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Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art Lens: Is It Worth $950

Since Sigma announced the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens people have been toughing it as the sharpest thing since sliced bread, not that sliced bread is sharp. The major question in my mind is wether or not a 50mm lens is worth almost $1,000.

The Nikon 50mm F1.4 clocks in at only $439 with the Canon F1.4 being $399. This new signma on the other hand is more than double the price of these other 50mm’s. It really is hard to wrap your head around the price difference but is the quality there.


As soon as got in their first copy they gave me a call to come in to unbox and sniff the lens. This is a mini review of sorts with sample images only, not real world shooting situations. As you know I like to really test my gear in the real world opposed to shooting charts and test images. In this case I set up some very simple shots which give me the ability to let you pixel peep all you would like at my files.

Click Here to download four DNG Files (70 megs).
Click Here for the FULL RES Jpeg exports.

First things first, this lens is built extremely well. It feels great in the hands and does not remind you of the lower end Sigma glass. Sigma has spent the last two years focusing on upping their game. Stepping up not just the quality of their products but the quality control.

Simply holding on to and sniffing this lens gives you a sense of how well it is put together. It focuses smoothly, the buttons feel great and not flimsy and the glass looks solid.

The simple tests I did prove how sharp this lens really is. It leaves you with very clean images almost wide open. I say almost wide open because at 1.4 it is very difficult to get tack sharp focus. Having such a shallow or narrow depth of field makes getting tack sharp images almost impossible.

I have explained many times before that just because you have the ability to open up to 1.4 doesn’t mean you should. I know you spent a lot of money to get that but where these lenses shine is at 2.2 to 2.8. They are so much sharper at 2.8 than any 2.8 on the market.

My hope is to get a full on test unit in my hands and use it in the real world and not in a testing situation. But based off the quick tests I did and looking at the images this lens seems to be extremely sharp. Sharp is one thing but is it worth the price?


It always comes down to can you afford it. If you can afford the price than by all means it’s a fantastic lens. If you don’t have the money to drop on it than I have absolutely no issue recommending the Nikon or Canon 1.4 for far less money.

My plan in the future is to put this lens up against the Nikon 58 1.4 and the Canon 50 1.2. I know they are not the same focal lenses but I think it would be a fun little shoot out. I will also put it against the 50 1.4’s from Nikon and Canon and see what we come up with.

If you are looking to pick up any Sigma Lenses please check out Allen has supported me and this website since day one. He is a mom and pop store that has been in business for over 30 years and wins on quality and customer service. Please give them a call for any NEW or USED camera gear from any manufacture.