Out of Sigma’s freshly reorganised lens line-up comes a new ‘Art’-branded 50mm f/1.4 with claims of superb design and image quality. Richard Sibley puts it through our rigorous testing procedure to discover what truth these rumours hold
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A review
‘What is the best lens I can get for my camera?’ It is a simple question, and one that most photographers want to know, but the answer is complicated and depends entirely on your subject. As far as all-round performance and versatility go, however, you can’t go far wrong with a good 50mm optic.
With a field of view said to closely match that of human vision, the 50mm focal length is suitable for a wide range of subjects, from portraits and travel to landscapes to documentary. It is no surprise that the 50mm lens is often the second optic that many entry-level photographers buy, especially with a 50mm f/1.8 lens costing as little as £85.
In fact, 50mm lenses can become a little like a drug, and for some, owning one will never be enough. These photographers will continually search for new examples of the 50mm lens, in different versions, ages and lens mounts, with each having its own particular quality.
I freely admit to being one of those people. One of my favourites is the Nikkor F 50mm f/1.4 that, when wide open, has low contrast, is soft focus and has a tendency to flair, yet it looks great photographing certain subjects.
Of course, lens design has moved on leaps and bounds since this 1960s example, and the latest Sigma offering, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A, shows just how far things have come.
This new lens has aleady been the subject of a great deal of hype. We heard whispers from Sigma months ago of just how good its new lens was going to be. Obviously, we take any comments from manufacturers with a large pinch of salt, but claims of it matching, and bettering, some of the classic 50mm lenses have got us very excited.