Sigma 50mm f1.4 - new batch = outstanding performer


vanscafe

Active Member
May 31, 2006
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I dun think the Canon is far off from the Sigma, frankly speaking maybethe diff is only about 10% at the most. And sometimes I am not able to tell at all. ;)
On Friday I went down to TK photo to test the Sigma 50mm f1.4 - after having tested a few used ones on offer from classified as well as preowned resellers here. The older used ones performed erratically. ALmost always one in four or two in five shot continously will be out of focus.

The latest batch frm Sigma seemed to have solved this one single niggling problem. The one I tested was so sharp and accurate, it makes the EF50mm 1.4 look terrible.

Here is a shot taken at the shop itself straight out of the card - no post process, sharpen etc. just resized. (all shots at f1.4)




Here are some of my pet Jack Russel taken today (note the smooth bokeh quality)







I think they still have a couple more in stock so if you are looking for one. Hurry. Unfortunately, the price seems to have risen. So its not a cheap lens (I think its about S$100 cheaper overseas).

But I am happy to pay more to make sure I get one that really is a sharp and fast focusser.

BTW - I never thought that I will return to 3rd party lenses but for some reason, I have issues with the 3 on offer from Canon. 50L = too expensive and buggy; EFf1.4 = too soft wide open; EF f1.8 = effective only stopped down. I love the focal range of 50mm with FF camera. It will be in my bag all the time.

I recommend this lens highly to anyone looking for a decent 50mm.
 

amachi

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2009
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How can we tell if the lens that we get is of new or old batch? Any difference in serial number?
 

bugsz

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Aug 14, 2006
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50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - $840 (OP) | $870 (MS) | $890 (CP) | $825 (TK, Mar09)

EF 50mm f1.4 USM - $699 (RRP) | $560 (MS, w/ GST) | $580 (JO, Jul09) | $530 (AP, wo GST, Jul09) | $562 (PA-HV, w/ GST, Jul09) | $535 (CP, Aug09)


eh the price of sigma is quite expensive as compared to the canon,
does the quality justify the additional $300 for the lens?
 

WINDyx

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Nov 24, 2008
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Just got my lens calibrated...
All I can say is that everything was well paid-off. Much happier with this lens right now.
 

twinrongs

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Apr 16, 2009
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50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - $840 (OP) | $870 (MS) | $890 (CP) | $825 (TK, Mar09)

EF 50mm f1.4 USM - $699 (RRP) | $560 (MS, w/ GST) | $580 (JO, Jul09) | $530 (AP, wo GST, Jul09) | $562 (PA-HV, w/ GST, Jul09) | $535 (CP, Aug09)


eh the price of sigma is quite expensive as compared to the canon,
does the quality justify the additional $300 for the lens?
If sharpness between f/1.4-2.8 and smoothness of Bokeh are important to you, then it is well worth the additional $300. This review is a good reference for comparsion with Canon 50mm F1.4.

I simply :heart: the bokeh with this lens.
 

amachi

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2009
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Can you post some test images?

How is the focusing from distance of 3m onwards. I read that a lot of people having problems in focusing in that distance.
 

Canonized

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Dec 31, 2005
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PLANET EARTH
Can you post some test images?

How is the focusing from distance of 3m onwards. I read that a lot of people having problems in focusing in that distance.
Sigh... read the thread.

See post #33. The image of the wall clock was taken at my home. I was at the other end of the room. See the perspective at 50mm it was more than 4 m. away. Then I cropped at 100% to show how sharp after calibration.
 

Canonized

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Dec 31, 2005
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PLANET EARTH
I dun think the Canon is far off from the Sigma, frankly speaking maybethe diff is only about 10% at the most. And sometimes I am not able to tell at all. ;)

Its all a matter of perspective. I am sure you have a great 50mm f1.4 copy.
But lets also hear from you whether you see a marked difference between the 50L and the EF f1.4.

There are those who say no diff and there are those who say - yes very much so. I am in the second category and I have used 50Ls before and the Sigma is very close to it.

But ONLY if you are able to get a good Sigmalux or have it calibrated. Check the various links to reviews I posted earlier. Many reviews have given their input on this.

One last thing. For hair splitters. The Sigma has more blades than the EF. It makes for a rounder light bokeh. Some would consider that as important.
 

amachi

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2009
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Sigh... read the thread.

See post #33. The image of the wall clock was taken at my home. I was at the other end of the room. See the perspective at 50mm it was more than 4 m. away. Then I cropped at 100% to show how sharp after calibration.
Yupe. Saw the images. I was actually replying to this message though, I forgot to quote it :)

Just got my lens calibrated...
All I can say is that everything was well paid-off. Much happier with this lens right now.
 

vocalmind

New Member
Apr 23, 2009
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Is this,

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Lens

or

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens
 

vanscafe

Active Member
May 31, 2006
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I must say that if you compare the 50L with the Sigma at f1.4, the Canon wins hands down. The sigma(recent batch) is too "foggy" at f1.4 and that's why I gave it up after owning it for a week and decided to buy the 50mm L. The sigma performance is not acceptable for me at f1.4( personal opinion for the lens that I had). :think:

Its all a matter of perspective. I am sure you have a great 50mm f1.4 copy.
But lets also hear from you whether you see a marked difference between the 50L and the EF f1.4.

There are those who say no diff and there are those who say - yes very much so. I am in the second category and I have used 50Ls before and the Sigma is very close to it.

But ONLY if you are able to get a good Sigmalux or have it calibrated. Check the various links to reviews I posted earlier. Many reviews have given their input on this.

One last thing. For hair splitters. The Sigma has more blades than the EF. It makes for a rounder light bokeh. Some would consider that as important.
 

GeneKoh

Member
Jan 17, 2008
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I must say that if you compare the 50L with the Sigma at f1.4, the Canon wins hands down. The sigma(recent batch) is too "foggy" at f1.4 and that's why I gave it up after owning it for a week and decided to buy the 50mm L. The sigma performance is not acceptable for me at f1.4( personal opinion for the lens that I had). :think:
Hmm... I think it's a known fact that any lens is sharp when stopped down... What separates a good lens from a not-so-good one is how much you need to stop down to achieve your acceptable amount of sharpness...

50L f1.2 is a good lens, nonetheless... And at f1.4 would be stopped down already... Whereas the Sigma at f1.4 would be wide open... Not exactly a fair comparison, since the Canon is used closer to its "sweet spot" while the Sigma is used "wide open"...

Let's compare Jambu to Jambu, not Jambu to Oren...

I would look at the Sigma 50 f1.4 as a clear winner when compared to the Canon 50 f1.4... Since it can achieve good sharpness at f2 already... Whereas the 50 f/1.4 still needs to go down to f2.8, f3.5 or f4 to get the same type of sharpness as the Sigma...

Even wide open, the Sigmalux is a clear winner... The 50 f1.4 is known to be horrendous when used wide open...

Not to mention it's cheaper than the Canon 50 f1.4... and a fraction of the 50L...
 

kitseng

New Member
May 15, 2009
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I m looking for a lens to photo my baby. I m using a 500D. Will this 50mm lens be "over-zoom" considering the crop size of 500D?
 

Anthony Lee

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
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Shunfu Road, Singapore
I m looking for a lens to photo my baby. I m using a 500D. Will this 50mm lens be "over-zoom" considering the crop size of 500D?
For APS-C, 50mm is the classic portrait focal length. I have five 50s and I love them all for their distinct character. To have more flexibility, you can also choose both the 30 and 50.

On another note, most lenses are weaker generally wide open not only in sharpness but also contrast and color rendition. Most of my 50 f1.4 will peak only at f4 and IMHO, they are all not usable at f1.4.
 

litechaser

Senior Member
Oct 5, 2004
661
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Hmm... I think it's a known fact that any lens is sharp when stopped down... What separates a good lens from a not-so-good one is how much you need to stop down to achieve your acceptable amount of sharpness...

50L f1.2 is a good lens, nonetheless... And at f1.4 would be stopped down already... Whereas the Sigma at f1.4 would be wide open... Not exactly a fair comparison, since the Canon is used closer to its "sweet spot" while the Sigma is used "wide open"...

Let's compare Jambu to Jambu, not Jambu to Oren...

I would look at the Sigma 50 f1.4 as a clear winner when compared to the Canon 50 f1.4... Since it can achieve good sharpness at f2 already... Whereas the 50 f/1.4 still needs to go down to f2.8, f3.5 or f4 to get the same type of sharpness as the Sigma...

Even wide open, the Sigmalux is a clear winner... The 50 f1.4 is known to be horrendous when used wide open...

Not to mention it's cheaper than the Canon 50 f1.4... and a fraction of the 50L...
just to point out that the sigma 50mm is not cheaper than the canon , in fact its abt 250-300 more . also, most of the canon 50 1.4 are very sharp from f2 onwards. in fact some find it sharper than sigma at higher apertures.
 

amachi

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2009
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just to point out that the sigma 50mm is not cheaper than the canon , in fact its abt 250-300 more . also, most of the canon 50 1.4 are very sharp from f2 onwards. in fact some find it sharper than sigma at higher apertures.
I guess people buy a f1.4 lens is to use it at f1.4, that's why we pay premium for that :D
 

pangolin88

New Member
May 4, 2009
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How can we tell if the lens that we get is of new or old batch? Any difference in serial number?
Still have not seen a reply to this question.
Anybody?
 

GeneKoh

Member
Jan 17, 2008
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just to point out that the sigma 50mm is not cheaper than the canon , in fact its abt 250-300 more . also, most of the canon 50 1.4 are very sharp from f2 onwards. in fact some find it sharper than sigma at higher apertures.

I have to beg to differ on this...

When I tested this lens, even my trusty little 50mm f/1.8 was sharper than the f1.4 at f2...

And I needed to stop down to f3.5 or f4 to get anything decent from the lens...

Doing further research, this site shows even more clearly, how much to stop down to get good levels... http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/140/cat/all

Clearly the Canon 50mm f1.4's "sweet spot" is not f2... and at f2, the Sigma is a clear winner...