Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art on SD1 Merrill

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Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 15,617
Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art on SD1 Merrill
1

I got a used 50mm f1.4 Art finally. It appears to be in very good condition. I just tried it out, and I like it. Here are some sample images, with some crops, which show what the picture quality is like at various apertures (OOC jpegs):

f5.6

Below are crops that have all been scaled up identically to 3,000 x 3,000 pixels:

f1.4

f2

f2.8

f4

f5.6

f8

As you can see, the image quality at f1.4 is not very good, but it gets progressively better until f2.8, which is about the maximum quality, and then it starts to degrade around f5.6, and by f8 it is suffering pretty badly, though it has more depth of field, and it is not as bad as f1.4 or f2.

Sorry I did not include f11, and I was unable to keep the correct EXIF data for each image, so they all show as being shot at f2.8, even though these crops are from different photos that were shot at different f-stops.

The lens is smaller than I expected, but by no means small for a 50mm f1.4 lens. It does seem to focus pretty well in good light, but not in low light (which is probably more a function of the SD1 Merrill than the lens).

I made the crops in GIMP by opening the images as layers, cropping, and then scaling up the square crop to 3,000 pixels wide. I did not sharpen or adjust anything. It was all done with OOC jpegs. The first image is the full-size OOC jpeg right off the memory card. I used the f5.6 image, because I think that one shows the lenses capability about as well as can be hoped for. Here is the full f1.4 image (also the OOC jpeg right off the card):

f1.4

My conclusion so far is that the wide-open performance is not what I expected. It reminds me of a 50 year old m42 lens, frankly. I can't imagine ever using it wide open. I've decided to NOT get one for my Nikon. Maybe I'll try the 40mm f1.4 Art on that camera though. I hear those are better. Still, at f2.8 it's pretty darn good, and I will probably use it at f4, f5.6, and f7.1 most of the time anyway.

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Scott Barton Kennelly
https://www.bigprintphotos.com/

 Scottelly's gear list:Scottelly's gear list
Sony SLT-A65 Sigma SD1 Merrill Nikon D810 Sigma sd Quattro H Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +23 more
Sigma SD1 Merrill
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