Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

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Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:26 pm

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct. ... 677/cat/30

Even if the price is 'merely' even with the best of Canon and Nikon, this lens is easy to recommend. Put simply: it trounces any similar model available for less than $4,000. If it comes in significantly cheaper than the best of Canon and Nikon, Sigma will have made a friend of every full-frame shooter in the land.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:38 pm

This is pretty neat. I'm most interested in how it competes with the Zeiss 55/1.8 in terms of price, though I likely won't buy either any time soon. I had just been browsing over at FredMiranda and a lot of people are comparing the 55/1.8 to the Otus.

I'm also pretty happy this is being released in E-Mount. Hopefully it's FE, not just E, but I'm also hoping it signals that Sigma will be releasing more FE mount lenses soon.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:56 pm

Maybe this will give Canon the nudge that they need to update the 50/1.2, which is one of the least impressive "L" lenses.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:14 pm

Its a very good lens. Shoot, the non-Art version was terrific. Huge, but terrific. I am still awfully glad to have the 55/1.8. It will be interesting to see where the price on this lands.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:58 pm

Neither the size nor the focal length appeals to me, but I love that Sigma is going big-time.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 9:03 pm

Speed man, speed.

The sheer lack of which in the original 4/3 format means my daughter has a "school camera" and I need to find something else with speed.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:08 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Speed man, speed.

The sheer lack of which in the original 4/3 format means my daughter has a "school camera" and I need to find something else with speed.


A 50/1.4 is not that fast... that is, you can pick up a manual focus 50/1.4 for $100 or less.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:20 pm

Yeats wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Speed man, speed.

The sheer lack of which in the original 4/3 format means my daughter has a "school camera" and I need to find something else with speed.


A 50/1.4 is not that fast... that is, you can pick up a manual focus 50/1.4 for $100 or less.

:roll:
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:26 pm

danny e. wrote:
Yeats wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Speed man, speed.

The sheer lack of which in the original 4/3 format means my daughter has a "school camera" and I need to find something else with speed.


A 50/1.4 is not that fast... that is, you can pick up a manual focus 50/1.4 for $100 or less.

:roll:


???
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:50 pm

Perhaps the Zeiss f0.7 lens is what Yeats would not Krogoth about?
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:58 pm

This has gotten plain silly. F/1.4 is the standard fast aperture. Aside from canon's f1.2's (which reaaly need to be stopped down a bit), faster than f/1.4 tend to be voightlandar or leica lenses (the new panny looks amazing btw). Amazing glass can be found in mf, but there are some very good reasons for a normal focal length to be af.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:59 pm

drsauced wrote:Perhaps the Zeiss f0.7 lens is what Yeats would not Krogoth about?

The Barry Lyndon lenses?!?!

For those who are not the other 3 or 4 gerbils that might have seen Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" there's a scene lit solely by candlelight and filmed solely by that light. The lenses that captured those scenes without extra light drive photographers stark raving bananas just because they obviously exist.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:18 pm

drsauced wrote:Perhaps the Zeiss f0.7 lens is what Yeats would not Krogoth about?


Well, duh on me. Now I get it. :lol:

I'm not saying that f/1.4 isn't fast, but IMO it's not amazingly fast. Heck, there have been/are cameras with kit lenses of f/1.7 & 1.8.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:26 pm

TheEmrys wrote:This has gotten plain silly. F/1.4 is the standard fast aperture. Aside from canon's f1.2's (which reaaly need to be stopped down a bit), faster than f/1.4 tend to be voightlandar or leica lenses (the new panny looks amazing btw). Amazing glass can be found in mf, but there are some very good reasons for a normal focal length to be af.


There's a Pentax 50/1.2 & Nikon 58/1.2, also.

When I look at the new Sigma 50/1.4 or the Otus 1.4/55, I'm not thinking about the speed so much as the quality. I mean, you can get a mf Pentax 50/1.4 for under $100, but the IQ is not in the same league as the Sigma or Zeiss.
Last edited by Yeats on Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:27 pm

Captain Ned wrote:The Barry Lyndon lenses?!?!

For those who are not the other 3 or 4 gerbils that might have seen Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" there's a scene lit solely by candlelight and filmed solely by that light. The lenses that captured those scenes without extra light drive photographers stark raving bananas just because they obviously exist.


