. The plastic feels cheaper than the Canon plastic. There is no comparison with the metal lenses made by Zeiss or CV.

4. Focusing: lots of people complained about the lens having focusing problems. Those may have been earlier copies. My copy works like a charm.

5. MTF graph shows extremely good performance.

6. Vignetting: very low. Better than the Canon 50mm f/1.2 even when stopped down to f/1.4

7. The positive field curvature is a problem for shooting at infinity. It works very good with short distances.

8. For stopped down and distance shooting, the Sigma is outclassed by simpler lenses, such as the Zeiss ZE 50mm f/1.4.


Apr 23, 2009
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charld
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Registered: Dec 20, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 381
Review Date: Apr 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $442.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good build quality, sharp, and accurate focus even in low light.
Cons:
The first lens i bought has the erratic problems focus.

Before getting this i looked at the Canon 1.4 and 1.2 and found the sigma to be the best in terms of quality and price. Like all my sigmas this needed some micro adjustment of the 1d/d1s. beautiful bokeh, nice color and contrast.

Apr 23, 2009
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josephus656
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Registered: Jan 14, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 65
Review Date: Apr 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $442.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Best lowlight I have seen around until something comes along and out performs it in price, quality, and overall picture quality at any f stop.
Cons:
Flrst one has to get to know this lens is not just another fifty but rather a specilized tool for special image results. no cons to note

I have this in my tool box where I can pull it out for thoses jobs that is best suited. I am sure of long use for my Art and Design

Apr 14, 2009
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kjeldsen
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Registered: Apr 1, 2009
Location: Denmark
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 1, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: 1.4, Good build quality.
Cons:
Considering the price compared to the standard 50MM i expected more.

I expected razor sharp images, sadly i didn´t get what i expected so i returned the lens.

Apr 1, 2009
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dbm305
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Registered: Mar 30, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharper than most 50s in a wide area at f1.4-2.8; excellent bokeh, good contrast
Cons:
focus shift on stopping down (needs +8 microadjust on my body wide open, but +4 gives better results from f2.5). Perhaps corner sharpness at optimal apertures (5.6 and 8) not quite as high as conventional 50s. Heavy and large.

This is a marvellous lens to use if what you want is blurred backgrounds at wide apertures. It's sharper in the central area ( a generous central area) than any f1.4 I've used at f 1.4 to about f 2.5. And the bokeh is lovely. So it's exquisite for those purposes. But if you are using it as a general purpose lens at 2.8, 4, 5.6 and 8 then you are probably wasting your dough. It's good at these apertures of course, but no better than a canon 50 1.8 (and therefor I'm guessing any other good prime 50). So you are paying a lot for very heavy lens in that case.

But of course that lovely result at f2 is worth the money for me....


Mar 30, 2009
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JRKO
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Registered: Jan 12, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great bokeh - super sharp - nice weight - looks serious!
Cons:
some focusing issues

Great lens for walking around with fixed focal length. Still trying to get used to the very limited DOF.

http://jrko.zenfolio.com/p777028168/h1dd6fc15#h1dd6fc15



Mar 26, 2009
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abam
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4201
Review Date: Mar 25, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: nice build quality, very sharp when it hits focus, not terribly expensive for the potential IQ it might be able to offer, includes a hood, mounts nice and tightly to canon bodies...
Cons:
back focusing AND front focusing, 60% throwaway rate because of inaccurate focusing, strange finish, which could either come off as trendy - or cheap. i am selling this at first chance.

i'll keep this short:

i own the 35L, and know how to shoot a standard focal length at f1.4 -- my copy of this lens is utterly unreliable at focusing, even at f7.

to be fair, it's stunning when it does focus correctly, and the build quality is very reassuring. (the finish is a little... 'hokey,' though.)

unfortunately, because i can't rely on getting the focus i want for any given shot with this lens, and i don't have this problem with any of my other wide primes, and this lens already has a widespread reputation for sample variation, it's going back and will not be replaced.

i'll stick to oem primes from now on. (dear canon: please update the 50 1.4.)

=/


Mar 25, 2009
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Jman13
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 10311
Review Date: Mar 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $460.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, absolutely beautiful bokeh, nice color and contrast, good handling and build.
Cons:
longitudinal chromatic abberation and some blooming is possible on high contrast subjects at very wide apertures.

I've had this lens for a little while now, and I also purchased a 50 f/1.2L near the same time to see the difference, and I returned the L. I do not have any focus issues whatsoever....this lens is very accurate for me at any focus distance.

The lens is very sharp right from f/1.4, but can show some blooming at high contrast subjects when shooting at closer distances. It also shows some longitudinal CA, though it's better controlled than the 50L. By f/1.8, the lens is already near its peak resolution, and it's very sharp throughout the aperture range.

Bokeh is stunning. It easily ranks among the best bokeh lenses I've ever used. It destroys the Canon 50 f/1.4, and is as good or better than the 50L.

Color and contrast are very good, and there's little drop in contrast at f/1.4.

Focus for me, as mentioned, has been very accurate. The lens focuses quickly, though not as fast as some of my other lenses (35L, 100 f/2, 70-200 f/4L IS). Build is solid...typical Sigma EX.

