Photos of a Photographer and Review of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art lens

Photographers often work with other photographers and this a great time to talk about equipment and ideas. The big benefit is that if one photographer has bought some new gear, another photographer can assess that equipment, without having to purchase it themselves. This was the case here where a friend bought the new Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens. I had the chance to use this beast and see the results for myself. This is not an in depth review as I did not get the chance to fully check this new lens out side by side with my own Canon 50mm F1.4 lens.

guy wearing sunglasses sitting on steps with grafitti holding a camera

Being a photographer means that you are often photographing other people and you don’t get the chance to have your own photo taken. So in assessing the new Sigma lens, I thought it would be a good idea to photograph the other photographer. We were in Auckland City and he had a location already scoped out, so we walked there and started taking photographs.

My first impressions of the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art, is that it is a solid, well-built lens. It feels like it has a better build quality than the Canon equivalent. That being said, it is probably 3 times larger and much heavier than the similar Canon lens. The Sigma lens has the reputation for being the sharpest lens in its class, so I decided to put that to the test.

A portrait photo of a guy wearing sunglasses taken using the Sigma-50mm-art lens

a guy wearing sunglasses taken using the Sigma-50mm-art lens

The Sigma seems to deliver professional quality photos, which are reasonably sharp and have a great bokeh (background blur). I think the bokeh is nicer than that of the Canon 50mm F1.4. I can confirm that the Sigma appears to give sharper results as well. That is when it locks onto focus correctly. When photographing with a shallow depth of field, focus is a problem, and the worst for focus are the Canon 85mm fast primes. Both the F1.2 and the F1.8, in my experience, are horrible at getting the focus right when open below F2.2. The Sigma seems to get it right most of the time and I would rank this as close to, or slightly better than the Canon version.

A photo of a model wearing sunglasses posing on steps with grafitti taken using the Sigma-50mm-art lens


In my use of the Sigma, I found that after a short while, it gets very heavy. The Canon is a lens I can use all day and not get tired. The Sigma does deliver slightly clearer photographs and apart from its weight, it is a pleasure to use. It is currently more expensive than the Canon version, but it is cheaper than the top of the line Canon 50mm F1.2 L Lens. I think it gives the Canon F1.2 a good run for the money.

Ultimately I will stick to my Canon 50mm 1.4, as the difference in the weight and size outweighs the benefits of the extra sharpness in my book. I believe the average person viewing the photos would struggle to tell the difference.


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