I never saw it, but I read about the lenses a couple months ago.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:34 am

Yeats wrote:Neither the size nor the focal length appeals to me, but I love that Sigma is going big-time.
++;

I'm not a 50mm shooter either, but I have some friends who are- and for those who love 50mm focal length, this looks amazing. Would be curious to see if photozone.de picks this up to see their out of focus area tests.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:04 am

I am primarily a 50mm shooter, and I have owned the Sigma 50mm HSM, and it was incredible. But, it was huge. As in, bigger than my 28-75/2.8. I am somewhat glad this one is even bigger, because the 55/1.8 I have is tiny by comparison. I hope Sigma keeps putting pressure on the lens makers to keep their prices low. That being said, I feel better and better about the price I paid for my 55mm.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:36 am

TheEmrys wrote:I hope Sigma keeps putting pressure on the lens makers to keep their prices low.


I wonder if it will... there's a lot of brand snobs out there who won't look at Sigma & Tamron.

If I shot FF, I'd be hugely interested in the Sigma 35/1.4 Art, as I really like that FOV.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:06 pm

Yeats wrote:
TheEmrys wrote:I hope Sigma keeps putting pressure on the lens makers to keep their prices low.


I wonder if it will... there's a lot of brand snobs out there who won't look at Sigma & Tamron.

If I shot FF, I'd be hugely interested in the Sigma 35/1.4 Art, as I really like that FOV.


There are, but the reality should hit them soon enough. For people who only buy x because its the best, well, there are no helping the idiots. They were the same people who buy everything based on brand name. For those who know, the opportunity to buy Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina, or whoever will save them money and give them better results. And with Sigma's promise to re-mount lenses, brand stasis is not the hindrance it used to be. Not when some of the best primes made can be ported.

As for the Sigma 35mm Art, I would have loved that lens. But its huge. For my money, I'll pick up the Sony FE 35 which matches its performance in everything but aperture. And at less than 1/5th the weight (120g vs 665g!!!!), I can live with losing two stops of light I don't need on a wide-angle.

I missed the times of putting a prime in your pocket, but we are both getting back to it and getting away from it.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:43 pm

The only recent challenge people have with Sigma/third-party lenses- including the 'Art' series to a lesser degree- is with Sigma's/etc. hacked AF routines getting along with various cameras. Rarely is a third-party AF lens as reliable as a first-party lens across the board.

Of course, I'm sincerely hoping that the challenges people have had with the 35/1.4 Art don't show up with the 50/1.4 Art, i.e. goofy focusing at certain distances in various lighting. That lens tended to miss focus when the light changed, or in artificial lighting, then turn around and hit consistently in other conditions. And that's a problem that Sigma's dock can't fix, sadly.

But a 50 with good sharpness AND contrast wide-open, well controlled longitudinal chromatic aberration, fast focusing, and great bokeh? I'll be saving up :D.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:20 pm

Yeats wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Speed man, speed.

The sheer lack of which in the original 4/3 format means my daughter has a "school camera" and I need to find something else with speed.


A 50/1.4 is not that fast... that is, you can pick up a manual focus 50/1.4 for $100 or less.


i have to disagree. you need a 1.4 (35, 50 or 85 )lens in your camera bag. VR\VC\OS is nice but in night settings and low light indoor settings there are shot you will only get with a wide open prime like a 1.4. plus the separation you can get when you shoot wide open gives you a nice artistic effect you just cant get except with an SLR. i have tried shooting people with a manual focus fast lens wide open but with higher res FF sensors you need AF with such a narrow DoF.

i just wish the lens was smaller like the nikon 50 1.4.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:45 pm

hiro_pro wrote: i just wish the lens was smaller like the nikon 50 1.4.


It's a whole lot closer to the 1.4/55 Otus than it is to the Nikon performance-wise, yet it's smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the Zeiss, and it comes with AF :).

