Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens review

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens review
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens review 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens review 3
This Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens ($949) review is written by Marc Rogoff (

I recently purchased the new Sigma 50mm 1.4 DG Art lens intended to replace my Nikon 50mm 1.4G. Whilst the Nikon is a perfectly good lens it tends to be a bit slow focussing and it was always a bit soft towards the edges of the frame (not ideal for portraits as eyes end up out of focus if you are shooting quite open). I wanted a lens that could support the kind of work I do which tends to be either very tight depth of field or lots of depth of field. It needed to be sharp from edge to edge at all apertures ideally - a difficult remit for any lens.

After initially putting the lens on the camera I couldn’t get focus on anything I pointed it at. I then decided to calibrate both lenses in preparation for testing and did some rough and ready tests by locking off the camera and shooting my very exciting bookcase. Note: I had to make much bigger adjustments on the Sigma which was effectively unusable straight out of the box. Sigma – if you are listening then please make sure you calibrate your lenses properly before selling them…(not everyone has calibration equipment).

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens sample

Here are a few comments on the aesthetics and functionality of the Sigma. The lens is a big hunk of glass. It is a heavy and large lens but it feels well balanced on the D800 and is pleasing to look at with a modernistic and minimalist look. It feels like quality and is beautifully made. The plastic casing has a pleasingly matt and smooth feel to it. The AF/MF switch is solid and the hood fits solidly – in all it feels like a pro lens although it is not weather resistant. This lens focusses a lot faster than the Nikon. It locks on quickly and seems to be as good in terms of accuracy as the Nikon. Manual focussing is smooth and the focus ring has a good tactile ribbed rubber surface.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens test 1
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens test 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens test 3
As far as the differences that I was able to observe in sharpness and quality….the Sigma is not quite as sharp as the Nikon in the centre at 1.4 and the Nikon displays more chromatic aberration. As soon as you go to F2 everything changes right across the frame and its the same story as you move down the apertures. The Sigma outperforms in every department. The bokeh on the Sigma is buttery smooth and although the Nikon is no slouch its highlights are a bit crunchy by comparison.

As far as the cost/benefit is concerned…if you shoot professionally and you need critical sharpness then there is no comparison – Sigma have really created a beautiful lens. If you are on a budget then the Nikon is perfectly good for everyday work and in most cases you probably won’t be wanting. Shooting Fashion means that I am often shooting in portrait mode and I am a bit anal about sharpness throughout the frame.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens sample 2
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens sample 3
I am not posting the full size files here but these are screenshots at 100% of various apertures to give you an idea of the quality and a few random shots I took to give an idea of the look out of camera – without adjustments. Sadly I didn’t have a real model to shoot when I wrote this so the Playboy Doll had to do….(dont ask how it came to be in my possession).

If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

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  • Brent

    The is an extraordinary creepy doll setup there.

  • Erik

    This is the first review i read in which is stated that the sigma is less sharper then the nikon on f/1.4…

    • longzoom

      Sample variation in play…

    • Global

      No, many reviews have pointed this out. What some individuals are confused about is the chromatic aberration wide open. The Nikon is sharper, but you can see the CA more easily. So take your pick. Under controlled circumstances one or the other could be preferred prior to f/2.

      • John Doe

        No the Nikon is not sharper. It’s so obvious in any of the shoots…I’ve used the nikon G for more than 4 years and when I got the sigma i dumped the nikkor the next day after seeing the images. The nikkor @1.4 is not sharper by a huge margin. Perhaps the difference is smaller on older smaller MP sensors

        • Matt_XVI

          Care to share some images?

    • Michael Steinbach

      Hardly a testing methodology to hang your hat on. Especially considering he tuned focus on camera rather than the optional Sigma dock.

  • Kenneth

    The problem is its weight and size. I often cannot carry this lens along with 16-35, 24-70, and 70-200. No more space in a bag and too heavy. And, most importantly, professional calibration is highly recommended.

    Sometimes, I miss my 50/1.4G in terms of light weight and compact.

    • fjfjjj

      I don’t know why you’re carrying around that much gear, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I think you can probably fill the gap between your ultrawide and tele zooms (35-70) with the 50.

  • Harv.

    Hi Marc,
    “effectively unusable straight out of the box”
    If the Sigma AF was that bad then you should send it back and ask them for one that works the way it’s supposed to.
    Did you try it on another Nikon body ?

    • marcrogoff

      I tried it on a D3X and same problems. The lens works fine now – used it on a portrait shoot the other day and it does the job admirably……/111/
      I will be sending it back to try to get a better copy though.

  • koenshaku

    How is the focusing indoors with lower light? I notice 3rd party lenses seem to struggle in this area and reviews seem to avoid test for some reason. Like I purchased the over priced tamron 24-70 2.8 VC while it is sharper when in focus than the Nikon counterpart it hunts too much indoors…

    • marcrogoff

      Its noi better or worse than the existing Nikon 50mm’s from what I can tell…

  • Ms.KrystalMeth

    Roger over at LenRental…Has told his customers…not to use that damn docking feature from Sigma…because your lens may not work once you fiddle around with it. And…all I have read and heard is how Tack Sharp it is. And the guy below is right…why didn’t this Creepy guy just place the lens on another Nikon Camera?

    • Joe Geske

      Have had mine for about a month now, and I can’t say enough good things. Sharpness is astounding, but as we all know that isn’t the whole story, and that seems to be where this lens performs even better. The bokeh, is softer, and more controlled than the Nikon (or Canons I have used), there is NO distortion (a person doesn’t think much about distortion on a 50 until he sees this lens next to another 50), the colors and contrast are very similar to Canon L glass, the micro contrast is stunning, even grain seems less of an issue with this lens because of the way micro contrast is rendered.

      Oddly enough when I first got it the lens required 0 calibration according to FoCal, but then I sent in my D600 (one of 3 bodies I have been using it on) for the shutter replacement and ever since the d600 came back I can’t seem to get the same level of sharpness. My D800 still works incredibly well with it, but the D600 just hasn’t been the same with this lens.

    • fjfjjj

      I connected my Sigma lens to a computer at the library, and it got infected with the W32/SmegmaX3.B virus. Now when I connect the lens to any computer, it forces me to type “HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAZUTO” or it will delete all my files that aren’t in X3F format.

  • TwoMetreBill

    Since the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is sharper than both, if one doesn’t need that extra 2/3rds of a stop then….

    • Andy Aungthwin

      I have both the 1.4G and the 1.8G. The 1.8G is not noticeably sharper than the 1.4G @f1.8. It’s neither here or there.

      If you are comparing wide open vs wide open, then yes, the 1.8G is sharper.

      Apart from being 2/3rd of a stop faster, the 1.8G has 9 rounded blades vs 7 rounded blades which would certainly have to make a difference for background blur – in theory. But in practice, I don’t think there is much of a difference.

      One thing though is that the 1.4G does have a consistently nice punch to images. So does the 1.8G but I prefer the 1.4G.

    • I used to have an f/1.4 D, f/1.4G and f/1.8D. Basically they were comparable with each other, especially since I use them at f/2.2 and up 99% of the time. I sold the two f/1.4s and kept the 1.8…that I originally bought on eBay for $100. I think you can talk yourself into anything if you’ve spent enough money.

    • Harv.

      I use the 50mm f/1.8G in difficult, dim locations on my D3 and it’s fantastic.
      The Sigma is not on the list of lenses I’d like to own, and that’s before you get to the fact that it’s five times the price of the f/1.8G.

  • rt-photography

    I think that payingf $1000 and having to calibrate a lens right out of the box, shows that they have a huge problem with QC. I would not pay $1000 for a lens where the docking station might cause it to lock up. this is ridiculous. is it so hard to calibrate the lens before sending it out.

    the nikon 50 1.4g is sharper in the center than the sigma. thats surprising to hear. from pictures ive seen, the bokeh isnt that great on the sigma. for $1000 I would expect more. Im happy im with my 50mm 1.4G and 1.8G

    I think this lens is overrated for the price.

    • phil999

      Most of my Nikon lenses also need calibrating out of the box, it’s not a QC issue at all. With the Sigma I have much more control by using the dock.
      I have a few Nikon 50’s including the 1.4G and the 1.2 Ai-s. The Sigma is by far my favourite for 90% of my photography.
      I think this lens is an absolute bargain.

      • rt-photography

        NONE of my 8 nikon lenses needed AF adjustments. and none of my friends lenses needed adjustments as well.

        their QC is crap and for so much money one spends for a simple 50 FL, it should be perfect.

    • Bokeh Monk

      Yes your right, I’ve also seen a review that showed the Sigma is only sharp to ƒ4 ( sorry, forgotten the link )

    • rrisk

      Rt You’re so wrong!!!!

      • rt-photography

        the fact you have two r’s in your user name and 4 exclamation marks shows youre not a stable person.

  • Tooma

    My copy of the Sigma 1.4 is perfect out of the box. Razor sharp at 1.4 and off the charts at F8. The Nikon 1.4 is a great lens but not nearly as sharp at 1.4 but by 5.6 it’s awesome.

  • Michiel953

    It wouldn’t take much to better the 50/1.4G Nikkor, but this review is a bit sketchy. For one, to test sharpness (on a calibrated lens; any lens on a D8xx needs to be calibrated) you don’t take a flat surface, you take a well defined stationary 3D object.

    Anyway, sharp and heavy certainly is not what I’m looking for; I’ll just hang on to my 58.

    • Nexus

      But I think that’s the “bait & switch’ aspect of the Sigma… Making a ‘Flat-Field’ lens that tests really well, but isn’t all that stunning of actual images…

      • Michiel953

        It’s probably the best thing since sliced bread for photographing brick walls. Me, I don’t actually do that a lot.

  • Nikon Fangirl

    Sharpness is important, but there are much more to a lens than sharpness. If you only concentrate on lens sharpness, you are missing out on a lot of nice glasses!

    • NicP

      +1. I once printed a couple of Completely out of focus pictures I took with the Carl Zeiss 50mm 1.4 planar zf2, were out of focus but still so organic. DxO test says CZ is not the sharpest wide open, I dont care, wish they are AF though.

    • George Kalogeris

      My approach is sigma 35mm on my nikon DSLR
      and zeiss 50mm zm on a sony a7, great bokeh, very light and small, portable, sharp and beautiful. Perhaps a7+50mm is as heavy as sigma 50mm alone.
      Sometimes we Nikonians forget that we could use a 2nd combo

  • Danzig

    Thanks for the review. I’ve had both and as well as the 50 1.8g and the older Sigma 50 1.4. The new 50 Art is on another level in terms of sharpness, AF speed and lack of aberrations. The 50 Art is compared to the Zeiss 55 Otus in terms of sharpness in most reviews. Out of tens of reviews and testimonies this is the first one that says the 50 1.4g is sharper. I really recommend that you spend more time fine tuning the lens since your results are not reflective of how this lens should perform. To prove my point, shoot both lenses with manual focus via Zoomed-in LiveView at a static subject and show us the results. As for those complaining about AF tuning & the dock, most of my Nikon primes need significant AF tuning out of the box, at least Sigma provides the dock to have better control over that.

    • marcrogoff

      Hi Danzig – not sure you understood what I said in the review – the only point the nikon is sharper is at 1.4 which may or may not be down to my copy of the lens from then on it is the Sigma that is sharper? I spent a lot of time tuning the lenses and they were both tuned to using a lenscal and focussed with live view…

      • Danzig

        That was my point, that especially at 1.4 the Sigma Art is miles ahead of the Nikon 50 1.4g, it’s not even close honestly. Maybe you’ve received a bad copy because the Sigma should be almost as good as the Otus.

        • marcrogoff

          It might be a bad copy but I can only go with the results I got from it. I will be returning it and will update if my findings are any different.

          • Danzig

            Good luck 🙂 Here’s a comparison with the Otus, 50 1.4g and 58 1.4g to give you a better idea on what to expect…

            • marcrogoff

              Thanks – it may very well be that the focus shift mentioned on the Sigma is what is responsible for the lack of perceived sharpness at 1.4. My tests are done in exactly the same way as his except for the fact that I use a lenscal. Still waiting for my sigma calibration device.

        • rrisk

          Danzig you are absolutely right. I think this guy macrogoff is a Nikon troll! I had the 58mm f1.4 which is considerably better than the Nikon 50mm f1.4 and when I shot it against the Sigma I got rid of the Nikon the next day. Who do you believe DXO and all of the other reputable reviewers or some guy who got a bad lens(possibly) and shoots Barbie dolls?????

  • Semipro

    The Sigma 50/1.4 art needs a lot of distant-dependent AF fine tune (preferably with the Sigma USB dock) in order to be maximally sharp at 1.4 at all distances. Try +10/+5/+1/0 for the four AF adjustment values (nearest to farthest) using the Sigma USB dock software. If you don’t have the Sigma USB dock, you can AF fine tune through the camera but it will not be as sharp as possible at all distances. When properly calibrated, the Sigma 50/1.4 art (I have two copies) is sharper at f/1.4 at or near the center than my Nikon 50/1.4G is stopped down quite a bit. In fact at 1.4 the Sigma is about as sharp as my Zeiss Otus at 1.4 except the Zeiss is sharper in the corners, and even that requires some substantial magnification to notice. The Sigma 50/1.4 art is probably the best general-purpose prime I’ve ever used. I would rank it above the $4k Otus in fact for all uses other than studio work due to the AF.

    • rt-photography

      cool story bro.

    • marcrogoff

      Thanks – I think I will purchase the USB dock and see if that makes any difference to 1.4…

    • Eric Cartman

      I DON’T believe a word you wrote, nobody that reads this blog spends $6500 on only 50mm lenses! I call shenanigans !!!

    • peterw

      why did you buy all these lenses? they don’t mount on your Leica S2 nor on your Hasselblad.

  • Martin

    Never really liked the pics of any Sigma lens but also thought the “50 art” is the new king of sharpness at f1.4!?
    Stopped down to f2 or f2.8, I love my 1.4/58G in terms of both sharpness/resolution but even more: for the bokeh. CAs, flares or ghosts don´t exist for this lens anyway. And it´s sealed. And it´s light!
    Sharpness was never my first priority with primes anyway since they´re all sharp enough for me.

  • JessieABanks

    If you only concentrate on lens sharpness, you are missing out on a lot of nice glasses!

  • Ron Burgundy

    $1000 for an unusable lens straight out of the box! Good one sigma.
    I just dont understand why people would waste money on any Sigma product. If the Nikon 50mm isnt that sharp across the frame (at$300) get the Nikon 58mm or 85mm, thats what you owe your clients, thats if you are actually that concerned about sharpness and quality .
    At the end of day its still a Sigma and will have terrible resale.. #wasteofmoney

  • ????

    While we would all enjoy a FF lens that is sharp across the frame, it occurs far less often in FF than cropped sensors.. That said, sharpness across the frame is absolutely NOT important in portrait photography, so not really sure what you are looking for in a lens – additionally, a 50mm is not a portrait lens to begin with.

    • marcrogoff

      If you are talking traditional portraiture yuou may have a point but it depends on what kind of portraiture you do – I personally like sharpness across the frame. If you shoot in portrait orientation relatively close up and the top part of the image is not sharp then you end up with soft eyes – which was the issue I always had with the Nikon. Soft eyes are definitely a no-no for me at least… IMHO any lens is a portrait lens – depends what you want to do with it. I shoot portraits with 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm and with the 70-200mm depending on what I am after… I have even shot portraits with the 14mm. You can see a variety here:

      • Learnt Behaviours

        First off, 50mm is NOT a portrait lens it will actually distort human faces (due to compression) – that’s why 85mm is considered a portrait lens. Second, you can use a 50mm or even a 24mm or wider for portraits provided you know how to use it correctly, the subject’s eyes should NEVER be placed anywhere near the edges of the frame! Finally, if you require a ‘close-up’ with the eyes near the edge of the frame (you obviously don’t require any background in the image), for god’s sake man pull out the 70-200 and do it properly!

        • marcrogoff

          I have to respectfully disagree with you…I shoot portraits for a living and dont have anyone complaining about the lens I used. There are no rules – unless of course you believe there are! I use the lens that I feel is appropriate to the face and situation – its called creative license. On a side note – a 50mm is perfectly good as a portrait lens and in fact the longer the focal length the more compression so 85mm has more of a compressed effect than a 50mm. Here is an example of an image I made with the Sigma a few days ago which would have been less sharp on the eyes than the centre of the image on the Nikon.…/111/

      • ninpou_kobanashi

        People can want what they want. What’s up with all this “you’re stupid if you want that” crap?

    • 24×36

      That’s nonsense. Lenses may be better “across the frame” on a RELATIVE basis on crop sensors, but that’s because the crop sensor is worse in the center, not because it is better at the borders. A crop sensor demands more from the lens across the ENTIRE frame, which more than offsets the “use of less of the image circle” factor straight out of the APS-C marketing campaign.

  • Al Richardson

    Just my two-penneth worth:

    I shoot 50mm 95% of the time as a full-time food/lifestyle photographer, and got the first one of these lenses that arrived at my regular shop.

    Compared to the Nikon 50 f/1.4, the Sigma smokes it wide open – it’s soooo much sharper, and I’m very well aware of the difference between chromatic aberration and sharpness. My copy also is the ONLY lens in my bag which didn’t require any fine-tuning on my D800 (yep, it was an early one, but I’ve had the focus prism adjusted – it’s just not consistent no matter what you do seemingly). If I get a D810 it makes me wonder if it’ll front-focus, as everything else is adjusted for back focussing but that’ll have to wait for a couple of months to test.

