December 17, 2014, 08:09:48 PM

Author Topic: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens  (Read 30267 times)

sgtpepper

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #195 on: May 05, 2014, 05:38:23 AM »
Got my 50mm 1.4 art one week ago (Norway, FotoVideo.no)
After one week of use with 5d mk III my intuitive impression was that focus accuracy was quite OK at infinity, but not perfect. However, at closer distance it was very much off.

Using the USB-dock I experimented with test shots for a couple of hours, ending up with the following adjustments:
0.4 m : +15
0.7 m : +14
1.5 m : +7
infinity: +1

I based the adjustments mainly on comparing live view focusing with normal AF, trying to make focus hit the same way with mirror up and mirror down. Live view focus with mirror up was of course extremely consistent, but slow. Normal AF with mirror down varied a bit in some test shots, but not noticeable more than what I was seeing when calibrating focus on my Canon 70-200 2.8L IS mk II.

As you probably realise, the adjustments I ended up with is not something that could have been corrected only by micro adjustment in the 5D mk III.

Portraits shot near 0.7 m and 1.5 m seems to hit with focus around 75% of the time for me at aperture  f/1.4, after adjusting focus with Sigma USB-dock. Before adjusting it was not focusing well at these distances.
I have only been shooting in good light, although with heavily back lit subjects (shooting more or less into the sun).
the 25% misses are probably my mistake, dealing with moving subjects or me moving. The misses on the 25% were only slight misses, with somewhat blurred eyes, and quite even spread where sharp focus had hit either just behind or just in front of the eyes.

DoF at f/1.4 is so narrow that subject motion or camera motion easily makes the shot OoF.

I only have one other lens, the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS mk II. For me there is no practical difference in focus speed and accuracy between that high end tele zoom and the Sigma 50 art. Shooting at f/2.8 at 200 mm gives me about the same focus hit ratio (75%) with the Canon and the Sigma 50 art at f/1.4, when shooting at high enough shutter speeds to eliminate camera shake and subject motion blur. Both lenses has been focus micro adjusted. Probably, I am guilty of some slight recomposition after focus confirmation, risking an OoF shot while trying to improve image composition.

As I said above, I think the 25% misses that I experience is mainly due to subject motion or camera motion in the time from focus confirmation to shot taken. It is really difficult to judge when not using a tripod, and when the subjects are people that move around a bit. To me, the AF and sharpness in Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens really gives confidence so far, just like my Canon 70-200 2.8L IS mk II.

It is fantastically sharp at f/1.4, and gets even slightly sharper when stopped down a bit :-). I will probably use it at 1.4 most of the time, as it is more than sharp enough for my use, and I like the blurred backgrounds at this aperture.

Just keep in mind, if I had to use this lens without adjusting focus in Sigma USB-dock, I would have been extremely unhappy with the performance, and probably would have returned it within the first week of use. In my opinion, it is no point buying this lens without having access to the USB-dock, as it is a very high risk of focus inconsistency before correcting it in the USB dock.


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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #195 on: May 05, 2014, 05:38:23 AM »

Viggo

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #196 on: May 05, 2014, 07:15:22 AM »
+1 for the docking, it is needed, no doubt.

I have winged my calibration so far and it depends very much on the "mood" of the lens, I can sometimes shoot 30 shots in a row on static subjects that are perfectly tack sharp, but then the next day at the same distance it just can't hit. It's a bit of a concern.

I will do FoCal calibration tonight at all the 4 distance and compare to my on the fly settings. And tomorrow I'll be doing more testing with more moving subjects. As of now I feel the tracking sometimes is REALLY good even at 1.4, but then I can go an hour without a sharp picture, again a bit of a worry for me.
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Viggo

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #197 on: May 06, 2014, 04:27:58 AM »
No one else got theirs yet?

I'm having a hard time with my 50... I have done FoCal at all the four distances and 4000 testshots and gone through a variety of my own adjustments, but nothing seems very stable and accurate. It seems really good for a while then I get nothing sharp, tracking so far is worse than the 1d3 and canon 50 f1.4...

One shot or Servo doesn't matter it's to unstable to really determine a front or back focus at any distance. About to throw in the towel..
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Eldar

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #198 on: May 06, 2014, 04:35:24 AM »
No one else got theirs yet?

I'm having a hard time with my 50... I have done FoCal at all the four distances and 4000 testshots and gone through a variety of my own adjustments, but nothing seems very stable and accurate. It seems really good for a while then I get nothing sharp, tracking so far is worse than the 1d3 and canon 50 f1.4...

One shot or Servo doesn't matter it's to unstable to really determine a front or back focus at any distance. About to throw in the towel..
It seems to me that you have done a lot more with yours than I have so far. I have only done FoCal on app. 2 meters and so far everything seems to be working well on all distances. I will put it through some more challenging light and subject situations and see.

In fact, what I have seen so far is good enough for me to question whether I should keep the Otus or not. But that requires stable and reliable autofocus.
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wickidwombat

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #199 on: May 06, 2014, 04:41:12 AM »
No one else got theirs yet?

I'm having a hard time with my 50... I have done FoCal at all the four distances and 4000 testshots and gone through a variety of my own adjustments, but nothing seems very stable and accurate. It seems really good for a while then I get nothing sharp, tracking so far is worse than the 1d3 and canon 50 f1.4...

One shot or Servo doesn't matter it's to unstable to really determine a front or back focus at any distance. About to throw in the towel..
used the dock?
i dont think a general focal and afma is the way to go ith this lens
see my previous post regarding my copy
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Viggo

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #200 on: May 06, 2014, 05:21:32 AM »
No one else got theirs yet?

