Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Specification Review

The 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM is the newest style from separate lens manufacturer Sigma, declared in April 2008. It’s a unique example of what is quickly becoming an vulnerable species. an all-new, large highest possible aperture, set central duration ‘prime’ lens, and (like Sigma’s Thirty millimeters F1.4 DC before it) a greatly welcome addition to a industry vulnerable to becoming soaked by identikit slowly zooms. The 50mm central duration makes it a traditional ‘standard’ lens for Negatives full-frame cameras, while on DSLRs with more compact structure receptors it functions as a short ‘portrait’ telephoto, with an comparative position of view which range from 75mm (on 1.5x ‘DX’ format) to 100mm (on Four Thirds DLSRs). The quick highest possible aperture provides several key benefits over zooms, such as the capability to separate a topic by precisely clouding the qualifications, the option to capture in low light while keeping reasonably high shutter rates of speed (ideal for inside photography without flash), and the supply of a shiny viewfinder picture for structure.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Review
Sigma 50mm F1.4 Review

Of course all of the major Camera producers industry their own well-established quick 50mm primes, so at first vision this new launch may appear confusing. But Sigma has involved a number of features which differentiate this lens from those mature styles, such as an aspheric factor for excellent modification of aberrations, an large gun barrel style to lessen vignetting at wide apertures, a curved diaphragm for eye-catching qualifications cloud, and ‘super multi-layer’ covering for decreased surface and blurry. But perhaps of most interest is the ring-type ultrasound engine for quick and accurate auto-focus with full-time guide bypass, here making its first overall look appearance on a 50mm F1.4 lens. This has the benefit of offering auto-focus to owners of Nikon’s entry-level D40(x)/D60 systems for the new on a 50mm prime; however it unfortunately comes at a cost to customers of mature Pentax DSLRs, as the effective ‘KAF-3’ lens install requirements means AF won’t work on designs which don’t support SSM.

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 has entered unquestionable enjoyment and anticipation; as the first new, reasonably cost-effective quick 50mm lens for many years, it has the potential to change the high quality accessible in this popular category of lens through the use of recent visual style and production techniques. But it also currently instructions a significant price premium; the Sigma is even more expensive than any of you manufacturers’ own 50mm F1.4 primes. So the most apparent question is whether the visual high quality can rationalize that additional expenditure of your hard-earned cash; let’s find out.

Key Features

  • 50mm focal length; fast F1.4 maximum aperture
  • HSM (ultrasonic type) autofocus with full-time manual override
  • To be available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony and Four Thirds mounts

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Body And Design

The 50mm F1.4 is a member of Sigma’s top quality ‘EX’ lens line, and construction feels truly excellent, at least on a par with any of the other 50mm F1.4s currently available. The lens install is metal, and our bodies obviously constructed of high-quality plastic materials, with Sigma’s familiar distinctive EX finish. The whole body style is unique in this class, and similar to Sigma’s Thirty millimeters F1.4.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Body And Design
Sigma 50mm F1.4 Body And Design

Lens whole body elements

  • The lens will be available in installs for all currently available DSLRs except Four Thirds (i.e. Canon, Nikon, Sony models, Pentax, and Sigma); our example here is in Canon EF fit. A nice touch is the addition of a 9mm extensive ribbed hold towards the back of the gun barrel, to aid lens changing.
  • The narrow line is 77mm, which is vast for a 50mm F1.4, showing Sigma’s style goal to reduce vignetting. It does not move on auto-focus, which should be welcome for polariser customers. Compared with other 50mm F1.4s, the narrow band is on the lens gun barrel and individual from the visual set up itself. This perspective also shows how greatly recessed the top side factor is within the gun barrel at infinity concentrate.
  • The 45mm/1.8″ deep petal-type lens bonnet features molded internal rib cage to reduce the representation of wander mild into the lens, and turns around nicely for storage. The bonnet fits to the top side of the lens via a bayonet mount; for those who have trouble with such things, Sigma has helpfully involved arrows noticeable ‘In’ and ‘Out’ showing the direction you need to turn it.
  • The concentrate band is 13mm extensive, does not move during auto-focus, and the action is sleek and accurate. It goes 90 levels clockwise from infinity to 0.45m (i.e. the ‘right’ way for Sony models, Olympus and Canon customers, but opposite to Pentax and Nikon lenses).

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Images Quality

Color Balance

Third party contacts have something of automobile for less-than-neutral colour stability, with Sigmas in particular subject to extensive historical reports of a unique yellow shade, so in this analyze we measure any colour throw presented by the lens in contrast to you company’s 50mm lens (generally considered a good standard for neutrality). In this analyze, you is indicated towards an equally lighted white-colored wall, and light coming into the lens completely diffused using an ‘Expodisc’ white-colored stability filter. A custom white-colored stability is taken using you company’s 50mm lens (in this case the Cannon EF 50mm F1.4 USM), then exposures made using the contacts under analyze. The RGB principles from the centre of the frame are revealed (measured as an 11×11 average). In this evaluation we’ve also included data from The canon eos inexpensive EF 50mm F1.8 II.

