Don't be shy about Sigma.... I have the 50mm 1.4 and the thing takes fabulous pictures. They are sharp, and the bokeh is super creamy! Additionally, it's built like a tank and has a very professional look and feel. I would highly recommend this lens, especially if you have a camera with AFMA(for obvious reasons.)
Do remember that Canon is not your only lens option. .... To me it's a no-brainer but then, I don't feel wedded to Canon lenses.
AdamJ, you make a good point. Like I said, the competition - esp for lenses, is loving it.
With their recently announced strategy, Sigma is undergoing a sea-change from a price-driven proposition to a quality-driven proposition. I believe this is at least partly a response to the gap in the market that Canon's pricing is opening up. Sigma can develop premium products now because they know they can pitch them at the premium-but-not-inflated price level that Canon has vacated.
This is a very interesting observation Adam. Canon is creating a price gap vacuum that will encourage a higher quality alternative to fill it at a previously acceptable price point (but probably still slightly less). And if the alternative is good and receives rave reviews, it will succeed. The fickle enthusiasts will flock in droves. Hell, I might even be one of them. If I can have a quality lens for half the price of the Canon L, I can afford to even replace it if I wear it out and still come out ahead. Time will tell!!
Great observations. Also, given we are in a down economy - ESPECIALLY in Europe - it doesn't make sense to focus on mid-market or prosumer lenses for Canon or even Sigma at this point. I also don't think Canon's manufacturing and supply chain has recovered fully from the earthquake. In a down economy products are going to be sold at lower volumes so therefore higher margins must exist to justify the R&D and total cost of sales. So the two influencers (economy and earthquake) combine to focus on lower volume/higher margin products until both recover fully. So the focus will be on professionals, wedding shooters, event/sport shooters, etc. who make their living shooting and can therefore invest in new bodies, glass that outperform previous versions at a premium price; arguably these pros have to upgrade to stay competitive in their fields - do more with less (or the same with less etc). I thought the 6D was a perfect example...a body at high margin for the affluent prosumer/enthusiast who wants a FF camera and can afford it; OR a great B/C cam for the wedding/event shooter instead of another 5D/1D series body. The economy is also why the 7D II is being held back; it's not going to appeal to FF pros (though it's perfectly capable of pro images) and those 7D lovers that aren't pros making their living (not money on the side, rather their livelihood) from their images can't afford to replace a perfectly good 7D camera right now just for some better ISO performance and other features etc. The EOS M is a late launch in a different market entirely but will prevent erosion there for Canon, total stop-gap and wait and see what happens in the mirrorless space effort, Canon waited as long as they could here.