Anyone have a 50mm 1.4 Sigma?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jason Beck, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #1
    I am getting a Sigma 50mm 1.4/Canon mount. Anyone own this and can tell me about it and your experience? I'm selling my 24-70L and getting it and an iPad 2 :D. Mainly using it as a portrait lens.
     
  2. jabbott macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Some folks and I had a rousing discussion about Sigma and Canon 50mm lenses (among others) back in December.
     
  3. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #3
    Check out photozone.de - the Sigma measures terribly at everything except the very center of the lens. No way would I sell my 24-70 for that.
     
  4. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #4

    I am selling it for that and an iPad 2 :) . I actually read a few reviews that it is more sharper at the corners than the center, especially wide open. According to DPReview.com
    Personally I have seen nothing but positive reviews for this lens. A few small focus issues but all lenses have some bad lots. The positive reviews are very positive and the ones I paid attention to those most were the reviews on Amazon from owners of L lenses (specifically my own L lens) comparing it to them. Quite a few 24-70 owners who got this as their first prime exclaimed that they hardly ever use the zoom anymore.

    I shoot consitently at 50mm anywas in a studio setting or outdoors. I believe I will benefit from the fast prime. Especially with what I do.

    I also get an iPad 2 out of this. Models can sign contracts and I can digitally send receipts. Not to mention my portfolio gorgeously displayed on that screen.

    Thanks for linking that previous discussion. That is also one factor that sold me on this lens.
     
  5. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #5
    http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_50_1p4_c16/page5.asp
     
  6. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #6
    I can quote my own link too.
    "Central sharpness is impressively high even wide open"

    That is important to me.

    "The most obvious result from our studio tests is that this lens exhibits fairly extreme corner softness at wide apertures on full frame."

    I shoot 1.6x.

    I neglected to mention I shoot on a crop body so it's not your fault.
     
  7. Keleko macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I'm curious why you're getting the Sigma 50mm over the Canon 50mm f/1.4. I haven't researched either very much, so I just wondered why.
     
  8. TheSVD, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

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    #8
    Ah man why get rid of the 24-70L?!?

    I have the Canon 50mm 1.4 and I would definitely recommend that over the Sigma 1.4 which I tried at a photography expo.. it's worth the extra bit of cash, honestly!

    EDIT: Wait, is it cheaper than Canons one?
     
  9. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    #9
    I have the Canon 1.4 on a Full Frame 5DII and I'm a little disappointed by it wide open. I'm not expecting drop dead sharp but I think the 1.8 fares better. Had to experiment a lot with Micro-adjusting in the camera body before I felt confident shooting paid gigs with it.

    That said, whatever you get, if your body supports Micro-adjusting lenses, DO IT. I solved a lot of CA at faster apertures doing so.

    I haven't tried the Sigma except about 2 minutes at a trade show, so I don't have any valuable input on that. But, shooting a 1.6 body you'll fare better with edge sharpness on most non-L lenses.
     
  10. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I had three of them, none of them worked. I gave up after the good folks at Amazon shipped me the third one. Sell your kidney, keep that 24-70 - that's a great lens.
     
  11. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #11
    Sigma supposedly has "copy variation" within all the lenses it produces, resulting in half of them not auto-focusing correctly.

    I bought a used one from the Fred Miranda buy/sell section and it works like a charm. No experience with comparing it against the Canon 50 f/1.4, but so far I have not a single complaint against the Sigma. I shoot it on a 5DII. Below are a few shots from a few days ago:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those were all at or around f/1.4

    In summary: Buy a used one that you can verify works correctly. You should be able to get one used around $400, about the same price as the Canon.
     
  12. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #12
    1. Better sharpness @ f/1.4-2.0
    2. Better bokeh
    3. Better build quality

    The Sigma 50 f/1.4 is optically on par with the Canon 50 f/1.2L, for roughly one-third the price. The only knock against it is that some copies have wonky AF accuracy, and may back- or front-focus. Always buy from somewhere that allows you to return the lens for another copy, if you get a bad one.

    My Sigma 50 is by far my most used lens; it's very sharp at f/1.4, and absolutely tack sharp by f/1.8. Highly, highly recommended.
     
