The 50mm focal-length lens is a true photographic icon and an essential piece of kit for any photographeru2019s kit bag, but there are quite a few to choose from. Richard Sibley and Andrew Sydenham test 12 such optics to assess their particular qualities

Specificiations: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

RRP: £459.99
Street price:
Around £350
Filter diameter:
77mm
Lens elements:
8
Groups:
6
Diaphragm blades:
9
Aperture:
f/1.4-16
Minimum focus:
45cm
Length:
68.2mm
Diameter:
84.5mm
Weight:
505g
Lens mount:
Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Sigma

Chart analysis

Tested on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The shading graph of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is particularly impressive and looks more like the graph of an f/1.8 lens. Curvilinear distortion is reasonable for an f/1.4 lens, although images with straight lines close to the limits of the frame may require a little nudge to get them perfectly straight.

Resolution is very good and, although there is a noticeable drop in image quality when working at f/1.4, the graph puts the Carl Zeiss f/1.4 lens to shame. Overall, the Sigma f/1.4 lens should warrant the attention of most DSLR users, especially as it is available in all major lens mounts.

Score: 5 out of 5

  1. 1. 50mm lens test - Introduction
  2. 2. Page 2
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. Specificiations: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
  5. 5. Specififications: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  6. 6. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
  7. 7. Specifications: Nikon Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G
  8. 8. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM
  9. 9. Specifications: Pentax SMC DA 50mm f/1.8
  10. 10. Specificiations: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  11. 11. Specifications: Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG
  12. 12. Specifications: Sony Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 SSM
  13. 13. Specifications: Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM
  14. 14. Specifications: Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4
  15. 15. Specifications: Zeiss Makro-planar T* 50mm f/2
  16. 16. Our verdict
Page 10 of 16 - Show Full List