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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Review | Gear Talk Episode 2

By Pye Jirsa on July 23rd 2014

SLRLounge Official 50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art Lens Review

We’ve been using the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens for some time now, and if you’re looking for a professional 50mm lens, this may be the lens for you. If you already own a professional grade 50mm lens there are some good reasons why you should or shouldn’t sell your lens to buy this one. Watch the video or read the article below to see our complete review!

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art Review | Gear Talk Episode 2

Performance: Great For Photos, Not So Great For Video

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens is incredibly sharp, has nice bokeh, and overall, has good contrast and saturation. For photos, it’s a solid 5 out of 5 stars, but for video, it’s a different story. This lens has an immense amount of focus breathing, where you see the composition change depending on the area that’s in focus, and you can see an example of that in the video above (at the 6 minute mark).

If you’re planning on shooting videos with this lens, that’s something to keep in mind. Another area that was sub par was the focus throw. The focus throw is very short and that makes it difficult to hit critical focus, especially when shooting at wide apertures. For video performance, we’re giving this lens 3 out of 5 stars.

Sigma 50mm Beach Portrait

Features: Look Closer

This is pretty much your standard 50mm lens, but it does have one feature that stands out, the minimum focusing distance (MFD). The MFD on the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens is 15.7 inches, the Canon 50mm f/1.2 is 18 inches. Having that extra 2.3 inches opens up new composition opportunities, can give you better bokeh, and makes this lens more versatile when shooting. For features, we give this lens 4 out of 5 stars.

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art

Design: Feels as Good as it Looks

When you first pick up the Sigma 50mm f/1.4, you know you’re holding a quality piece of glass. The lens has a nice matte finish, the construction is mostly metal and feels smooth, and overall it’s a solid lens. The one area that most people complain about is the weight. It weights nearly 2 lbs (1.8 to be exact) and you’ll definitely notice it if this is your first professional prime lens. We love the design and we’re giving the Sigma 50mm 5 out of 5 stars.


Quality and Value

We have nothing bad to say about the quality of this lens. From the image quality to the construction of the lens, everything is top notch. We have no choice but to give this lens a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s surprising how well built this lens is, especially when you consider the price. This lens comes in at just under $1,000.00 (US Dollars). For that price, you’re getting a lens that competes with other lenses that cost $1500 – $2000.  You are getting an incredible value and with that being said we’re giving it a 5 out of 5 stars in quality and value.


This lens gets a 4.8 out of 5 stars for photo and 4.4 out of 5 stars for video. It’s an all around all-star caliber lens that will leave no one disappointed in their purchase.

We hope you enjoyed this Gear Talk and Review. Be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel to get all the updates!

If you want more Sigma 50mm f/1.4 goodness be sure to check out:

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art unboxing

Head 2 Head Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art VS Canon 50mm f/1.2 L

Head 2 Head Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art VS Sigma 50mm f/1.4

Head 2 Head Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art VS Canon 50mm f/1.8

Anthony Thurstons Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Review

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Aaron Cheney

    These art lenses are beautifully made!

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  2. Michael Moe

    great lense!!!

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  3. Michael Hussey

    It’s ridiculous to say the sigma has more vignetting than the 1.2. The canon 1.2 has almost a full stop more! Even though Lightroom (or your camera) corrects it, it still means you’re getting a stop more dynamic range in the corners by using the sigma!

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  4. Andrew-Knox Kaniki

    My Nikon is asking as for one. :)

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  5. Michael Lin

    Great Gear Talk guys! I am looking forward for more in the future :)

    I also own the 50mm f/1.4 Art for my Nikon Df use. I’d have to say, putting aside the weight and heftiness, this is one of the best lens I’ve ever owned!

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  6. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for the very detailed review.

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  7. Nowell Gusi

    great review! nice glass

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  8. David Hill

    Hey. Thanks for the review. In real world use, such as on the beach, dusty track or in a shower of rain, how much of a issue is it not to have weather sealing. I have only ever shot with Nikon lens that have it so unsure of the downsides. I live in the UK where it can be a little damp/moist a lot of the time!! Thanks. Dave

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    • Matthew Saville

      In my experience, it’s not an issue. I’ve shot with a handful of older Sigma EX lenses in inclement weather innumerable times over the past ~8 years, and they’ve always held up to the elements. Not having a rear gasket, or internal seals, isn’t a huge deal-breaker especially considering how simply these newer Art lenses are designed. There’s simply almost no way for “elements” to get in, period, weather seals or not. I know of at least one friend who is a war photographer who has beaten the crap out of the Sigma 35 Art, and it’s still going strong!


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  9. Tyler Friesen

    Great review!

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  10. Emilio Savov

    Great review of the lens and I love to hear all those great things about Sigma from guys shooting a Canon 50mm 1.2. The simple fact that Sigma made a lens to make you guys make such a noise about it shows that Sigma did their job absolutely perfect. The thing about video shooting and focus breathing .. well .. it’s a lens for photography, no one said it’s for video, so that to me is not a minus. The lens is absolutely amazing, I’ve tested it and I’m in love with it :) this is the 50mm lens that I want to have :)

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  11. Herm Tjioe

    Thanks for pointing out the two dings about the video side. I had thought seriously of getting this one. That focus breathing is just too much.

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  12. Phil Bautista

    Nice to see how it compares to other professional grade lenses but how about its appeal to hobbyists? Is the step up in quality that huge a difference compared to a 50/1.8 or 50/1.4 produced by Canon/Nikon/Sony/Pentax to justify the price bump?

    p.s. This is an opinion question so anyone who has used it is free to chime in.

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    • keith craine

      I have the Sigma and the Canon 50/1.8 and my brother has the Canon 50/1.4. For my uses the Sigma blows the Canons out of the water. Whether it’s worth the price premium probable depends on how much you use your 50, but the Sigma 50 is now one of my two favorite lenses (despite 5 Canon L lenses), the other is the Sigma 35A.

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  13. Kurk Rouse

    i’m currently using a 35mm and 50mm f1.8 i’m wondering if to sell the both of them and get this lens

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  14. dave birch

    wonder about this lens vs. the Sony Zeiss 50/1.4…is the Zeiss worth the xtra $$?

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    • Cha

      if you plan on shooting both stills and video the zeiss is DEFINITELY worth the extra money (because of the focus breathing issues we mentioned). If you’re only shooting stills then you’ll be very happy with the sigma.

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