Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A £570/$950
A BIG BRUISER OF A NIFTY FIFTY
This Art lens from Sigma’s Global Vision line-up is a heavyweight contender that’s almost twice the length and three times the weight of Nikon’s competing 50mm f/1.4 lens. It’s full-frame compatible, but undeniably hefty for a portrait lens on lightweight DX format bodies such as the D5500, tipping the scales at 815g.
The relatively complex design incorporates 13 optical elements in all, including an aspherical element and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements. Construction feels reassuringly robust, but this is the only lens on test that lacks a weather seal on its mounting plate.
An upside of the large front element is that vignetting is comparatively minimal here. Bokeh is deliciously creamy at f/1.4 and remains of exceptional quality even when stopping down a little. This is helped by a well rounded aperture based on nine diaphragm blades. There’s a lack of outright sharpness in the corners of images when shooting on an FX body, but this isn’t really an issue for portraits.