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26 244221 6/24/2014
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Keywords: Sigma Canon Four-Thirds Nikon Pentax Sony Mid Prime 35mm HSM Tested


titi_elsass

Registered: December 2009
Posts: 7
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by titi_elsass
Review Date: 6/24/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well builted & shape, enough sharp at f/1.4, colors, contrast, bokeh
Cons: Autofocus non consistent

Having bought this lens one year ago, I'm still impressed by the image quality. It's the non-ART version but with "silk" finish. It's really a good mix of sharpness and nice bokeh (out-of-focus areas, very smooth). My copy delivers enough sharp images at f/1.4, and at f/1.8 very sharp ones.


I really like the build quality (even the hood is nice) and the shape of the lens: short but wide.


The downside of this lens is the Autofocus: it's enough silent, fast but not really consistent. You should consider this lens like a manual lens with an autofocus in bonus, but you can't rely on it. You need to focus by live-view (Magic Lantern helps a lot!) or through the viewfinder coupled with a precise matte glass like Ee-S or Eg-s on 5D series.
TomE

Registered: May 2013
Posts: 4
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by TomE
Review Date: 5/30/2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $450.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: sharp at close distance
Cons: useless wide open beyond 3 meters

I use this lens for portraits on a Nikon dx. Ultra sharp, even wide open (only if I shoot head shots). Wonderfull bokeh also. The only problem I have with this lens, is that for all other use, it just doens't focus correctly. Most of the time it backfocusses. I tried it on several body's, but it's just not good. So it's not a walk around lens, or if you are looking for a lens to shoot concerts etc, forget this lens.
Yucel

Registered: June 2011
Posts: 15
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by Yucel
Review Date: 4/16/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great Bokeh, Very Sharp, 77mm Pro Filters
Cons: Large Green Ghost images from highlights wide open, sometimes

An beauty glamour headshot image taken with this lens @ f9.0 in studio with a Nikon D90 along with some brief details are avail for view here: http://glamourphotography.co/?p=6588


Some may say f9.0 is not a fair test of a fast portrait lens.... I say, on a D90 crop sensor camera, a 50mm is an excellent portrait lens, and in studio, using studio lights, most shots are taken at f5.6 to f9.0.


If you like to see the image larger, view here: http://www.yucelphoto.com/Glamour-Beauty-Boudoir/Beauty/13795570_wqDTM8#!i=1794846338&k=RxczQ4v&lb=1&s=X3


This is not a bokeh shot... It's a shot showing use in beauty portraiture stopped down to where the lens is sharpest.
Suntoro Tjoe

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 3
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by Suntoro Tjoe
Review Date: 8/11/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very fast AF, great bokeh and impressively sharp
Cons: Filter size

I have been using this lense for almost a year on mostly portrait photography. The result is impressive, both sharpness and bokeh. It is one of the best lense in the class.


I feel the size and weight are just perfect on my D300 with vertical grip.


Highly recommended for portrait photography.
For sample images www.ourphotolib.com/suntoro/g15/
MS

Registered: May 2011
Posts: 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by MS
Review Date: 5/6/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent IQ
Cons:

I'll give it a 10 because I got a very recent copy and it does not have any meaningful focus shift and the autofocus is working well even in low light. The bokeh is great, color is very good though Canon L sometimes, but not always, beats it. Overal IQ is very, very good. Excellent build quality.
kaci

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 10
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by kaci
Review Date: 4/15/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $470.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: super sharp
Cons: AF accuracy, atmosphere, bulky, price, f1.4-f1.6

I owned this lens for two months, then sold it and kept my little gem Canon EF 50/1.8 II. My Sigma was super sharp above f1.8. But at f1.4 - f1.6 was unuseably soft. The AF was quick, but front-focused a lot which was a problem. I didnť like the general output from this lens a lot = it looked liked a entire copy of a reality without any atmosphere which my Canon primes have and I love. And it is also really bulky and heavy compared to other 50mm primes.


I would recommend it for general purposes but for dreamy portraits definetely not.
sebkaine

Registered: January 2011
Posts: 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by sebkaine
Review Date: 1/28/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp + great bokeh + very affordable
Cons: focus on low light

This lens is one of my favorite. It just take wonderful shots. it is sharp at f1.4 compared to the canon 50 1.4.
The lens has a very good construction quality, but it's not L. the only cons is that it is quite big and in certain condition the focus is lousy in extreme low light scene.


you won't regret this lens.
Beachrider

Registered: December 2010
Posts: 22
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by Beachrider
Review Date: 12/29/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wonderful function at f/2.2, usable down to f/1.6, HSM is nice
Cons: Heavy and expensive

Special lens with above average color rendition. Images at f/1.4 were soft on APC-size, but quite usable after that.


