The price is not to bad considering the 50L goes for 1600 and I think the 50L is nothing special. If the 50 performs like the sigma 35 art I think its worth it. I've been waiting so long for a good 50 to come out.
I must say that I am surprised a bit (if this turns out to be the US price).
The 35 Art, at $899 at launch, was in the very sweet price point between the venerable $300-500 non-L primes (before the IS refreshes) and the $1400+ 35 F/1.4L. By many metrics & opinions (though not all), the Sigma 35 Art outpunched Canon and Nikon's 35 highest (1st party) 35mm prime lenses at a significantly lower price. Further, the build quality of that lens (though it is still relatively young in terms of actual years in service) has been quite good. This lens was so well received that it singlehandedly
changed a lot of people's minds about Sigma as a designer and manufacturer of lenses.
Then came the 18-35 F/1.8 for EF-S mount. I'm a FF shooter now, but I understand that this lens was also quite good. And, for an industry first lens like this, the price tag of $799 was altogether shocking. One might argue there was a limit to how much you can reasonably charge for an APS-C mount lens as Canon themselves doesn't get much pricier than this with an EF-S mount lens (I want to say the 17-55 F/2.8 IS was price dropped to $900 or so late last year), but value is value, and this lens was a very good offering.
Then came more info on the USB lens calibration tool, the inexpensive mount conversion service, etc. and it was clear that Sigma was trying to grow their business with pros and enthusiasts. They were thinking down the road rather than just what lens they'd price-undercut next. Good for them, and good for us, I say.
So it surprises me to see -- if $1300 US is indeed going to be the asking price -- that Sigma is charging this much. Rather than being the 'sensibly priced high performance lens' like the two examples above, it appears that the Sigma must believe some combination of the list below is true:
- The lens is truly that good, and can go punch for punch with Canon's 50 F/1.2L or possibly get near the Zeiss Otus.
- Enough pros are fed up with the lack of sharpness of the 50/1.2L (yes, yes: there's much more to the 50L than sharpness...) that they demand a better pro offering
- Their performances of late (see above) no longer require a lowered price point to entice buyers -- Sigma innovation / design / quality coals are hot of late and you will now pay for said hotness
- There's simply a ton of glass in there and it's not as cheap a design as the 35 Art or 18-35 F/1.8
I'm curious to see where this lands. I would have guessed that Sigma would come in around $799-$899 in this space. To think they'd come in so high despite full-well knowing Canon has a brand spanking new 50 F/something IS coming down the pike is a surprise.