« on: December 22, 2012, 10:47:14 PM »
In the last 12 to 24 months we've seen an array of new lenses from Tamron and Sigma that seem to be laying down the gauntlet to Canon/Nikon in the area of providing good IQ that perhaps started with the 50/1.4 from Sigma. Why the Sigma 50/1.4? Because it tests better than both the Canon and Nikon equivalents albeit, it is more expensive however when Canon replaces the 50/1.4 with a 50/1.4 IS, the Sigma will be cheaper.I was reading up on the Sigma 50/1.4 recently. The review on The Digital Picture (TDP) and reviews by some customers on B&H were somewhat disappointing. I'm referring to the comments about autofocus consistency (and the Canon 50/1.4 is no champ in this either).
TDP says, "Inconsistent focus accuracy is definitely the downside of this lens. It is possible that another copy of this lens would focus more consistently, but my guess (helped by feedback from others) is that my lens is representative of this model. Thus, unless you are primarily using manual focus or shooting at narrow apertures (f/4), I suggest buying the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens instead."
The ISO12233 chart crops on TDP suggest that the Sigma is a bit sharper, but the Imatest results in LensRentals.com's "Great 50mm Shootout" suggest that the Canon 50/1.4 is a bit sharper. Imatest results on Photozone.de also suggest that the Canon is mostly sharper.
Ahh yes, the Canon 50mm 1.4 is indeed sharp, but ugh, the non rounded aperture blades and general rendition of the bokeh is pathetic in comparison to the Sigma, and so much CA and flaring, even at F/2.
I read that the Sigma more consistently produces welcoming creamy bokeh than the 50L, and how Sigma at least maintains circular highlights more. Then it comes down to AF accuracy, that's the reason I haven't replaced my Canon 50 yet, and then there's focus shift with the 50L, but my 50mm 1.4 utterly misses regardless of the light and camera AF, and even with the needed AFMA it doesn't quite nail the shot...