Full-frame in comparison to APS-C

Eagle-eyed audiences will undoubtedly have seen that the MTF50 sharpness information at any particular main length/aperture mixture is remarkably greater on full-frame in comparison to APS-C. This may at first vision appear surprising, but in truth is an unavoidable result of our demonstration of the sharpness information in regards to range sets per picture size (and thus separate of structure size).

Quite simply, at any given main duration and aperture, the lens will have a limited MTF50 information when indicated in regards to range sets per mm. In order to become lp/ph, we have to increase by the indicator size (in mm); as the full-frame indicator is 1.6x bigger, MTF50 should therefore be 1.6x greater.


The Sigma 50mm F1.4, with its huge front side factor, might be expected to be somewhat vulnerable to surface, but we found it actually performed very well in daily use, assisted undoubtedly by the reality that the top side factor is well-recessed behind the narrow line at longer concentrate ranges (as well as by that nice hood).

Sigma 50mm F8, Canon EOS 5D
Sigma 50mm F8, Canon EOS 5D Mark III Photo By Azis Photography

With the sun placed in the top area of the structure, no significant lack of comparison or surface styles are seen even with the lens ceased right down to F16. The optics are irritated only when a shiny light is placed just outside the structure, giving a lack of comparison and red shine on lack of. Overall a very effective efficiency.

Bokeh Quality

One truly suitable, but difficult to measure aspect of a lens’s efficiency is the ability to provide efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the, usually when using a long main duration and enormous aperture. The 50mm F1.4 can be made to blur even relatively near background scenes into oblivion at extensive apertures, a appealing factor for image capturing, and despite the existence of an aspherical factor, the bokeh is delivered usually very magnificently. Targeted near and shot start up, more remote things can take on an almost impressionistic, painterly look (the ideal lens for aspiring van Goghs perhaps?).

Sigma 50mm F2, Canon EOS 450D
Sigma 50mm F2, Canon EOS 5Ds Photo By Azis Photography

Chromatic aberration

This lens is shows greater levels of horizontal chromatic aberration than other 50mm F1.4s in our studio room assessments, presumably a result of Sigma’s use of an aspherical factor to provide improved sharpness across a bigger region of the picture group at extensive position. However it’s only very hardly ever noticeable in real-world photos, and therefore basically insignificant, the most severe example we could find out of hundreds of photos is proven lower left.

Perhaps more challenging, though, is the existence of very good bokeh chromatic aberration, which is green right in front side of the main concentrate aircraft and green behind. This is most noticeable at extensive apertures with their associated incredibly narrow detail of area, and may lead to a powerful fringing relics in great comparison areas.

Corner smooth at extensive apertures

The most obvious outcome from our studio room assessments is that this lens displays fairly excessive area smooth at extensive apertures on complete structure, and it’s possible some audience will be concerned by this issue. In connection with this it’s important to appreciate that with the incredibly small detail of area provided by 50mm F1.4 contact contacts, and supposing a reasonably centrally-placed topic, the possibility of any item in the sides of the structure being slightly in concentrate is usually little, and area quality therefore near-irrelevant.

However for those who still like to worry about such issues, and are owned and operated by the artificial desire to capture planar topics face on at uncommonly extensive apertures, then not to worry, we’ve stored you the trouble and the results are provided below. Even at F1.4, main quality is great (although comparison is rather low), but the sides are incredibly soft, and this is amplified by darkening due to vignetting. However stop down to F4 and the picture has grabbed substantially. main sharpness is now pretty, and the sides show a far more appropriate outcome. Most importantly this is a significantly better efficiency than most zoom capability contact contacts (relatively few of which even confide in F4 at 50mm), showing the visual advantages offered by primes in normal daily capturing.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 Specifications

Street price • $500 (US)
• £329 (UK)
Date introduced March 2008
Maximum format size 35mm full frame
Focal length 50mm
35mm equivalent focal length
75mm (1.5x)
80mm (1.6x)
Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 47º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 31º
Maximum aperture F1.4
Minimum aperture F16
Lens Construction • 8 elements / 6 groups
• 1 Aspherical element
Number of diaphragm blades 9 (rounded)
Minimum focus 0.45m (1.5 ft)
Maximum magnification 0.14x
AF motor type • Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
Focus method Unit focus, internal to lens barrel
Image stabilization • None
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Lens Hood
• Soft Case
Weight 505g (17.8 oz)
Dimensions 84.5mm diameter x 68.2mm length
(3.3 x 2.7 in)
Lens Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony, Four Thirds