First Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens test

Xitek published the first comparison images of the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens and three other lenses (click for larger view):

Sigma 50mm f:1.4 DG HSM Art lens test center Sigma 50mm f:1.4 DG HSM Art lens test corner
The nomenclature of the jpg files shown is as followed:

  • 311: the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art (price unknown)
  • Sony: Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZA SSM ($1,498)
  • Nikon: Nikkor AF-S 58mm f/1.4G ($1,696.95)
  • Otus: Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus ($3,990)

Vignetting graphs and specs comparisons between the four lenses:

Sigma 50mm f:1.4 DG HSM Art lens test vignetting Sigma 50mm f:1.4 DG HSM Art lens specs comparison
Sigma already said that the performance of their new 50mm Art lens should be very close to the $4,000 Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Distagon T*.

This entry was posted in Sigma and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Marc W.

    Impressed… for now. Probably will be disappointed with the price.

    • Neogene

      I bet for at least 1.300$

      • Marc W.

        Yeah, still above my price range. =/

        • mr.four

          Still probably a good deal lower than Otus pricing. With AF.

        • Spongebob Nopants

          I moved from various inexpensive options to a pricey used option and it’s the best money I ever spent aside from the dslr it’s on. A really good lens is worth it.
          Just do a lot of research first.

          • Marc W.

            I agree. But if I’m going to get another expensive

            lens for the small format, it’ll be the 24-70mm 2.8G.

          • guest

            “Value” decay on digital bodies is well known but I don’t think anyone ever looks at that phenomena with lenses. A really good lens *is* worth the money, but how long will it fit your shiny new camera?

      • Whayne

        IMO it shouldn’t be any more than a 35 f/1.4. Technically a simpler lens to design than a well corrected 35mm. They might just price it higher because people will still be getting a bargain compared to even a 50 f/1.2L or 58 f/1.4 let alone the Otus. Under $1K and Sigma lenses often drop after few months.

    • sperdynamite

      They’re going to undercut nearly every major make for sure and if this test is any indication, outperform all but the Otus. The Canon and Nikon options are $1600-1700 dollars. This is not like the cheap Planar 1.4s, this is a complex, high performance optic. I have no idea why people keep expecting it to cost in line with the Canon 50mm 1.4.

      • Frnk Dmgio

        to be fair the Nikon is not designed to be super sharp wide open the OOF rendering is its goal . There are of course 50mm F1.4 lenses from Nikon that costs about 400 bucks

  • Nikonhead

    It’s a 50mm lens made by Sigma. It won’t be more expensive than the 35mm f/1.4. With Sigma aggressive pricing on the global lens line I see it coming in at $499.

    • Spy Black

      I don’t know about that. I peg this lens at around $1200, if we’re lucky.

  • ggoo

    it not their test result. they use other material from internet, but donot give any link.

  • alreadyupsidedown

    Gad damn Sigma. This thing is going to be a stellar performer.

    I’m guessing it’s going to come in around $800-$1000 based on the price of the 35mm, and it’s similar level of complexity.

    • NicholBolas

      1200-1500 I guess

      • Fredus

        wattt…too ex

      • Global

        Over $999 and HUGE NUMBERS of buyers are OUT.

        Even Zeiss knows this — the don’t price their TOUIT lenses greater than $999 for that reason. Sigma, with all of its terrible reputation for crappy quality control over the last decade or so, needs to respect this psychological barrier more than others.

        Obviously for super zooms that’s not possible and anyway the competition is much higher. But its still known as the discount zooms. Sigma needs to build an Art Lens base and to do that it needs to price right so that it gets as many users as possible early on (building long term brand trust).

        That’s why the 35/1.4 is priced as it is. They would be VERY VERY smart to respect that phenomenon and DO IT AGAIN with the 50mm. That would seal the deal for many considering Sigma. And one or two more lenses like that, they would have the trust of the whole community.

        But until then, they need to make up for the bad feelings of the past. I’ve been burned on EVERY Sigma lens I’ve ever owned. To me Sigma means GARBAGE, unless they price it enough to put the Brand back in my hands. I respect what their doing. But they have a lot of brand issues to work on — and offering a very good price is the way to do it.

