Sigma Shocks Us with New 50mm f/1.4 Priced Far Below Expectations

Sigma Shocks Us with New 50mm f/1.4 Priced Far Below Expectations

If you had to guess, you probably would have guessed $1200 for the upcoming and highly anticipated Sigma 50mm f/1.4. It's the most common guess I've heard. It's a good guess, and one that takes into consideration the quality that Sigma has been putting out recently and the pricing of competitors. But it would be a wrong guess. That's right, Sigma has decided to keep the lens in the sub-$1000 price range at only $949.

"The much anticipated 50mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is a pro-level performer for full-frame DSLRs and is ideal for many types of videography and photography, including portraits, landscapes, studio work and still-life. It has been redesigned and re-engineered with SLD glass and has been optimized for rich peripheral brightness, with improved large aperture performance by positioning wide elements into the front groups.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Pricing

"Other updates to this new lens include an optimized autofocus algorithm for smoother focusing and a floating focusing system to reduce lens movement while focusing. Under the Global Vision line, it features a new matte finish, an updated AF algorithm and every lens undergoes Sigma’s proprietary modulation transfer function (MTF) “A1” testing before being shipped. It has 13 elements in eight groups, compared to the previous eight elements in six groups, and it also has improved close focusing at 15.7 inches and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.6."

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG will be available in Sigma, Sony, Nikon, and Canon mounts.

At this price point and our early testing showing exceptional quality of the glass, there is no doubt these are going to sell like hotcakes. The lens is expected to hit shelves in late April. Pre order yours now!

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

Log in or register to post comments

I'm guessing they can be put on a AP-C sensor camera like the Nikon D7100 and have an effective focal length of 75mm? Great for portraits.

That's not guessing, that's simply doing the math. But you are right, this thing is going to be perfect for portraits.

That's the most common misunderstanding of optics laws in internet. Focal length is constant - period. What is changing is view angle. In practice - you will see the same area with 50mm on ASP-C and 75mm on FF and it's perfect for portraits. You will not have compression or DOF of 75mm. And that's why 75mm on FF looks much different that 50 on ASP-C.

I hope you're really that enthuastic about Sigma lenses, and I know they are great lenses. All your posts read like cheap ads though.

I like this site but I'm kind of getting tired of this sigma ass kissing all the time.

Do you also have a problem with the constant Apple ass kissing on the site?

Most writers are windows users.

If Sigma produce great lenses then it is up to them to tell us! I wouldn't call that ass kissing..

I really like this site, but I'm kind of getting tired of this pathetic whiney complaining coming from self-inflated types all the time.

I have started using mostly sigma lenses in the past three years and I have to say that they are awesome, durable and very affordable.

Uh, I hated Sigma years ago. As having invested both in Nikon and Canon (for video) glass, my latest Sigma 35mm and 120-300mm (soon the 24-105mm) proves to me that my Canikon alternatives can't match with their latest. If you're tired of ANY company giving out consistently great products at impressive prices then there nothing wrong with this site NOR the company... now guess where the problem is, hmmm?

Ok, stop producing information fstoppers. If a lens is good, instead of sharing the news, keep it to yourselves.

haters gonna hate.

Where can we see (nice) samples pictures of this one ? I've trought this gallery and seriously... who did it? Please Sigma, send me one of this 50mm lens and I'll give you outstanding samples to promote your new jewel :)

Maybe this might sound naïve, but the Canon 50mm f/1.4 can be found for $350... Is this lens so much better? @aseed posted a gallery that show yeah-ok pics, that my nifty-fifty f/1.8 could ace easily.

The canon 50mm 1.4 its crap. Dont even try it.

The Canon 50mm 1.4 is a great lens, what are you talking about? What is this need people have to misinform others?

Because it's crap.

Not all the time, but yes, it's on the blurry side (even on the near centers) when you do a lot of cropping and I get inconsistent corners. To be fair, vignetting is easily fixed, and as long as you don't always use full open, CA could be forgiven. But the bokeh is way better than my Nikon counterpart, IMO.

Sure, but if you are buying a 1.4, you are buying it to shoot at 1.4. Soft wide open with lots of vignetting and CA means its crap. Buy the 1.8 if you aren't shooting at 1.4.

I own the 50 1.8, and it's a so-so lens. Good sharpness at f4, terrible auto-focus, not a good looking bokeh, bad construction and materials, focus ring is awful when shooting manual, it's really loud... Of course, for the price it's great, just as the 1.4 is for what it is. Calling a lens crap just because it's a bit on the soft side at maximum aperture at such a low price is non-sense. Plus, I think your logic is really flawed, if you buy whatever lens, you don't have to always use it's widest aperture. What makes this lens so different that you have to always use it at 1.4? This is gearaholics trash talk as I see it.

I never said anything about ONLY shooting at 1.4, but it's no secret that one buys a 1.4 lens for 1.4. And as Nikon (up until recently) highest end lens, and Canons reasonably affordable, lens, they are crap. For Nikon, you had no choice until last fall, and got Canon you had to buy the huge 1.2 to get mostly sharp images at 1.4. Compared to Sigma's old 50, they still aren't as good, and now they pale in comparison. At least for Nikon, the 1.4 is not twice the quality and the 1.8 is more updated with a better lens coating. They are still not very good regardless. It's not faulty logic, it's realistic. And from what I have seen, the Canon 50mm 1.2 is the most resold lens I have ever seen. It's about time companies make some real quality 50s.

It's an ok lens for its price. Canon's offerings are a bit soft and suffer from CA quite a bit wide open. The Sigma makes sense for those that basically glue their 50mm to their 3-5k$ bodies...

If this lens is as good as they say it is, then it will crap all over the canon. Had the canon for a year and then i sold it because of its crap quality

It can't be worst than the Nikon 1.4... Cheap but shity... I hope we can have an affordable and bright 50mm now :)

I agree that the 50mm f/1.8's should be on the crappy side - for $90 and a plastic barrel, what would I expect?! I use mine stopped down to f/2.0-f/2.8, never wide open, for obvious reasons. I expected the Canon/Nikon f/1.4 to behave better in a wider aperture. Neither the photo gallery, nor the video in the other article got me hooked to fork over nearly $1000 in this lens (yet).

The plastic Nikon 1.8 AFD is my favourite lens ! IMO really much better than the 1.4 ... I tried them all and re-sale then everyhting ! I hope this one is gonna be THE ONE :D

I'd say that expectations were all over the place and hard to pin down - so not really far below it.
e.g. (Nikon) the Budget primes 50mm 1.4 ~ £278 to the 58mm 1.4 at £1,449.
I saw estimated prices all across that range for the Sigma.

It's also around double the price of their previous 50mm 1.4 lens. You gotta be making money out of this new lens to justify the bump cos the old lens didn't leave much to be desired.

Nikon 58 1.4 is almost double the price of the Sigma... And the 1.4s from both aren't very good.

I second that! At wide open I have to complement some captures with artificial vignette/bokeh to mask the edge problems in some situations. At 24MP-36MP and doing a lot of crops with my events footage, you do get the urge to demand more.

$949 US
So let's guess say 9% sales tax ~ $1034
= £617 inc VAT UK
But UK price is listed as £850

Similar here in Canada. Its listed at 1049.99. It is still cheaper to order from say B&H with shipping, and duties then it would be to order here in Canada.

Your maths if faulty, $949 is £567, plus 20% VAT is £740. Still more expensive than it should be but not £617

I added the US state sales tax of roughly 9%, but get your point.

In Norway, its 6999 NOK, which is roughly 700 GBP. Yay, I guess! :)

I also don;t understand the pricing. The article says compared to the competition but the Canon and Nikon are $350 and i don't agree with the "crap" comment. It also looks much larger and heavier which is why I love the Nikon 50 1.4's light weight and small size. I am not part of the pixel peeper sharpness is everything as I look at the whole photo telling a story thing, so whey is this a great deal??

One issue of the cheaper 50mm Nikon primes (as a user) is not only the center softness but the more pronounced ones at the edges. As a wedding photographer I suppose these may be desirable sometimes but not always. In my experience, corner softness from some lenses look more like motion blur than the out-of-focus sort- the kind that's quite difficult to address with LR or DxO. If the tests show that this Sigma has better sharpness and CA control across the image area at wide open, then the money's worth it. The 1KG heft don't bother me at all, and I'm a girl.

thank you for your thoughts. As some of my favorite photos are taken with a $20 plastic lens, I am not the market for this anyhow.:) Interesting marketing for Sigma though going for the high end and trying (and it seems successfully) to change the perception of a Sigma lens as a knock off cheaper lens.

The competition is Zeiss OTUS. These lenses are designed to be sharp even wide open. Ever use your 50mm f/1.4 Nikkor wide open?

Because this lens appeals to the pixel peepers. To the people who want the absolute sharpest lens they can buy. This lens is pretty much the $4k Zeiss Otus but at $1k, plus it has auto-focus. That's why it's a great deal. $4000 quality for $1000. That's pretty much like clearance pricing bro.

But the Nikon 50mm 1.4 is under 500. I honestly don't understand the excitement. Can anyone inform me?

We are getting lenses in the optical quality of very high end Zeiss and Leica on a DSLR, and at a steal of a price.

Quality of the glass. It's like comparing a Lensbaby to a Canon TS-E. They both perform movements, sure, but the quality of the glass and the equipment is orders of magnitude higher in the TS-E lenses.

Serious question: Anyone know why they would go with a petal shaped lens hood and not a plain cylindrical hood? (since it is a prime lens, not a zoom)

Because a cylindrical hood matches the image circle, but not the sensor. Since we don't have circular sensors, but rather rectangular sensors, you can make a petal shaped hood go out further to even better block stray light.

I would love to see some real word tests comparing it to the 1.4 primes Canon 50mm, Zeiss 55mm, Nikon 50 and 58mm!

Rest assured, there will all kinds of them shortly!

OK! Here we go!
Sigma has produced several lenses recently that are cheaper and better than Nikon or Canon but NOW they are charging a premium $300+ for their lens. If this lens doesn't sell well their next lenses wil be budget lenses sold at premium prices.

More comments