I'm having a hard time with my 50... I have done FoCal at all the four distances and 4000 testshots and gone through a variety of my own adjustments, but nothing seems very stable and accurate. It seems really good for a while then I get nothing sharp, tracking so far is worse than the 1d3 and canon 50 f1.4...

One shot or Servo doesn't matter it's to unstable to really determine a front or back focus at any distance. About to throw in the towel..
used the dock?
i dont think a general focal and afma is the way to go ith this lens
see my previous post regarding my copy

See my posts two posts up  ;)

I have done FoCal at all 4 distances that can be adjusted via docking.

 0.4m = +1
0,7m = +17
1,5m = +10
Infinity = 0

It seems quite good in daylight, although it's raining today and that plays havoc with AF. But in tungsten indoors is really poor.

But again, that could change in an hour. It's no clear cut miss to the front or back.

*EDIT* Care to share the AF settings you guys use
With it?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 05:32:20 AM by Viggo »
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wickidwombat

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #201 on: May 06, 2014, 08:58:42 AM »
did you check you measured your distances from the target to the mark on the top of the camera that marks the sensir plane like a O with a line through it and not the front of the lens?
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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #201 on: May 06, 2014, 08:58:42 AM »

Sporgon

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #202 on: May 06, 2014, 09:09:32 AM »
This all sounds a bit alarming to me. As someone who's very much into 'plug & play' I think I'll be sticking to Canon; hurry up with the EF 50 1.8 IS  ;)

Viggo

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #203 on: May 06, 2014, 09:14:20 AM »
did you check you measured your distances from the target to the mark on the top of the camera that marks the sensir plane like a O with a line through it and not the front of the lens?

FoCal tells me the distance, but also double checked with the distance scale on the lens.

Tried it more outside today, and it's the same story, I can shoot 30 shots, refocused in between, and it is VERY sharp and clearly spot on. Then turn around at another distance, go back to the first and it just won't lock no matter what I do. And it's not always about the distance, but some subjects I just won't focus on, and then it will. Impossible to get consistent hit or miss.
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candyman

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #204 on: May 06, 2014, 09:18:15 AM »
I just wonder.....I do not own the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or Canon f/1.2......are they always spot on with the autofocus? I assume you have to AFMA with those as well. And they may differ in copies.


I am going to pickup my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art tomorrow. I am very curious about the quality of my copy. Anyhow I ordered the dock based on experiences here. I may go into Focal AFMA on Friday

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #205 on: May 06, 2014, 11:50:38 AM »
I just wonder.....I do not own the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or Canon f/1.2......are they always spot on with the autofocus? I assume you have to AFMA with those as well. And they may differ in copies.
Yes, you should AFMA those as well.  Pretty much all lenses benefit from AFMA.

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #206 on: May 06, 2014, 11:51:34 AM »
It is fantastically sharp at f/1.4, and gets even slightly sharper when stopped down a bit :-). I will probably use it at 1.4 most of the time, as it is more than sharp enough for my use, and I like the blurred backgrounds at this aperture.

Just keep in mind, if I had to use this lens without adjusting focus in Sigma USB-dock, I would have been extremely unhappy with the performance, and probably would have returned it within the first week of use. In my opinion, it is no point buying this lens without having access to the USB-dock, as it is a very high risk of focus inconsistency before correcting it in the USB dock.

Wow, good to know!  Thanks for this post.

drjlo

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #207 on: May 06, 2014, 12:39:29 PM »

Just keep in mind, if I had to use this lens without adjusting focus in Sigma USB-dock, I would have been extremely unhappy with the performance, and probably would have returned it within the first week of use. In my opinion, it is no point buying this lens without having access to the USB-dock, as it is a very high risk of focus inconsistency before correcting it in the USB dock.

Wow, good to know!  Thanks for this post.

Imagine a company like Sigma deciding to make something like the unprecedented USB dock.  How many consumer complaints, lens returns, and bad publicity it must have taken to force Sigma to market the usb dock, which is meant to accomplish things that should have been done at the factory  :'(

Even with the USB dock, it seems like there are copies out there that have AF that "drifts" over time and are consistent even after the dock adjustments.  Having dealt with Sigma service before, all I would say is buy it from a store that will let you return/refund without too much hassle.

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #207 on: May 06, 2014, 12:39:29 PM »

Dylan777

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #208 on: May 06, 2014, 12:50:16 PM »
+1 for the docking, it is needed, no doubt.

I have winged my calibration so far and it depends very much on the "mood" of the lens, I can sometimes shoot 30 shots in a row on static subjects that are perfectly tack sharp, but then the next day at the same distance it just can't hit. It's a bit of a concern.
I will do FoCal calibration tonight at all the 4 distance and compare to my on the fly settings. And tomorrow I'll be doing more testing with more moving subjects. As of now I feel the tracking sometimes is REALLY good even at 1.4, but then I can go an hour without a sharp picture, again a bit of a worry for me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Viggo.
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Dylan777

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #209 on: May 06, 2014, 12:59:15 PM »
I just wonder.....I do not own the Canon 50mm f/1.4 or Canon f/1.2......are they always spot on with the autofocus? I assume you have to AFMA with those as well. And they may differ in copies.

I am going to pickup my Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art tomorrow. I am very curious about the quality of my copy. Anyhow I ordered the dock based on experiences here. I may go into Focal AFMA on Friday

The AF on my 50L is good with 5D III center AF point. It's +6 through FoCal @ 7ft(my fav distance on 50mm)
Bodies: 1DX -- 5D III
Zooms: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
« Reply #209 on: May 06, 2014, 12:59:15 PM »