        • NicholBolas

          I think there is a reason if Sigma said that they want to compete with OTUS: price. If they set the price 999$ or less no one would consider that a serious statement. That statement is like they said: “hey we want to compete with OTUS, of course we gonna price our 50mm higher than normal”. Maybe I’ll be wrong, we’ll see.

        • Calking

          If you think the 35mm 1.4, 18-35 and 24-105 art series are “garbage” you are certified bonkers.

    • Pablo Neruda

      “This thing isgoing to be tooheavy and too large for its intended 50mm FL use…”

      There you go, I fixed it for ya.

  • ShakyLens

    If this is anything less than US$1500, I’m in. Take mah money!

    • Ric

      Shut up! They’ll price it at that and blow it for the rest of us!

      • Global

        I wouldn’t buy it at that price. This is still a 50mm, people. There are craploads of options for a 50mm, and Nikon’s 50/1.8 is PERFECT for 99% of people (with Nikon cameras).

        If Sigma wants to sell a lot of these, it needs to be $999 or less. I would personally consider it only around $600. I just know Sigma from the past, and while I like their new direction, I don’t trust them until I see one of their new lenses last 5 years or more. I have no idea how its guts are put together, no matter how pretty the glass.

        • Marc W.

          Every time they release a new lens that’s sharper than the previous, people go NUTS about how sharp it is.. now a new one comes out and the previous one becomes crap. Love it.

  • sperdynamite

    I can’t decide for my photography if this will be an improvement for not. I shoot portraits and weddings, wide open a lot. I sorta like the softness of the existing planars wide open. Though that said, I do love the Sigma 35mm 1.4. Will sharp sharp sharp make for happy brides? Certainly something to ponder.

    • If you’re shooting portraits wide open the softness that you’re getting is not a result of the lenses not being super sharp. In other words, this new lens would also give you that softness.

      The difference is you won’t get green rings in the out of focus highlights, and magenta in places that shouldn’t have it etc.

      Might be worth waiting to see how the bokeh compares too but I don’t think it’ll be a deal breaker.

      • vamzen

        Because every modern bride can spot the green OOF rings and color fringing and know it’s bad in their portraits’ backgrounds.

        • I can’t speak for the other guy but in my case it matters to me more than to anyone else. That’s why I shoot large format when quality matters 😉

          • vamzen

            That’s the point. Matters for you but not client who won’t even notice it. I don’t say it’s all the same of course, always strive for the best you can archive. And using large format in this age is a great thing and something I wish I could do but I don’t have the money for it unfortunately.

        • sperdynamite

          They can see when the spherical aberration is so high at 1.4 that the whole image looks out of focus. The Zeiss 50mm Planar will half the time look lovely and the other half just soft. It’s hard to focus on a modern DSLR finder, but when you nail it it’s beautiful. The Nikon AF-D is similar but the AF helps. As for bokeh, I prefer a bit of a messy one. I really like the way Zeiss lenses have hard edges to the highlights, which I know is contrary to most people.

        • sperdynamite

          They can see when the spherical aberration is so high at 1.4 that the whole image looks out of focus. The Zeiss 50mm Planar will half the time look lovely and the other half just soft. It’s hard to focus on a modern DSLR finder, but when you nail it it’s beautiful. The Nikon AF-D is similar but the AF helps. As for bokeh, I prefer a bit of a messy one. I really like the way Zeiss lenses have hard edges to the highlights, which I know is contrary to most people.

          • Spy Black

            Well bokeh, traditionally, has been about total softness, not “messy”. Any number of lenses can give you “messy” bokeh, so I suppose then it’s what kind mess you prefer. 😉

            The best lenses with classic bokeh all had spherical aberration and don’t shoot well in high contrast environments because it makes it’s spherical aberration obvious. Shoot a portrait in the shade or soft lighting with such a lens and it lives up to it’s legend. All these lenses were soft wide open, even at the principle point of focus.

            When Nikon updated it’s classic 85mm f/1.4 to G status, they destroyed what made the lens a legend, it’s bokeh. Why? They made it sharp. The G lens is quite sharp at the principle point of focus, from center to edge. Unfortunately the bokeh now is all stratified and “messy” as you’ve put it (you may be a candidate for the G lens 😉

            The D lens by comparison is not as sharp at the principle point of focus, but it’s bokeh is creamy smooth. This is also what makes the Samyang 85mm f/1.4 so popular, it’s not as sharp at the principle point of focus as even the D Nikkor (although it’s sharpness is still quite good), yet it has even smoother bokeh than the D Nikkor. And yes, both the D and the Samyang have more spherical aberration than the G. My 135mm f/2 Ai Nikkor is this way as well, spherical aberration wide open, but spectacular bokeh.

