This post is the final part of our series of reviews and comparisons related to the new Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. Below you can find links to the rest of the content in this series. Enjoy!

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art – Full Review

Well, that went by way too quickly. Alas, my time with this beautiful lens is done. It is time to put pen to paper and give you my full review on the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art.

I already talked about my thoughts on the build quality in the Initial thoughts post, so go back and check that out if you missed it. I will just add that my opinion has not changed, this is a very well built lens.

Sharpness & Vignetting Test

This lens is incredibly sharp, even wide open this lens is sharper than many other “sharp”  lenses stopped down. It does suffer from a bit of vignetting around the outer edge wide open at F/1.4, but it is not too bad, and is gone by F/2.8.

Here is a shot of some gravel, you can clearly see the vignetting around the outer edges. This was shot on my Canon 6D wide open at F/1.4.

Click on the images for a larger 1200px wide image so you can inspect better on your monitor. 

Sigma50mm-Art-review-3215Here is the lens stopped down to F/2.8, and as you can see, the vignetting is completely gone.

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I think it is pretty clear to see that the lens is sharp throughout, but if I had to peg it, I would say it achieves maximum sharpness around F/5.6, maybe F/8.

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Above is F/5.6, Below is F/8. Sigma50mm-Art-review-3220

Bokeh

Personally, I really like the Bokeh that this lens produces. Though I know from the comments on the comparison posts that many of you are disappointed by it. But, that is the thing with bokeh, it is very subjective.

So, rather than blabber on about how I think it’s awesome for this reason or that, I’ll just share some sample shots so you can see for yourself.

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Here is a quick video example of the different aperture settings, and the associated bokeh that you may see:

Additional Handling Notes

This Sigma 50mm is both quick to focus and very accurate. All three of the other lenses that I compared this lens to had AF accuracy issues, while the Sigma was very accurate. It its worth noting though that the AF does have a little trouble in low light, but that could have been a combination of the lens and my Canon 6D. Overall, I am very happy with the AF.

This lens have no image stabilization or weather sealing. I can live without the IS(or OS as Sigma calls it), but the lack of weather sealing is a bit annoying. For a lens build as well as this one is, and costing as much as this one is (when compared to other 50mm f/1.4 lenses), I would think that weather sealing would be a good feature to have. Its not the end of the world, but if it were up to up me it would have had it.

Quick Pro/Con Recap

So you have read my initial thoughts, saw the comparisons to other popular 50mm lens options, now here is a quick recap of it all in one place.

Pros

  • Extremely Sharp
  • Good Contrast
  • Very High Build Quality
  • Quick and Accurate AF
  • Incredible Image Quality
  • Creamy Bokeh
  • Price (inexpensive compared to the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and Zeiss Otus)

Cons

  • Price (Yes, I put this in both pros and cons. It is quite pricy for a 50mm F/1.4)
  • Slight Vignetting at F/1.4 (Easily corrected in Lightroom, but still worth noting)
  • Slight CA/Color Fringing (Controlled well, and in most cases easily correctable.)
  • No Weather Sealing
  • No Image Stabilization (though no 50mm prime has this, yet)

More Sample Images

How about some more sample images? I know you all love to pixel peep, so the RAW files will be available for download at the end of the post. In the meantime, you can click on the images below to open a larger 1200px wide version for better web scrutiny.

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Final Thoughts

I have been thoroughly impressed by this new Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art lens. In my testing, I found that I preferred it over the Canon 50mm f/1.2 as well as my old Sigma 50mm f/1.4. The weight, which I have heard a lot of noise about, was a non issue.

Seriously, if you shoot with a 70-200mm at all, this lens will feel like nothing to you. The weight has been made a much bigger deal than it is. The length on the other hand, is something I can see some people legitimately being concerned about. Again though, in my case, I actually preferred the length. It balanced well with my Canon 6D and felt good in my hands. That is all I can ask for from a lens.

Based on all of my testing, and my experience with the lens over the last 5 days, I am very happy to give this new Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM Art lens a full 5 out of 5 stars. It offers superior image quality to any other 50mm lens, expect maybe the Zeiss Otus (but even then, the Sigma is close). The only turnoff to some may be the price, but look at it this way, it’s saving you ~$500 off the price of a Canon F/1.2, and you get better performance.

SLRL_Review_5_Stars

You can download the RAW files used in this review here (268mb).

Purchase Information

If you liked what you saw in this review and would like to go ahead and preorder your copy of this new Sigma, you can do so by heading on over to B&H via this link. It helps support this site and makes more of these kind of reviews possible.