While being the largest, heaviest and the priciest of the 50mm lenses I have tested so far, The Sigma f/1.4 EX DG HSM simply fails to deliver. Its high levels of purple fringing and relatively low sharpness in the center frame are disappointing, while the corners are clearly the worst in the group. Longitudinal chromatic aberration levels are the highest as well, and as you have seen earlier, the rendering of bokeh is not great either, except when shot at f/1.4. In addition, the Sigma f/1.4 I tested was the only lens in the group that was heavily front-focused, which shows just how bad the QA of third party manufacturers can be. I would personally send it back to Sigma for readjustment and calibration right away, but I did not bother, since it was loaned to me for a month anyway. Sure, its vignetting level and AF performance (when properly calibrated) are impressive when compared against the slower Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G, but those are the only two positives I can think of. Considering the size and weight, it almost feels like an 85mm prime rather than a 50. Its corner sharpness looks better on a DX camera, but not by a huge margin.
Don’t waste your money on this lens – it is simply not worth the $500 Sigma is asking for. When compared to other 50mm lenses currently available on the market, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 has the worst price-performance ratio. Even the much cheaper and lighter Nikon 50mm f/1.8G performs better in most tests in comparison.
Where to Buy
This lens has been discontinued and is no longer available to purchase from retail stores like B&H Photo Video. If you would like to purchase this lens, I would recommend to check out sites like eBay.
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
- Optical Performance
- Bokeh Quality
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
- Size and Weight
Photography Life Overall Rating
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