Besides the heft, is the 50mm 1.4 worth the extra cost over the 1.8

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Kabe Luna
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Re: Besides the heft, is the 50mm 1.4 worth the extra cost over the 1.8
In reply to Keith Z Leonard, Apr 18, 2013

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

Kabe Luna wrote:

Keith Z Leonard wrote:

Kabe Luna wrote:

I had the Sigma for a few weeks, and I agree its image quality is hands-down the best of all the available 50/1.4 options (it even fares quite well against the vaunted 50/1.2L). However, from what I understand, it's impossible to get the Sigma to focus at the same point throughout its focus range. By default, it focuses correctly at the mid-range (say, for a waist-up portrait), but it's off for near and long distances–significantly so for wide apertures. If you fine-tune the AF for better close-up or near-infinity results, you give up accuracy, progressively, throughout the rest of the range.

I would say that your understanding might be flawed.  YOU can't do it with MFA, but the Sigma optical bench seem to have done a fine job on mine.

I am not of a mind that a brand new lens should have to be returned to its manufacturer to be made to work correctly.

Wow, I guess I should have returned my brand new Canon DSLR as well, as they've also been in to be made to "work correctly".  No company is infallible, good luck with life if you think they are.    At least these companies stood behind the products and fixed them up for me.

In fact, if I get any gear that doesn't work as advertised straight out of the box, it does go right back for exchange or refund. I purchase gear to use it, not to ship it back to the manufacturer.

My experience with the lens was elation with its image quality, followed by ever-greater frustration about not being able to get that image quality through the wider range of usage. I sold it and got the Canon 50/1.4, which isn't as great wide open, but isn't very far off (and is actually better from f/4 onward) and actually focuses well and consistently from near to far distances.

The Canon's a good lens, just wish it had ring USM.

Indeed. However, I do enjoy its relatively compact size. If ring USM means it has to become as massive as the Sigma, I'll pass (however, given Nikon's 50/1.4 AF-S is roughly the same size as the current Canon 50/1.4 USM, I doubt this is the case). Also, higher build quality, overall, would be nice for this lens' replacement. The current lens uses cheap-feeling plastics.

It wouldn't, the massive size of the Sigma is based upon the optical design, which is in fact superior, not due to the ring type "HSM", Canon just needs to rev that prime, that's all.  Of course when they do it'll be at least 2x as expensive.  The Sigma really isn't all that massive, of course, when you compare it to the likes of the 85L (which is massive indeed) or any of the teles.

Of course the Sigma 50/1.4 isn't massive compared to longer, equally fast (or faster) primes. But compared to every other 50/1.4 out there–you know, its competitors–it is HUGE!

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 Kabe Luna's gear list:Kabe Luna's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon Df Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR +8 more
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