The Blog: See what
Sigma is saying.

05.28.2014

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens is simply amazing. This standard field of view, fast-aperture, full-frame, prime lens combines outstanding sharpness and fast autofocus, in a lens that is built with a singular vision focused on performance.

Daffodils, captured wide open at F1.4 with the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens on a classic 5D. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Daffodils, captured wide open at F1.4 with the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens on a classic 5D. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Initial reviews and fan feedback about the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens has been off the charts. The worldwide demand for this lens in all supported mounts is, and will continue to be, very high for the foreseeable future. Thousands upon thousands of photographers have rediscovered Sigma, and are anxiously awaiting delivery of the most highly sought-after lens of the year.

Canoe Planter, by the mill pond in Clinton NJ, captured at 1/3200 F1.4 ISO 100 on a classic 5D. This lens is so sharp on focal plane, and so lovely in the defocused areas.

Canoe Planter, by the mill pond in Clinton NJ, captured at 1/3200 F1.4 ISO 100 on a classic 5D. This lens is so sharp on focal plane, and so lovely in the defocused areas.

And after having this newest Sigma Art lens in my hands for a few weeks now, I can totally understand why demand is so high. This lens truly is a masterpiece of design both inside and out.

A tree bursts into bloom alongside Peter's Brook in Somerville, NJ as seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens, wide open at F1.4 for shallowest depth of field. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

A tree bursts into bloom alongside Peter’s Brook in Somerville, NJ as seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens, wide open at F1.4 for shallowest depth of field. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

The Red Mill, Clinton NJ, seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens. 1/2000 F1.8 ISO 100. Even at widest apertures, this lens is razor-sharp on the focal plane.

The Red Mill, Clinton NJ, seen through the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens. 1/2000 F1.8 ISO 100. Even at widest apertures, this lens is razor-sharp on the focal plane.

Stopped down to F5.6 and focused on the far shore makes for enough depth of field to cover the entire composition and create an image with simply incredible detail. 1/200 F5.6 ISO 100

Stopped down to F5.6 and focused on the far shore makes for enough depth of field to cover the entire composition and create an image with simply incredible detail. 1/200 F5.6 ISO 100

It feels so good in the hands.  It is well-balanced despite its notable heft (just under 29 ounces!), with a well-damped manual focus ring, and the hallmark styling of the Art line: a decisive AF/MF switch with hand-painted white backing to quickly visually discern AF or MF operation, year of manufacture stamp, included lens hood that indicates it pairs with the 50mm, and of course, USB Dock and Sigma Optimization Pro compatibility, with an additional new feature added in to lens customization. From an optical perspective, it truly is superlative, and genuinely demands to be described in the most lofty of terms.

The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DG HSM | A and a time lapse rig from Dynamic Perception as seen by the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A at 1/200 F5.6 ISO 100. This lens is so incredibly sharp.

The Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DG HSM | A and a time lapse rig from Dynamic Perception as seen by the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A at 1/200 F5.6 ISO 100. This lens is so incredibly sharp.

Wet leaf, small boulder. 1/6400 F1.4 ISO 100.

Wet leaf, small boulder. 1/6400 F1.4 ISO 100.

A detail of spring blossoms as seen at F1.4 through the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A at 1/5000, ISO 100.

A detail of spring blossoms as seen at F1.4 through the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A at 1/5000, ISO 100.

Spring tree in bloom. 1/8000 F2.2 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

Spring tree in bloom. 1/8000 F2.2 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

Focal plane detail is astoundingly sharp, even at widest apertures, and gets even sharper as it is stopped down a touch. Even details along the edges of the frame—wide open—are rendered crisply. And the defocused areas are just dreamy. Close focus is just about nine inches from the front element at 1:5.6 magnification, so foreground objects can be given hero treatment with very shallow depth of field, even when stopped down a fair bit. (Depth of field is tied to focal length, focal distance, aperture, and sensor size. Learn much more here.)

Backlit blades of grass and sunlight on a brook for bright bokeh create a nice composition. I had to stop down here to F1.8 to not blow out the highlights at 1/8000. I wish I'd remembered my 77mm polarizer filter this day!

Backlit blades of grass and sunlight on a brook for bright bokeh create a nice composition. I had to stop down here to F1.8 to not blow out the highlights at 1/8000. I wish I’d remembered my 77mm polarizer filter this day!

Tiny leaflets spread from a branch alongside a creek. Notice just how thin the focal plane is when close-focusing. 1/8000 F1.8 ISO 100 Classic 5D

Tiny leaflets spread from a branch alongside a creek. Notice just how thin the focal plane is when close-focusing. 1/8000 F1.8 ISO 100 Classic 5D.

A variation on the last image. Notice the tiny spiderweb on the focal leaflet, and how the trees in the background are rendered. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100.

A variation on the last image. Notice the tiny spiderweb on the focal leaflet, and how the trees in the background are rendered. 1/5000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Tiny wildflowers bloom alongside a creek. 1/8000 F1.8 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

Tiny wildflowers bloom alongside a creek. 1/8000 F1.8 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

As with all Sigma Global Vision lenses, each and every 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A lens that is built is individually tested on the A1 MTF device to ensure its performance is within tolerances before leaving the factory in Aizu, Japan. And from there, it gets queued into the shipment lists of worldwide pre-orders and backorders for this world-beating lens. (You can learn more about our exclusive A1 MTF Charts here, and learn why Sigma chooses to share both Geometric and Diffraction MTF charts for new lenses here.)

Impromptu available light portrait my wife made while we were wandering with the lens through a park as my daughter uses the weeping willow roots as a balance beam in the background. 1/8000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Impromptu available light portrait my wife made while we were wandering with the lens through a park as my daughter uses the weeping willow roots as a balance beam in the background. 1/8000 F1.4 ISO 100.

Dogwood blossoms as seen at F1.4 through this amazing lens. 1/5000 F1/4 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

Dogwood blossoms as seen at F1.4 through this amazing lens. 1/5000 F1/4 ISO 100 on a classic 5D.

There was a lot of reader excitement when I wrote about the first of the Art lenses to be released, the35mm F1.4 DG HSM | A back in November 2012, about what Sigma was up to with the reinvention of the lens lines; but it truly pales in comparison to the level of enthusiasm surrounding the new Art 50mm F1.4. The 35mm F1.4 | A made a statement about what a Sigma Art lens designation means. And then the 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | A made an even louder statement followed by a giant exclamation point, by being the world’s first constant-aperture F1.8 zoom lens, with prime-beating performance. And now, with 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A, Sigma is raising the bar even higher. This is now the standard lens that defines the category, bar none.

The lens that sets the new standard. The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A.

The lens that sets the new standard. The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A.

 

Worldwide Demand is exceptionally high for this lens. Click here to find authorized dealers.

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  1. Jack,
    Sigma 50/1.4 Art does look very promising considering your review as well as others floating around the web. Sigma should have also lent you SD1M and this mighty-hefty 50mm in SA mount. I wonder if it will out-resolve DP3M?