Review: SIGMA 50mm F1.4 | A by Banu Prakash.

DSC_6870 copy.jpgf/1.4 art lens , wow . 

Banu Prakash:I must say that this came as a surprise to me . 
Mainly because I wasn't expecting this performance nor this built quality .
The main things that surprised me about this lens was the sharpness of the images , 
the colours it produced and the versatility of the lens . 
For a person like me who is mainly into wedding photography , 
this would be the perfect lens because you Can get good portraits and a few dramatic shots at close up .
The reduced vignetting this lens has over many of the other comparable lenses is a great asset. 
Yes, vignetting can be corrected during post processing, but the brightened area of the frame will become noisier.
Distortion in this lens is negligible. This lens has less distortion than any other 50mm non-macro lens and has performance at least equal to the macro variants in this regard.
But this would still be a secondary lens for a person whose mainly into portraits because a higher focal length would be more appropriate for the job .
Other wise it's performance can be  unmatched with most of the lenses that I've used .
Fifty mm lenses frequently find themselves being used in fashion, portraiture, weddings, documentary, lifestyle, sports, architecture, landscape and general studio photography applications.
A number of the good applications for this lens include people as subjects. 
A 50mm lens used on a full frame body is modestly too wide angle for tightly framed head shot portraits (for my taste),
but 50mm is very nice for less-tightly-framed head and shoulders, 
partial body and full body portraits.
I instantly fell in love with the sharpness of the images it produced .
At f/1.4, the 50 Art is quite sharp in the center of the frame with slowly increasing softness toward the periphery of the image circle.
Still, full frame corners are nicely sharp even at this wide open aperture. Slight improvement is seen at the center of the frame at f/2 
and the corners sharpen very nicely at this aperture. 
Slight additional corner sharpening is seen at f/2.8 where this lens delivers overall extreme sharpness.
And the low light performance would be most ideal for weddings where obtaining ambient light would be difficult most of the times .
In addition to blurring the foreground and/or background, the wide aperture allows fast, action-stopping, 
camera-shake eliminating shutter speeds even in low light. If the narrow depth of field works for your subject,
this lens can easily be shot handheld indoors even at night. 
There are many great zoom lenses that include the 50mm focal length and optically perform very well at f/2.8 or f/4,
so one of the reasons to use a prime lens is for the apertures wider than these.
An f/2.8 aperture requires 4x as much light to get the same shutter speed as an f/1.4 aperture provides.
Last but not the least the bokeh , this lens would be a pleasure to work with for a person who loves bokehs .
CA (Chromatic Aberration) is very well controlled though bokeh CA is present in some images.
The bokeh CA example shown below is from in front of the plane of sharp focus in a photo of relatively close subject.
Absent from the name of this lens is "OS" indicating that optical stabilization is not part of this lens' feature set.
The f/1.4 aperture is very wide and allows handheld use of ISO 100 in very low light levels, but adding stabilization would further extend the usefulness of this lens.
Also not featured on this lens is weather sealing. Make provisions to keep the lens dry/protected if inclement weather can be expected/encountered.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s