Lens Guides

First Look: SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art Lens for L-Mount

There’s something about the 50mm focal length. It’s wonderfully classic and perfect for portraiture. As a portrait artist myself, I typically gravitate towards this length, so when SIGMA developed the 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens, I had to try it out. I’m drawn to dreamy imagery and with such a wide aperture, I knew this lens could really transform my work into something magical.

Early impressions of the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art

I tested out the new SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art for L-Mount (it’s available for Sony E-mount, too), attached to the 61-megapixel SIGMA fp L. I shot this lens almost exclusively wide open at F1.2 in diverse lighting environments to really see how it would perform.

My initial observation was how impressively lightweight the lens was. Paired with the SIGMA fp L camera body, it’s a perfect combo when you need to pack lightly. Of course, this lens can be used with any L-Mount camera, such as Leica and full-frame Panasonic Lumix bodies.

I used this lens everywhere from within my own home to out hiking at a local ice cave with my daughter. It’s compact and light enough to travel with easily. While it’s lightweight, it’s still solid and sturdy, a signature trait of SIGMA lenses that I value.

The 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art is also highly functional with several wonderful features including an aperture ring. The ring turns smoothly and features click stops (which can be switched off for video use). This is a wonderful feature to have especially when working with little children. I’m able to easily and efficiently change my aperture when needed. The lens also boasts a programmable AF button to quickly lock focus when needed, or it can be assigned to a variety of other functions.

Testing out the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 in the field (and in the home)

When it comes to imaging performance, I was really impressed with this lens. I shot in low light, inclement weather and backlight, often at F1.2, and it always performed beautifully. I’m often working in low light so I absolutely love to be able to set my aperture to F1.2 to keep my ISO down if needed. Even at F1.2 with an extremely shallow depth of field, photographing a fast moving little one in low light, the lens didn’t struggle to focus.

Similarly, in inclement weather, the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art quickly nailed focus on my subject. It never once misjudged or grabbed focus on the heavy falling snow. In backlight, I really wanted to test the lens focusing capabilities wide open at F1.2 within close proximity to my subject. The lens immediately grabbed tack sharp focus on my subject’s eye.

Of course, with the F1.2 aperture I was excited to see just how dreamy the bokeh is and it didn’t disappoint. Wide open, the compression helped to isolate my daughter from a busy background. The bokeh was smooth, large and round adding to the overall dreaminess. Normally outside I would gravitate towards a longer lens, but there are some instances where I need to remain close to my children. I’m able to be close in proximity to them with the 50mm F1.2 and still achieve that magical bokeh I often see with longer lens lengths.

One of the things I love about this lens is just how versatile it is. I was able to use it with ease around my home in low light, capturing portraits of my children. It was also a perfect companion when I needed to pack light on a hike out to some local ice caves. The SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens again worked beautifully in low light within the caves, and I was able to capture diverse portraits showcasing a lot of the environment and layers within the caves as well as more closeup, classic portraits.

Is the 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art right for you?

As a portrait artist, the 50mm has been my go-to lens for many years when photographing my children. It easily lets me capture everything from classic portraiture to environmental portraiture. Being able to shoot at F1.2 has allowed me to create dreamy portraits within diverse environments. From low light to backlight to inclement weather, I’m able to create magical portraiture with ease with the SIGMA 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens.

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