And I look forward to seeing reviews with it on Sony's 36MP sensor (D800E or A7R). I'm betting that it will put the FE55 to shame optically. The Sigma 35/1.4 Art blows the FE35 out of the water on every measurable metric except absolute sharpness, where it's still sharper than the Sony at every aperture, after all.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:15 pm

TheEmrys wrote:There are, but the reality should hit them soon enough. For people who only buy x because its the best, well, there are no helping the idiots. They were the same people who buy everything based on brand name. For those who know, the opportunity to buy Sigma, Tamron, or Tokina, or whoever will save them money and give them better results. And with Sigma's promise to re-mount lenses, brand stasis is not the hindrance it used to be. Not when some of the best primes made can be ported.

As for the Sigma 35mm Art, I would have loved that lens. But its huge. For my money, I'll pick up the Sony FE 35 which matches its performance in everything but aperture. And at less than 1/5th the weight (120g vs 665g!!!!), I can live with losing two stops of light I don't need on a wide-angle.

I missed the times of putting a prime in your pocket, but we are both getting back to it and getting away from it.


Totally agree! (Although in my case the lens to get is the Pentax 35/2.8 Macro Limited)
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:17 pm

Airmantharp wrote:The only recent challenge people have with Sigma/third-party lenses- including the 'Art' series to a lesser degree- is with Sigma's/etc. hacked AF routines getting along with various cameras.


Bummer. Do you know if these AF problems exist with both PD and CD AF?
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:24 pm

hiro_pro wrote:
Yeats wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Speed man, speed.

The sheer lack of which in the original 4/3 format means my daughter has a "school camera" and I need to find something else with speed.


A 50/1.4 is not that fast... that is, you can pick up a manual focus 50/1.4 for $100 or less.


i have to disagree. you need a 1.4 (35, 50 or 85 )lens in your camera bag. VR\VC\OS is nice but in night settings and low light indoor settings there are shot you will only get with a wide open prime like a 1.4. plus the separation you can get when you shoot wide open gives you a nice artistic effect you just cant get except with an SLR. i have tried shooting people with a manual focus fast lens wide open but with higher res FF sensors you need AF with such a narrow DoF.


I'm not against fast lenses, I just don't think of f/1.4 as being ridiculously fast for a normal lens. I think they are very useful, but a good photog can get subject separation w/o resorting to extreme DOF tricks - in fact, too little DOF adds a kind of sterility to many shots, robbing them of context. And anyway, lots of folks shoot impromptu portraits with the Samyang 85/1.4, wide open.

f/1.4 on 35 or 50 or 85 are wildly divergent, you can't lump them all together.

Ask Ansel Adams or Henri Cartier-Bresson if they needed to have a fast lens.

I shoot my Zeiss 85/2 wide open frequently.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:29 pm

Airmantharp wrote:And I look forward to seeing reviews with it on Sony's 36MP sensor (D800E or A7R). I'm betting that it will put the FE55 to shame optically. The Sigma 35/1.4 Art blows the FE35 out of the water on every measurable metric except absolute sharpness, where it's still sharper than the Sony at every aperture, after all.


Your link isn't really backing up your statement. I'm seeing an edge to the Sigma, but not blowing the Sony "out of the water" at comparable metrics.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:42 pm

Yeats wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:And I look forward to seeing reviews with it on Sony's 36MP sensor (D800E or A7R). I'm betting that it will put the FE55 to shame optically. The Sigma 35/1.4 Art blows the FE35 out of the water on every measurable metric except absolute sharpness, where it's still sharper than the Sony at every aperture, after all.


Your link isn't really backing up your statement. I'm seeing an edge to the Sigma, but not blowing the Sony "out of the water" at comparable metrics.


I didn't actually expect any of the Sony guys to really look at the results, though I hoped to be surprised:

-The Sigma has less vignetting- almost gone- by f/1.8 than the Sony has at f/11- the Sony's vignetting never clears up.
-The Sigma is sharper in the center and the corners at f/2 than the Sony is at f/2.8, and stays sharper through f/11.
-The Sigma has noticeably less barrel distortion.

