More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

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Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 7,157
More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
18

There was a request for more comparisons, with subjects further away and more to the sides of the frame. So, I did a few more this morning. These are from about 8 feet away. With these lenses that would give roughly a three quarter portrait of a person. Since the 56 is ideally suited to portraits--everything full head (the distance of my previous comparison) to full length--I thought this would be a useful comparison. This is probably the last comparison I'll post, though I'll continue to post plenty of shots with the 56. This first set has the subject towards the top left of the frame. Spot focus on the eye. Canon first in each pair. Wide open, then F2 and F2.8:

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

Canon F2.8

Sigma F2.8

And now a different subject towards the top right of the frame. Spot focus was on the right eye (as you look at it). Again, Canon first in each pair:

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

Canon F2.8

Sigma F2.8

All shots were taken in low-speed burst mode, with 3 shot bursts. I selected the middle shot of each burst for this comparison. All shots were taken in CRAW, and processed in LR, using the same settings, except for lens profile corrections. Obviously, I used the Canon 50STM profile for that lens, and the Sigma 56 profile for that lens.

To my eye, the Sigma has better sharpness throughout. These are full resolution images, so you can view them at 100%. Also, and this is something that didn't show up in my previous comparison, the bokeh of the Sigma is much better. You can see it in each pair, but the difference is most dramatic in the second set of F2 comparisons. I still think the Canon is a good lens, and excellent value for money. But the Sigma is so much better. As I said about the other comparison, I think the Sigma is on a par with the Canon 32. I've been using it for shots of people at departmental colloquia (I teach at the University of Colorado, and we have frequent talks), and getting great results. I'll post some of those soon too, though probably not full resolution (my standard size for web posting is 2000 pixels on the longer side).

If you can afford this lens, get it.

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lungdoc Regular Member • Posts: 298
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
3

Thanks. That Sigma looks good to me. The out of focus areas look nicer in a lot of the shots and it is definitely sharper.

Here's screen shots of 100% views of the two at f/2.8 to give people the quick look and save time on viewing the full sizes if anyone wants a fast way to see the difference.

Sigma first, then Canon

Sigma at 2.8

Canon at 2.8

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Alan Sh Senior Member • Posts: 2,283
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
2

The sigma looks superb

Alan

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Canochrome Regular Member • Posts: 271
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

As before, the difference in the sharpness is quite marked wide open. And only at f/2.8 does the STM start getting nice.

The surprise - the Sigma's Bokeh is really nice even with the harsh background lighting. The Canon, which seemed fairly smooth in the previous comparison against a lower contrast background, suffered greatly with this more difficult scene. the hard edge to the bokeh is really nasty. Only as you stop down does it smooth out.

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Tom

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Canochrome Regular Member • Posts: 271
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

lungdoc wrote:

Thanks. That Sigma looks good to me. The out of focus areas look nicer in a lot of the shots and it is definitely sharper.

Here's screen shots of 100% views of the two at f/2.8 to give people the quick look and save time on viewing the full sizes if anyone wants a fast way to see the difference.

Sigma first, then Canon

Sigma at 2.8

Canon at 2.8

Wow - big difference.

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Tom

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OP Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 7,157
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

Canochrome wrote:

As before, the difference in the sharpness is quite marked wide open. And only at f/2.8 does the STM start getting nice.

The surprise - the Sigma's Bokeh is really nice even with the harsh background lighting. The Canon, which seemed fairly smooth in the previous comparison against a lower contrast background, suffered greatly with this more difficult scene. the hard edge to the bokeh is really nasty. Only as you stop down does it smooth out.

Yes, a couple of those Canon shots are really good illustrations of what people mean by "nervous" bokeh. To be fair, you have to be in the right, or rather wrong, conditions to get it, but when you do, it's really distracting. The Sigma copes very well.

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Canochrome Regular Member • Posts: 271
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

Alastair Norcross wrote:

Canochrome wrote:

As before, the difference in the sharpness is quite marked wide open. And only at f/2.8 does the STM start getting nice.

The surprise - the Sigma's Bokeh is really nice even with the harsh background lighting. The Canon, which seemed fairly smooth in the previous comparison against a lower contrast background, suffered greatly with this more difficult scene. the hard edge to the bokeh is really nasty. Only as you stop down does it smooth out.

Yes, a couple of those Canon shots are really good illustrations of what people mean by "nervous" bokeh. To be fair, you have to be in the right, or rather wrong, conditions to get it, but when you do, it's really distracting. The Sigma copes very well.

This was an area where I recall the that the Canon 50/1.4 had an advantage over the various renditions of the 50/1.8. I'd have to do what you've done, sit down and compare. Of course, neither is as sharp as the Siggy 56 wide open - a weakness i've accepted with my 50/1.4 over the years.

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Tom

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sosh
sosh Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
8

lungdoc wrote:

Thanks. That Sigma looks good to me. The out of focus areas look nicer in a lot of the shots and it is definitely sharper.

Here's screen shots of 100% views of the two at f/2.8 to give people the quick look and save time on viewing the full sizes if anyone wants a fast way to see the difference.

Sigma first, then Canon

Sigma at 2.8

Canon at 2.8

Hmm. For me it looks like something is with focus, processing or 50 lens copy, it just can't be that bad even at 1.8

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 3,433
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

Alastair Norcross wrote:

Canochrome wrote:

As before, the difference in the sharpness is quite marked wide open. And only at f/2.8 does the STM start getting nice.

The surprise - the Sigma's Bokeh is really nice even with the harsh background lighting. The Canon, which seemed fairly smooth in the previous comparison against a lower contrast background, suffered greatly with this more difficult scene. the hard edge to the bokeh is really nasty. Only as you stop down does it smooth out.

Yes, a couple of those Canon shots are really good illustrations of what people mean by "nervous" bokeh. To be fair, you have to be in the right, or rather wrong, conditions to get it, but when you do, it's really distracting.

These are often the situations the blurring of the background is needed the most.

The Sigma copes very well.

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 3,433
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
3

Thanks again, Alastair!

Alastair Norcross wrote:

There was a request for more comparisons, with subjects further away and more to the sides of the frame. So, I did a few more this morning. These are from about 8 feet away. With these lenses that would give roughly a three quarter portrait of a person. Since the 56 is ideally suited to portraits--everything full head (the distance of my previous comparison) to full length--I thought this would be a useful comparison. This is probably the last comparison I'll post, though I'll continue to post plenty of shots with the 56. This first set has the subject towards the top left of the frame. Spot focus on the eye. Canon first in each pair. Wide open, then F2 and F2.8:

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

Canon F2.8

Sigma F2.8

And now a different subject towards the top right of the frame. Spot focus was on the right eye (as you look at it). Again, Canon first in each pair:

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

Canon F2.8

Sigma F2.8

All shots were taken in low-speed burst mode, with 3 shot bursts. I selected the middle shot of each burst for this comparison. All shots were taken in CRAW, and processed in LR, using the same settings, except for lens profile corrections. Obviously, I used the Canon 50STM profile for that lens, and the Sigma 56 profile for that lens.

To my eye, the Sigma has better sharpness throughout. These are full resolution images, so you can view them at 100%. Also, and this is something that didn't show up in my previous comparison, the bokeh of the Sigma is much better.

Yeah, forget about the difference in sharpness. The difference in bokeh alone is totally worth it!

You can see it in each pair, but the difference is most dramatic in the second set of F2 comparisons. I still think the Canon is a good lens, and excellent value for money. But the Sigma is so much better. As I said about the other comparison, I think the Sigma is on a par with the Canon 32. I've been using it for shots of people at departmental colloquia (I teach at the University of Colorado, and we have frequent talks), and getting great results. I'll post some of those soon too, though probably not full resolution (my standard size for web posting is 2000 pixels on the longer side).

If you can afford this lens, get it.

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If your facts are different we could save the peace just by calling it copy to copy variation.

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OP Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 7,157
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
4

sosh wrote:

lungdoc wrote:

Thanks. That Sigma looks good to me. The out of focus areas look nicer in a lot of the shots and it is definitely sharper.

Here's screen shots of 100% views of the two at f/2.8 to give people the quick look and save time on viewing the full sizes if anyone wants a fast way to see the difference.

Sigma first, then Canon

Sigma at 2.8

Canon at 2.8

Hmm. For me it looks like something is with focus, processing or 50 lens copy, it just can't be that bad even at 1.8

No, focus was perfect, and processing was the same for both. The lens copy is actually pretty good. Remember, you are looking here at a 100% crop from a 32.5MP sensor. This is like blowing the image up to a massive poster print, at least 60 inches by 40 inches, and then peering at it from a foot or two away. This is in line with what to expect from the 50STM. It's a $100 lens, with an optical design from the film days. It never had a reputation for outstanding sharpness. That said, the results will look fine in terms of sharpness, even wide open at F1.8, for smaller viewing sizes. A nice 10" X 8" print will look fine. The Sigma was designed specifically for crop sensor mirrorless cameras, and released just a year ago. Of course it's going to be a lot better.

Edit: And remember, this isn't from the center of the image. It's towards the top left. The center will certainly be a bit better. Part of what you pay for with more expensive and more recent lenses is greater edge to edge sharpness.

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 14,884
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
2

thunder storm wrote:

Thanks again, Alastair!

Alastair Norcross wrote:

There was a request for more comparisons, with subjects further away and more to the sides of the frame. So, I did a few more this morning. These are from about 8 feet away. With these lenses that would give roughly a three quarter portrait of a person. Since the 56 is ideally suited to portraits--everything full head (the distance of my previous comparison) to full length--I thought this would be a useful comparison. This is probably the last comparison I'll post, though I'll continue to post plenty of shots with the 56. This first set has the subject towards the top left of the frame. Spot focus on the eye. Canon first in each pair. Wide open, then F2 and F2.8:

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

Canon F2.8

Sigma F2.8

And now a different subject towards the top right of the frame. Spot focus was on the right eye (as you look at it). Again, Canon first in each pair:

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

Canon F2.8

Sigma F2.8

All shots were taken in low-speed burst mode, with 3 shot bursts. I selected the middle shot of each burst for this comparison. All shots were taken in CRAW, and processed in LR, using the same settings, except for lens profile corrections. Obviously, I used the Canon 50STM profile for that lens, and the Sigma 56 profile for that lens.

To my eye, the Sigma has better sharpness throughout. These are full resolution images, so you can view them at 100%. Also, and this is something that didn't show up in my previous comparison, the bokeh of the Sigma is much better.

Yeah, forget about the difference in sharpness. The difference in bokeh alone is totally worth it!

^
this

You can see it in each pair, but the difference is most dramatic in the second set of F2 comparisons. I still think the Canon is a good lens, and excellent value for money. But the Sigma is so much better. As I said about the other comparison, I think the Sigma is on a par with the Canon 32. I've been using it for shots of people at departmental colloquia (I teach at the University of Colorado, and we have frequent talks), and getting great results. I'll post some of those soon too, though probably not full resolution (my standard size for web posting is 2000 pixels on the longer side).

If you can afford this lens, get it.

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If your facts are different we could save the peace just by calling it copy to copy variation.

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Abu Mahendra Veteran Member • Posts: 5,310
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
1

OMG - that bokeh from the Canon is horrific, awful. That alone should settle the issue and relegate the Canon to the dustbin of rubbish.

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>> I'm already lovin' my Canon 35IS lens! <<

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nnowak Veteran Member • Posts: 5,988
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

Canochrome wrote:

Alastair Norcross wrote:

Canochrome wrote:

As before, the difference in the sharpness is quite marked wide open. And only at f/2.8 does the STM start getting nice.

