Are Expensive Lenses Worth the Investment? Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Versus Panasonic Lumix 50mm f/1.4 Comparison

In today's match, we have the $949 Sigma Art DG HSM 50mm f/1.4 in one corner, while in the opposite, we have a heavyweight fighter, the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 50mm f/1.4, which costs about $2,300. Who will win?

I admit, that asking if an expensive lens is worth it is a tricky question. Sometimes, you experience the utmost contentment spending a huge pile of money on a lens that has everything just right: sharpness, contrast, bokeh, you name it. In another case, spending less money on a lens may be worth it, because it has the same quality as its more expensive counterpart, or you are happy with the quality, because you don't care about pixel-peeping.

In this video, the people from The Slanted Lens tested the 50mm f/1.4 lenses from Sigma and Panasonic and made a show for the pixel-peepers. While I don't want to spoil the end result, I will share my general opinion. First of all, it's great that people make such comparison videos. Second, these videos are not always objective, because each photographer and videographer have their own style and preference when shooting. Some are very picky about certain features of the lenses, while others simply don't care or don't use them. There are great images to be made with both cheap and expensive lenses. The choice is up to you, your wallet, and most importantly, your abilities to pull a masterpiece out of any glass on the market.

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8 Comments

Alex Yakimov's picture

Nothing new. Cheaper Sigma means a flatter and more chroma-aberratied image. They should have rented Summicron-SL 50mm f/2 as well for a better understanding of diminishing returns with expensive optic.

this goes right with "what lens should I buy" or "what's the best lens for XYZ". I have "expensive lenses" my 400 F2.8 and 600 F4, These lenses aren't cheap but there is nothing else that will do job like them.

Jakub Valovič's picture

*laughs in 80mm/3.5 Tessar for 60€* (that came attached to a medium format camera)

Blake Aghili's picture

Now do a 50mm from Leica :D

Blake Aghili's picture

Thanks for video.. do Leica SL 50 version too ... I am waiting on SL2 so knowing the difference is good

T Scarb's picture

... when you need to count the nose hairs and pores, while having the ears out of focus to a point they look like creamy excellence.

Flash Back's picture

A lens lacking contrast, compensated in post is just mutton dressed as lamb. . .

A bit baffled by the fact that people reviewing 2500$ lenses don't know what longitudinal chromatic aberration is...