      • Spy Black

        “Also you won’t get green rings in the out of focus highlights, and magenta in places that shouldn’t have it etc.”
        Well, here’s the Zeiss, for what it’s worth…

        • Better wording on my part would have been “as much green…” etc. But there are lenses that are better corrected than the 55 Otus… they’re just not 50s

          • Spy Black

            Well that’s quite a bit of it there, so I don’t know about the “as much” part. 😉

    • Whayne

      Your the sort of guy that spends $100K on speakers to find that extra 0.5% improvement no one else can hear.

      • sperdynamite

        I’m sorry are we still talking about a Sigma 50? You must be confusing me with someone on Leica Rumors.

  • DuncanM

    At $1000 plus price point these types of standard and medium teles need to have more going for them than sharpness and how well they correct distortion, etc. The character of the lens matters more, at least for me. This is something Zeiss has always excelled at, how well colors, bokeh, vignetting come together to make a stunning image that’s uniquely Zeiss. Not something I’m confident Sigma can pull off, even if every test on the planet says its technically better on paper than an Otus. My money will likely go to Zeiss.

    • madmax

      Funny now it seems numbers and charts don´t matter! For sure more expensive, heavier, bulkier and only manual. Ok, it´s your money!

      • DuncanM

        You left out time-tested quality, one of the most important things and something Sigma doesn’t have. Even the new Art glass has many of the same focus and QC issues as older Sigma lenses. Plenty of negative user reviews back that up. The consensus? Sigma makes a great lens…IF you get a good copy. Don’t get me wrong, if this comes in under $700 I’ll get one to replace my 50/1.8, but I’ll go to my LCS so I can cherry pick a good copy. No way would I ever buy a Sigma blind from B&H. One last note: You say only manual like that’s a negative.

        • madmax

          Yes, of course, manual focus only in a lens which is designed to work with blazing fast autofocus cameras is not only a negative point, but absurd as well. And you can write poetry about Zeiss Otus imaginary colors and inimitable character, but can´t change this fact.

          • DuncanM

            The only available reply to something like this is lol, wat?

          • madmax

            Yes, if you don´t want to cry, I think laughing loudly is your best option now.

          • BP2012

            I don’t have a problem with 50mm manual focus. If Samyang will ever make that 50mm f/1.0 I’ll buy it immediately. It will cost probably 15% of Zeiss price with 85% of its functionality.

          • madmax

            Of course you have not problem because Samyang lenses are reasonably priced and good enough. So, although Samyang lenses have not autofocus yet (they are going to launch autofocus lenses soon), the relation price to quality is very good.

        • Eric Calabros

          this Race for Sharpness, is exactly like megapixel wars!
          %90 of my photos never be printed, but screened on some digital devices: smartphone, tablet, TV. and even in 60 inch 4k TV, these DxO score differences in sharpness is absolutely unnoticeble. Try downscaling your images taken with your softest lenses to 3840×2160 resolution, to understand what im talking about

          • Barbu Mateescu

            Pardon me, but sharpness (and microcontrast, aka… sharpness at 10LP/mm) really do matter, even at 6MP.
            Right now, I use an APS-C camera (10MP), a full-frame one (12MP) and a m4/3 one (12MP). Perfectly happy with these bodies, and still seeing much different results depending on the lens used; and since you mentioned 4k… that’s somewhat more than 7MP (or, if we’d use camera conventions, 7x3MP since every pixel is RGB). A good lens still makes a difference.
            Lastly, there are less than 10 lenses (from *any* brand) that deliver nice results at f/2.8, not to say anything about f/2.0 or under… Sure, your Nikon 50/1.8 might produce some nice results, and frankly not every picture needs to be sharp. But when you’d like more sharpness, we count on Sigma (and, recently, Tamron) to deliver for the ones that don’t have that huge bulge in their pants (roll of money… compensating for whatever 😉 else).

