Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A £570/$950


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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.

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