Neowin Member Reviews: Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG HSM

It's that time of the week again, where we showcase a review submitted by a member in our forums. Remember that we consider all reviews that are submitted here. Who knows, your review might make the front page next week!

This week mrk makes another appearance and its a gadget review, rather than PC equipment.


Hey everyone,

I've had this lens a week~ now and feel I have used it enough to post a review on it and say a few words on whether it is worth the extra cash (£379) over the standard Canon and Nikon 50mm 1.8 lenses which cost less than half that.

I've been a 50mm 1.8 users for many years now and it's always been a good lens to have in the bag, the depth of field is excellent as is the low light capabilities, as you'd expect from a prime lens really.

The Sigma 50mm 1.4 EX DG HSM has a lot of acronyms after the name but all you need to know is how it compares to the cheaper prime lenses out there and how it feels to use, no?

Build quality & Design

Immediately out of the box the build quality grabs your attention. It's not a textured matte finish like some other Sigma lenses (24-70 2.8 EX DG, for example) but is still matte and tough to the touch/tap. The weight will catch you off guard as well because it has some heft to it. smaller bodies like the Nikon D40~/Canon 450/550D series etc will been weighed down at the front but it's quite well balanced as it's a short lens, just pretty fat.

The front of the lens is completely plain, I really like this and it's something Nikon have used for ages. It gives a more professional and clean look and it stops people from attempting to read the writing when you're taking their picture.

It comes with a good quality hood but the lens cap can be easily knocked off if you catch the end of the pinch release on something, some kind of recess at the end would have been good but you can also buy 3rd party caps on eBay for little money and use them instead I guess. The inclusion of a hood is excellent as canon only bundle hoods with L lenses and want you to pay £20+ for one on anything less.

It also comes with a very nice padded zip top pouch should you wish to carry it around in your rucksack with other kit and so on.

Read the rest of this review ->

Earlier reviews by mrk:

Samsung Galaxy S II - 8 May
Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse - 09 Apr
Ultimate Ears 100
- 19 Feb
Logitech Harmony 300i Remote - 7 Feb
Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard - 23 Jan

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I think the Sigma 50 makes a nice portrait lens for a crop body, certainly for the same field of view a 30/35mm lens is the better option but I personally really like the 85mm focal length (my sigma 85 is on my camera most of the time, but i have a fullframe body) so it's still a great lens for croppers

I'm surprised there was no mention of FF / crop when recommending it. I would rather recommend Sigma's 30/1,4 for crop bodies (assuming you want Sigma, imho the Nikkor 35/1,8 is better for Nikon although, yes, the Sigma 30 has very creamy bokeh... Lacks some sharpness though.). The focal length will likely be more useful to you. If on full frame, then yes, this 50mm should be a good choice! The problem on crop bodies is no biggie though if shooting outdoors. It's indoors on a crop body that 50mm can become a bit too tight.

Mouettus said,
Nothing about the AF system?!

AF is fine, i have a body which has MA and i needed to adjust mine a little, but it was spot on after that, very sharp wide open. Exceptionally sharp at f2.2.

gzAsher said,
No samples? No comparison shots??? Also quite amateur. Didn't expect this from Neowin. I mean a lens review?
It's for a DSLR, why not? The "D" is for digital so it fits.

debsuvra said,
The Canon camera is using a Nikon strap?! Didn't see that coming.

Exactly. Don't know many Cannon users who would be seen with a Nikon strap around their necks!

debsuvra said,
The Canon camera is using a Nikon strap?! Didn't see that coming.
Forget that... I'm more interested in the "Crime Scene" part of the strap.