          • mr.four

            The Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 hits max sharpness at f/2.8 and is pretty sharp wide open. 🙂

            I’m just gonna guess but I think the reviews will be pretty favorable for this new 50 from Sigma.

        • BobTB

          I guess you haven’t seen the issues with various Zeiss lenses a quick search of the net easily uncovers them.

          No products are free from issues ,sadly irregardless of price. It is popular for the brand snobs when faced with the reality of tests that demonstrate the actual real concrete numbers. To claim that their favorite brand has an element of magic “fairy dust” that simply cannot be measured or explained 🙂

          • DuncanM

            Color rendition isn’t magic fairy dust or immeasurable, you can see the differences with your own eyes. Yes, every man made thing is subject to failure, but Sigma has a long history of wide spread failure across every lens they’ve ever made. Doesn’t inspire confidence does it? I’m all for getting the best bargain out there, but its not a bargain if it comes at the cost of peace of mind. I’m not a brand snob, I just don’t cheap out on important purchases.

          • Reggie

            I’ve been lucky with Sigma, having owned the 4/3 mount Bigma, the 35 Art, and the 24-70 (newer one, not the macro) I only ever had issues with the 24-70, and those weren’t down to QC, I just didn’t like the lens. Knock on wood, I’ve been very happy with my Sigma products. If this compares to the Zeiss, I’d get it. If I get a bad copy, I’ll exchange it. I’m sure it will be a fraction the cost of the Otus, and could be a great replacement for my 1,8G

          • Reggie

            I’ve been lucky with Sigma, having owned the 4/3 mount Bigma, the 35 Art, and the 24-70 (newer one, not the macro) I only ever had issues with the 24-70, and those weren’t down to QC, I just didn’t like the lens. Knock on wood, I’ve been very happy with my Sigma products. If this compares to the Zeiss, I’d get it. If I get a bad copy, I’ll exchange it. I’m sure it will be a fraction the cost of the Otus, and could be a great replacement for my 1,8G

          • Rui Nelson Carneiro

            I trust a brand that does it’s own manufacturing.

          • mwei

            i have seen some zeiss prime with horrible vignetting and some even have some kind of red shade vignette. not everything in this world is perfect

          • DuncanM

            I agree, the Zeiss 50/1.4 is rather boring and not at all worth $725, bought it and returned it. Literally no difference between that and my much, much cheaper used Nikon 50/1.8.

        • Ryan

          I rather rely on doing my research, reading multiple reviews and once I get the product , test it myself rather on silly marketing catchphrases like “Time tested quality.”

          • DuncanM

            Here’s the problem with that; Many, many, MANY buyers (myself included) have been burned by Sigmas shoddy record of quality control. They make a good lens, but only if you get a good one without wild front/back focus or a bad motor or both. Not to mention sticky focus rings, poor cold weather performance or a lens that looks like it was assembled in a wood working shop. I say time tested quality because these new Art lenses haven’t been here long enough to prove their worth. For my money I would rather spend a bit more with a company that has a solid history of quality and customer satisfaction, not one that made such crappy lenses they had to reinvent themselves and their brand.

      • Marc W.

        HEY HEY HEY!, I thought we were using your money to buy me one.

      • Marc W.

        HEY HEY HEY!, I thought we were using your money to buy me one.

      • I use my Tokina 28-80mm 2.8 far more than the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8, even though the Nikon is technically far better; the Tokina has a particular character that is very pleasing to the eye for certain kinds of shooting.

      • tom rose

        Actually, numbers and charts do not matter .. at least not much. Anyone that buys a lens, sight unseen and untried, on the basis of charts and numbers and test results is barmy.

        What matters is your subjective assessment of whether the images you produce with a lens, at whatever size and in whatever medium you produce them, achieve your photographic aims … whether you are in forensics, reportage, or producing fine art prints.

        Also important are build quality and how nice the lens is to use. A stiff focussing ring or shoddy finish can ruin the experience of using a lens however great it might be optically, and it is easier to make great images when you are not constantly being annoyed by your equipment.

        As for cost. There are plenty of people, not necessarily millionaires, that would prefer to spend a few thousand dollars for something they really like rather than a lot less for something that is merely good enough.