Overall, I view this lens as an exceptional value. It rivals the 50L in essentially every way except maximum aperture for 1/3 the price. Hard to beat!


Mar 20, 2009
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Bobby Yarner
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Registered: May 1, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 407
Review Date: Mar 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, bokeh, control of CA
Cons:
Finish is kinda stupid but I can deal with that

I haven't had the focus issues that many are experiencing with this lens.

I may have been lucky but maybe sigma is working on their QC.

The lens is pretty sharp at 1.4–close to my 35 1.4 but not quite as sharp.

For portraits this is perfect.

For the record I use this on a 5D mk I


Mar 17, 2009
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15Bit
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Registered: Jan 27, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 3741
Review Date: Mar 15, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Build quality, sharpness wide open, bokeh
Cons:
Serious backfocus problems at 10ft+

I tried hard to buy one of these, but testing of several copies in shop all showed the same backfocus problems on all: Whilst at close distances autofocus would be spot on, at 20ft to target the lenses all backfocussed about 3-4ft. Given the build quality and excellent image quality it is a disappointment that the autofocus hasn't been sorted.

Mar 15, 2009
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2261
Review Date: Mar 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: bokeh, built, price, color, contrast
Cons:
some autofocus issues.

Yes, I consider this lens a bargain, and I paid full retail price when it came out. the color and contrast and bokeh are not far from the 85 1.2. I like it better than my 35 1.4, and even better than that 135 f2 (mostly due to focal length though). Mine did require a visit to sigma for slight front focusing though.
wide open, has very good center sharpness and good corner sharpness. not as sharp as 85 1.2, but still very good. stopped down its excellent as would be expected. handling and finish is very nice.


Mar 6, 2009
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Steven Myatt
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $460.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open. Low vignetting. Low Flaring.
Cons:
Huge size. Pricey. Bug-eyed onlookers.

After reading other reviews, I was expecting focusing problems on my Canon 40D. Wrong. One of the first pictures I took was the tip of a fence post at 3Ft (f1.4). Razor-sharp. In fact, I took this lens up to State College PA for the weekend and every single shot focused smack-on. 100% keeper rate. So much for focus problems.
I took night shots at f1.4 to test sharpness and low-light focus capabilities. Wow. Focus was again perfect and no other f1.4 lens I've ever had yielded better corner-to-corner sharpness.
During the day, I took pictures with the sun just out of the frame and the results were excellent. Lens hood? Who needs it?
I carefully looked at every picture I took over the weekend and each one was exceptional. Contrast, color, sharpness were all outstanding. In short, this is the kind of lens you want to leave on your camera all the time. The only drawback is that it's a prime lens so you sometimes have to do some moving to get the shot. The results are always worth it.
Some of the reviews here say their Nikon 50 beat out this lens in sharpness. Others say that it won't focus. They could be 100% correct. My copy of this lens didn't show these problems. My copy DESTROYS every 50mm lens I've ever used (Mamiya, Pentax, Canon) in sharpness (especially in the money-area of f1.4 to f2.8). My copy focuses perfectly every time... even when I whip the camera up and fire off a shot.
Because of the differences in reviews, the thought occurs to me that the initial offerings of this lens might have had quality control issues. I wonder if people who are now buying this lens are having experiences like mine. Time will tell.
Anyway, if you can put up with the size, the gaping stares of other people, and the price, this is a lens I highly recommend. If you buy the lens after this review is posted and you have "issues", I'm sure everyone would love to hear about it since it could answer questions about quality control vs. new product growing pains. For me though, this lens has NO "issues" and was worth every penny.


Mar 3, 2009
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rk-d
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Registered: Feb 25, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 109
Review Date: Mar 1, 2009 Recommend? no | Price paid: $438.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Bokeh is exceptionally smooth. HSM. Nice carrying case. Balances beautifully on the d700. Considering the construction and elements, the lens is a bargain compared to the Nikon alternatives.
Cons:
Multiple copies have had serious front focusing issues. Sharpness is not quite as good as Nikon when wide open. CA. Huge lens negates some of the size advantages of primes (not a big deal for me).

There is alot to commend in this lens -- it's bokeh is beautiful -- reminds me of the Nikon 85 1.4 in some respects. The HSM motor is reasonably quick and quiet. The sharpness when stopped down >2.8 is excellent. The color is warmer than a more honest lens, but it's a pleasing warmth that's easily 'fixable' with PP.

The problem is that both copies of this lens I used had significant front focusing issues. Both copies required +20 (whereas my other lenses work perfectly fine). Even with correction, the sharpness wide open was not at the level of my old AF-D Nikon lens. I cannot say whether the lenses I bought had uncorrectable front focusing, had unreliable focus acquisition or were intrinsically less sharp than the competition.

I suspect there are other Sigmas that are more sharp and perhaps this problem is exacerbated on the FX d700. If I have to sort through a number of lenses to find a holy grail Sigma, then it's not worth my time.

If the Sigma is simply less sharp than the Nikons, then this comes down to taste. I personally prefer the superior sharpness with the slightly inferior bokeh seen in the Nikon AF-D. Others may choose the creaminess of the Sigma, but I personally find the QC problems I've experienced with this lens to be discomforting. The lens has been returned.



Mar 1, 2009
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Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
108 153142 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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