This allows the use of natural light in many scenarios, especially where high-ISO digital SLRs are being used.


I like this lens
uforias

Registered: October 2010
Posts: 3
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by uforias
Review Date: 10/24/2010 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Good Optics
Cons: Inconsistent Auto Focus

Unfortunately another disapointment with Sigma Quality Control. They have ruined an optical excellent product due to inconsistent Auto Focus. At least with Canon gear, you better stay away from Sigma Lens. I have to compensate from -5 micro adjustment for up 1 meter distance to almost +20 on the worst scenario for longer distances. Furthermore, even microadjusted the keeper rates are below 25% because the AF isn't consistent.
DoFJerk

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by DoFJerk
Review Date: 7/16/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Impressive Axial CA, Low vignette, Good Bokeh
Cons: AF in low light, bulky, soft at corner

I use this lens with D700.
This lens make me happy when shot at large aperture, the Axial CA is lower than other lens in the same class.
The Bokeh is also very nice. Very sharp event at f/2.0.


Found some AF hunting under low light, but not much a problem.
Eager

Registered: October 2009
Posts: 7
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by Eager
Review Date: 6/23/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, great bokeh
Cons: big&heavy, 77mm filter size

Realy great portrait lens for a crop sensor. My copy is sharp over all frame even wide open; fast and true autofocus operation; good color and creamy "impressionist" bokeh. Ah! Just wish it to be not so bulky and heavy!
xxcromxx

Registered: June 2010
Posts: 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by xxcromxx
Review Date: 6/8/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $488.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: the bokeh, IQ, HSM, color, contrast, hood
Cons: none

This is my most used lens. Very sharp, usable at 1.4 amazing at 2.0. The bokeh is creamy. I'm just happy with this lens.
nthomas

Registered: May 2010
Posts: 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by nthomas
Review Date: 5/28/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $470.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Nice IQ, Perfect DOF, nice warranty service, great color
Cons: Some QC problem, may encounter product issue.A little bit too heavy.

This is my favorite portrait lens. I would say this is the best 50mm you must have. It is ever superior than the Canon 50L with only one third of the price.
Lardinio

Registered: March 2010
Posts: 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by Lardinio
Review Date: 3/19/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Right balance on D300, quick & quiet AF, centre sharpness wide open, bokeh - oh the bokeh!
Cons: more expensive than nikkor rivals, focus accurancy

Bought it used for £240 in the UK in mid 2009. It's large for a nifty fifty, but feels great on my D300. Sublime bokeh, put my old nikkor 50/1.8 to shame (and so it should!). It's great at 1.4, in the centre at least. Corners are never really that 'sharp' at any aperture, but I wanted it for portraits and candids and it does the job superbly. Can misfocus every now and then (very seldomly) but never a problem for what I wanted it for. Highly recommended.
RJNaylor

Registered: July 2009
Posts: 4
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by RJNaylor
Review Date: 2/8/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great DOF control
Cons: A little slow to focus in low light

When I first opened the box, (january 22, 2010) it was evening and dark out. I tried some low light shots on objects around the kitchen and was very unhappy with the sharpness; especially compared to my Nikon 35mm 1.8. But, when i sued the flash, it was right on. Also, odd enough a few days later, shooting our cat, I was able to use manual and get plenty of brightness sans flash. So, after worrying that it did not focus properly, I have the immpression it needed to be broken in -- I can't explain it otherwise. Or, perhaps I was nervous the first night. Now I am a happy camper because I love the bokeh and that is why I chose it over the Nikon -- plus it tested sharper wide open on several web sites. I have my Nikon 16-85 for more dof and great sharpness. My 35 1.8 is also wonderfully sharp.
NLxAROSA

Registered: January 2009
Posts: 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by NLxAROSA
Review Date: 1/1/2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, f/1.4, Bokeh, HSM
Cons: None so far

Recently acquired this lens because I do a lot of low available-light action stuff. IQ is excellent, f/1.4 makes sure you can use this baby in the worst light conditions. The HSM AF is fast and quiet. I am using this lens on a subframe camera (EOS 450D) and I have no issues with front- or backfocusing (I specifically tested for it because I read this in the reviews). It's built like a tank too. Smile
MrAdventure

Registered: June 2008
Posts: 6
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by MrAdventure
Review Date: 10/7/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid Build, Sharper than Canon's 50 1.4 wide open, good color and contrast...and fast
Cons: Slight focusing issues, heavier than Canon's equivalent, large filter size

I used it extensively over the past year and it rocks. The Canon is much better in corner sharpness from f/2.8 onwards.