        If I had the money I’d buy both Sigma and Art lenses (and maybe those from other makers as well), play with them, and keep whatever best achieved my photographic aims.

        As it is I’ll make do with my Canon 35mm f/2 EF until I get out of my financial hole.

    • Yokokomo

      Yes! Colors rendition by lens is most important in digital photography. For example me, I was always fascinated with acoustic sound of electric unpluged guitar. That sound!

    • Mr. Mamiya

      Same here. I did a side by side comparison between the Sigma 35/1.4 and my Zeiss 35/2 ZF. Yes, the Sigma is ‘sharper’, but my Zeiss has ‘character’. When I scroll through my photo library, images taken with the Zeiss often stand out from the masses simply by their rendering and color rendition. I haven’t seen much reason to change my Zeiss for the Sigma.

      • BobTB

        lol a classic example of ” my favorite brand has an element of magic “fairy dust” that simply cannot be measured or explained :-)”
        In the era of digital processing colour is very easy to manipulate, however you want the final look.Fact is the Sigma 35mm F1.4 is better than the Zeiss 35/2in every way hence the jump to fairy tale claims

        • NicholBolas

          I prefer your comment, BibTB, ’cause you have “character”.

        • DuncanM

          Wrong. You can’t manipulate colors that aren’t there to begin with. And for the record, if you have to insult people to make your point than your point was never valid. You’re free to like whatever you want, so are we.

          • Koolaid

            Are you kidding? Yes you can. You need to brush-up your software skills if that’s what you really believe. If basic composition and focus are achieved, I can turn an image into whatever I want. That’s a fact and it’s done by millions, including respectable publications, magazines, etc.

          • DuncanM

            There’s a difference between manipulating colors and just drawing in color. If you’re just going to draw in all the colors you want why take a photograph at all?

          • Mr. Mamiya

            So why are people discussing the quality of bokeh then, if all we need is a ‘Zeissifier’ and a ‘200/2.0-bokehifier’ plugin for Lightroom?

          • Torben

            But the point is… doing professional work, the less time you need to spend in post the more time you can spend in making more photo / films and thus more art /morney.

        • Mr. Mamiya

          Lol a classic example of “I can measure the beauty and style of an image in a single resolution number”. ‘Resolution by numbers’ isn’t everything in a lens.
          Sure, the Sigma is nice, but while I could instantly grab a Sigma at the next camera shop if I wanted to, I allow myself to drive around in my ’67 Ferrari 250 GTO instead of that Porsche Panamera that is ‘better’ by every number. 😉

          • Marc W.

            Lets leave these small format lenses for these guys and go shoot with out RZs. 🙂

          • Marc W.

            Lets leave these small format lenses for these guys and go shoot with out RZs. 🙂

    • Mr.Black

      I know what is character of a photographer or a model but I really don’t know what is character of a lens. Optical formula which sometimes looks good in some specific conditions, intentional construction mistake or something else? Would you be so kind to explain to me what is character of a lens?
      Thank you.

      • DuncanM

        Different mixtures of elements in the coatings render colors differently. Zeiss has an excellent recipe. No lens can ever be technically or optically perfect, how the so called negative elements are balanced make up a lens’ character. Bokeh is a character trait, what defines good and bad bokeh? What is perfect bokeh? Its not really measurable but you know it when you see it don’t you? All wides have some vignetting, but what is good and what is bad? You can measure it sure, but its still a character quality.

        • Mr.Black

          Bokeh is familiar term to me and on my opinion it is measurable with basic photograpic terms: shape , tonality, contrast and color (blending). Have I forgot something?

          • DuncanM

            But what is good and bad is subjective. Things like heavy distortion and falloff are flaws and not desirable, they do not make a pleasing picture. Sharpness somewhat subjective, but generally you want a sharp focus. Soft focus can be desirable at times but that’s different than blurry really.

          • Calking

            Actually, vignetting in a lens used for portraiture IS a desirable quality. Distortion can be artistic as well.

