Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44223 date: Feb-9-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Rokkor 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.8 Limited
Samyang AF 45 F1.8 FE
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 45 F2
Sigma 45 F2.8 DG DN C
Rokinon 50 F1.2
Yongnuo 50 F1.4
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 & RS
Sony FE 50 F1.8
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer/Meike 50 F2
Minolta MC 55 F1.7
Sony FE 55 F1.8 Sonnar
Minolta SR 55 F2
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
price paid:188 USD (used)
positive:Quiet focusing
Smooth focus throw
Nice appearance
9 aperture blades
negative:Size and weight
Focus shift
Chromatic aberration
Soft SA glow wide-open
Full-frame corners
Unit focus
Pink color cast
77 mm filter threads
comment:First copy was like new used purchased on eBay from a large camera retailer with all the original parts and packaging. The second copy came loose. The third copy in best condition came from a lens repair company via eBay. "MADE IN JAPAN"

This is built a lot like the earlier EX primes especially the 24 F1.8 and 28 F1.8. It uses a simple unit focus design like most older 50 mm lenses. Unlike those lenses the hood bayonet and filter threads don't move during focusing.

This lens has a good deal of under corrected spherical aberration like the older, simpler planar designs, but it doesn't show hard edges to out-of-focus highlights wide-open. Each copy I tried was better aligned than the previous one. The sharpest focus wide-open is somewhat arbitrary. Phase-detect sensors seem to ignore the SA halo. Unfortunately E-mount cameras hold adapted lenses apertures wide-open for focusing.

It is almost as bright as the Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM and brighter than the Minolta/Sony 50 F1.4. It has a similar pink color cast as the Canon lens. The corners are slightly brighter than the smaller primes, but not as bright as the Tamron 45 F1.8.

This lens has a much wider angle-of-view than the other 50 mm lenses, but it is not quite as wide as the 45's. It has a similar angle-of-view as the long end of the Sigma 17-50 F2.8 HSM.

Like Sigmas other EX lenses it is more tuned for portraiture than for landscapes.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 63
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.65
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.57
  • overall: 4.70 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania