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by PowerReviews
Sigma50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF
 
4.8

(based on 77 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (64)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Nice bokeh (60)
  • Strong construction (52)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (51)
  • Consistent output (35)
  • Durable (29)

Cons

  • Heavy (33)

Best Uses

  • Low light (52)
  • Weddings (42)
  • Night photography (34)
  • Landscape/scenery (19)
  • Sports/action (13)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (28), Semi-pro photographer (24), Photo enthusiast (11), Casual photographer (3), Photography student (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (72)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Real, Unbiased Review

If you're like me, you're reading hundreds of reviews, forum pages, and comparisons, while watching video reviews and reading all the posts on techie sites. And like me, you're probably also worried...Read complete review

If you're like me, you're reading hundreds of reviews, forum pages, and comparisons, while watching video reviews and reading all the posts on techie sites. And like me, you're probably also worried about the autofocus issues Sigma's last 50mm was known for (I owned it for three years and sold it two months ago; and yes, I had to send it to Sigma for calibration and it still wasn't perfect).

Bottom Line Up Front: You just can't turn down a lens that performs like the Art does for the price point it sells at, especially when you consider the negative attributes of the highly debated 50L (focus shift, CA, softness). I wanted so badly to sell my old Sigma 50 and order the 50L, but no amount of brand loyalty and professionals saying, "the 50L just has a look to it" or "the bokeh's just better on the L" could've convinced me to not at least TRY the Art. It was not an easy decision; but as I said above, you just can't deny which is currently the better choice.

The 50 1.4 Art's autofocus on my 5diii is spot on. Period. Just to put it to the test, I used Ai Servo at 1.4 (not advisable) and had a shoot with my dogs in the backyard playing. It nailed every shot that I was able to get the autofocus point (using center point) correctly aimed at. It was tough to hit shots because (1) they were moving, and (2) I was holding the camera a couple of inches off the ground and therefore not even looking through the viewfinder. Considering all of this, it's focusing abilities are nothing short of amazing. So while we all know there is copy variance, I really wonder how many of those posts out there are of people who actually have the lens and are doing everything correctly.

As far as the remarks about the 50L's bokeh being better, I think they're more related to the extra speed of the L than the quality of the bokeh. We know the L has a touch of additional speed (1.2 vs. 1.4), and this I believe is why in SOME cases, the bokeh looks a touch smoother. The bokeh I've seen (with my own eyes and with my own copy of the Art) is perfect. It's smooth, it's silky, similar to the older Sigma 50's bokeh. The only issue I've noticed so far is that the Art doesn't like focusing on shadow areas when there are brighter areas in front of and behind the focal point. And I'm pretty sure this is to be expected with any fast, non-tele prime.

Until Canon steps up its game (there are signs of this happening later this year), the Sigma is hands down the best (autofocusing) 50mm on the market.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Quality Control Issues

While this lens delivered great optical performance, I'm not sold that Sigma can produce a long lasting product mechanically.

32 days into ownership, my diaphram fell apart and I have two...Read complete review

While this lens delivered great optical performance, I'm not sold that Sigma can produce a long lasting product mechanically.

32 days into ownership, my diaphram fell apart and I have two blades flopping around inside the camera. It's now in a repair facility and the parts have been backordered going on a month. Not a great start into the world of Sigma lenses for me.

Of the few repairs I've ever needed with Canon's bodies or lenses, CPS has always had my equipment back to me within a week or less. From now on I'll stick with Canon. Sigma is still an enthusiast company, not durable pro level gear or service in my experience.

Reviewed by 77 customers

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5.0

Very sharp, nice bokeh, well constructed

By Gus Alvarez Photogaphy

from Memphis, TN

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Night Photography
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

I am very happy with this lens. It is very sharp even in corners at f/2.8 or more. Nice bokeh and fast autofocus. Controlable flare with backlit subjects. Unbelievable price.

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5.0

Exceptional quality, brilliant usability

By Lane

from Salt Lake City, UT

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

      I purchased this after a shoot where I had to borrow a Canon EF 50 f/1.8; I knew I needed a fast 50 for a while, and I dislike the cheaper 1.8 because it is quite slow and loud when focusing, and the quality is, well, it is a $ lens. I knew I needed something of better quality and I knew from reviews how fantastic Sigma's Art series lens were. I received the lens late, due in no part to B&H, UPS really dropped the ball, and my lens, on this one. When I saw the UPS employee drop my package in front of me, I was upset, but just wanted to get out of there, so I took my lens home, and opened. It was packed very well, Thanks B&H! and the Sigma box was completely in tact, as was my lens. It was a cold day so the metal lens barrel was cold to the touch, which shows just how solid it was built.The autofocus speed is phenomenal. It easily blows the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II in to the weeds, and is more accurate. Image quality is beyond fantastic. I have used it now for 2 boudoir sessions, and both times I have been blown away by the quality, speed and accuracy of this lens. Now, this lens is quite heavy, it weighs more than my 85/1.2, it is even heavier than my 70-200 f/4L IS. That being said, it feels better balanced than my 85, the weight feels closer to the camera, so it is a lot easier to handle than the 85, so to me, the weight isn't an issue, but it is still a heavy lens.

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      5.0

      Love it…don't wait. Buy it!

      By mcphoto

      from Los Angeles

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light

      Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

      If you are in the market for a 50mm prime….just pull the trigger and do it.

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      • No

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      5.0

      Buy it.

      By JT Photo

      from Iowa City, IA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Night Photography
        • Portraits
        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

        This thing is the sharpest, fast-focusing, non-distortion-y, perfect contrast piece of glass I have ever shot with. And if it's not as sharp for you, dock it with the USB Optimization thing and customize it to your camera. The thing is built like a tank, too; solid, well-built hunk of metal and glass. Buy it.

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        • No

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        5.0

        Great for your arsenal.

        By Salmz

        from New York

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Night Photography
          • Sports/Action
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

          If you like a little weight to remind you what you paid for and quality to boot get it. If you can't afford the OTIS this is the one. Although, The otis is better optically it lacks auto-focus. The 7D2 and the sigma art 50mm is magic.

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          • No

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          5.0

          Sharp. Expensive. A bit heavy. Worth it

          By QUIGG

          from Roanoke, VA

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Night Photography
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

          I shot RAW images with the $950mm F/1.4 ART lens and the $399 50mm F/1.4 lens. I looked at each image carefully without labeling them so my judgment would be unbiased. Every time i chose the Art lens' image. But all that said if you are not a pro or prosumer who is shoot for money or really picky and needs the best, get the $ version

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          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Really great lens..but

          By thatkatmat

          from Seattle

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

          Sharp, fast accurate focus, distortions are controlled like no other 50mm I've had the pleasure of shooting. It's a really great 50..I've owned a few 50L's a few EF 50/1.4's and a few Sigma 50mm's as well...This is the best of the bunch. No adjustments needed on my 5DmkIII. The only issue I have is the size....It's a big heavy solid hunk of glass, like a brick...but it's worth it...I have the 35 Art too and just love the performance of both..No focus issues, no build issues, no issues period, just get it.

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          • No

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          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Awesome lens with a few quirks

          By ken

          from boston, ma

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

          I'm a professional photographer that shoots events, weddings, and portraits. The thing I love most about this lens is that it is SHARP at all apertures. Of course you're going to lose corner/edge sharpness at f1.4 but that's not the point of shooting wide open! The focus speed is pretty good. It's not like a 85mm 1.8 or 135mm 2.0 Canon lens but more like a 50mm 1.4. The biggest con about this lens is its weight! It feels like I have a Canon 24-70mm strapped on! If you're looking for a lightweight prime, then this product is definitely not for you. Although people say you get used to the weight, when you have 8-12 hour days, a lightweight prime lens makes all the difference. That being said, I love the image quality and I get paid to take photos so for me this lens stays =)

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          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Sharp.

          By sirbokehlot

          from Virginia

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

            Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

            I've had this product for about a week. In that time I've been the the National Aquarium in Balitmore, MD. The fast aperture and excellent focus speed made for some nifty photos in a difficult shooting environment.Things I like:-Sharp.-Accurate focus.-Smooth focus ring.-Solid feeling build.Things I don't like:-No weather sealing around mount. :-(-Heavy (not a big deal on a heavy body, probably annoying on something smaller, lighter)-Maybe a bit pricey(?)Excellent performer. Don't let the cons dissuade you.

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            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A rare lens.

            By Buck Budd

            from Colorado Springs, Colorado

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Incredible sharpness
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

              Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

              It's not often that you find a lens of this quality. The images are staggeringly good. Don't expect it to be as portable or lightweight as normal 50mm lenses, but it's worth the extra weight for the extra quality.

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              • No

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              5.0

              Sigma Art 50mm

              By Ken T

              from Rosemead CA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh

              Cons

              • Slight Back Focusing

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Night Photography
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

              Just picked this up. Amazing Bokeh at 1.4.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Came as a surprise

              By Jason Snow Photography

              from Houston, Tx

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Photography
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                I have always been a Canonm glass owner....period. While there have always been some fine offerings in the aftermarket field, none quite equalled up to what was offered in the line of 'L' series glass.None did until the ART series from Sigma. I knew I was in the market for a new 50mm when the trusted 50 1.2 was stolen from me. The first choice, of course, was to simply replace it but after reading so many great reviews on this lens I begrudgingly pulled the trigger and gave it a shot.Do you lose a small amount of light vs the 1.2? of course you do. Do you use 1.2 often? I know I didn't so no big deal. From what I have seen so far; this lens is sharper, it focuses faster, has great contrast and color...did I mention how sharp it is? It's a bit heavier but good glass typically is. Not to mention a few hundred cheaper than the alternative and even without that it is a great buy and a wonderful lens.Will I go Sigma on all of my lenses...of course not, but they are definitely getting a piece of my business if they keep producing glass like this one.

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                • No

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Perfect with Autofocus sorted!

                By Sivasee

                from Nadi, Fiji

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                  Wedding photographer here, wanted to hold off doing a review till I had gotten some decent use out of the lens first. Have now shot more than a dozen weddings with this 50mm and first off I'd like to say I was very underwhelmed when it arrived. Like many others it was quite a wait after the announcement before I was able to get my copy and of course during that time I was constantly reading all these amazing reviews which of course had me in a frenzy. It arrived at last and of course AF was just all over the place and I mean completely out. I wasn't expecting it to be 100% but to be so completely off had me really worried since the 35 Art was pretty close to spot on with my 5d3 out of the box. I also wasn't blown away by sharpness wide open when I did get something focused. It took me 2 weeks with the USB Dock, AF Test charts and constant adjustments to get AF working reasonably well but I still had issues with severe back focusing on anything more than about 20 meters away. I ended up using the 5D3's micro adjustment on top of my adjustments with the Dock to get it right and now I'm happy to say AF is perfect right through from min. focus to infinity and fast as well. With AF sorted, I would say this lens is pretty close to perfect. Love IQ, love the design, weight isn't a problem, great build quality. I also figured out why I wasn't so impressed with it when I first got it which was because I had been spoiled by the 35 Art which I had been using almost exclusively. It wasn't until I had to shoot some work with my old Canon 24-70 2.8 & 50 1.4 that i realised just how much better the 2 Sigma's were. All in all I would have to say if you already own the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art then I might spend my money on something more urgent or important before getting the 50 but if you already have everything else and are just looking for a 50 than the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art is practically the best lens you could get. If Sigma continue like they have I expect I will soon only have Sigma lenses in my bag.Just don't forget the USB DOCK!

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                  5.0

                  Nice!!