  13. tmagman macrumors 6502

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    #13
    When I was shopping for a 50mm lens the one store I went to tried to sell the Sigma to me as a step up compared to the Canon 50 1.4 USM, for an extra $200 but playing with them I honestly couldn't see any advantage of the sigma. I found the actual lens to be a lot bulkier and didn't feel as smooth as the canon during operation. I ended up going to another store (my usual store) and the guys said that the sigma was really an overpriced lens with no advantage over the canon. (If not poorer image quality around the edges like mentioned above). Save the $200 and buy the 1.4 Canon.
     
  14. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Wow. I've never, ever, ever heard anyone say that about these two lenses before. There are lots of good reasons to go with the Canon (price, AF accuracy, size), but the Sigma is undoubtedly the better lens in terms of IQ, especially when it comes to sharpness at < f/2.8 and really especially in terms of bokeh.

    Spend the extra $200 on the Sigma so you wont have to spend $200 later on to fix the lousy AF motor in the Canon...;)
     
  15. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #15
    Neither have I... Now this is anecdotal, but it seems to me that most Canon professionals have one of two fifties: The 50 1.2L or the Sigma 1.4. I actually cant recall seeing ANY canon shooter on Fred Miranda/weddings that shoots a Canon 50 f/1.4? Many of them have actually opted for the Sigma 50 f/1.4 OVER the Canon 50 f/1.2L, even when money is not an object per say.

    sounds like your camera store guys are Canon fanboys. I was, but now my camera bag holds Tokina, Tamron, Sigma, and ONE canon.
     
  16. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I think Sam Hassas uses the Canon 50/1.4, but other than that, I think you're right...it's either the 1.2L or the Sigmalux.

    The same phenomenon is happening with the Sigma 85 f/1.4 vs. the Canon 85 f/1.2L. A lot of people are picking the Sigma over the Canon.

    There's no question that Sigma has some QC issues (that seem to be better with the 85 vs. the 50, to be fair). But once you find a good copy, these lenses are absolutely incredible values.
     
  17. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #17
    I have a sigma 50mm 1.4 on a canon 5DmII. I like it, however sometimes the focus is soft so I don't use it as much.
     
  18. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Try microadjustment. My Sigma needs +10 on my 5DII (but, strangely, is perfect on my non-MAable 1DmkII).
     
  19. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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  20. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #20
    I chose it because I read all the reviews that pegged it over Canon's similar offering, and put it between the $350ish 50mm and the L. That seems like decent value for a lens to hold me over till I get a new L for portraiture. I don't think I will have any problem using the lens, and agree my only setback will be receiving a bad copy. I don't think that will happen though (hoping).
    BTW Those are really nice pictures you took with the lens, Matt.


    And thanks Dale for those links.
    "1) It works very well on crop frame cameras and at middle (5 to 15 feet) distance, so it’s a wonderful indoor lens."
     
  21. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #21
    here are some reviews on this lens.

    Here is some discussion on the lens vs the Canon. Here as well.
     
  22. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

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    #22
    Sigh. It's in New Jersey right now on it's way here. I can't wait to put it on. I imagine I am more excited about a new lens than my iPad 2 that I am gonna order here tomorrow.
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #23
    From everything I have read about the Canon 50 mm f/1.4, it's a dog. If you were a Nikon user, and it was between the newish 50 mm f/1.4 and the Sigma, then it's a tougher choice.

    I own the Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 for my D300, and I chose it over the new Nikon version. The centre seems sharper than the Nikon, but is softer at the corners. Not a big deal, as I only care about the middle. I'm using this camera to shoot people, and random stuff. On full-frame, they're both soft at the corners. In fact, all 50 mm lenses are soft at the corners when shooting wide open. I don't know about the uber-expensive German manual focus lenses, so I don't know if they perform any better. Also, these lenses all exhibit low contrast, which is usually the case with large aperture lenses with a short- or mid- focal length.

    My Sigma 50 mm is tack sharp, but I find it easy to misfocus. I believe this is user error, and has nothing to do with the lens. :eek: The dof is really narrow, so it's hard to get used to at first. I have no problem focusing my Sigma 30 mm f/1.4, though.
     
  24. danmanc macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Sigma 50mm 1.4

    I have this lens and have compared it to the actual Canon lens. At first I liked this lens a lot but when comparing it closely to my my's Canon lens, the Canon is truly sharper. I've found another Sigma to also be sub standard, most commonly with the focus. I'm going to spend a little more next time and avoid Sigma altogether. Just my thoughts based on experience owing some of their lenses.
     
  25. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

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    #25
    I hope you're aware that this thread, among other others, is quite old and stale. This one is about 3 1/2 years old...things have changed a bit in the interim.
     

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