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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

4.4 out of 5 stars 384 customer reviews
| 76 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
Canon Digital SLR Cameras

DPReview Tested
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 84%
See review summary and sample images
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Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.


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  • Large Aperature, standard prime lens, has superior peripheral brightness and corrects the sagittal coma fare
  • Standard lens with large maximum aperture of F1.4.
  • Creates sharp images with high contrast and ensures superior peripheral brightness
  • Incorporates molded glass aspherical lens, perfectly correcting coma aberration and creating superior image quality.
  • Super multi-layer lens coating reduces flare and ghosting.
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Technical Details


Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested August 2008
This lens essentially redefines its class, and for once the results really live up to the marketing hype.
Andy Westlake Andy Westlake
84%

Conclusion

The Sigma 50mm 1.4 has smooth out-of-focus backgrounds, improved sharpness at large apertures, and lessened vignetting due to its large lens barrel. It's a far better portrait lens on APS-C than legacy primes designed for 35mm film, as well as an extremely competent standard on 35mm full-frame.

Reasons to buy

  • Class-leading image quality
  • Relatively low vignetting even at wide apertures on full frame
  • Reasonably fast and positive autofocus
  • Very good build quality

Things to consider

  • Large and heavy for a 50mm F1.4
  • Expensive

Suggested for

Those looking for a sharp, fast normal lens with quick autofocus and good build quality -- especially APS-C camera owners in search of the perfect portrait lens.

Not suggested for

Anyone who wants their prime lenses to be small and lightweight.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
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Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Style: Canon Digital SLR Cameras

L9) 50MM F1.4EX F/CAN HG HSM LENS

Product Information

Style:Canon Digital SLR Cameras
Product Dimensions 2.7 x 3.4 x 3.4 inches
Item Weight 1.1 pounds
Shipping Weight 1.8 pounds
ASIN B0018ZDGAC
Item model number 310101
Customer Reviews
4.4 out of 5 stars 384 customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #301 in Camera & Photo > Lenses > Camera Lenses > Digital Camera Lenses
Date first available at Amazon.com October 2, 2001

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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From the Manufacturer


Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Style Name: Canon Digital SLR Cameras Verified Purchase
Prior to ordering this lens, I probably spent more time reading owner reviews than I have for any other lens I own. At the time of my order, I think Amazon listed some 85 customer reviews of this lens. It was hard to arrive at a conclusion. Image quality was generally not a point to be disputed. In fact the majority of owners had nothing but good to say about this lens. But, some complained of issues related to a failure to auto-focus when shooting at or near wide open aperture settings especially shooting close-ups in subdued light. I wondered why so many were pleased while others had focus problems. And, while what I have to say should not be construed to be conclusive (perhaps there are some bad copies that slipped through the QC department at Sigma)I wanted to share with others my experience with this lens and what I did to fix my focus problem. Obviously, I purchased one.....

A lens like this is generally purchased with one or both of the following in mind. Either for portrait work or for low light shots. Therefore, it is near essential that the auto-focus be spot on. No auto-focus lens is perfect in that it is impossible to be on the dot 100% of the time, but if the majority of your shots are not keepers, there is a problem to be reckoned with. You could rely on manual focus (I do sometimes where a shot is critical, I won't trust auto-focus alone)but you paid for auto-focus and you obviously laid out the cash for a reason.

When my lens arrived, I went to work shooting test shots to see how auto-focus worked at these wide open settings. Sure enough, many shots were blurred. I tried manual focus, no problem, most of the shots were sharp. I sat down and thought about it for a while and it occurred to me that the camera was set to use multiple point auto-focus.
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Style Name: Canon Digital SLR Cameras Verified Purchase
I'm a primary Canon user. I owned before the canon 50 mm 1.4, a trully excellent lens for the money too. But not to sharp wide open. You have to stop down at least to f2 in order to get good contrast and saturation. Also, the focusing ring was bad in my opinion.
In the other hand, the 50L 1.2 was a big dissapointment to me.I expected the same image quality as the 35L or the 85L for that price.
When I received the Sigma lens I really love it at once. The construction was amazing, solid as a tank, and the ring is very smooth.
What have really impressed me was the performance wide open. Images are clear as crystal with good color and rendition.
Fully recomended.
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Style Name: Canon Digital SLR Cameras
This review is three pages long. The first section which is 1 page in length does not cover this lens in particular but rather goes into lens basics such as primes vs. zooms and benefits of wide aperture. The second section reviews this lens in detail. Experienced photographers can skip straight to the second setion starting from BUILD QUALITY.

YES ITS BETTER THAN CANON'S 50MM F1.4 LENS!

Out the box this lens is impressive. Better yet on camera it's more impressive. The lens hosts some of the best performance features and specs any normal lens can offer including razor sharp images (at par with Canon's best lenses), fast and accurate focus, and breath taking Bokeh (blur) quality. All of this comes enclosed in a very solid body bundled with essential accessories all for under half a grand. For me this is value 101. But before getting into details lets answer the question why buy a prime lens like this Sigma?

PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS

There are two main unique benefits to this lens A) it's a prime B) it offers a wide maximum aperture.

Primes come in fixed focal lengths, making it essential to physically move back and forth to reduce and enlarge the frame coverage respectively. Zoom lenses on the other hand can reduce or enlarge the frame coverage with a twist of a ring. Traditionally, the main advantage of primes is that they are lighter, smaller, sharper, control distortion better, and come in wider maximum aperture. With the advent of better zoom lenses those advantages have eroded. New zoom lenses are as sharp and control distortion as well as primes. Size and weight, however, remain a prime advantage.
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Style Name: Canon Digital SLR Cameras
In a world of zooms, many people would find plopping down $500 for a 50mm prime -- from a third party manufacturer, no less -- to be a bit absurd.

However, if you are a "prime person" -- and you know who you are -- you'll love the performance of this lens: super sharp photos, incredibly creamy background bokeh, nice contrast and flare resistance, and operation in low-light without needing super-high ISO or a blast of flash.

Pros:
+ @1.4 it's quite usably sharp
+ @1.8 and beyond, it's very sharp
+ the bokeh (rendition of out-of-focus areas) is really amazingly smooth. More so behind the DOF than in front, though
+ colors, contrast, etc, all excellent
+ great build quality, solid feel, free case and lens hood

Cons:
- weight
- price
- big filters (77mm)

Canon already has three 50mm lenses: the 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2L, so you might wonder why Sigma felt the need to jump into this market. The Canon's are all pretty good, with the 50/1.8 being an great value at $80, the 50/1.4 being a reliable workhorse (though prone to a dreamy look wide open), and the 1.2L, being, well, $1500. This lens is priced between the 1.4 and 1.2L, and judging from photos I've seen, it probably performs in that range as well. So it is filling an niche in the wide gulf between the 1.4 and 1.2L.

On my camera, a 400D, a 50mm is like a short tele, and I use it mostly for relatively close up photos of people. I like that when if upgrade to FF, I'll be able to continue to use this lens (and I'll sell my Sigma 30/1.4) whose place it would take.
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