lens rental
Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM Thomas, December 2013
 

Sigma 50mm f1.4 verdict

The Sigma 50/1.4 EX DG HSM is a capable f1.4 lens. You can produce shots with good image quality even at a wide open aperture of f1.4 if you don't look too far into the FX-corner. It's sharper than the Nikon's AF-S 50mm f/1.4G and has less longitudinal CAs.

At long distance shots there is an issue in the DX-corner where the lens shows some field-curvature. Bokeh is on a pretty satisfying level - in the background as well as the foreground. That justifies a price that is a bit higher than for an equivalent lens from Nikon.

All-in-all it is a good f1.4 lens which you can well use at the largest aperture although you have to accept at f1.4 the corners are soft. But that may not be a bad thing depending on your type of photography. And although the lens does not do contrast-based AF in live-view or movie-mode on my D800 I'd say that manual focus in both modes often is a viable alternative. The functionality of contrast-based AF may also be better on other camera-bodies. And normal phase-detect AF through my DSLR viewfinder was fast and reliable. So I'd still award the Sigma 50/1.4 a Recommended rating. Below I have summarized the good and bad points of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM for you.

   
   

 

Summary

Good points
Pretty convincing performance on a high-resolution full-frame sensor even wide open.
Fast and silent phase-detect based AF.

Bad points
Infinity-performance at the borders/corners of the DX/APS-C image circle could be better.
No weather sealing.
Contrast-based AF in live-view or movie-mode not working on my D800.

 

 

If you have any question, comment or suggestion regarding the review head over to our forum here. A selection of my shots with this lens in full resolution can be found here.

 
If you found this review useful, please support me by shopping below!
 
Portraits: Striking the pose eBook
By Gina Milicia
Price: $19.99 USD (PDF download)
More details!

Posing is something that can make or break a portrait. Do it badly and your subject looks awkward and the resulting image is spoiled (and quickly deleted). Do it well and your subject will be at ease and their true character will shine through. In 'Portraits: Striking a pose', photographer Gina Milicia shares the tips and tricks she's used on royalty, rockstars and supermodels. We're not talking about wildly unnatural poses, but natural poses you can use with anyone, at any time. If you'd like to take your portrait photography to the next level, whether in a professional environment or simply taking better photos of your friends and family, I can recommend this ebook!
     
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs