Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM | A

Standard prime lens • Announced in January 2014 • Digital era

DG The lens is designed for full-frame digital cameras but can be also used on APS-C digital cameras.
HSM The lens is equipped with Hyper Sonic Motor.
| A Belongs to the Art series lenses.

Model history

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 DG HSM | AA13 - 80.4mE77 2014 
Sigma 50mm F/1.4 EX DG HSMA8 - 60.45mE77 2008 

Sample photos

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Sample photos uploaded by users

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Features highlight

ASPH
F.E.
HSM
MFO

Specification

Optical design
Maximum format: 35mm full frame
Diagonal angle of view: 46.8° (35mm full frame)
37.9° (Canon EF APS-H)
31.6° (Minolta/Sony A APS-C)
31.6° (Nikon F APS-C)
27.9° (Sigma SA APS-C)
31.6° (Sony E APS-C)
Lens construction: 13 elements - 8 groups
1 ASPH, 3 SLD
Floating element system
Mechanical design
Mount: Canon EF
Minolta/Sony A
Nikon F
Sigma SA
Sony E
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm control system: Mechanical (Nikon F)
Electromagnetic (Canon EF, Minolta/Sony A, Sigma SA)
Number of blades: 9
Focusing
Closest focusing distance: 0.4m
Maximum magnification ratio: 1:5.6 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method: <No information>
Focusing modes: Autofocus, manual focus
Manual focus control: Focusing ring
Autofocus motor: Hyper Sonic Motor
Focus mode selector: AF/MF
Manual focus override in autofocus mode: Yes (Canon EF, Nikon F, Sigma SA, Minolta/Sony A)
Determined by the camera (Sony E)
Image stabilizer
Optical Stabilizer (OS): -
Physical characteristics
Weight: 815g (Sigma SA)
Maximum diameter x Length: Ø85.4×99.9mm (Sigma SA)
Weather sealing: -
Fluorine coating: -
Accessories
Filters: Screw-type 77mm
Lens hood: Bayonet-type LH830-02 (petal-shaped)

Manufacturer description

SIGMA was the first lens manufacturer to introduce a 50mm F1.4 lens. Now, to create the ultimate go-to lens, we took optical performance and image quality to the limit. The result is a true icon of SIGMA quality. Fulfilling the concept of our Art line at the highest level, the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is a large-aperture standard lens that delivers top performance. Its outstanding resolution makes it ideal for the high-megapixel era. It delivers exquisitely balanced images with a beautiful bokeh effect, setting a new benchmark for large-aperture standard lenses. It is the ultimate expression of the 50mm F1.4 specification, known to bring out the photographer’s unique personality and approach. Once you own it, you’ll never want to be without it!

A 50mm F1.4 large-aperture lens offers an angle of view similar to human vision, a beautiful bokeh effect, and expressive versatility. It’s a basic specification that lets photographers take many different approaches to their craft. For this very reason, it demands a high level of fundamental performance. SIGMA has designed lenses especially for digital SLRs since they first appeared on the market. In 2008, we first introduced the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. Although compared to the lenses of today it had a fairly large body, this lens offered uncompromising performance and embodied our ideal of the standard lens. Until this time, only camera manufacturers had produced a lens in this specification for DSLRs. Our version of this go-to lens created quite the stir at first. Earning the support of photographers with its exceptional performance, it has become one of our representative lenses. The SIGMA F1.4 DG HSM fulfills our design concept and quality requirements at the highest level. While producing a beautiful bokeh effect, it features exceptional peripheral brightness and minimal distortion. Uncompromising in every detail, this large-aperture standard lens offers the ultimate in image quality. Its high resolution makes it perfect for the high-megapixel era. Resolution is extremely crisp at the area in focus, while both front and rear bokeh are silky-smooth. Offering the ultra-high performance that characterizes our Art line, this lens inherits the design principles of the line’s first model, the flagship SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM.

While maximizing resolution at the area in focus, this lens offers a silky-smooth bokeh affect to the front and rear. To achieve exceptionally crisp resolution, we have minimized sagittal coma flare, chromatic aberration, and every other type of optical aberration that affects image quality. The result is minute detail without bleeding or streaking, even at wide-open aperture. Moreover, we have also minimized both vignetting and color streaking to the front and rear of the area in focus, thereby establishing a bokeh effect that is natural and aesthetically pleasing.

Axial chromatic aberration is difficult to correct after a photograph is taken using image processing software. For this reason, this lens features SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass to minimize axial chromatic aberration and deliver sharp, high-contrast image quality throughout the frame.

An ideal large-aperture standard lens offers outstanding image quality across the image plane, even at wide-open aperture. Sagittal coma flare is an optical aberration in which point light sources near the image periphery have a tail (“coma”) instead of appearing round. To minimize this aberration, we have included a precision-molded aspheric lens element in the rearmost lens group. Since it minimizes the streaking of point light sources near the edge of the image, this lens is an excellent choice for shooting heavenly bodies and nighttime illumination. In addition, its beautiful bokeh effect makes it a great go-to lens for portraits, interior shots, and many other applications.

Large-aperture lenses are prone to reduced peripheral brightness. In this lens, we have made the forward lens group large-aperture, thereby raising aperture efficiency. The result is minimal reduction of brightness at the image periphery and even image quality throughout the photograph. Even at the wide-open aperture, you can shoot a blue sky without fear of reduced brightness and achieve a beautiful bokeh effect at the same time.

Distortion is an optical aberration in which straight lines appear bent or curved. Since adjusting the focus cannot correct this aberration, it must be minimized at the design stage. This lens features aspheric lens elements and an optimized power distribution to minimize distortion from the center of the frame all the way to the edges.

All lenses in SIGMA’s new Art line come with a hood with a high-quality rubberized connector and feature a newly designed lens cap and AF/MF switch, and are designed for intuitive use and superior functionality. Inside, HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) delivers high AF speed and extremely quiet performance. An enhanced algorithm offers even smoother automatic focusing. Full-time manual focus override is another key feature that leaves the artistic touches in the photographer’s hands. The brass mount combines high precision with rugged construction. Its treated surfaces and enhanced strength contribute to the exceptional durability of the lens. In both the external and internal parts, the optimized use of TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), an excellent match for metal parts, further contributes to the high-precision construction of the lens. In addition, the last three digits of the year the lens was offered for sale are engraved on the barrel for ease of reference.

HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) delivers high AF speed and extremely quiet performance. An enhanced algorithm offers even smoother automatic focusing. Optimizing AF algorithm, smoother AF is achieved. Also, new firmware offers full-time MF function by rotating the focus ring of the lens while auto focusing. Without changing the AF/MF Focus Mode Switch, it allows faster focus adjustment.

SIGMA’s floating system adjusts the distance between lens groups during focusing, thereby reducing the amount of lens movement required. The result is less aberration at different shooting distances. Thanks to this system, this lens offers a minimum focusing distance of just 40 cm, a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.6, and superb image quality at every shooting distance.

Conventionally it is considered essential to leverage the qualities of metal and polycarbonate in camera and lens layout design. A first for the industry, the barrel of the new series of SIGMA lenses features a new TSC (Thermally Stable Composite)* that offers minimal thermal shrinkage combined with exceptional hardness. It also offers 25% greater elasticity than polycarbonate. Since its thermal shrinkage is low, TSC matches well with metal parts, further contributing to the high-precision construction of the lens.

When photographing with point light sources such as electric lights or reflections on a body of water in the background, the rounded 9-blade diaphragm helps produce an attractive bokeh effect—even at large-aperture settings.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, photojournalism, weddings, parties, carnivals, live concerts

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM

Tokina opera 50mm F/1.4 FF

Tokina opera 50mm F/1.4 FF
  • Advantages: 2
  • Disadvantages: 0

Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZA SSM (SAL50F14Z)

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM

Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013

Sigma 50mm F/1.4 EX DG HSM

Tokina opera 50mm F/1.4 FF

Samyang AF 50mm F/1.4 FE (Rokinon)

Sony FE 50mm F/1.2 GM (SEL50F12GM)

Sony FE ZEISS Planar T* 50mm F/1.4 ZA SSM (SEL50F14Z)

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

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Tamron SP 45mm F/1.8 Di VC USD F013

Tokina opera 50mm F/1.4 FF

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens

One of the best fast standard primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Model produced in a small batch. It is collectible and can only be found on the secondary market.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film. The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Classic focal length

50 and 55mm are the classic focal lengths of standard lenses for 35mm full-frame cameras, and one of the most popular.

Because these focal lengths provide a field of view on a 35mm full-frame camera that roughly matches the field of view of the human eyes, standard lenses are suitable for shooting a wide range of subjects: from landscapes, interiors and architecture to portraits, as well as for casual and travel photography. This is also facilitated by the high speed of most standard lenses, as well as, as a rule, compact size and low weight (at least for lenses intended for amateur photographers).

