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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

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9 23871 Sep 24, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $948.60
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Focal Length: 50mm
APS Equivalent: 1.5x: 75mm; 1.6x: 80mm
Max Aperture: f/1.4
Min Aperture: f/16
Diaphragm Blades: 9 (rounded)
Lens Construction: 13 elements in 8 groups, including 1 aspherical and 3 SLD elements
Diagonal Angle of View
(Based on image circle): 46.8 degrees
Focus Details: HSM, with full-time manual focus override
Front Element Rotation: No
Zoom System: n/a
Closest Focus: 40cm / 15.7 in.
Magnification Ratio: 0.18x / 1:5.6
Filter Size: 77mm
(Length x Diameter): 99.9mm x 85.4mm / 3.9 in. x 3.4 in.
Weight: 470g / 16.6 oz


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Registered: Jun 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 802
Review Date: Sep 24, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp sharp sharp Price, build quality
No weather seal

I bought this lens after seeing many positive reviews on forums. I owned mostly Canon lenses and mostly L series. When I have bought other brands they fell short of my expectations. This 50 definitely breaks that trend. It is quite simply fantastic. Sharpness, quiet accurate focusing, terrific build quality and jaw dropping IQ. My first outing with this lens had me convinced. The images were really stellar.

Other than a lack of weather seal there is little to complain about. Sigma has hit a home run with the 50 Art.

Sep 24, 2015
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Registered: Aug 1, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 5, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, beautiful saturated colour and contrast. (For me) very pleasing bokeh.

Up to buying this lens I'd established a pattern with every Sigma lens I'd bought - namely, they ended up on Ebay within a short space of time. There has been so much positive info published about this lens I decided to go for it. From the look and feel of the lens you certainly feel like you're getting your money's worth. Straight on my 5D3 it was obvious that a focus adjustment needed to be made. After half an hour with a chart +13 was dialled in on the mfa. I used it for the first time at a recent wedding and it literally stopped me in my tracks. The sharpness was incredible, the colour rich and vibrant and the isolation wide open was almost like a 3D effect. A lot of people have criticised the bokeh but I personally find this very pleasing, smooth and creamy in character. It's true, no other 50mm I've ever used comes close to this.

Sep 5, 2015
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Registered: Jan 8, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1633
Review Date: Sep 4, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $925.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp; fast AF; decent enough Bokeh; Build quality;
For some this is too big of a lens

This lens had A LOT of hype surrounding it before it's release. It was pretty crazy actually. Sigma knocked it out of the park with this lens for sure. It's sharp at 1.4 and at f2 it's insane. I basically set it to f2 and point and shoot. I haven't had any af issues like others reported. I've actually only really seen Canon users reporting AF issues with sigma lenses. This is one of the biggest standard lenses you can buy which may turn some people off. In all honesty with a bigger body DSLR it feels well balanced to me. I haven't used the Otus but really for the price of this lens you can't really go wrong.

Sep 4, 2014
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Registered: Sep 3, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best 50mm out there!

In past I had the Canon 50 1.4, not sharp wide open.
I heard Sigma created the better 50 1.4 but some AF problems.

A long time I worked with the 35L/85L combo but for half body modelshoots I wanted to give this lens a try.

The 50L has always been mysterious to me (mixed reports about unsharp wide open, focus clutch,...) so I never dared to buy it.

After that Sigma defeated the 35L with their 35 Art, and this lens has the same design, I finally risked to buy a 50mm prime and it's perfect!

I'm still not out if I would keep both 35L + 50L (different beasts, the 50 has better background isolation), but this one is 10/10 on every aspect.

The 50mm is the go to lens for half body modelshoots.
Forget the other 50mm's if you are looking for one, this is it!

Sep 3, 2014
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Registered: Jun 30, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 92
Review Date: Aug 14, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $949.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid build quality. Very quick, silent auto-focus. Great style and balance. Hood works very well. Nice cushy carrying pouch. Ultra-sharp wide open and sharper stopped down. Great microcontrast.
Very heavy! Focus isn't consistent across all distances. Bokeh is a bit too contrasty and at some distances can be jittery and nervous, which is very distracting. No weather seal.

Sigma has been a compromise for me lately. They're doing amazing things in terms of lens design and competing in the market. But there are a few things that just drive me completely insane, which I'll get to in just a moment.

First off, Sigma has done it again. The lens design and quality is first-class. Their art series has blown me away and I hope they continue to push themselves across the whole spectrum. The sharpness, contrast, distortion and CA control is great! I can't believe how well they've designed these things. The focus ring is nice and smooth. The focus mechanism is uber quiet. The elements are big and bold. I can't give their engineers and design team enough credit for making another knockout lens.

Now... for the niggling details that push me away from feeling completely satisfied. What's with the metal?! We're not in the olden days anymore. Let's lighten up the load and stick with a high-quality plastic. Where's the weather sealing? A small rubber gasket at the mount would make me a happy camper. Last but most importantly, get those focusing algorithms correct! Don't force the consumers to buy a USB dock. Although it can be heavily debated that even Nikon/Canon lenses miss focus at times, it's not nearly as bad as Sigma's. Even after microadjusting this lens several times, it just never feels reliable. It's almost like it has its own temperament. Sometimes it focuses great, sometimes not. I guess if I stopped pixel-peeping, it probably wouldn't bother me so much, but what's the whole point in having one of the worlds sharpest lenses when the focus isn't spot on?

I digress... It's still an amazing lens for what it's worth. Kudos to Sigma!

Aug 14, 2014
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Tony Rogers
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Registered: Jul 9, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 412
Review Date: Aug 5, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp and clear wide open.
Bokeh not ideal, but acceptable.

I have tried multiple 50mm lenses on the Nikon D800e, and I have been dissatisfied with them. I was particularly disappointed in the 50mm 1.4G. This is the 50mm lens I was looking for.

It's not a small 50mm, but it's sharp, accurate, and fast to focus.

It's not cheap, but it's inexpensive for the performance it offers.

I am looking forward to the announcement of 85mm and 135mm Art lenses - I may stop using Nikkors altogether if I can get more lenses of this quality.

Aug 5, 2014
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Doug Vann
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Registered: Dec 18, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 53
Review Date: Jul 22, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, nice feel with Canon 6D, great DOF for having the subject pop out.
A bit pricey but it is still less then the 50L and sharper.

I have owned several 50mm lenses over the past few years. Sigma 50mm EX DG HSM, Canon 50mm f1.8 and Canon 50mm f1.2 L. The new Sigma 50mm DG HSM f1.4 Art lens is the best of the lot. Super sharp, consistent results. The previous Sigma lens was almost as sharp as this one but not quite. The 50 f1.2 L was not as sharp as either Sigma lens but was pretty good for portraits.
The new Sigma is a bit on the heavy side for a 50mm lens but it feels real nice on my Canon 6D. Has a quality feel to it. Have taken several full body shots outdoors as well as flowers and am 100% satisfied with the results. Subject is amazingly sharp with a nicely blurred background. Exactly what I was looking for. Have 5 weddings coming up and this lens will pay for itself shortly.

I would like to add to this review - after taking about 1,000 shots with this lens an issue came up. This only happened 2 or 3 times but the lens refused to auto-focus. Almost as if the lens was set to manual focus and you were waiting for auto-focus to kick in. This was quite disturbing after spending this amount of money. Returned the lens to FotoArt in Owen Sound, Ontario and they gave me a replacement - no problem. I will be watching for this issue to pop up on the replacement lens. If it does I will update this review accordingly. The lens does take amazingly sharp pictures so this issue was disappointing. I also own the Canon 24-70 f4 L IS lens and Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS II lens and neither of these have shown any focus issues.

After using the replacement lens for a few weeks I can report that I have had no further issues. Will be using this lens at an upcoming wedding this weekend.....

Jul 22, 2014
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petr vokurek
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Registered: Apr 16, 2007
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 110
Review Date: Jun 16, 2014 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: Great build, perfect optics, looks sexy maybe..:-)
Unreliable autofocus:-(

I had great expectations about this lens and thought this would finally be my ultimate 50mm lens. Mechanically it is truly amazing- itīs like handling an old Hasselblad lens, all metal and glass! Optically this lens really delivers, too. Itīs much sharper than anything from Canon I have owned (1,4/50, 1,2/50). It doesnīt suffer from the usual aberations when shooting wide open and the pictures at 1,4 are razor sharp and crystal clear- when it does focus properly...However, my copy had very inconsistent autofocus. If I took 3 photos of the same scene (portrait or just about anything it this distance range) one would be perfecly sharp, the next one would be out just a bit, the next in focus again and the next out again. I was using it on 5d III with the focus point directly on the subject, so no focus and recompose...I tried it on two weddings and after I went through the pictures I returned the lens. All my Canon lenses are way more reliable and predictable. Even my old 1,4/50mm. Itīs no way near as sharp but it does focus more reliably- and thatīs saying a lot because itīs not an easy lens:-) At the end of the day, a perfecly focused photo from Canonīs 1,4/50 is better than a slightly (or not so slightly) out of focus one from the Sigma. I hoped Sigma finally sorted out the AF problems and gave them a chance but it just didnīt work out for me.

Jun 16, 2014
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 180
Review Date: May 23, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness even at f1.4, nice bokeh, well built, elegant design
Heavy, bulky, poor lens cap

This is a brilliant piece of glass. Sharpness is awesome, even at the maximum aperture in the centre. This lens delivers contrasty images; sharpness (or "piqué" as it is called in French) is very good all over the frame at higher apertures.

Build quality is at the same level as the Sigma 35 mm Art : solid and trustworthy. I like the "chic" design, also when coupled with the lens hood which comes with it. The lens cap is not of the higher standard as I have some difficulty when putting it back on the lens.

Autofocus is known to be a weak spot of Sigma, but since the Art line came to life, things seem to have changed. At least in my case, using the Canon 5D mark III (famous for its accurate AF system). To be sincere, I had to use the USB dock of Sigma to tune the accuracy of the focus at different distance ranges. After calibration, results were more than satisfactory and consistent, something you can check looking at your f1.4 shots at 100% magnification. AF speed is quite good and silent. I haven't tested the lens for AI Servo, so can't say anything about that point.

The lens is quite heavy and big (but not more than a good zoom).

May 23, 2014
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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM "A"

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
9 23871 Sep 24, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
89% of reviewers $948.60
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating