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
Street price: Around £350
Filter diameter: 77mm
Lens elements: 8
Diaphragm blades: 9
Minimum focus: 45cm
Lens mount: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Pentax K, Sigma
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