At the same time, while not being optimized for shooting in certain genres of photography, standard lenses are inferior to lenses specially designed for this purpose. For example, wide-angle and ultra-wide angle lenses are better suited for shooting in confined spaces, while portraits with the smoothest and most pleasing blurring of the background and isolation of the subject from the background are obtained with short telephoto lenses and medium telephoto lenses.

Hyper Sonic Motor

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Hyper Sonic Motor

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Hyper Sonic Motor

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Hyper Sonic Motor

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Hyper Sonic Motor

Sorry, no additional information is available.

AF/MF

AFAutofocus mode.
MFManual focus mode.

Aspherical elements

Aspherical elements (ASPH, XA, XGM) are used in wide-angle lenses for correction of distortion and in large-aperture lenses for correction of spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, thus ensuring excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. The effect of the aspherical element is determined by its position within the optical formula: the more the aspherical element moves away from the aperture stop, the more it influences distortion; close to the aperture stop it can be particularly used to correct spherical aberration. Aspherical element can substitute one or several regular spherical elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Use of aspherical elements has its downsides: it leads to non-uniform rendering of out-of-focus highlights. This effect usually appears as "onion-like" texture of concentric rings or "wooly-like" texture and is caused by very slight defects in the surface of aspherical element. It is difficult to predict such effect, but usually it occurs when the highlights are small enough and far enough out of focus.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Low dispersion elements

Low dispersion elements (ED, LD, SD, UD etc) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. This type of glass exhibits low refractive index, low dispersion, and exceptional partial dispersion characteristics compared to standard optical glass. Two lenses made of low dispersion glass offer almost the same performance as one fluorite lens.

Canon's Super UD, Nikon's Super ED, Pentax' Super ED, Sigma's FLD ("F" Low Dispersion), Sony' Super ED and Tamron's XLD glasses are the highest level low dispersion glasses available with extremely high light transmission. These optical glasses have a performance equal to fluorite glass.

High-refraction low-dispersion elements

High-refraction low-dispersion elements (HLD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

High Index, High Dispersion elements

High Index, High Dispersion elements (HID) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Anomalous partial dispersion elements

Anomalous partial dispersion elements (AD) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture.

Fluorite elements

Synthetic fluorite elements (FL) minimize chromatic aberrations and ensure excellent sharpness and contrast even at fully open aperture. Compared with optical glass, fluorite lenses have a considerably lower refraction index, low dispersion and extraordinary partial dispersion, and high transmission of infrared and ultraviolet light. They are also significantly lighter than optical glass.

According to Nikon, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index. To avoid this, Canon, as the manufacturer most widely using fluorite in its telephoto lenses, never uses fluorite in the front and rear lens elements, and the white coating is applied to the lens barrels to reflect light and prevent the lens from overheating.

Short-wavelength refractive elements

High and specialized-dispersion elements (SR) refract light with wavelengths shorter than that of blue to achieve highly precise chromatic aberration compensation. This technology also results in smaller and lighter lenses.

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Organic Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics material (BR Optics) placed between convex and concave elements made from conventional optical glass provides more efficient correction of longitudinal chromatic aberrations in comparison with conventional technology.

Diffraction elements

Diffraction elements (DO, PF) cancel chromatic aberrations at various wavelengths. This technology results in smaller and lighter lenses in comparison with traditional designs with no compromise in image quality.

High refractive index elements

High refractive index elements (HR, HRI, XR etc) minimize field curvature and spherical aberration. High refractive index element can substitute one or several regular elements to achieve similar or better optical results, which allows to develop more compact and lightweight lenses.

Apodization element

Apodization element (APD) is in fact a radial gradient filter. It practically does not change the characteristics of light beam passing through its central part but absorbs the light at the periphery. It sort of softens the edges of the aperture making the transition from foreground to background zone very smooth and results in very attractive, natural looking and silky smooth bokeh.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. A magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size". A lens is not considered to be "true" macro unless it can achieve at least life-size magnification.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Manual focus override in autofocus mode

Allows to perform final focusing manually after the camera has locked the focus automatically. Note that you don't have to switch camera and/or lens to manual focus mode.

Electronic manual focus override is performed in the following way: half-press the shutter button, wait until the camera has finished the autofocusing and then focus manually without releasing the shutter button using the focusing ring.

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.