Second-hand hall of fame
We revisit one of our favourite thirdparty large-aperture prime lenses
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 MPB.com’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.
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