Introducing the SIGMA 50mm 1.4 DG - A (ART) Lens - An Overview - NEW PHOTOS ATTACHED


Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#1
Surprising things come out of the blue!

Like the way this lens, the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | ART was dropped off into my lap this rainy afternoon!

No doubt, this lens is one of the most looked-forward to lens this season as many would have already seen several reports of how it has surpassed several Marquees’ premium offerings, and is leveled at challenging the Carl Zeiss 50mm 1.4 OTUS and apparently, according to some reports, it seems to come very close to the performance of the OTUS.

Tech reports and charts etc are available on the net. In line with CS reviews or overviews, we would like to show the lens, in REAL-LIFE use. A quick overview with Sample photos.


Introducing the NEW SIGMA 50mm 1.4 DG ART Lens!



50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A
Redesigned, Reengineered, Revitalized
Categories: Standard
Class: Art
Typical Photography: Travel, Wedding & Events, Portrait


• Completely redesigned and reengineered
• Exceptional Image Quality
• Incredible focal point sharpness when wide open
• Pairs well with Pro-Level DSLR’s
• MTF A1-tested
• Front & rear lens caps and lens hood (LH830-02) is included


The staple Sigma 50mm 1.4 DG HSM has been redesigned and reengineered to set a new standard for the Art line. With a large 1.4 aperture, the Sigma 50mm 1.4 prime lens is a pro level performer for shooting everything including portrait photography, landscape photography, studio photography and street photography. A Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) ensures quiet, smooth and accurate autofocusing and paired with Special Low Dispersion (SLD) glass and Super Multi-Layer coating, the 50mm 1.4 is a high performance lens for the modern DSLR sensors. 13 elements in 8 groups allow for unsurpassed performance even at wide apertures and close-up photography is easily managed with a minimum focusing distance of 40cm. The Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens is the new exceptional standard, standard prime.


TECH SPECS:
Lens Construction: 13 elements in 8 groups
Angle of View: 46.8º
Diaphragm Blades: 9
Minimum Apeture: f/16
Minimum Focusing Distance: 40 cm / 15.7 in
Filter Size: 77mm
Maximum Magnification: 1: 5.6
Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 85.4 x 99.9 mm/ 3.4 x 3.9 in
Weight: 815g/ 28.7 oz
Corresponding Mounts: Sigma, Nikon, Canon, Sony
* The appearance, specifications, and the like of the product are subject to change for improvement without notice.






Unboxing was a straight-forward affair, with a simple yet sturdy box and a pouch inside. That pouch is foam lined and provides quite a nice protection which can be used on it’s own (belt loop, no eyelets).

First thing to hit you when you handle the lens is how solid, and moderately heavy it feels! Coming in just a shade over 800 grammes, it won’t be mistaken for anything less than a really serious-looking lens. Paired with a Prosumer DSLR preferably with a Battery Grip, or a Pro DSLR and it looks and feels more like a tank – like a premium 85mm f/1.4 or 100mm f/2. Mounted on my 1 series cam, it balances really well and I would be very thankful for the extra weight especially if I’m shooting in the wind.


One of the other things I appreciate is a proper focal length appropriate lens hood! Believe it or not, many manufacturers design theirs to be a little to too short for a particular focal length.


If you notice, in practice, the 50mm ART lens hood very effectively shields the powerful flash output in this shot.

 

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Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#2
As per many professional-caliber lenses, the SIGMA 50mm ART lens features some sort of ultra quick and accurate AF system, and with the SIGMA brand, it’s called the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) which ensures super quick and assured AF, and as reported in several reviews, the optical configuration and construction of 13 elements in 8 groups with 3 SLD lenses and an Aspherical one, it seems like there’s nothing to stop this beast.

Here are some other shots of this lens.

The layout simplicity:




The Aspherical business end of the lens:




Last shot of the lens with Hood on a Pro Cam:





Sample photos coming up in a few days.
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#3
First take on this lens - it appears to be quite impressive!

Sharp, even at 1.4, there is some vignetting which to me is not altogether unattractive. Large aperture lenses almost always suffer from vignetting and CA at their widest aperture. I haven't tested the SIGMA 50mm 1.4 ART for CA yet though.

Let's do some casual shots first, then check (real-life) for sharpness.

Took the SIGMA 50mm 1.4 ART to the streets and into malls, and here are some results.

Unlike other reviews, I'm going to pretty much remain silent for the most part for you to form your own opinion.

ALL files were shot on a Canon FF - RAW, converted via DPP into a full res JPEG, cropped to 4" x 6", then down-sized to 900 px to upload onto the ClubSNAP Gallery.

ALL files have curves applied, except for the sharpness tests.

ALL files have a 1.3 Soft Light High Pass filter applied. It's a fallacy that digital files do not need sharpening. Even medium format digital requires sharpening in post.

The Photos from the SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 DG ART lens.

f/1.6






F/1.4



f/1.4

 

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Dream Merchant

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#5
Moving over the the iconic Raffles Hotel, there were more than enough photo-opportunities to get a better idea of what the SIGMA 50mm 1.4 DG ART lens is capable of.

Raffles Hotel is a colonial-style hotel in Singapore. It was established by two Armenian brothers from Persia—Martin and Tigran Sarkies—in 1887. In later years they were joined by younger brothers Aviet and Arshak and kinsman Martyrose Arathoon. With their innovative cuisine and extensive modernisations, the firm built the hotel into Singapore's best known icon. It was named after Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, whose statue had been unveiled in 1887. The hotel is currently managed by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International and houses a tropical garden courtyard, museum, and Victorian-style theatre. ~ wikipedia

f/1.6



f/1.4



f/1.4



f/2.0



 

Dream Merchant

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#9
f/3.2



f/1.6



f/1.4



f/1.4
 

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Dream Merchant

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#10
Been busy, and when I had some moments, it stormed!

Nonetheless, a couple of night shots, taken at f/1.4














 

Dream Merchant

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#11
Remember, all these Orchard Road shots are at f/1.4













 

Dream Merchant

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#12
Just a few, very Casual shots at Chin Chin, a Hainanese Restaurant, or some would say, Institution! Another source mentioned that they started at Seah Street, then relocated to Purvis Street after they came back from Australia.

"For those who are old enough to remember, Chin Chin has been around since 1934 and they used to occupy the corner coffeeshop along the main road. It started out by offering Toast and Kopi and only introduced food in 1959. Those that were fortunate enough to have tasted their Pork Chops never fail to recall the yummy Pork Chops in the good old days. Chin Chin closed its doors for almost 2 years when the owner migrated to Australia. But luckily for us they decided to return and reopened the stall at its present location about five years back." ~ Dr Lesley Tay

Even though many who have tried the old Chin Chin swears by the standards back then, the 'new' Chin Chin still satisfies quite nicely!

f/2.8


Had half N Half Roast & White which was moderately firm (not the super soft half cooked type which is also popular here). Fragrant and the White's skin was lovely!


f/2.8


Pork Chop - that was the SMALL portion! was a Double serving of moderately thick meat. Just fried, they separate the gravy so that customers pour it on themselves for maximum crispiness. Very tasty with wedges, unlike some places which serve a sacrilegious french fries!!! HORROR!

Hot Plate Tofu (M) was moderately tasty, with lots of sliced fish, prawns and chicken meat.

Kopi was nice and kao kao!


Love the way the interior of Chin Chin looks 'lost' in a time warp!

f/1.6



f/1.6


That's all for now.
 

Dream Merchant

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#13
Busy busy busy, but I managed to sneak out with the 50mm 1.4 ART on the weekend to do some tests and shoot around my in law's place.

After having used the lens for a few days, I feel I can comment about it's handling and performance better.

Upon unboxing, the immediate weight is one of the first things you notice, along with the very nice finish which SIGMA calls the 'Thermally Stable Composite' (TSC) material, very unlike old Sigma lens coatings which flaked. Interestingly, one review mentioned that TSC was in a polycarbonate plastic material which looks and feels more like metal and shares similar thermal properties to aluminum. For those who work in extreme heat, like under noon day sun, that's probably good news!

I left the lens hood all the time, even though you could reverse it and it becomes unobtrusive.

The AF/MF switch, marked by a black and white panel portion, felt a little too stiff to work with the camera at eye level. I'm not sure if it would get looser with time.

Manual focusing was a breeze due to the nicely dampened and wide 1.5" focusing ring. Incidentally, full time manual focus override is featured even when using the lens in AF mode.

Using my standard screens, it appeared that manually focusing the SIGMA 50mm 1.4 ART was easier, and more precise. Something I could never really do with other fifty mils without a split-screen.


Jumping right into the photos again, here are some CA tests. Incidentally, going by some technical reviews, do note that distortion was virtually nil. Even the OTUS could not beat it, and vignetting wide open was better than the OTUS.

f/1.4






f/2.8



 

Dream Merchant

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#15
f/2.0






f/2.8






Please NOTE that NO RAW Correction was done for the CA Tests. For the night CA shots, please look only at the section where the bright light crosses the metal chrome bar, and not the inside of the bar which is adjacent to the signboard - those are reflections.

On the whole, CA appears to be fairly mild, and if you consider that this lens does not have an Apochromatic coating, that becomes all the more surprising.
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#16
Walking around, I focused on simple images to show off either the SIGMA's 50mm 1.4 ART's sharpness and colour rendition.

One of the other things which is handy about this lens is the Minimum Focusing Distance (MFD). Though not designed as a Macro lens, at just 40cm MFD, it makes it a lot easier to shoot in close-quarters, or just when you want to get that teeny weenie little bit closer, but you could not with other 50 mils MFD of 45cm - 48cm. If you've been in that situation before, you would know exactly what this helps!


f/3.2



f/1.4



f1.4



f/2.8



f1.4
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#17
f/1.4



f/1.4 - Yes, that's a Mozzie which flew into the frame!



f/1.8



f/1.8



f1.4
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#18
One thing which is also very nice about the SIGMA 50mm 1.4 ART is the Super Multi-Layer Coating which helps to reduce flare, CA and from what I heard, dust, I have used this lens with no filter attached (with hood) and did not need to clean the front element all throughout (no front cap either).

Had a close look at the lens and wanted to know how it would handle oil smears or something similar - that's pretty much something we have to deal with sometimes ... in order to find out, for the sake of ClubSNAP Members, I did a test and smeared some grease on the front element.

This is no biggie as any modern microfibers and/or cleaning fluids could take care of it, but what surprised me was that I could easily clean this amount of grease in less than a minute, gently using a microfiber and a lenspen and the result is a sparkling lens surface free from dust and grease! No glass cleaning fluids used.





That clear, curved line is the remainder of the grease and the portion cleaned away by the lenspen after wiping it mostly with a mocrofiber.

 

nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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really MORE diaper changes
#20
just to add to Dream Merchant's thread... beautiful, solid lens... but wow, it is heavy.



shot the most convenient model that i have at hand... :)
 

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