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

reviewer#9787 date: Jan-13-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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:- Min. 50 1.7
- T 90 2.8
price paid:490 € (new)
positive:- can't get sharper than this
- HSM!
- colors
- contrast
- bokeh
- feel both on FF and aps-c
negative:- flare at wide apertures
comment:Wow. This is my favorite lens so far. Got it with a mild FF issue and the local Sigma reseller fixed it immediately. Will definitely buy the 85 from Sigma, too, as I can't imagine the CZ are worth the difference.

It's actually an F1.3 lens, I have been told by the Sigma reseller, and this is the whole trick why this lens performs better than any other 50mm 1.4. This is also the reason why it's bigger and heavier and pricier than any other in it's category, but worth every penny.

As this is also my first HSM lens I am totally thrilled by the AF performance. On both FF and aps-c the lens shines, is great for indoor portraiture, allows me to work at iso 640 and lower at events and weddings, which definitely is the biggest bonus for me. It actually gave my a700 new purpose.

At 1.4 sharpness is already wonderful. At 1.7 it gets amazing and above that it's stellar.

In studio it's also a fantastic performer. Would buy tomorrow a new one if I had to.

Edit: The only downside is flare or call it even reflections when shooting wide open in a contrasty situation, i.e. a bright lit open door or window will vertically+horizontally mirrored appear on the photo in a different corner. Not too much of a problem but still annoying sometimes, depending where the flare appears.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 61
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.64
  • distortion: 4.82
  • flare control: 4.59
  • overall: 4.69 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania