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Author Topic: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM vs. Sigma 50mm EX DG HSM  (Read 28745 times)
gerk
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« on: September 25, 2008, 03:02:19 PM »
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Wondering if anyone has done some hands on with these 2 lenses.  I'm in the market for a mid-range 50mm prime (I currently have the cheap 50mm Canon  f/1.8 mkII but want to move up a bit in the world -- not liking the bokeh so much anymore on this lens now that I can see the difference).  I don't have the budget for the Canon f/1.2 L   Also I don't make any money from my photo work, just a serious hobby so I don't want to go too far into the poor house for it!

I've read a bunch of reviews online and looked at quite a few samples for both, but looking for opinions for people that have done some hands on with these lenses.  I am hoping to get something I can use at larger apertures and still get some decent sharpness in lower lighting situations.  

I'm using an APS-C sensor camera (EOS 350D but likely soon a 50D).  Aside from the 50mm f/1.8 mkII my other glass are all L series (and look fantastic!) but I don't have the budget to do L series here
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 03:22:00 PM »
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Both have been reviewed by Andy Westlake over at Dpreview.com.  You might want to use their lens compare feature.

The sigma is a huge lens.
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gerk
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 04:39:03 PM »
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Both have been reviewed by Andy Westlake over at Dpreview.com.  You might want to use their lens compare feature.

The sigma is a huge lens.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224359\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yep have read the reviews for both already but am still torn on which way to go.
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Ralph Wagner
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 04:53:13 PM »
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I used the Canon 50/1.4 for a long time. I purchased a Sigma 50mm/2.8 DG macro a couple of months ago and did a lot of personal tests with it vs. the Canon. I sold the Canon. I don't need the 1.4 speed, the AF is adequate for my shooting, and the occasional macro opportunity prompted my decision. My copy of the Sigma is sharper, but not by leaps and bounds. I am very pleased with it.
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Ralph
gerk
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 05:01:56 PM »
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I used the Canon 50/1.4 for a long time. I purchased a Sigma 50mm/2.8 DG macro a couple of months ago and did a lot of personal tests with it vs. the Canon. I sold the Canon. I don't need the 1.4 speed, the AF is adequate for my shooting, and the occasional macro opportunity prompted my decision. My copy of the Sigma is sharper, but not by leaps and bounds. I am very pleased with it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=224391\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Interesting, just read a couple of brief reviews of it.  Not sure that 2.8 would be enough for my needs, but thanks for the suggestion.
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fike
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 08:16:01 PM »
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I have the canon f/1.4, I like it, and it is generally well-regarded.  But, after looking at the comparisons at DPReview, I am under the impression that the sigma f/1.4 is substantially superior in sharpness and comparable in color.  I don't wear a 50mm prime that often, so it isn't really worth replacing for me, but if I were to buy again, the samples push me strongly towards the sigma--even though it is a tank compared to the diminutive canon 50 f/1.4.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
BFoto
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 08:34:07 PM »
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I currently have the Canon 1.4 and do like it, but am about to upgrade.

If Autofocus is not important to you, the new EF mount Planar T 1.4/50 is going to sell for about $900 (provided the $US doesn't tank!!)

http://www.zeiss.com/photo
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Jann Lipka
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 09:44:34 PM »
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I bought Sigma 50 /F1.4 , because of the nice Sharpness reviews on the net .
Unfortunately the lens I got was a lemon ,
much inferior to my canon L 50mm F1.2 , that I thought was  not so sharp anyway.
With blind test I chose 100% images from canon lens compared to Sigma.

the good thing is I got back confidence for my L 50 / 1.2 .....
So I will be shooting with it ...


Sigma went back to the reseller .
I asked them if it was just a bad sample ......
No answer so far ...

My experience is that the  difference between brands/ construction is equally important as
difference between different samples  of the same brand .
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gerk
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2008, 10:22:50 PM »
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Good advice all.  I think what I'm going to do is to rent both of the lenses for a day or two and A/B them myself for my needs and see what happens!  It seems that Vistek rents both.  

Now the dilemma will be a used 5D (which should be coming down in price very soon methinks!) vs. a new 50D   I guess I will wait until the 50D sees the light of day before I make that choice.  I'm starting to see people selling used 5D's all over the place now that the mkII is announced.
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2008, 04:34:35 AM »
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Check this out:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews...s.aspx?Lens=473

You can select both lenses and compare them at the same aperture. The Sigma looks good but I would go with the Canon 1.4.
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witz
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 08:44:51 AM »
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Check this out:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews...s.aspx?Lens=473

You can select both lenses and compare them at the same aperture. The Sigma looks good but I would go with the Canon 1.4.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


my copy of the ef 50 1.4 was crap.... my ef 50 f2.5 macro is superb.... my CZ contax 50mm f1,7 is also superb and was only $100 + $40 for the adapter.... also... the contax 1.7 is very sharp wide open, and appears to be as bright as a 1.4.... nice bokeh as well.

here's some quick snaps from the CZ T* contax 50mm f1.7 this morning out my back door.... landscapy shot at F8, flower at f1.7 on a 1ds3

[a href=\"http://www.witzke-studio.com/_W8E5702.jpg]http://www.witzke-studio.com/_W8E5702.jpg[/url]

http://www.witzke-studio.com/_W8E5707.jpg
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Pete Ferling
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 09:05:25 AM »
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I have the canon ef 50/1.4, having passed up sigma's due to their quality control.  It's a crap shoot and you have to thoroughly test the lens within any return policy period.  I have friends whom are willing to put up with returns to find 'the one'.

We can argue the merits of f1.4, but at 1.4 the canon ef is not a sharp tool.   Years ago 1.4 was an advantage if getting the shot was more important than being tack sharp.  Today you crank up the ISO and get extra stops with stabilization.

The reviews of the sigma look sharp, and if I should have to replace my 1.4, I will certainly consider it.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 10:19:09 AM »
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<deleted due to not reading properly>

sorry!
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KevinA
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2008, 10:39:54 AM »
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I have 2 Sigma lenses, no more for me, nasty colour and contrast. I do have the Canon 50mm f1:4. Sharp stopped down from f3:5 onwards. Much to soft at 1:4. I'm going to give the Zeiss a long look.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
gerk
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2008, 02:50:33 PM »
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Just to follow up I ended up going with the Canon 50mm 1.4 and am very happy with it.  It's a bit too soft at 1.4 but when stopped down a bit it sharpens up nicely and works great for my needs (and the soft look of 1.4 could be useful in some situations when you're going for that sort of thing).
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amsp
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 09:51:04 AM »
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I've taken some of my most beautiful portraits with the canon 50mm 1.4. Personally I'm not after extreme sharpness with a 1.4 lens, but rather the character of extremely shallow DOF.

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WilliamF
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2008, 02:31:18 PM »
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Based on the DPreview report I bought my first Sigma lens, the 50 mm f1.4.  I have just finished evaluating it properly to make sure I have a good one. I compared it to the Canon 50 mm f1.8 ll & my 17-40 L f4.0. I have a Canon 20D currently. I used raw files in CS3 for my evaluations.

There is no point in buying a lens with a large aperture if it's useless for taking photos at full aperture, sounds obvious perhaps but so many lenses are made like that!  I am very happy to say this Sigma is not one of them!

At f1.4 it is sharp in the middle, only the corners are a little soft but very similar to my 17-40L at 40 mm at f8! ( I am not happy with my wide L zoom for large prints).

So the really good news is you can actually use it at f1.4! The depth of field at f1.4 renders the edges of little concern. As you stop down the sharp zone spreads out, by f5.6 the edges are very good, by f8 as good as the centre. I see no change between f8 & f11 at all.  The Canon f1.8 ll is fairly sharp in the very middle at f1.8 but dreamy everywhere else.

As you stop down the Sigma it gets a little sharper in the middle but by f2.0 any change is very small indeed. At f8 it is very sharp corner to corner. My Canon f1.8 ll is also as sharp at f8, I can not see a difference in sharpness, however there are other differences.
 
Shooting into the light with the sun in the corner of the frame has NO flare at all, the tree branches have no chromatic aberrations whatsoever (even at 200%). My 16*24 print is perfect! (also no vignetting!).

The Sigma has a far better color rendition than the Canon, also the images have an almost 3D quality to them, relaxing to look at.
One strange thing I noticed; if the sun is just out of the field the picture is flat, lacking contrast (with lens hood). It may be an exposure issue I will have to investigate when I have time.

Unlike the Canon f1.8 & f1.4 for that matter the Sigma is usable over the whole range of apertures, it does exactly what is was designed to do. The focus speed is also fine.

I bought mine at Vistek, with the weak dollar it hurts but that may get worse as the Yen gets stronger! At least in Canada we get a 10 year warranty.

The Sigma build quality is excellent & I love the locking lens hood, very secure. It comes with a real case offering serious protection, which is good as my bag is full!

I bought it for portraits, some landscape & commercial work, all my other lenses are Canon. I have gone off wide zooms for large prints & from now on all my short lenses will be primes.

After using it for a week I discovered my Canon battery is drained even when the camera is off, not rapidly but enough to give a dead battery when you did not expect it.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2008, 08:10:47 AM by WilliamF » Logged
pss
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2008, 08:40:10 PM »
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i went with the sigma.....
but like someone else here, i also had a lemon at first...the second one is great....tested it against the canon and prefer the sharpness wide open (much better then the canon).... AF is great...my biggest surprise (in a good way) was that the lens is actually a bit wider...it is more like a 45mm then a 50mm....my ideal lens would be a 40mm, so i was happy (surprised as well)....

the boke is really beautiful, much nice then the canon imo....it draws highlight transitions beautifully....i really like the lens a lot...there is some CA wide open at strong backlit high contrast areas....as with all lenses...easily corrected in software....

i have only tested the lens on the 1dsIII....

a friend of mine came by and we tested the 24-70 against the sigma and we were both blown away by how much more detail the sigma resolved....he now has one as well....he does not use the zoom anymore.....the difference was amazing.....the sigma was a lot sharper at 1.4 then the zoom at 2.8......at 5.6 it was a little better but there is just no comparison....

my advise: make sure you can check it out and that you can return/exchange it.....after i got my first one i actually exchanged it and got another one to make sure....both were equally good...i guess sigma quality control just isn't that great....
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Yakim Peled
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2008, 04:36:32 PM »
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I have the Sigma 50/1.4 and 17-55/2.8 IS. I borrowed Canon 50/1.4 and Canon 50/1.8 from a friend's and compared them. I looked at corner sharpness, CA and bokeh. Tripod, MLU, MF etc.

The results are in http://d-spot.co.il/forum/index.php?showtopic=177129

In short I'll say that there is not much difference in corner sharpness but the Sigma nukes the Canon 50/1.4 and 50/1.8 WRT CA and bokeh.

HTH.
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Happy shooting,
Yakim.
WilliamF
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2008, 08:57:16 AM »
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[quote name='Yakim Peled' date='Dec 10 2008, 05:36 PM' post='243403']
The results are in http://d-spot.co.il/forum/index.php?showtopic=177129

The link is empty!
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