In the second instalment of our latest series of lens reviews, we focus on Canon's mid-range standard prime, the EF 50mm F1.4 USM. With a distinctly traditional optical formula dressed up in a modern AF body, and designed as a standard lens for 35mm film but now more frequently serving as a short portrait lens on APS-C, how does this relative veteran compare to Sigma's brand new 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM which we reviewed last month?

NOTE: Just a reminder that comparative test data for the Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D lens is also available through our lens review widget.

Click here for our lens review of the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

Sigma, Canon, Nikon, and Pentax 50mm F1.4 lenses compared

 

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM

Nikon AF-Nikkor 50mm F1.4 D

Pentax smc P-FA 50mm F1.4
Street price $500 $325 $290 $200
Maximum format size 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame 35mm full frame
Focal length 50mm 50mm 50mm 50mm
35mm equivalent focal length
(APS-C)

• 75mm (1.5x)
• 80mm (1.6x)
• 85mm (1.7x)

80mm

75mm

75mm

Diagonal Angle of view (FF) 47º
47º 47º 47º
Diagonal Angle of view (APS-C) 31º
31º 31º 31º
Maximum aperture F1.4 F1.4 F1.4 F1.4
Minimum aperture F16 F22 F16 F22
Lens Construction

• 8 elements/6 groups
• 1 aspherical element

• 7 elements/6 groups

• 7 elements/6 groups

• 7 elements/6 groups

Number of diaphragm blades

9, rounded

8 7 8
Minimum focus 0.45m 0.45m 0.45m 0.45m
Maximum magnification

0.14x

0.15x 0.15x 0.15x
AF motor type • Ring-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• Micro-type ultrasonic
• Full-time manual focus
• 'Screw drive' from camera body • 'Screw drive' from camera body
Focus method Unit, internal to barrel Unit Unit Unit
Image stabilization

• None

• None

• None • None
Filter thread • 77mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 52mm
• Does not rotate on focus
• 49mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories

• Front and rear caps
• Hood
• Soft Case

Front and rear caps
Front and rear caps
Front and rear caps
Weight 505 g (17.8 oz) 290g (10.2 oz) 230g (8.1 oz) 220g (7.8 oz)
Dimensions 84.5mm diameter x 68.2mm length
(3.3 x 2.7 in)
73.8mm diameter x 50.5mm length
(2.9 x 2.0 in)
64.5mm diameter x 42.5mm length
(2.5 x 1.7 in)

63.5mm diameter x 38mm length
(2.5 x 1.5 in)

Lens Mount Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony Canon EF only Nikon F only Pentax K only

Click here for our lens review of the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM