Sec­ond-hand hall of fame

We re­visit one of our favourite third­party large-aper­ture prime lenses

Amateur Photographer - - 7 DAYS -

Two years af­ter the re­lease of the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art ar­rived. This highly an­tic­i­pated prime re­ceived a lot of in­ter­est when word got round that Sigma wasn’t out to com­pete against Canon or Nikon prime lenses of the same fo­cal length, but the Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 – a lens that’s as close to op­ti­cal per­fec­tion as it gets. Signi cantly cheaper than Zeiss’s of­fer­ing, the Sigma is in the same league in terms of op­ti­cal qual­ity and of­fers aut­o­fo­cus whereas its close ri­val is man­ual fo­cus only. It’s ex­cep­tion­ally sharp, con­trols aber­ra­tions ad­mirably and is well matched with mod­ern high-res­o­lu­tion cam­eras in re­solv­ing ne de­tail. It has picked up a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing one of the nest third-party lenses ever made.

What we said

● ‘The images it pro­duces dis­play a stag­ger­ing amount of de­tail across the frame’

● ‘Those shoot­ing land­scapes and travel images will be im­pressed with its edge-to-edge sharp­ness’

● ‘This lens is on a par with the best 50mm op­tics that we have tested’

● ‘If you have the money and want a fast 50mm, we wouldn’t hes­i­tate to rec­om­mend it’

How it fares to­day

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art has gained an in­cred­i­bly high rep­u­ta­tion with pho­tog­ra­phers world­wide and is al­leged to be one of Sigma’s best-sell­ing lenses. Ini­tially avail­able in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A and Sigma SA mounts, it con­tin­ues to de­liver sub­lime im­age qual­ity with to­day’s high­res­o­lu­tion cam­eras and pro­duces pleas­ing bokeh with a nat­u­ral aes­thetic.

What to pay

Head to’s web­site and you’ll be able to search their cur­rent stock of used lenses in a mat­ter of sec­onds. Ex­am­ples of the lens in like new con­di­tion cost slightly more in Canon t (£534) than in Nikon t (£499). Ex­cel­lent con­di­tion ex­am­ples in Canon t cost £509, whereas ex­cel­lent con­di­tion Nikon ex­am­ples with the light­est of cos­metic marks could be picked up from £474.

New al­ter­na­tives

In 2018 Sigma added the Sony E-mount ver­sion of its 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art to its lineup. Since then we’ve seen the man­u­fac­turer add an L-mount ver­sion of the lens to cater for pho­tog­ra­phers who’d like to cou­ple it di­rectly to their Le­ica and Pana­sonic cam­eras. Both ex­am­ples have been op­ti­mised for their re­spec­tive brands’ aut­o­fo­cus sys­tems and cost the same as DSLR ver­sions.

See over to find out what Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art own­ers have to say

Here we see a Canon EF mount ex­am­ple of the lens cou­pled to the orig­i­nal Canon EOS 5D

Sigma’s Art-se­ries prides it­self on ex­cel­lent im­age qual­ity at great value for money

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