If you just want a light setup to take pictures, the Sony is great- there's no contesting that. But it's not 'the 35 to end all 35s', and represents more of a middle-of-the-road entry. Hell, except for bokeh/rendering, Canon's 35/2 IS is great too.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:58 pm

I'd read it. It really says that for all intents and purposes, the score is nearly identical and well within the margin of error. The only thing that skews the numbers is that dxomark puts such a high emphasis on fast lenses over the ratio of transmission to aperture. The 35/2.8 vignettes a bit more and the CA is infinitesimally better on the 35/1.4. The 35/2.8 has better corners at smaller apertures, and can go to f/22 vs f/16 for the ART. However, at over 1/5th the size, you can see the obvious trade-off is 98% of the performance in something that is going to fit in a pocket vs. something that is larger than some f/2.8 zooms. Moreover, the 35/2.8 has the nice micro contrast that really comes out in shots, and gives the illusion of 3d.

Despite being the same focal length, these lenses are completely different. Is the Sigma 35mm ART the best AF lens in the focal length? Yep. And the Sony 35/2.8 is number two. But the difference is not that profound in performance. If you need fast, the ART will appeal at f/1.4, if you can take the weight. If you don't need all that DoF and ultra-low light performance, the 35/2.8 makes a ton of sense. And it may be the best prime to pair with a zoom for a walk about.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:13 pm

Airmantharp wrote:I didn't actually expect any of the Sony guys to really look at the results, though I hoped to be surprised:

-The Sigma has less vignetting- almost gone- by f/1.8 than the Sony has at f/11- the Sony's vignetting never clears up.
-The Sigma is sharper in the center and the corners at f/2 than the Sony is at f/2.8, and stays sharper through f/11.
-The Sigma has noticeably less barrel distortion.

If you just want a light setup to take pictures, the Sony is great- there's no contesting that. But it's not 'the 35 to end all 35s', and represents more of a middle-of-the-road entry.


I'm not a "Sony guy", just sayin' that while there is an edge to the Sigma, the reference to blowing the Sony "out of the water" is an exaggeration.

I think Mr. TheEmrys has made the salient points.

The real test, of course, is looking at photos by each lens.

Hell, except for bokeh/rendering, Canon's 35/2 IS is great too.


To me, that's half the optical equation right there.
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Re: Sigma 50/1.4 "Art" Lens review

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:23 pm

Yeats wrote:
Hell, except for bokeh/rendering, Canon's 35/2 IS is great too.


To me, that's half the optical equation right there.


Absolutely. The 35L/35/1.4G both come out on top here, but are significantly more expensive, and outside of potentially better focusing and weather sealing, fall far behind the Sigma in other areas.

TheEmrys wrote:I'd read it. It really says that for all intents and purposes, the score is nearly identical and well within the margin of error.


I wish I could link to the actual results, given that the 'scores' mean absolutely nothing unless you're incapable of looking at anything else.

Aside from being totally different lenses, the vignetting really stands out. When you're pushing the limits of the camera system it makes a huge difference in the usability of the system, where noise creeps in at higher ISOs, destroying definition and color when corrected. Significant vignetting beyond two stops from wide-open is unacceptable, really, particularly if you want to use the lens for landscapes, as one might with a moderate wide-angle lens. The Sigma has less vignetting under a stop from wide-open than the Sony does stopped all the way down to the diffraction limit. The only other lens I've seen do that is the cheapo (but sharp and nicely rendering) 22/2 for my EOS-M, which serves a similar purpose.

The difference in sharpness isn't a big deal, but it is there- not much to say about that, except that the Sigma's corners are sharper wide-open than the Sony's are wide-open, and obviously the Sigma is sharper across the frame at the same apertures.

The distortion on the Sony is also a bit annoying, but easy to correct; notably here the Sigma will likely not need any correction for nearly all uses, better preserving critical sharpness when needed.

A few other things to note, as I noticed that Photozone just got their FE35 review off recently.

-The Sony has slightly better bokeh in some circumstances, unless you're looking for smooth highlights, where it renders pinwheels. The Sigma's highlights are perfectly smooth, completely without bright edges or internal structure.

-The Sony has noticeably more longitudinal chromatic aberration than the Sigma at the same apertures.

Note that I'm not trying to bash the Sony lens, which is for it's uses an incredible optic, but rather to make a case for the Sigma's optical performance regardless of attached system. I really am expecting it to outperform the FE55 overall, and quite a bit in key areas like vignetting and longitudinal chromatic aberration.
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