Excellent for low light and natural light work.
DH

Registered: September 2009
Posts: 3
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by DH
Review Date: 9/25/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $540.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super!
Cons: Non

Just one word. Super!
kevindar

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by kevindar
Review Date: 9/24/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent Color, contrast, build, wide open performance, vignetting, CA control
Cons: Focusing a little nervous. May be prone to front focusing

I find the findings of slr test surprising. My copy has very good corner sharpness, even wide open, and thats consistent with findings of DP review. I had to send mine in for front focusing, and even after it came back, I had to make a micro focus adjustment of 8. If your camera has microfocus adjustment then not much of a problem. I would say the focus at times is a little more nervous than canon 50 1.4. The Canon alternative that I had was excellent, but if you shoot under f2, the color, contrast, bokeh, and sharpness of the sigma is noticably better.
I am shooting this lens on a Canon 5D mark II.
corbeau

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by corbeau
Review Date: 6/15/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $611.76| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: image quality: sharp even at 1,4, no disturbing vignette nor fringing
Cons: bulky, price

When I first got this lens, it showed a marked backfocus. The lens was replaced by the retailer, the second lens was even worse. I sent it to Sigma who adjusted the lens and now it workes fine with my Sony Alpha 700. It really is a great lens.
RadiantLite

Registered: June 2009
Posts: 16
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by RadiantLite
Review Date: 6/13/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $575.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp wide open, fast focusing
Cons: bulky

One of the best 50mm lens ever made. Image quality is very good and sharp even at wide open f/1.4. The AF performs very fast and accurate. Great for indoor sport and low light condition. Highly recommended.


Check out
http://www.radiantlite.com/2008/08/short-review-sigma-50mm-f14-ex-dc-hsm.html
for sample photos and more reviews
bennike

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by bennike
Review Date: 5/14/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $550.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Picture & Build Quality
Cons: None so far

This lense is extremely robust and a pleasant companion to most photographich journeys for an amateur like me. I haven't experienced any downsides yet, other that a little softness on 1.4 aperture. However that was expected...
Canon-Nikon-user

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 14
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by Canon-Nikon-user
Review Date: 2/22/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $430.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: shapest 50 for sure, no-CA I can see, very fast aF on my 50D and D300.
Cons: no-canon-or-nikon-so-cheap-resell-value.

this repalced my EF50f1.4USM and Nikon aF-S50f1.4G.


much sharper than these 2 and much faster aF than both Cand N.


So get it if you have Nikon D700, EOS5D2, EOS50D or Nikon D300, but not get it if you have a D90 or D80 cause I tried it on my D90 (returned) and was not good on it cause slow AF and horrible metering of the D90, it is outstandingly sharp on my d300 with its 51 AF though.


Sigma rocks for now.


update: I forgot to mention this , the Sigma was sharper than the 50f1.2L too.
maho

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by maho
Review Date: 9/26/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $490.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: works well wide open
Cons: weight

A very good new prime lens by Sigma. Works well even wide open, which is something new in this aperture 50mm lenses. I use it mostly with Canon 5D and 40D. Can be compared with Canon 35 f1.4 lens, which I also use a lot. In comparison of wide open shots (f1.4) Canon is better but otherwise almost equal.
lextalionis

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by lextalionis
Review Date: 8/6/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Best Bokeh IMHO!
Cons: None!

If you get some of the newer production issues w/o the back/front focus problems or heck even an older production version that correctly focuses you have a WINNER!


For now, I would recommend only buying B&M so you can try before you buy.


Sample Images Taken with a Canon 30D


-Lex
thrice

Registered: July 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM review by thrice
Review Date: 7/26/2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $499.00| Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Great Sharpness and Contrast wide-open, 77mm filter thread for professional filters, great build quality, VERY smoothe bokeh
Cons: The two copies I've tested have issues with my 5D (and other FF Canon cameras) when focusing beyond 10'

The issue with this lens, on both of the copies I've tested (and every independent individual who I've spoken to shooting this lens on full frame) is that it SEVERELY back focuses when you focus beyond 10' (3m). Granted I only occasionally use the lens beyond that range, but I should be able to without issue.


It's really odd because the image is in focus in the viewfinder (I have split prism manual focus screen) and no matter how many times I refocus it back focuses by about 30-50cm at 3m.


When I focus any closer it is accurate and the image quality is stellar.


I've spoken to Sigma who were less than helpful (even condescending) but the distributor here in Perth (Western Australia) is being really helpful even though I imported the lens. My 5D has been checked and I have many large aperture lenses that have no issues with perfect autofocus at all ranges.


I have tested the lens on an EOS 40D and it doesn't seem to have any issues of note, so for those who never plan to go full frame this is a great lens I wouldn't hesitate to buy.


Given that it is an EX DG lens from Sigma and should work properly on a full-frame body I cannot recommend this lens to anyone using a full frame body and from a resale or upgrade perspective buying one at this stage in time makes little or no sense for any user.


 






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