Th e WI NNER IS… Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM A
It’s a large lens that also goes extra-large on image quality
Big really is beautiful when it comes to this Sigma lens. It’s nearly twice as long and three times as heavy as the Nikon 50mm f/1.4, but handling is very refined, with rapid autofocus and smooth manual focusing. Fiendishly sharp even at f/1.4, with superb contrast, it delivers the best image quality in the group. Defocused backgrounds in images look wonderfully soft, and out-of-focus lights are rendered much better than with the competing Nikon 50mm lens. For our money, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens is simply the best standard prime for FX bodies, and the best portrait lens for DX cameras. Sigma also takes the prize for best 35mm lens with its f/1.4 Art. At the telephoto end of the group, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 delivers the best performance. It’s a superb, proquality lens, but the Sigma 85mm comes close for roughly half the price.
What’s good: Premium build, sumptuous image quality and refined handling.
What’s bad: It’s big, heavy and expensive for a 50mm f/1.4 lens – over twice the price of the competing Nikon.
Our verdict: Just look at the image quality. This is as good as it gets for a 50mm prime lens.