Lens Review: Sigma’s new 50mm f/1.4 lens – Part 2 Photo Comparisons

In Part 1, I covered the basic information for Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens.  Now, we are ready for some comparisons.

Detail Capture in the Sigma 50mm f/1.4

The following image was taken with the Sigma 50mm lens and the Canon 40D.  The images below are the full-sized close-up from the same photo.  The image detail is excellent, as well as the overall sharpness and color.

sigma-empire

sigma-empire-close1

Low-Light Capture in the Sigma 50mm f/1.4

With an aperture of  f/1.4, the Sigma 50mm really shines in low-light situations.  Take a look at the photo below.  It is impossible for a flash to have enough power for a room as large as Grand Central Station.  Luckily with this lens, you can take sharp detailed photos in natural light.  The main photo shows to entire image capture.  The three close-ups on the side show the incredibly sharp detail.  Very impressive!

sigma-lowlight

Close-up Comparison with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L & the Canon 24-70mm L

The following photos were taken within minutes of each other.  Both the Sigma photo and the Canon 24-70 L photo were taken at the same distance.  For the Canon 85mm 1.2 L comparison photo, I stepped back 15 feet to approximate the same viewpoint.  The detail in all photos are very comparable.  Once obvious difference is the out-of-focus bokeh on the left side of the bust.  The Canon 85mm 1.2 L is known for its smooth boken effect.  (The extra distance with the additional 35mm plus the fast f/1.2 allows for the super smooth blur effect.)  But, the Sigma 50mm performs extremely well.  In fact, the Sigma’s boken is much nicer than the Canon 24-70 L.

sigma-bust-sigma

sigma-bust-24-70

sigma-bust-85

Edge and Center Comparison with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 L & the Canon 24-70mm L

Just like in the bust comparison, the Sigma and the Canon 24-70mm L photos were taken at the same location.  For the Canon 85mm 1.2 L comparison photo, I stepped back 15 feet to approximate the same viewpoint.  The photos were taken with the smaller aperture to increase the details, sharpness and color depth.  The photos are virtually identical.

sigma-painting-sigma

sigma-painting-24-70

sigma-painting-85

Conclusions

I am very happy with the performance of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. It compared very well to the Canon lenses, but cost over $1000 less.

The Sigma lens provides:

  • Accurate, quiet and fast focusing
  • Very pleasant boken effect at f/1.4
  • Excellent detail with a sweet spot at f/2.0.  (The Canon 85mm 1.2 L also has a sweet spot at f/2.0.)
  • A closer shot to your subject (approximately 15-20 feet closer than the Canon 85mm 1.2 L)
  • 77mm lens which will use the same 77mm filters as Canon’s most popular L lenses
  • a premium lens pouch & lens hood (included with lens).


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