Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Autofocus


While majority buy and recommend like we do, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, we decided that for little bit more money, you get a better lens, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM AF. Why ? It’s newer lens, with better optic elements, better build quality, sharper images wide open, better edge to edge sharpness in f/1.4 up to f/3.2 range, faster and better AF system with HSM, nice bokeh (9 blades), plus you get a hood and a case with it. Downsides on other hand compared to Canons lens are: size, filter thread size (77mm), weight (almost two times Canon f1.4), sharpness when stopped more down and somewhat bigger price. If the price difference, or size/weight are important for you, you should go for Canons f1.4, but looking at long term investment we find the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM to be a better deal.

If you are on short budget even for Canon f1.4 and need prime 50mm lens, you should go for Canon f/1.8, but looking at long term investment, better for the money is in fact Sigma f/1.4. It can outperform f/1.8 in real-life more than 3 times with just built quality, and on positive side you get even more with it. Sigma is overall sharper than Canon f/1.4, from f/1.4 down to f/3.2 aperture. From there, Canon starts to pull ahead in both sharpness and less chromatic aberrations.

In the end it all depends on you, how long you would like your lens to last, do you need that wide aperture for more shallow dof and better and more accurate AF. In case you shoot videos or you like manual focus lenses, none of this lenses can compare to Zeiss 1.4, but for that lens you would need to reach little bit more into pocket. Zeis has very good build quality, very nice bokeh (9 blades), amazing colors and contrast, sharper image edge to edge but its downside is manual focus. As such, it is the best in videography and still portraits.

[spoiler style=”2″ title=”Pros & Cons”]
PROS CONS
Fast and accurate AF(full-time manual override) Size and weight
Strong construction Price
Nice bokeh (9 blades)
Durable
Consistent output
Class-leading image quality
No lateral chromatic aberration
[/su_spoiler] [spoiler style=”2″ title=”Specifications”]
PERFORMANCE
Focal Length 50mm
35mm equivalent fl (APS-C) 80mm (50×1.6)
Aperture Maximum: f/1.4
Minimum: f/16
Camera Mount Type Canon EF
Format Compatibility 35mm Film/Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Canon (APS-C)
Angle of View 46.8°
Angle of View (APS-C) 31°
Minimum Focus Distance 0.45m (1.5ft)
Magnification 0.14x (1:7.4)
Groups / Elements 6/8
Diaphragm Blades 9
FEATURES
Image Stabilization No
Autofocus Yes
(Doesn’t rotate on focus)
AF motor type Ring-type ultrasonic (HSM)
Full-time manual focus
Tripod Collar No
PHYSICAL
Filter Thread 77mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx 83.8mm x 68.6mm (3.3 x2.7 in)
Weight 505g (1.11lb)
Included accessories Front and rear caps, lens hood and soft case
[/su_spoiler] [spoiler style=”2″ title=”Best Use”]
  • Low light
  • Night photography
  • Weddings
  • Portraits
  • General purpose
  • Landscape / scenery
[/su_spoiler] [spoiler style=”2″ title=”Alternatives (Pros&Cons)”]
Lens W MFD MM Filter DB Year Price
Canon EF 50mm f1.2L USM 580g
1.28lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.15x 72mm 8 2006 $1,619.00
Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar MF 350g
0.77lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.15x 58mm 9 $725.00
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II 130g
0.29lb
0.45m
1.47ft
0.15x 52mm 5 1991 $119.00
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 II 803g
1.77lb
0.38m
1.24ft
0.21x 82mm 9 2012 $2,099.00
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 430g
0.95lb
0.40m
1.31ft
0.09x 62mm 8 2005 $489.00
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM 580g
1.28lb
0.30m
0.98ft
0.18x 72mm 8 $1,479.00
Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 AF 210g
0.46lb
0.25m
0.82ft
0.23x 52mm 5 $329.00
Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE 570g
1.26lb
0.30m
0.98ft
0.19x 58mm $1,117.00
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM 425g
0.94lb
0.85m
2.79ft
0.13x 58mm 8 $419.00
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II 1025g
2.26lb
0.95m
3.11ft
0.11x 72mm 8 $2,199.00
Zeiss Telephoto 85mm f/1.4 ZE 700g
1.54lb
1.00m
3.28ft
0.10x 72mm 9 $1,283.00
Lens Pros Cons
Same focal range Alternatives
Canon EF 50mm f1.2L USM Faster f1.2
Better build quality
Bokeh (8 blades)
Sharper
Fast-accurate AF
More constant
Weather-resistant
Price
Zeiss Normal 50mm f/1.4 ZE Planar MF Better build quality
9 diaphragm blades
Sharpness (edge to edge)
Great colors and contrast
Manual focus (MF)
Min. aperture: f16
Price
Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II
Price Slower f1.8
Bokeh (5 blades)
Bad focus ring size/placement
No manual override focus
Weak build quality
Less accurate and slower AF
No USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L Higher zoom range
Constant pictures
Build quality
Slower
Heavier
Price
Same price range Alternatives
Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM
Lightweight
Easily intercangeable
Min aperture f22
Price
Shallow dof (f1.4 – f1.8)
Corner sharpness till f3.2
Bokeh chromatic aberration
Vignetting at wide apertures on FF
(not visible from f2.8)

Somewhat sensitive to flare
From FF to APS-C Alternatives (50mm->~31mm)
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Faster f1.4
Better AF
Build quality
HSM autofocus
Possible AF problems
Price
Edge sharpness
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Faster f1.4
Better AF
Build quality
USM
Price
Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 AF Build quality
Color rendition
Slower – f2.0
Noisy AF
Price
Zeiss Distagon 35mm T* f/2 ZE Build quality
Consistent output
Sharp edge to edge
Nice bokeh
Color and contrast
Price
Manual focus
Slower f2
From APS-C to FF Alternatives (50mm->80mm)
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Better AF
Build quality
USM
Color
Slower f/1.8
Price
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II Better AF
Build quality
Faster – f1.2
Color
Sharpness
Price
Zeiss Telephoto 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T for Canon Build quality
Consistent output
Sharp edge to edge
Nice bokeh
Color and contrast
Price
Manual focus
[/su_spoiler]

Bottom line for Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM for Canon

With price 4-5 times bigger than 50mm f1.8, around $100 more than Canon 50mm f1.4 and as third party lens, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM could be repulsive for some photographers. Only with build quality (longer lifetime) we think its worth upgrading from f1.8, and when we add to the list more accurate and faster AF, option to manual override focus, wider f1.4 aperture with nicer bokeh (9 blades) and edge to edge sharpness it looks worth upgrading even from Canon 50mm f1.4 as well. This is one of the best buy, must have lenses as a great addition to every photographer accessory list. Weight can be as well repulsive, but let me remind you that Canon 1.2L weights 590g (1.30 lb). We feel like this lens fits somewhere between Canons 50mm f1.4 and f1.2L lenses. If you are more into video shooting, then this best buy place is taken by Zeiss 1.4 Planar MF for Canon lens.

 

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Sample photos:


#1 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 bokeh highlight test @ f/4
K

You can get the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens in these stores:

Sigma f/1.4 EX DG HSM
Sigma f/1.4 EX DG HSM

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About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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