Here's what I've been waiting for - a 50L to 50A comparison from SLR Lounge
I think it's enough to convince me to cancel my pre-order. The Sigma is sharper, but not shockingly so, and the Canon's bokeh is slightly better (IMHO). The Canon also appears to have ever-so-slightly better contrast, while the Sigma has better CA control, but again, only by a hair.
The other thing I've learned is that you'll have buy the USB dock to enable full time manual focus (which I guess isn't standard for Sigmas). That's crappy.
The 50L has killer build quality and USM in a much smaller package and I don't think the Sigma is worth 950 of my dollars for such subtle differences at f/1.4 in what for me, is a portrait lens.
I guess I can't cancel it till the 24th, so I'll keep my mind open until then, but I think I'm going to cancel and resume the 50L II vigil
This is exactly what I expected. Sigma very slightly sharper, Canon better bokeh.
IMO no comparison if price not an issue, the Canon f/1.2L is the better lens. Although I got my Canon for $1200 during the rebate season.
* Minimal difference in sharpness/CA
* Canon has better bokeh
* My bet is on Canon for faster autofocus
* Canon does f/1.2, sigma does not
* Canon is much smaller, and probably built better
You really are taking the wrong conclusion from this. There is a huge difference in sharpness and CA.
The SLRlounge comparison is to be frank one of the worst comparison between two lenses that I have ever seen published. Not only are the compositions all different, all the shots were hand held, not on a tripod and have different subject sizes, but the only 100% comparison is from the absolute center of the lens on a subject with little contrast. The rest are ultra small thumbnails that do not show any detail.
Here's something a little more revealing. I took the liberty of downloading the SLR lounge images, and applying a typical lightroom preset I like to use to both (increased clarity and contrast and sharpness), I then played with the color correction independently, as the Canon delivered 200k difference in temperature)
I cropped both images to half the frame, to show detail better, and actually the Sigma required 10% tighter cropping
, because again images from that review were not framed the same. So keep in mind this comparison actually has the Sigma at a 10% disadvantage. Despite that the Sigma is way way sharper. (both are at f/1.4)
I also recommend opening up these images in separate tabs and switching back and forth:http://www4.picturepush.com/photo/a/14116952/img/Picture-Box/20140413-IMG-3159.jpghttp://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/14117183/img/Picture-Box/20140413-IMG-3156.jpg
Keep in mind these are not a 100% crop. This is a normal image at web resolution with only a half frame crop, like you'd get from turning a waist up shot into a chest up shot.
The difference is about as subtle as a lightning strike. I have no idea how anyone would conclude that they are remotely close. You can't even see the detail in the brick wall with the Canon, and the haziness and red glow of the Canon is very visible especially on contrasty corners like on that cement wall edge. And this is something you see obviously at web resolution.
Here's a more professional comparison between the L and the ART from Bryan at the digital picture:
It's night and day, I don't know how else to say that.
The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART is as sharp WIDE OPEN as the 50mm f/1.2L is at f/4.0
Canon @ f/4.0:
Bokeh is subjective so I won't address that, but technical tests have shown that the Canon 50mm f/1.2L has bokeh that isn't as smooth as the new Sigma. Some people like that, some people don't.
F/1.2 on a digital camera isn't really f/1.2 though. All digital sensors unlike film ignore the majority of the additional light that arrives at the lens after f/2.0, because they absorb instead of capture light at high angles of incidence which is where the additional light at fast apertures comes from. So the body simply raise the ISO in the background to compensate so your exposure calculations are the same.
There is also some rounding up that goes on with the Canon's f number, and with the Sigma they are actually rounding down the f number, so they are much closer than they seem aperture wise, though the Canon will have less vignette. The 50mm f/1.2L only lets around 10% more light
hit the sensor than the 50mm f/1.4 ART, for all intents and purposes there is no difference.
The Canon also probably isn't built better, historical the 50L f/1.2 has been 3 times less reliable than the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, which is pretty bad.