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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Zeiss Touit 32 F1.8
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 35 F2
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD
Minolta MD 45 F2
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7 RS & 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 AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
price paid:220 USD (used)
positive:Quiet focusing
Good contrast
Smooth focus throw
Nice appearance
9 aperture blades
negative:Size and weight
Focus shift
Chromatic aberration
Soft wide-open
Full-frame corners
Unit focus
Pink color cast
77 mm filter threads
comment:Like new used copy purchased on eBay from a large camera retailer with all the original parts and packaging. "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 one isn't as sharp as the older, smaller normal primes or the Tamron 45 F1.8. Both of the Canon 50's are much sharper. Reading the other reviews makes me suspect this might be a rather poor copy. There is a high amount of aberration probably from the thick glass elements used. It is extremely hard to focus accurately without stopping down. Unfortunately E-mount lens adapters hold lens apertures wide-open for focusing. It needs to be front focused wide-open to be sharp stopped down.

It is almost as bright as the Canon EF 50mm 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 Minolta 45 F2 and Tamron 45 F1.8. It has a similar angle-of-view as the long end of the Sigma 17-50 F2.8 HSM.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 59
  • sharpness: 4.76
  • color: 4.69
  • build: 4.66
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.61
  • overall: 4.72 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania