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

NPhoto - - Test Team -

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.

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