          • tedtedsen

            hai i have tested maney fast lenses50mm 1.2l from canon on 1dx and 1.4A from sigma on my Nikon d800 my opinnion is more or stronger Bokeh its not question about stronger is better ,Bokeh no it is al about how much you want or like,i prefere to stop the 1.2 and 1.4 Down to about 5.6 or more that gives my the amount of blure i like perhaps you dont agre i respect that sorrey for my bad inglish there are maney factors that influence the bokeh distans to the subject the f stop i use 500mm prim in close range on birds that lens gives me Perfect bokeh

      • S.Yu

        Some things aren’t so easy to explain in theory. Some legacy lenses give a strong “3D” look (stronger than many modern designs) on screen, but lose most of it under 100% magnification. One theory on this is that lenses like these are optimized for low spacial frequency resolution, and completely neglected high lpm resolution because it gets lost to film grain (of course lenses like these are from the film era) anyway, but this theory isn’t proven.

        About color, you might want to try a Pancolar 80/1.8, or from Contax, a Planar 135/2, Distagon 28/2, Vario-Sonnar 70-210, or Vario-Sonnar 100-300 to see what we mean. Take a few hundred shots and you’d see that there’s some special character to it that’s difficult to put to words.

        There’s a theory on this that lenses like these use glass with a higher transmission rate for higher frequency light, so light comes through more evenly across the visible range.

        Read this record about a discussion if you understand chinese:

        • Mr.Black

          I thought that pseudo 3d look depends on relationship between elements in fore+middle+background, and combination of contrast+tonality+colors of those elements in adequate lighting conditions.
          Why pseudo 3d looks better with some lens against the other? Maybe because lens A is a better lens B for that particular purpose. I wouldn’t call that a “lens character” because I think it is collector’s mumbo jumbo. That statement is based on my previous working expirience with Planar 135/2 and Distagon 28/2. I have never used those Zeiss zoom lenses you mentioned nor Pancolar 80/1.8. Instead of it I am still frequently using Takumar 85/1.9. but I never ever noticed something like “lens character” on any of those lenses. They are just good (if not the best) for its purpose. This particular Sigma lens have better sharpness than Zeiss, that is a score but that’s not enough, we’ll see measurements of the other elements. I think this Sigma lens could be overall a better choice than Zeiss for everyday usage.
          Thank you anyway for your answer.

          p.s. I like both brands, as the matter of fact I am using for almost 25 years one very rare AF zoom lens designed by Zeiss and made by Sigma but that’s another story.

          • S.Yu

            Please read my post carefully. I referred to those lenses as they are famed for their distinct Zeiss colors which are already somewhat lost on modern Zeiss products perhaps because of the Japanese glass or environmentally friendly glass used. I have the 70-210 and it’s a clear comparison with say E mount glass from Sony, I get better colors (let’s just say that they’re more pleasing to my eyes) straight out of the camera and the color is just so much easier to manipulate in post, to get whatever colors I have in my mind. With the E glass it’s sometimes not difficult but impossible to get satisfactory colors.The differences are noticeable with a latest serial (1517) Contax 50/1.4.There’s one problem with the Zeiss though that it tends to get colors oversatuated under stage light, but saturation is one thing, there’s also a special tone to it. By the way, I own a Schneider Cinelux modified for photography, and the character seems even stronger.
            As for the pseudo 3D, what I meant was under preferable distance and lighting conditions, it may come down to low frequency resolution.

    • sperdynamite

      How about we see some photos from the lens before you pass judgement. Pre-judging an optic no one has used is such a classic internet move. If you want ‘character’ the Zeiss Planar 1.4 has oodles of it.

      • DuncanM

        That doesn’t mean stifle discussion, after all you arent telling every other poster who shares your point of view to not pass judgement. I’m excited to see what it can do and I hope it comes in at or below $700. If so it will replace my Nikon 50/1.8 for sure. I’m allowed to voice my skepticism, I’m sorry if that offends you personally. I don’t care, but I’m sorry none the less.

    • KingCaster

      The whole is different than the sum of its parts. The Zeiss 2.8 pancake 45mm was pretty much bolted to my 60D but now it is the Sigma, only because it’s new but also because I am enjoying its sharpness and I shoot in a lot of low light situations, which is why I bought it in the first place. But really the Zeiss still produces a “nicer” image MOST of the time. take a look for yourself.

  • Fredus


  • Rui Nelson Carneiro

    Sigma’s been so awesome!

    If you want to live in a fairy tale, it’s up to you. Sigma has been liberating, putting really extraordinary lenses for the prices they are really worth of.

    Of course, for lens collectors, they are the devil.

    • DuncanM

      Sigma has very recently made some good lenses, I’ll gave you that. Just because they’re priced lower doesn’t mean the wealth of extraordinary lenses made by Zeiss, Cosina et al aren’t worth the higher price they command. Just because you can’t afford or are unwilling to pay $4000 for an Otus or $9000 for a Noct doesn’t mean the rest of us are living in a fairy tale. I assure you these lenses are worth it.

      • BobTB

        You are the one desperately trying to justify these expensive lenses , by resorting to intangibles , as the actual controlled tests do not support your agenda.

        The old chestnut about “you cant afford it is ridiculous” .Just because most people are not stupid enough to fall for the hype of Leica etc doesn’t mean that they could afford to waste the money if they wanted. The humorous attempts by the Leica faithful to justify the price of their gear is particularly amusing.

        • DuncanM

          I don’t have to justify anything to you. You have it in your mind already that Zeiss, etc. lenses are some kind of rip off, I can’t change your opinion and don’t really care either way.

          • Rui Nelson Carneiro

            Aren’t they?

            They are worse than Japanese mfgr’s…

            Some of their lenses are even worse than Samyang’s…

            And the price…

            Doesn’t matter if you drive at 200mph+ in your Toyota Supra… My Bentley will always be better, because I still have a driving license and be out of jail.

        • If I were a multi-millionaire, I’d go for Zeiss in a second.

          As a photography enthusiast/part time pro, I’d take the Sigma.

          As a pragmatist, I’ll probably stick with my Nikon 50mm 1.8D, because I’ve never had a client say the results I get from that lens aren’t good enough.

      • Rui Nelson Carneiro

        Yes, you are living in a fairy tale.

        If you have invested $9k in photography for a lens, I might as well tell you that I invested that kind money for 3 months traveling Italy with my gf before I graduated from college, with a reasonabily good camera in my bag.

        That’s my kind of investment in photography.

        If you want to invest $9k in a lens, that’s your kind of investment…

        I bet Steve McCurry (my fave photographer) didn’t invest $9k in all it’s lenses…

        • DuncanM

          Um, okay I guess? Not sure what this comment has to do with anything or why you care where I spend my money.

        • John

          Steve McCurry shoots now with a Hasselblad medium format digital, so camera and lenses are well in excess of $9K. A Fazioli piano is many times the price of an Estonia. Is it worth it? That is up to the person buying it.

          • Rui Nelson Carneiro

            Steve McCurry shots Hasselblad when Hasselblad pays him.

            He works with a Nikon and a 24-70/2,8 now.

          • John

            I am sure he uses whatever camera he thinks is best for the job. I just don’t see why you would be worrying about what other people choose for gear. Why do you even care?

          • Rui Nelson Carneiro

            That’s what I was trying to say.

            He doesn’t shoot with an Hasselblad, he shoots with the camera he wants.

      • Duncan Dimanche

        DuncanM here is a message from DuncanD: You spend way too much time arguing on this forum man… go out and shoot 🙂

        just saying

        Ps I agree with you on that one but SIGMA is bringing out a whole different world with their new ART lens that are cheaper and better than the other one.. end of story

  • madmax

    Sony and Nikon lenses in this test are far behind Sigma and Zeiss. Sigma and Zeiss are about the same image quality, but Otus price is way higher, lens is bulkier and heavier, only manual and without electronic information about distance. IMO, buying this Otus lens is throwing money away.

    • M43RulezTheWorld

      The Otus is not for people who rely on this “test”. You do? Get a M43 and be happy.

      • madmax

        The Otus is just for people with more money than common sense. Get one and be happy.

  • peppino


    • Might be a little low. It may be 50mm, but it’s large and complex. 13 elements in 8 groups, one aspherical element.

      But I’d be thrilled at $699.

    • I believe I saw reports of the lens just under $1,400? I’m not sure where now…But their 24-105 is more expensive than Nikon and Canon counterparts

      • Cyrille Berger

        The 1400$ price tag was set by an australian shop for pre-orders. There have been no official statement from Sigma so far.

  • Jer

    Looks to me like the Nikon is the flat out loser in this test.

    • Duarte Castelo Branco

      it has much less chromatic aberration than the sony, i think it’s kind of even.

      • Zos Xavius

        CA can be removed in post when its manageable, sharpness can’t be added. True that CA also affects sharpness, but still the sony is definitely pulling ahead here.

  • Say what?

    Wow, the Nikon and Sony are a piece of shit. I bet the Canon is even worse than the Nikon too!

    • Claudius R.

      Go sit in the corner, boy…

  • Say what?

    There certainly needs to be a balance between character and sharpness/correction. I bet the Zeiss will kill the Sigma in that regard.

  • Jan K.

    Anything else aside, it’s a seriously beatiful lens!

  • TinusVerdino

    They sure can take pretty pictures of focus charts, but the best lens is the one pointing at Scarlett Johanson.

  • BP2012

    666$ ?

  • Megatron

    Way to go Sigma! I hope this is an affordable lens. Anything more than the 35mm Art, and I’ll be sad.

  • Holy, this thing is sharp as a razorblade! Sigma is on it’s best way to kick some asses. And they’re setting the level high.

  • want 50mm art

    looks like a picture of a screen? different resolution samples and the purple fringing on the Zeiss screams back focus? I might wait to make any pronouncements

  • Joseph Li

    As much as I like zeiss, manual focus is a pain and doesnt work well in my use. They are great lenses and i tried hard to make them work for me. I love the 135mm f/2 especially, great lens for the price. Otus is just way out there….
    Is this test accurate? it appears the sigma is sharper and contrastier than the zeiss. Certainly something to be excited about. Given the performance, just the AF alone will make me buy it

  • BDWT

    If Sigma can bring this into the market and price it between Canon’s current f/1.4 and f/1.2, I think the value and quality they’re offering would be reasonable.

  • rtyerty

    I bought a sigma lens 10 years ago and it was blurry in the edges. Once bitten twice shy. I ain’t buying sigma ever again. I’ll stick to the Nikon / Canon lenses. I think Tamron is the better of the lower priced lenses.

    • madmax

      And Samyang is as good as Tamron, but still only manual focus.

  • KholiH

    You’re out of your damned mind if you think the Otus isn’t worth the price, or you haven’t actually touched/used one yet; I’m willing to accept the latter as an excuse.

  • Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

    I’m gonna call BS on those samples, because it sounds too good to be true.
    Let’s hope I’m wrong.

  • Dutchie

    Local shop here says price will be €999,-

  • Michael West

    The 50 Art is allegedly going to be sold for 790 Dollars American

  • Ron mills

    Sigma has managed a great come back with its new “Art” line, and this 35mm F1.4 is one of the first bombs. And it did a great job. It has a really solid build and nice touch feeling. It is very sharp with low color fringes. The distortion is so little that can be ignored. The focus shift problem generally no longer exists in this generation. What can you say? For a lens that costed me less than $700, I could not ask for more.
    P.S. This is the first non-Nikkor lens that I ever bought. I am fully satisfied. You can read my review at

  • Pierre

    Well, it is definitely NOT all about sharpness. What matters also are:
    – contrast
    – color rendition (yes, you can get almost whatever colors you want in post processing, BUT, a “good” lense, colorwise helps you save hours on the computer…)
    – bokeh
    – WEATHER SEALING!!! What about the so many beautiful places this planet of ours which do have a lot of sand/dust/moist??
    – Reliability of the autofocus mechanics: I have already read too many reports of autofocus failings wit the 35mm 1.4 Art.

    A “good” lense, in all these characteristics, should last tens of years.

    In a nutshell, a report on a lens that does not include all of the above mentionned aspects, is…. pretty useless

    For instance, want a “good” Nikon 50mm? Get the AI-S 50mm 1.2
    (see for instance what Luminous Landscape and Matt Granger have to say about this lens…)


  • John_IGG

    Having seen all discussion (fairy tales, cheaper and better, character matters… and what not) about Sigma vs Otus vs Nikon vs … whatever, here’s what I decided to do…
    I already have a 58mm f/1.4 Nikon. I will buy the Sigma Art and the Otus and eventually I will try to find a descent copy of a Nikon Noct which I will buy too.
    You see, I am a collector who shoots photographs from time to time…
    I wish I could afford a (L)Otus… which probably I would if I were to sell all my collections…

  • Back to top