The surprise - the Sigma's Bokeh is really nice even with the harsh background lighting. The Canon, which seemed fairly smooth in the previous comparison against a lower contrast background, suffered greatly with this more difficult scene. the hard edge to the bokeh is really nasty. Only as you stop down does it smooth out.

Yes, a couple of those Canon shots are really good illustrations of what people mean by "nervous" bokeh. To be fair, you have to be in the right, or rather wrong, conditions to get it, but when you do, it's really distracting. The Sigma copes very well.

This was an area where I recall the that the Canon 50/1.4 had an advantage over the various renditions of the 50/1.8.

Yes, the 50mm f/1.4 does produce cleaner bokeh.  Not as nice as this Sigma though.

I'd have to do what you've done, sit down and compare. Of course, neither is as sharp as the Siggy 56 wide open - a weakness i've accepted with my 50/1.4 over the years.

The 50mm f/1.4 is pretty much unusable wide open.  I always considered it to be a f/2.0 lens when I was using it.

nnowak Veteran Member • Posts: 5,988
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
2

Abu Mahendra wrote:

OMG - that bokeh from the Canon is horrific, awful. That alone should settle the issue and relegate the Canon to the dustbin of rubbish.

Yup.  Most people never noticed how bad it was because there was never a better alternative in the Canon lineup.

J A C S
J A C S Forum Pro • Posts: 15,651
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
2

sosh wrote:

lungdoc wrote:

Thanks. That Sigma looks good to me. The out of focus areas look nicer in a lot of the shots and it is definitely sharper.

Here's screen shots of 100% views of the two at f/2.8 to give people the quick look and save time on viewing the full sizes if anyone wants a fast way to see the difference.

Sigma first, then Canon

Sigma at 2.8

Canon at 2.8

Hmm. For me it looks like something is with focus, processing or 50 lens copy, it just can't be that bad even at 1.8

There are some weird artifacts in every image, like overshaprening or aliasing. CA has been removed at the expense of different artifacts.

josè lombardi New Member • Posts: 11
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

The Sigma 56 has better resolution because it is a native APS-C whilst the Canon 50 1.8 is a Full Frame

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Jos

MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 14,884
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons
1

J A C S wrote:

sosh wrote:

lungdoc wrote:

Thanks. That Sigma looks good to me. The out of focus areas look nicer in a lot of the shots and it is definitely sharper.

Here's screen shots of 100% views of the two at f/2.8 to give people the quick look and save time on viewing the full sizes if anyone wants a fast way to see the difference.

Sigma first, then Canon

Sigma at 2.8

Canon at 2.8

Hmm. For me it looks like something is with focus, processing or 50 lens copy, it just can't be that bad even at 1.8

There are some weird artifacts in every image, like overshaprening or aliasing. CA has been removed at the expense of different artifacts.

LR is not ready for prime time conversion

DPP/DLO is the way to go

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Howard S Senior Member • Posts: 2,196
Re: More Sigma 56 and Canon 50 comparisons

I'd like to add my thanks to you for the effort and comparisons. The Sigma is obviously the far better lens here. I found nevertheless that I had been expecting more from the Canon . I did a quick test with my EF50 f1.8 mk11 and thing it looks sharper.

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007peter
007peter Forum Pro • Posts: 12,612
Sigma melted backdrop like lovely ♡ Creamy Melted Butter ♡
1

Canon bokeh is Sharp, Harsh & Distracting.  While Sigma melts the background like a lovely ♡ Creamy Melted Butter ♡

I don't care about sharpness when it comes to portrait prime.  What is hardest to measure is the subjective Bokeh quality.  Siggy won big here, each photo was beautifully rendered, has plenty of characters, and beat the crap out of overpriced noisy Canon 50mm F/1.4 USM as well.  Canon 50/1.4 is Soft, suffer from Halo, Ghosting, and badly flare with harsh bokeh.

This Sigma is good enough to challenge Canon 50mm F/1.2 L for Bokeh Supremacy @ fraction of the price.

Canon F1.8

Sigma F1.4

Canon F2

Sigma F2

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