    It’s a beautiful lens to use all day everyday – with the grip on the D800 it balances beautifully and, despite the greater bulk and mass I find it less tiring for a long day’s shoot.

    tl:dr – Awesome. Get one if you shoot 50mm full-time.

  • Me

    Okay what about skin tones? Oh, yeah, colour reproduction isn’t measured in MTF charts. Okay, you keep talking about sharpness then…

  • stesk

    If you can’t get sharp eyes with a Nikon 50mm F/1.4 – it’s waste of money to buy a Sigma 50mm.

    • Bokeh

      You’re exactly right! A new lens will never solve the problems of an unskilled photographer !

      • Frank Nazario

        totally agree…

  • Captain Megaton

    “Sharpness, sharpness sharpness. Sharpness, sharpens sharp! Sharp-sharp! More sharpness. Sharpy sharpiness.”

    …any by the way, I do all my low-light shooting handheld at ISO3200!

  • Still love my trusty Nikkor AIS 105mm F2.5. it still produced some of the sharpest photos across the spectrum. I have also tried it on the Sony A7r and the Fuji X-T1 with similarly spectacular results. Sometimes an old piece of glass is still just as good. Street price is around $150-$200.

  • 50

    Remember when a 50 wasn’t the size of a coffee can?

    • h

      Agreed, I am one of those crazies who would sacrifice IQ for a smaller lens. I am surprised that small, AF lenses for dslr’s do not commonly exist in 2014.

  • Alan Levin

    Thanks Marc, I love f1.4, so a very useful review…

  • Merijn

    Still, I just dont like the clinical look to it. Skintones are actually pretty bad without PP and to be honest: What a massive bulky piece of kit you haul around for shooting 50mm… Please do yourselve a favor and try Leica M with a 50mm ‘cron version something or a nice Zeiss. Will cost you the same in the end and blasts this mammoth piece of gear straight out of the water. Especially for fashion!

    • marcrogoff

      Rangefinder vs a SLR – completely different discussion…. Completely different style of shooting and definitely not any good for the kind of work I do I am afraid but I agree the Leica 50 summicron is is a great lens though….

      • Merijn

        Just checked your site Marco, you certainly have a good eye! It seems PP is essential for the artistic experience you want to give to the spectator. I agree, the Sigma suits this style perfectly.

  • buba

    “replace my Nikon 50mm 1.4G. Whilst the Nikon is a perfectly good lens …” Like all reviews this is review from idiot to idiots. Simple as that.

  • buba

    “Sigma is not quite as sharp as the Nikon in the centre at 1.4” Jesus! Nikonrumors! Are you subsidiary of Nikon or it just so damn look that way? Who are You targeted at? Young salesman at BestBuy, who after chosen by You review, pass this lies to customers? It’s that why You always choose most absurd reviews? And always favarouble to Nikon.
    Are You gonna answer to this questions?

    • Hessephoto

      I just bought the 35mm 1.4 art and after two hours of calibrating with the USB dock it’s still unusable. Granted when in focus the lens is sharp but the autofocus is unusable. I’m returning it and never buying another sigma. My point being that while I agree the sigma is likely much sharper than nikon’s very soft 50mm 1.4 your wrong to think that sigma has anything to offer you over nikon. Just google problems with sigma 35mm 1.4. Just read about a reviewer that bought his lens versus getting one sent, he had a terrible experience until sigma sent him a hand picked lens. He offered to buy the hand picked one and sigma refused, they have good copies on hand for reviewers and sell everyone else crap. I’m surprised admin hasn’t told us about this yet it’s a big problem. I’m betting this is way worse than the D600 problems, give it a few more months everyone will be up in arms about these lenses. I tried to make mine work but the AF is Soo unreliable I just can’t use it, might be on focus from 3 feet away but from 5 is a total miss, and yes I’ve had it calibrated with the USB Dock where I bought it, all that did was make it somewhat work with my D800 but totally unusable on my D610. Admin you’ve got to let people know about the issues with these lenses. I had read so many good reviews I was confidant I bought a great lens, I wish I had been warned.

      • peterw

        I read that article you mention.

        It convinced me to do a test directly on receiving the lens and now I am one of the thousands of happy photographers that can put a good 35F1,4 Sigma on a D800… I love mounting it. Feels so good. Pictures look jolly, licking, smooooth, crackling, crunchy, punchy, uhmu: sensitive, tender yet strong.

  • Royl

    I agree with Andy. I tried both side by side and dumped the 1.8G. The really big difference is build quality. The 1.4G has very nice manual focus control. The 1.8G is not very good in that respect.

  • PhilK

    OK, I can’t speak for the differences between the two lenses as I have no personal experience, but I just wanted to give kudos to Mark Rogoff for a nice body of work as viewed on his website.

    I saw a lot of very sharp photos there, so those of you who are accusing him of not being able to recognize a sharp lens are looking a bit silly, seems to me. 😉

    Perhaps he had a strange sample, perhaps he needed to buy the dock and fine-tune it, but I must admit that the fact that it was way out of calibration right out of the box certainly does not instill confidence.

    What I’m curious about is not just sharpness but color and contrast rendition. I realize this series is much better than your typical 3rd-party lens product but the issue I always have with non-Nikon glass is usually more a matter of color and tonality rendering. (I haven’t tried the Zeiss models, not really interested in going back to manual-focus) The last 3rd-party lens I used was a Tamron and to be honest all the shots looked like grey mud to me.

  • nostatic

    My experience with Sigma has never been good. I owned the 10-20mm F/3.5-5.6 and it was one of the crappiest lenses I’ve ever used. Simply wretched IQ with massive distortion. After reading so many good reviews about the Art series I decided to give the company another chance, and bought the new 24-105mm F/4. While it’s a beautiful looking lens it was in no way worth the almost $1,000 Sigma asks for it. At every aperture and focal length it was no better, and sometimes worse, than the Nikon 24-120mm F/4. Plus, it was heavier. So why spend that kind of money on a lens that offered no advantages? I returned the lens almost immediately, swearing off Sigma forever. To be fair, Tamron lenses are also dreadful. Only Tokina seems capable to making a high-quality, reasonably priced lens to compete against Nikon’s own.

    • Alderaan

      I have to say that Tamron seems to have it’s act together recently. I own the 70-200 VC and it is fantastic, many other users also reflect this experience. The new 150-600 from Tamron has been getting very positive feedback as well. Looking at the 70-200 as an example, the price difference is just absurd between the Nikon and Tamron versions. The Tamron even appears to outperform the Nikon in some respects.

      • nostatic

        Good to hear. I hope they can improve their entire line, including shoddy quality control. It seems every personal review I read about a Tamron the owner claims “Finally, with my third copy, I got one that didn’t have XX problem.”

        • Alderaan

          Yes on the side of quality control there does still seem to be some inconsistency. Given Tamrons customer service record and warranty however I would happily save the $1,000 and potentially do a little swapping and/or fine-tuning to get a good copy. Pay $2,000+ and be done, or pay $1,000 less and potentially swap a defective copy for another – Easy choice here in my opinion.

    • peterw

      What are you saying? The Sigma 24-105 F4 is almost as bad as Nikons 24-120 F4 so Sigma is crap?

      This has nothing to do with the 50 mm F1,4 in discussion (unless it would be something about quality control or service).

      • nostatic

        I’m saying the Sigma 24-105 is not as good as the Nikon– and that I was unimpressed by the Art lens as a reference (sorry you failed to make that connection). I also forgot to mention that, like the Sigma 50mm tested here, the 24-105mm had back focus issues which I find inexcusable for a lens that portends to be “as good as it gets.” So, yes, Sigma continues to have lousy quality control.

  • Nelson Barley

    Now if only Sigma would produce a 135 Art

  • Frank Nazario

    OMG PEOPLE!!! can we please drop the freaking hue and skin tones part of the discussion of this lens … its mental that at today day and age we are still discussing this with lenses… A COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER OR A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT IS RESPECTFUL TO HIS CRAFT will never publish a photo before being color and tone corrected, specially the photographers that specialize in portraiture. Please I beg you stop quoting the medium format marketing pitch and the film era quotes (at wich those made sense because of the technical limitations of the craft at that time)… lets have a healthy constructive critique of the lens and the alternatives to it.

  • Stephen Weir

    I bought one recently. Gorgeous lens, but also having slight off focus issues with it. Calibrated it as far as possible (+20) and it seems to be reasonably close. It’s a bit disturbing, to say the least. It’s supposed to be top of the line. I have a 35mm art as well, which required +5 on both my D800e and D750. The 50mm art also took 20+ on the D750 and it still isn’t quite perfect but reasonably close. As a comparison, I have a Nikon 85mm F1.8 which is dead on straight from the box.
    Kind of unacceptable with such an expensive lens.

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