October 26, 2014, 01:07:05 AM

Author Topic: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time  (Read 10915 times)

cayenne

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1213
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 11:45:56 AM »
Well I think it is clear that it will put the 50/1.2L to shame and depending on the price point, maybe even the 50/1.4.
I think that's a given in terms of sharpness, CA, and other metrics, but until I see the bokeh and the color saturation of my own shots with it, I'm not in any rush to sell my 50L. 

And also I very much doubt Sigma will purposely destroy their new reputation by saying "oh, yeah it's just as good as the Zeiss" if they clearly know it's not. They won't get away with that as soon as ONE Sigma is sold and they were proven wrong. So when they say it's Zeiss good, I believe they know that for a fact.
True - and Japanese companies aren't generally known to make bold claims they can't back up.

What's your opinions of the 50L?

I rented one awhile back and fell in love with it....I rented and used it mostly for shooting video , some was in extremely dark bars, and that baby made it look like I turned on a wall of lights.

I shot some stills with it too...anyway, I'm saving for one. I'm thinking that f/1.2 would be a bit more valuable to me than f/1.4 in low light video...?  Not sure how much more so in still imagery....but what's your thoughts on this?

I'm likely to get the 50L...but when the sigma comes out...I might rent it and see how it is to play with....

thoughts?

cayenne

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 11:45:56 AM »

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2014, 12:01:08 PM »
Well I think it is clear that it will put the 50/1.2L to shame and depending on the price point, maybe even the 50/1.4.
I think that's a given in terms of sharpness, CA, and other metrics, but until I see the bokeh and the color saturation of my own shots with it, I'm not in any rush to sell my 50L. 

And also I very much doubt Sigma will purposely destroy their new reputation by saying "oh, yeah it's just as good as the Zeiss" if they clearly know it's not. They won't get away with that as soon as ONE Sigma is sold and they were proven wrong. So when they say it's Zeiss good, I believe they know that for a fact.
True - and Japanese companies aren't generally known to make bold claims they can't back up.

What's your opinions of the 50L?

I rented one awhile back and fell in love with it....I rented and used it mostly for shooting video , some was in extremely dark bars, and that baby made it look like I turned on a wall of lights.

I shot some stills with it too...anyway, I'm saving for one. I'm thinking that f/1.2 would be a bit more valuable to me than f/1.4 in low light video...?  Not sure how much more so in still imagery....but what's your thoughts on this?

I'm likely to get the 50L...but when the sigma comes out...I might rent it and see how it is to play with....

thoughts?

cayenne
What's your opinions of the 50L?

I rented one awhile back and fell in love with it....I rented and used it mostly for shooting video , some was in extremely dark bars, and that baby made it look like I turned on a wall of lights.

I shot some stills with it too...anyway, I'm saving for one. I'm thinking that f/1.2 would be a bit more valuable to me than f/1.4 in low light video...?  Not sure how much more so in still imagery....but what's your thoughts on this?

I'm likely to get the 50L...but when the sigma comes out...I might rent it and see how it is to play with....

thoughts?

cayenne
My opinion is that the 50L has incredible build quality, excellent AF, and produces amazing photos.  It has color saturation and contrast that are as good as my 180 Macro and 300 2.8 IS II, resists flare beautifully and has the best bokeh of any lens I've used other than the 85 II.  The bokeh is large, smooth, and melts away the background.  It's not super sharp at f/1.2, but is plenty sharp for portraits.  The DOF at f/1.2 is brutal and it has field curvature, so you can't focus and recompose until you get to at least f/2.8, and unfortunately the shallow DOF has more to do with the lens' reputation for being "soft" that anything else.  If you use it for 3 days and can't get but a fraction of the shots in focus, it's "crap".  If you realize that it's a tough lens and take the time to master it, you're rewarded with beautiful shots that no f/2.8 zoom can match.  Also, it's one of the only lenses that I've been able to use to shoot outdoor events at night.  I'd like it to be sharper at f/1.2, but the only real hang up I have with the lens is that it suffers from fairly excessive CA, at least compared to the 85.

I'm eager to try the Sigma, but sharp test charts don't mean much to me if the bokeh is ringed and contrasty, the contrast is low wide open, the AF sucks, it flares easily, or the colors have that cool tint to them that most of their older lenses have.  Sigma has made huge strides in these areas, so I'm hopeful that this lens is all it's cracked up to be.  Unfortunately this test doesn't really tell us much.

Viggo

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2086
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2014, 12:22:03 PM »
I've owned the 50 L a number of times and I do agree that it's wonderful when it comes to
Color, contrast, bokeh, build and weather resistance .handling and AF is also superb, small size and nice
Weight .

The reason I keep selling it is because of sharpness , or lack of
It. It's good enough in the center, but I like to compose off center, and especially with the new 61 pt system and it's simply horrible off center, really bad wide open. It has nothing to do with it being a tricky lens to master. It's just extremely soft off center wide open, period.

I'm one of it's big fans, I really am, I love almost everything with it, but when you can't tell where you have focused when going off center it's pretty limiting.

I have the 85 L II and it's a completely different lens now with the 1dx and the new firmware and it's awesome and a really nice useful 1.2 lens , also in the far corners. For video though the manual focus ring is pretty bad.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2014, 12:35:36 PM »
It has nothing to do with it being a tricky lens to master. It's just extremely soft off center wide open, period.
I don't disagree, but I've had so many people (who aren't used to fast lenses) complain about the center sharpness of this lens, and 99% of the time it's been because they think they can shoot at f/1.2 with sloppy technique (focus & recompose or focus and move around a bit before pressing the shutter).  When I pick up their camera and nail 3 or 4 shots at f/1.2 they look at me like I'm crazy until I explain what they're doing wrong.  For the newbie or person who hasn't used a lens faster than f/2.8, I think it is a tough lens to use. 

For experienced shooters, it's no different than any other fast lens, and yes, the off center sharpness drops off very quickly wide open and the corners are crap at f/1.2.  I try to keep my subjects centered in the middle 1/3 of the frame or bump it to f/2 where things look much better.

Viggo

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2086
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 12:56:16 PM »
It has nothing to do with it being a tricky lens to master. It's just extremely soft off center wide open, period.
I don't disagree, but I've had so many people (who aren't used to fast lenses) complain about the center sharpness of this lens, and 99% of the time it's been because they think they can shoot at f/1.2 with sloppy technique (focus & recompose or focus and move around a bit before pressing the shutter).  When I pick up their camera and nail 3 or 4 shots at f/1.2 they look at me like I'm crazy until I explain what they're doing wrong.  For the newbie or person who hasn't used a lens faster than f/2.8, I think it is a tough lens to use. 

For experienced shooters, it's no different than any other fast lens, and yes, the off center sharpness drops off very quickly wide open and the corners are crap at f/1.2.  I try to keep my subjects centered in the middle 1/3 of the frame or bump it to f/2 where things look much better.

+1, if this is your first fast lens, it will not forgive any sloppy 2.8 technique, absolutely.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

MARKOE PHOTOE

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 183
  • Photography is a love affair with life.
    • View Profile
    • http://www.markoe.smugmug.com
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2014, 01:32:54 PM »
I think its obvious to all of us (most of us) that in this small sampling of images, the Sigma has definite potential. And yes, it is sharp!   It may have been noted previously but there is more to a lens besides just sharpness and performance. 

For me personally, I look for how it renders bokeh for those out of focus areas in relation to the sharp areas and edges.  I use the Art 35mm f1.4 and 85mm 1.4 and like them both. The 35mm is great in all regards however I find the bokeh in the Sigma 85mm not as pleasing as the same, shot with my Canon 85mm f1.2L II.  Performance wise, the Sigma smokes the Canon 85 but that is not the subject here. 

For comparison, I also have Zeiss 35 f2.0, Zeiss 50 f2.0 and 100 f2.0.  The color rendering and bokeh from these are wonderful IMHO.  I had the Zeiss 85mm but it was not as 'great' as I thought it should be and sold it. I'm more than happy with the Sigma and Canon 85L.

Would I buy the new Sigma Art 50 when announced?  Oh hell yes, and probably sell my Zeiss 50. I like the bigger filter size on the Sigma and the AF is a given. 

Curious to see how the Sigma handles color compared to the Zeiss 55....
A few cameras and lenses and a lot of creative energy and imagination.
"You never learn anything until you mess it up."

Viggo

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2086
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 01:49:35 PM »
I think its obvious to all of us (most of us) that in this small sampling of images, the Sigma has definite potential. And yes, it is sharp!   It may have been noted previously but there is more to a lens besides just sharpness and performance. 

For me personally, I look for how it renders bokeh for those out of focus areas in relation to the sharp areas and edges.  I use the Art 35mm f1.4 and 85mm 1.4 and like them both. The 35mm is great in all regards however I find the bokeh in the Sigma 85mm not as pleasing as the same, shot with my Canon 85mm f1.2L II.  Performance wise, the Sigma smokes the Canon 85 but that is not the subject here. 

For comparison, I also have Zeiss 35 f2.0, Zeiss 50 f2.0 and 100 f2.0.  The color rendering and bokeh from these are wonderful IMHO.  I had the Zeiss 85mm but it was not as 'great' as I thought it should be and sold it. I'm more than happy with the Sigma and Canon 85L.

Would I buy the new Sigma Art 50 when announced?  Oh hell yes, and probably sell my Zeiss 50. I like the bigger filter size on the Sigma and the AF is a given. 

Curious to see how the Sigma handles color compared to the Zeiss 55....

The Zeiss 50 f2 is my absolute favorite 50 to date, only sold it because of lack AF, was very limiting. Epic bokeh and color, and corners are tack sharp wide open.

The Sigma 85 f1.4 having notorious AF issues makes it not worth the savings compared to the L, even if it's faster. 85 L has nicer bokeh and blurs more and better contrast, and I like the colors better. But the Sigma is half the price or something so that counts for some given the very nice IQ it has.
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 01:49:35 PM »

jdramirez

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2439
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2014, 01:54:50 PM »
I'm not a dissenter, but I'm curious.  If you shoot in raw... the images all look blah until you change the contrast, remove the vignetting... and fix the white balance.  I also add a touch of saturation... shoo if a shot requires that much adjustment from the original raw.. how do y'all really know if it was the lens that didn't have good color, contrast, etc?
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L->85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm ->100L & 85L

cayenne

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1213
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2014, 02:09:01 PM »
I've owned the 50 L a number of times and I do agree that it's wonderful when it comes to
Color, contrast, bokeh, build and weather resistance .handling and AF is also superb, small size and nice
Weight .

The reason I keep selling it is because of sharpness , or lack of
It. It's good enough in the center, but I like to compose off center, and especially with the new 61 pt system and it's simply horrible off center, really bad wide open. It has nothing to do with it being a tricky lens to master. It's just extremely soft off center wide open, period.

I'm one of it's big fans, I really am, I love almost everything with it, but when you can't tell where you have focused when going off center it's pretty limiting.

I have the 85 L II and it's a completely different lens now with the 1dx and the new firmware and it's awesome and a really nice useful 1.2 lens , also in the far corners. For video though the manual focus ring is pretty bad.

The Canon 85mm f/1.2 is on my lens list too....but like I'd mentioned, I will get the 50L first, for video as much as photography at this point in time. 

I rented teh 85mm f/1.2 and loved it, and used it to shoot at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans here last year...it was fun, but I found I had some problem nailing focus on it...and I wasn't trying to recompose either.

However, I did like it and will get one, but it wouldn't work well for video with the way manual focus is handled on the 85L.

I'm gonna invest in FoCal too...especially when I get the 50L and the 85L. I'm of the thought that those lenses with such a narrow DOF, definitely need the micro adjustments to get the most out of them. Like was part of my problem of the 85L I rented....

C

mackguyver

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2999
  • Who Dares Wins
    • View Profile
    • My Personal Work
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2014, 02:21:33 PM »
I'm not a dissenter, but I'm curious.  If you shoot in raw... the images all look blah until you change the contrast, remove the vignetting... and fix the white balance.  I also add a touch of saturation... shoo if a shot requires that much adjustment from the original raw.. how do y'all really know if it was the lens that didn't have good color, contrast, etc?
Good questions, and white balance affects the entire image so it should be set first.  Cool lenses, like many of the older Sigmas have a blue or yellow tint to them that remains even when you adjust white balance.  Canon lenses are a bit warmer than neutral, which most of us are used to and like if we shoot Canon.

When you open the raw files, (in my case in PS or DxO), I can tell right away if I need to add saturation/vibrancy.  I don't think I've ever added any saturation to my 180 Macro shots, vs. adding 30+ to my old 24-70 [MkI] or lenses that I use with the 2x extender.  For contrast, my 50 1.4 looked faded and washed out at f/1.4, but had lots of contrast at f/2.  In comparison, the 50 1.2 has as much contrast at f/1.2 as it does at f/4. 

Lesser lenses require a boost in contrast, whereas lenses with amazing contrast (like the 300 2.8 IS II) require little to no boost.  For a shot in soft light, if you add more than about +5 to +15 contrast, the image gets dark and mushy, whereas the old 24-70 would need around +30 to get the same look.

Adding color saturation and contrast seems simple, but in photos with wide dynamic range (lots of shadows) or highly saturated colors (like flowers), boosting them too much not only looks unnatural, but it "crushes" the blacks or saturated colors and you can lose a lot of detail.

As for the other artifacts, like CA and vignetting, if DxO can't get rid of the CA (like on my Sigma 12-24 II) that says something, and even DxO can't do much about Longitudinal CA (LoCA), which usually shows up in high contrast areas of lenses f/1.4 and faster.  It's ugly green and purple lines and can be 4+ pixels wide so it's really noticeable.  I usually desaturate the LoCA in PS as that's about all you can do. 

Vignetting on lenses like the 50L and 24L II is horrible and with the 24L II, it is an issue when shooting landscapes and architecture in low light.  You can expose to the right (as I do) but when you open the shadows in post, the corners have a lot more noise because they've been pushed several stops (via the vignette removal) vs. the center that has been pushed a lot less.

Maybe I'm a little too @n@l about these things, but when you start making big prints, you really start noticing this stuff.  There's nothing worse than a client who wants a big print of a photo that looks great online but has lots of "technical" issues when you go to print it.

I'm gonna invest in FoCal too...especially when I get the 50L and the 85L. I'm of the thought that those lenses with such a narrow DOF, definitely need the micro adjustments to get the most out of them.
Yes, that is a HUGE help with the f/1.4 and faster lenses and the optimal adjustments after calibration have less CA, which is a nice bonus on top of the improved sharpness.

Viggo

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2086
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2014, 02:40:08 PM »
I've owned the 50 L a number of times and I do agree that it's wonderful when it comes to
Color, contrast, bokeh, build and weather resistance .handling and AF is also superb, small size and nice
Weight .

The reason I keep selling it is because of sharpness , or lack of
It. It's good enough in the center, but I like to compose off center, and especially with the new 61 pt system and it's simply horrible off center, really bad wide open. It has nothing to do with it being a tricky lens to master. It's just extremely soft off center wide open, period.

I'm one of it's big fans, I really am, I love almost everything with it, but when you can't tell where you have focused when going off center it's pretty limiting.

I have the 85 L II and it's a completely different lens now with the 1dx and the new firmware and it's awesome and a really nice useful 1.2 lens , also in the far corners. For video though the manual focus ring is pretty bad.

The Canon 85mm f/1.2 is on my lens list too....but like I'd mentioned, I will get the 50L first, for video as much as photography at this point in time. 

I rented teh 85mm f/1.2 and loved it, and used it to shoot at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans here last year...it was fun, but I found I had some problem nailing focus on it...and I wasn't trying to recompose either.

However, I did like it and will get one, but it wouldn't work well for video with the way manual focus is handled on the 85L.

I'm gonna invest in FoCal too...especially when I get the 50L and the 85L. I'm of the thought that those lenses with such a narrow DOF, definitely need the micro adjustments to get the most out of them. Like was part of my problem of the 85L I rented....

C

+1 on FoCal. It's one of the smallest investments you can make in serious photography and yet, it's the most important of all. It's made my lenses perfect instead of, "yeah it's okay, but.."
1dx, 24-70 L II, 50 Art, 200 f2.0 L

BLFPhoto

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 69
  • Canon EOS user since '91...
    • View Profile
    • Brian Fancher Photography
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2014, 02:45:54 PM »
I would take the results as proof that Sigma's new design, which closely aligns with the Otus design, provides significant improvement over the old standard double-guauss design such that there will be clear delineations between the older lens designs and these two new lenses.  I would not take the results so far as to provide any argument for/against Sigma relative to Zeiss or anyone else who adopts the new retrofocus lens design for their 50mm-ish lenses. 

In the meantime, until Canon, Nikon, Pentax and anyone else in the game field their own retrofocus 50s, the Sigma and Zeiss seem like they will provide a clear advantage.  The real choice at the moment for any particular photographer seems to be autofocus vs apparent minor difference in image quality. 

For my purposes, the AF will take that argument even if I felt like spending Otus type cash.  Not to take away anything from the Otus or those who own it. 
1D Mk IV, 5D Mk III, 5D Mk II, 6D, 7D, EOS 55 (film), EF 17-40L, EF 24-70L Mk I, EF 24 f/2.8, EF 35 f/1.4L, Sigma 35 f/1.4, EF 40 f/2.8, EF 50 f/1.4, EF 50 f/1.8 Mk I, EF 85 f/1.2L, EF 100 f/2.8L, EF 135 f/2.0L, EF 70-200 f/2.8L Mk II, EF 300 f/4.0L IS, EF 300 f/2.8L IS I

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3507
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2014, 03:52:57 PM »
I Like my 50L, but I'll probably buy this sigma sooner or later.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2014, 03:52:57 PM »

Radiating

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 336
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2014, 04:25:10 PM »
I find the bokeh in the Sigma 85mm not as pleasing as the same, shot with my Canon 85mm f1.2L II.  Performance wise, the Sigma smokes the Canon 85 but that is not the subject here. 


The good news for bokeh is that the 50 is basically a modified 35, so it should be a slightly better longer focal length version of that lens (very slightly sharper on average, less distortion, same bokeh in other words).

I actually went the opposite way with the 85mm Sigma though, the bokeh of the Sigma has a nice pop to it, with beautiful interesting OOF highlights, the Canon's is very very flat, which can be a good thing if that's what you like, but I liked the Sigma 85's better.

rpiotr01

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2014, 05:02:17 PM »
I'm patiently awaiting some proper sample photos and a hands-on review, but it certainly looks VERY promising :) Not going to take away anything beyond that from these shots.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG Art Gets Tested for the First Time
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2014, 05:02:17 PM »