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Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon Review

Looking to find more information regarding the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon? Read our latest review to learn more about the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon Overview

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is a prime lens that has been designed to offer excellent image quality. This lens is part of the Art series, which means that it has been created with a focus on artistic expression.

The lens has a large maximum aperture of f/1.4, which allows for a great level of control over the amount of light that enters the lens. This makes the lens ideal for low-light photography, as well as for creating shallow depth of field effects. The lens also features an ultrasonic autofocus motor, which ensures quick and accurate autofocus performance.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon Specifications

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon was first announced on 01/09/2014 with a Canon EF mount type. Below is a summary of this lens’s specifications: 

Indicative Price: $949Zoom Type: None
Release Date: 01/09/2014Mount Type: Canon EF
Focal Range: 50mmTripod Mount: No
Aperture: F/1.4Colors Available: Black
Filter Diameter (millimeters): 77Full-Time Manual Focus: Yes
Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 85Number Of Lenses: 13
AF Motor: USMLength (millimeters): 100
Stabilization: NoWeight (grams): 815

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon Performance

In terms of performance, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is a great lens for photography enthusiasts. The lens has a great build quality and is able to produce sharp images with minimal chromatic aberration. The lens is also able to produce beautiful bokeh effects, making it a great choice for portrait photography. The only downside to the lens is that it is a bit heavy compared to other lenses in its class.

Build and Handling Quality

The build quality of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A lens is excellent – it has a very solidly built all-metal barrel, which gives it a far better feel in hands than the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, which feels and handles plasticky in comparison. At 815 grams, the lens is a beast! And it had better be, with its complex optical design featuring 13 elements in 8 groups, 3 low-dispersion (SLD) elements and an aspherical lens element.

Almost three times heavier than the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G and only 155 grams lighter than the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4, it definitely lets itself know when mounted on a camera. It will surely make a lightweight DSLR front-heavy, although it does balance out quite well on larger cameras like the Canon 6D.

It features a metal barrel and mount, which gives it a solid feel and makes it resistant to wear and tear. The lens also has a very smooth focus ring, which makes it easy to use. One downside, however, is that the lens mount is not weather-sealed, so you have to be careful not to let dust get between the lens and the camera mount.

The build and handling quality of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A lens is excellent – it’s solidly built with a very nice feel in hands, and while it’s not exactly lightweight, it balances out well on larger cameras.

Autofocus Performance

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens is a great performer when it comes to autofocus. I found that it was quick and accurate in most situations, and especially when shooting in low light. I did experience a few times where the lens struggled to focus properly, but those were rare instances.

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens is a great performer when it comes to autofocus, with quick and accurate focus most of the time. There were a few rare instances where the lens struggled to focus properly, but it did a great job. Overall, I was very pleased with the autofocus performance of this lens.

Sharpness

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is impressively sharp, with amazing sharpness levels reached in the f/4-f/5.6 range. The lens already starts strong at f/1.4, with impressive center and mid-frame performance. Corners are a bit weak, but that’s expected from a fast prime lens. Stopping down the lens improves sharpness significantly, making it one of the best performing prime lenses we have tested so far.

Distortions / Aberrations 

There is a very slight amount of barrel distortion at close distances with the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens. This is insignificant and can easily be corrected in post-production if needed. Lateral chromatic aberration levels are pretty good, starting out at around a pixel, then coming down to close to half a pixel when stopped down beyond f/2.8. None of the images in this review were corrected in post-production for lateral CA.

Vignetting / Color Fringing

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens vignettes a bit wide open, with vignetting levels falling sharply when stopped down. Vignetting levels vary by focus distance – at close focus the lens vignettes much less than at infinity, as measured by Imatest. This is typical for prime lenses – most heavily vignette when shot wide open, especially on a full-frame body.

One potential downside of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens is that it can suffer from color fringing, or chromatic aberration. This is where different colors of light are focused at different points, resulting in a rainbow-like effect around high-contrast edges in photos. The good news is that this can usually be corrected in post-processing software like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.

Image Quality

Image quality is superb, with the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens producing some of the best images I’ve seen from a Canon DSLR. Colors are accurate and vibrant, and contrast levels are high. The lens is also very sharp, especially when stopped down to f/4-f/5.6. There is some slight barrel distortion at close distances, but it’s not noticeable in most images. Lateral chromatic aberration is well controlled, with only a hint of color fringing visible in some high-contrast photos.

Bokeh

The bokeh quality of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is excellent. The highlights show a defined transition from the bright points of light to the surrounding area, and they do not look distracting. The onion-shaped bokeh that I showed on the Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art is barely visible when photographing extremely bright points of light. Overall, the bokeh quality of this lens is impressive.


How Does The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon Score? 

Below are the lens metric scores we’ve measured for this specific lens: 

  • Performance and Image Quality: 9/10
  • Features: 8/10
  • Bokeh: 8/10
  • Build Quality: 8/10
  • AutoFocus Quality: 9/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons regarding this lens. 

Pros: 

  • Sharpness is great, even when wide open
  • Silence, fast focus
  • Great bokeh
  • Solid build quality
  • Weight and ergonomics

Cons: 

  • Several autofocus issues
  • Not as sharp as Canon equivalent lens
  • Some focus hunting
  • Bokeh can be unpredictable at times
  • Price is high, but is reasonable if purchasing used
  • Some quality control issues

Similar Lenses Compared To The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon

Below are other similar lenses when compared to the Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens:

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM is a cheaper alternative to the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon. It’s a bit older, but it still delivers excellent image quality. The main downside of this lens is that it’s not as sharp as the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon, and it also doesn’t have Sigma’s latest autofocus technology.

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is a much better lens than the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. It has much better sharpness when stopped down and is much better at the maximum aperture. This is because it has a newer optical formula that is designed to work better with digital cameras.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4G

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is a much better performer than the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G. Even when stopped down to f/8.0, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens outperforms the Nikon 50mm lens in terms of sharpness and clarity. If you’re looking for a great lens to shoot with on a budget, the Nikon 50mm is still a solid option.

Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is a better option than the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 if you’re looking for a high-quality, fast prime lens. The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens has better sharpness, less chromatic aberration, and less vignetting. It’s also much cheaper than the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4.

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon is a better option than the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G if you’re looking for a high-quality, fast prime lens. The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens has better sharpness, less chromatic aberration, and less vignetting. It’s also much cheaper than the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G.

Both the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon and Nikon 58mm f/1.4G are great camera lenses. However, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon is the better of the two. The Nikon 58mm f/1.4G lens is good, but the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens offers better sharpness and clarity overall. The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon lens is also a bit faster at its maximum aperture of F1.4, compared to the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G lens, which has a maximum aperture of F1.4 as well.

Conclusion

The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM A Canon camera lens is an excellent lens for portrait photography and other types of photography that require a fast aperture lens. The lens is well-corrected for optical aberrations, delivering sharp images with minimal distortion, field curvature and chromatic aberration. The lens is also very fast, with an aperture of F1.4, allowing you to capture photos with a beautiful shallow depth of field.

Yes, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art is more expensive than the Nikon 50mm lenses and Canon 50mm f/1.4 when compared to other manufacturers’ offerings, but it is far less expensive than the 4x more costly Otus or the difficult-to-focus Canon 50mm f/1.2L (which isn’t particularly sharp at f/1.2 through f/1.4). The Sigma 50mm F 1.4 Art is a bargain and offers good value in comparison to other brands’ lenses of this price range.

While the lens’s bokeh rendering capabilities may not be as good as those of the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G and Canon 50mm f/1.2L, keep in mind that neither is designed to optimize sharpness, especially outside of the frame. So, if you don’t care about sharpness and want aesthetically attractive photographs, the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G and Canon 50mm f/1.2L may still be your best options.

In conclusion, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art has a good mix of optical performance, functionality, and price in my opinion. The only major drawback I can see is its bulk and weight, but I also recognize that it would not be feasible to build such a lens without correcting so many optical aberrations while adding to the weight and bulk.

The huge and heavy Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 is also a viable option, as is the smaller but still massive Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L IS USM. The Sigma shines when it comes to this because, although 50mm isn’t the greatest portrait length, many photographers like it because it’s neither too short nor too long when used on a full-frame camera body. If you’re one of them, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Sigma 50mm f Additionally, there are several noteworthy alternatives that have been released in recent years.

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