                  By sang

                  from Fresh Meadows N.Y

                  Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                  This lense is very sharp wide open.Using with a 5d mark3. Little bit need a practice.. Feels like little heavy but good balance..I really do love this lense..

                  Share this review

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Sharp wide open

                  By Emilio

                  from Buenos Aires, Argentina

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                      at f1.4 on a ff sensor, DOF is narrow. if the subject is close, dof is very, very narrow.
                      Still cant nail the micro focus adjustment thing on my 6D. I guess with such narrow dof, the slightest movements shift the focus plane. it's a VERY heavy lens.

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                      • No

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Basically a Perfect Lens Optically

                      By André Ramos

                      from Brasília, Brazil

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Sharp
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Portraits

                      Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                      There are plenty of reviews available online about this lens. The bottom line is: it is perfect from a optical standpoint. Stellar resolution, no perceived aberrations of any kind (yes, if you pixel peep you are going to find some barrel and some chromatic aberrations). I bought the Sigma Dock to adjust focus to my 60D and it`s still collecting dust in the shelf. No adjustment was necessary. It focuses beautifully even wide open. The downside is that perfection comes at a cost: the lens is huge and heavy. It`s not a walk around lens. If you are OK with that, then buy it. If not, there are other less than perfect options that will suit you well!On a pretty subjective side, I think this lens, even being perfect, lacks the personality of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM. It`s something I cant explain quite perfectly but I liked the way the other lens rendered things. :o)

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                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      OMG

                      By Cory

                      from Yardley, PA

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Durable
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Nice Bokeh
                      • Rugged
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                        Using with a 70D and it's the perfect focal length for most portraits. Embarking on a bit of a career with this as my centerpiece and my first two shoots (this past Sunday) since making that decision has 2 clients extremely happy. One showed me previous portraits of her kids that I thought were out of this world and she said that she likes mine better. Also, instantly focuses to perfection without any fuss.I really do love this lens and look forward to putting it through its paces. It's slightly heavy, but I actually like the heft and how it balances with my camera.

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                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Excellent Lens!

                        By KimKalo

                        from Cincinnati, OH

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Portraiture
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                        I haven't been a fan of the 50mm focal length until this lens! I previously bought the 35mm Art and loved it so much I bought this one. Well - I love this one even more. It's the first lens I've owned that I was able to shoot almost wide open (f1.6) and get a sharp image with little effort. This lens is crazy sharp and built like a tank. It's a little heavier than I'd like, but it's balanced nicely on my camera body.

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                        • No

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                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Brilliant Optics + Build Quality

                        By Cam

                        from Dayton, OH

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Nice Bokeh

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Night Photography
                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                        Sigma has really changed the game with the "Global Vision" line. Having owned the previous Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM, I was always impressed with the image quality and sharpness, but let down by the inconsistent autofocus. This new Sigma 50mm lens improves on every aspect of the old one, including color, contrast, sharpness, and of course, autofocus. I've been using this lens professionally for a few weeks now, and I can say with confidence, this is the best 50mm lens available. It outperforms even Canon's 50mm f/1.2L in every measurable way except for overall background blur (bokeh).

                        Autofocus is consistently accurate and reasonably fast (although somewhat slower than Canon's 50mm offerings). It seems to struggle a bit more than the 1.2L with AF in extremely low light, particularly using focus points near the edges. Hasn't been an issue, but I have noticed it from time to time.

                        The physical design and build quality is impeccable. It looks great, feels even better, and just oozes quality. It feels much more expensive than it is.

                        Beware, despite all of it's benefits, this is a VERY large lens. It's much larger than Sigma's 35mm f/1.4, larger and heavier than Canon's 35mm f/1.4, and longer overall than Canon's 85mm f/1.2. It's big, but it's worth it.

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                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Blows the Canon out of the water!

                        By Jonathan Yonkers

                        from Costa Rica

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF:

                          This lens is a beauty. I think it is even sharper than the 85mm 1.2 Canon. I love this lens, best value I have ever encountered in a lens from any brand ever!

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                          • No

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