The New Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Magic
– Sigma’s new 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART lens is set to take on all its competitors.
Picture: The Award-Winning Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM (left) & the New Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM (ART) (right)
16th April 2014, Singapore – The much awaited 50mm of the year had arrived at Singapore after many weeks of anticipation by local Sigma fans. The 50mm F1.4 that once rule the 50mm region has gotten a tougher replacement -now as part of the Sigma Art series lenses. From the photo above you can see that the new 50mm ART has changed how a typical 50mm lens will look like. Breaking away from the squarish profile, the 50mm Art has grown taller (85.4 x 99.9 mm) and it really look closer to its 35mm F1.4 ART sibling.
On closer look, the new Sigma 50mm ART is nothing close to its predecessor. The Art lens is redesigned from scratch and it is made for professional level DSLRs. The Art lens features the company’s proven Hypersonic Motor (HSM) but it has just got faster and much quieter. We attribute that to the better sealing and the overall build of the lens body so that operational noise is reduced to a minimum. We really love the creamy smooth focusing for that matter.
As expected from Sigma looking at all the recent releases, Sigma included not 1 but 3 Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass & 1 aspherical glass into its construction making sure that all images are razor-sharp and well-defined. We tested the lens (see photos below) and we certainly love the colors and the details captured even when we shot at wide open (aperture). The 50mm ART also features the company’s Super Multi-Layer coating reducing CA and making dusts harder to stay on the front element – this is what Sigma fans swear by. The package is further sweetened by the new lens barrel material TSC (thermally stable compound) which the world had seen and touched since the first Art lens came.
This 9-blader has 13 elements in 8 groups inside making the lens a little weighty (815gm), but very manageable. We didn’t broke our arms testing the lens for a full 2 days of continuous shooting. Focusing from a mere 40cm (min focusing distance), the 50mm F1.4 has the highest magnification at 1:5.6 when the aperture is set to F8. However for normal operations, the 50mm ART aperture range is from F1.4 to F16.
Before we get to the image quality, let’s take a look at some size comparisons of the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART with other popular 50mm in the market. (Please note the below is for size comparions only)
From the above few comparisons, we can see that Sigma had changed how the “usual” 50mm’s shaping profile should look like.
Sigma had rewritten the rules and who say a 50mm must be “square & fat”. The new 50mm ART is now tall & slim. The new 50mm ART when handled, it feels very close to the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM (A) and needless to say, the feel is incredibly good. The 50mm F1.4 ART feels like “one of those $3000 lens” anytime.
Moving on from the cosmetics & build quality, let’s take a look at the lens performance department. We paired the 50mm ART to a Canon 5D MarkII & took a shot indoor without flash of a book that I was reading.
We opened the aperture to F1.4 and focused on the word “light” and took a shot. (above)
Then we did a 60% crop and check out the cropped image below.
From the cropped photo above, we were surprised at the sharpness rendered on the word that we focused on while the aperture is at its widest. This is impressive – many other wide aperture prime lenses cannot even hold their sharpness until the lens is stopped down. The new Sigma 50mm ART has defied that technicality and is still sharp at wide open, how awesome is that?
From the photos above, you can see that the lens kept the centre sharpness throughout the aperture range from F1.4 to F5.6
We did not stop down further as the sharpness is already impressive at F5.6 so we decided not to carry on stopping down to F16.
We are afraid that if we did, you may cut yourself while reading this review. (kidding)
Since the new Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART is also designed as a standard walkabout lens, we test it shooting both indoor and outdoor without a flash and check out the below photos.
So are you impressed? We certainly are. Sigma is reventing lenses that no one else thought was possible and since the Sigma announced the “Sigma Global Vision”, every new Art, Sports & Contemporary line lenses released was released as an award-winning lens. (Why I said that? Because every lens went on to bag awards).
From what we have seen throughout the review, the NEW Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART is worth every cent although the asking price is nowhere near cheap. Then again, we cannot place a price on image quality and build quality right?
Get your Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART soon before it runs out and face a worldwide shortage like the 35mm f1.4
Personally, this is one lens that I will buy (when I strike lottery) some day.
** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.
C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.
A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.
S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.
For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com