July 25, 2014, 05:50:14 AM

Author Topic: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!  (Read 3139 times)

drmikeinpdx

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« on: June 12, 2014, 11:13:37 PM »
Now that the new Sigma 50 Art lens is out, the old DG HSM version has been feeling neglected.  So I'm declaring it to be a cult lens!

It may not be as sharp as the Art lens, but there's just something magical about it's rendering, you know?


I will try to find and post some more images that aren't too naughty.  Feel free to post your own if you have this lens and join the new cult. :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 06:06:50 PM by drmikeinpdx »
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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« on: June 12, 2014, 11:13:37 PM »

drmikeinpdx

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Join the Cult! Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Classic is now a cult lens!
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 10:54:20 PM »
This was shot with the Sigma 50mm F/1.4 classic at F/2 on a 5D3.  I cropped away about 40% of the frame.  I shot several frames wide open, but the model's nose was out of focus.  One stop down works better for me when shooting this close to a model.


Nice bokeh, but do you think there is enough sharpness to use this classic lens for portraits?  Let's zoom in to see...


OMG!  Look at all that unfortunate skin texture!  Look at the red veins in the eyes.  :(    Could it be that this lens is tooo sharp for portraits?  LOL  Maybe I do need to buy that expensive Art lens!
Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
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drmikeinpdx

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2014, 06:11:28 PM »
Here is my Sigma 50 classic shot of the day.  Taken at F/1.4 on the 5D3.

You may not be able to see it at this size, but the plane of focus goes through the model's right eye and mouth.  The left eye and tip of the nose are slightly out of focus.  I normally prefer to stop down slightly for portraits with the 50 classic, but I shot some wide open for my forum friends.

Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
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Jim Saunders

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2014, 09:31:08 PM »
The copy I had may have been a bit of a dud, I recall being unimpressed with it.  I have since traded it, but if I had photos like these with it I would likely still have it.

Jim
I'd probably do better to invest more time and less money.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2014, 09:55:49 PM »
They were optimized for crop bodies, but were not as good as the much cheaper Canon lens for FF.  They were designed in the days when FF was still expensive and not in general use.
 
But then, those old Ed Wood movies are "Cult" movies.  Pretty poor, but good after a few drinks ;)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2014, 09:57:56 PM by Mt Spokane Photography »

drmikeinpdx

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2014, 12:01:05 PM »
Judging by what I used to read on the forums when this lens was a popular topic, there were a lot of bad copies out there.  Most of the complaints I saw were related to poor autofocus performance.  When I used this lens on my old 5D classic, the autofocus was terrible.  Most of the time it front focused, so I kept it stopped down a little and focused on the models ear instead of an eye.  I put the lens aside when I got lucky and found a Tamron 28-75 that focused well on that body. 

One day I tried the Sigma again and the front focus was gone, but the autofocus was still not very precise - maybe a 60% hit rate.

When I got my 5D3, all my lenses worked much better, so I started using the Sigma 50 again.  Like all 50 mm lenses in its class, it is pretty soft wide open, so you have to take that into account and use it to your advantage, like when you want a soft portrait for example.
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TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 08:50:55 PM »
I've got one for review purposes right now, and I dislike it so much that I'm having a hard time doing the review.  So much green fringing, and I can't seem to get it to nail focus even after multiple AFMAs.

It may not help it that I am also reviewing the Zeiss APO Sonnar T 2/135mm ZE and it is pretty close to optical perfection (and should be for a manual only focus lens that costs nearly $2500!)
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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2014, 08:50:55 PM »

drmikeinpdx

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 12:29:57 PM »
Dustin, if you want to join our cult, you can't be using terms like "green fringing."   I suggest "magical rendering" would be more appropriate.

And that inaccurate autofocus is "delightful randomness" that adds to the artistic experience!
Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
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stan_tall_man

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 12:42:24 PM »
I got a used copy of this lens a few months back off ebay and the focus was horrible on my 6d.  Same randomness as everyone else reports.  I sent it to sigma for calibration and they charged me $60.  Now the focus is perfect and it hits almost every time... so much so that I was confident using it for the my last wedding job.  Plus its decently sharp wide open.  When I got the report from Sigma they said they needed to calibrate the focus information to the 6d.  I'm thrilled with the lens now and I'm glad I spent the money to send it in.  I had no idea what they'd charge but $60 wasn't too bad since I got it used anyway.

infared

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 01:52:52 PM »
I've got one for review purposes right now, and I dislike it so much that I'm having a hard time doing the review.  So much green fringing, and I can't seem to get it to nail focus even after multiple AFMAs.

It may not help it that I am also reviewing the Zeiss APO Sonnar T 2/135mm ZE and it is pretty close to optical perfection (and should be for a manual only focus lens that costs nearly $2500!)

Dustin I feel your pain...but I must have the only good copy of the Sigma 50mm Classic...Mine is spot on with AF, and I really like the rendering of the lens..yeah...it needs some defringing in LR...but hey..when I bought that lens I was looking at the 50mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.4 and they are both basically junk lenses...I think the results are as good (to me) as I see being rendered by the 50mm f/1.2L. I got my copy for about $400...Peanuts compared to the "L". It is a lens that I do not use that often...but when you need it, you need it!!!! The bokeh is great at 1.4.  I am using the lens on a 5DIII with no Micro Focus Adjust. It is set to zero.
Even Roger at Lens Rentals (who I hold as an incredibly valuable source of info regarding any lens) winces at the issues of the Sigma classic...but he basically likes and rents the lens.....According to him is the lens is misfocusing you cannot micro adjust it as the lens front focuses close and then thee lens back focuses at medium distances (or vice versa, I cannot remember) so if you tune the camera to focus it makes it better in one area and makes it worse in the other plane of focus....
I am not a measurebator or FoCal guy, etc...I like to take photos, not sit around doing tests...I had a reason this weekend to double check the focusing with my copy and it just seems to nail the focus  whereever I put my focus point. Close far, it does not matter. A LOT of people sure have cursed this lens over the years ....so you are not alone. 
I am thinking about selling mine (which will be a trip I know...if I sell it to a FoCal guy it will be a drag!!! LOL!) to buy the new Sigma 50mm...but I am waiting for your review...so GIVE IT UP...will ya!!!!!! LOL!
Oh...and the price has gone up on a new 50mm classic....if you can find one they are selling for $500 again.   B&H was out of stock for months...but they have more in stock now. Its only for the brave of heart!!!!! LOL!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 04:39:00 PM by infared »
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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2014, 02:25:55 PM »
Now that the new Sigma 50 Art lens is out, the old DG HSM version has been feeling neglected.  So I'm declaring it to be a cult lens!

It may not be as sharp as the Art lens, but there's just something magical about it's rendering, you know?


I will try to find and post some more images that aren't too naughty.  Feel free to post your own if you have this lens and join the new cult. :)


Dear friend Mr. drmikeinpdx
Please add me , as the member of  the new CULT too, Yes, I have both Sigma 50 mm F/ 1.4  classic and EF 85 mm. F/ 1.2 L MK II and love them both, To use in the difference situation of the distant from the subject, or the Quality of Back ground blur or Difference type of BOKEH.
The Photos below are prove that , this lens not only use as Portrait photo type, But If we add the extension  Tube, this Baby can use as the great Macro Lens too.
Well, So many our friends have the problems of this AF/Sigma Lens---Yes, Because of Sigma co. do not want to pay the big money for Canon AF. License / Royalty--But, Sigma company use reverse engineer method ( Take apart of the Canon Lens and study/ copy the details) to copy the Canon AF system----Ha, Ha, Ha---Cheapo methods, But some time It miss the target of AF.  too.

Maybe I am only 5-15% of the Sigma owners , who are very lucky not have the problem of AF. or colors contamination from this lens , Well, May be I am too old to spots these problems----Ha, Ha, Ha.
Have a great work week, Sir/ Madam.
Surapon
PS.  Sorry, I do not have the beautiful model like you have, just the flowers in my yard---BUT, I do not need to pay the model fee to them.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2014, 03:30:38 PM by surapon »

mrsfotografie

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2014, 03:53:16 PM »
Now that the new Sigma 50 Art lens is out, the old DG HSM version has been feeling neglected.  So I'm declaring it to be a cult lens!

It may not be as sharp as the Art lens, but there's just something magical about it's rendering, you know?

I have no complaint about sharpness; my copy is a solid performer! Getting sharp results below f/2.8 takes a little extra TLC, but when I nail focus, the sharpness is there. I love this lens and the way it draws. It shares this property with the Sigma 30mm, although the 50mm can even be considered 'clinical' compared to the 30mm (which I loved but my copy was totally unreliable).

Shot at f/1.4 with the 50mm EX (matte body finish):
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YuengLinger

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2014, 05:09:33 PM »
Yeah?  ERASERHEAD is a cult classic.  Enjoy.

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2014, 05:09:33 PM »

Policar

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2014, 06:05:59 PM »
People LOVED this lens (preferring it to the 50 f1.2 L) before the new version.

Interesting how spherochromatism was once heralded as improving bokeh (and built into lens designs) and now people hate it. The 135mm f2 AI-S, for instance, is intentionally a bit soft with spherochromatism wide open as a portrait lens. The 135 L seems to do this a bit, as do most fast primes. I like apochromatic lenses on large format for landscape, but now FF digital lenses are beginning to tend toward apochromatic, too.

I suppose now that people are printing much larger (since FF digital "feels" about like medium format film) the softer lenses designed for 135 film are going out of favor, but I'm not sure I like the look of these clinical new lenses.

Then again, I rarely print that large.

infared

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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 09:54:20 PM »
Yeah?  ERASERHEAD is a cult classic.  Enjoy.

LOL!
It's not for everyone!
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Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM "Classic" is now a cult lens!
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 09:54:20 PM »