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Author Topic: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens: first serious test and review  (Read 9327 times)
Ellis Vener
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« on: April 06, 2014, 03:28:52 PM »
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http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1677/cat/30

"Put simply: it trounces any similar model available for less than $4,000. If it comes in significantly cheaper than the best of Canon and Nikon, Sigma will have made a friend of every full-frame shooter in the land." That is a pretty bold statement and  it apparently gives the OTUS a serious challenger.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 04:23:52 PM »
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http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1677/cat/30

"Put simply: it trounces any similar model available for less than $4,000. If it comes in significantly cheaper than the best of Canon and Nikon, Sigma will have made a friend of every full-frame shooter in the land." That is a pretty bold statement and  it apparently gives the OTUS a serious challenger.

The thing about the Otus is that it combines outstanding technical qualities with an extremely pleasant look.

I personally find the Sigma 35mm f1.4 to be pretty good lookwise (it is of course excellent technically), but this view is not shared widely in Japan where the Sigma 35mm f1.4 is often considered as offering ugly bokeh compared to the Canon and Nikon equivalents.

Let's see how they assess the new 50mm f1.4.

Beyond that, AF accuracy will be the deciding factor. I am able to manually focus my Otus reliably up to 90-95% accuracy, but perfect focus is impossible without live view. If the AF of the Sigma 50mm f1.4 + D800 enables me to get higher success ratio, then it may replace the Otus for non tripod applications.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 08:48:34 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 08:07:21 PM »
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The thing about the Otus is that it combines outstanding technical qualities with an extremely pleasant look.
you mean that extremely scratch prone finish ?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2014, 08:44:36 PM »
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you mean that extremely scratch prone finish ?

Who cares about scratches? Wink

I buy lenses to use them, not to look at them or sell them back. But, for what it's worth, mine is still scratch free after having used it quite a lot and not paying more attention than I do with other lenses.

I was refering to the look of the images, in particuler the bokeh and the near complete lack of color aberations resulting in very clean looking images. Together with an AA filter equiped sensor like that of the D800 or the 5DIII, I feel that it pretty much delivers the cleanest looking images to be found. They somehow feel real and photographic at the same time.



Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 08:49:24 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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TSJ1927
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2014, 10:54:32 PM »
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Wimpy
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 12:27:31 PM »
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The review has been updated with test images
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Ellis Vener
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 01:45:23 PM »
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The comparrisons to Otus is interesting. I wonder if the Otus would be relatively better on a D800?
Maybe the Canons 21mp sensor is the limiting factor?
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 02:30:34 PM »
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The comparrisons to Otus is interesting.

they (SLRgear) tested Otus yesterday (posted) btw... minor note - Otus was provided by R.Cicala from Lens Rentals, so I bet that copy of Otus was the best one (in terms of decentering) from many, while Sigma was just a stock one.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 06:11:32 PM »
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they (SLRgear) tested Otus yesterday (posted) btw... minor note - Otus was provided by R.Cicala from Lens Rentals, so I bet that copy of Otus was the best one (in terms of decentering) from many, while Sigma was just a stock one.

Hum... considering that the Sigma is not for sales yet, I would think that the sample was cherry picked by Sigma.

I would be surprised if Lens Rentals had tens of copies of the Otus, so it is most probably just an average lens. But I am not sure this is even relevant since  one of the key reasons why it costs what it costs is because manufacturing tolerances and quality control are done according to very high standards. I am yet to hear complains about decentring with the Otus.

In other words, I think that you probably have it backwards... Wink

Don't get me wrong, I think the Sigma is an outstanding offering that is clearly putting Nikon and Canon to shame. Those guys need to do a very deep introspection... not only are they losing significant market share to mirror less entrants... but they get their ass kicked big time right in the middle of their own garden by a company much smaller than they are.

Now, at least Nikon has made it very clear that their top priority these days is lens rendering... even though pretty much nobody understands this outside of Japan... good for Sigma and the Fukushima economy!

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 07:05:18 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2014, 12:05:59 AM »
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Hum... considering that the Sigma is not for sales yet, I would think that the sample was cherry picked by Sigma.

I don't think distributors can compare w/ Cicala, specifically Sigma ones... you can see that Sigma was decentered, Otus was not

I would be surprised if Lens Rentals had tens of copies of the Otus, so it is most probably just an average lens.

they test and send bad copies back, so even if they have 10 those are not 10 you will find in a store... 
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2014, 12:24:29 AM »
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Hi,

Yes, sensor could be a limiting factor, but the 7D is actually more demanding than the D800, although over a smaller field.

Test charts can be much more demanding than real world subjects, as real world subjects are seldom flat. Both lenses are excellent performers, for sure.

Best regards
Erik

The comparrisons to Otus is interesting. I wonder if the Otus would be relatively better on a D800?
Maybe the Canons 21mp sensor is the limiting factor?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2014, 02:33:19 AM »
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I don't think distributors can compare w/ Cicala, specifically Sigma ones... you can see that Sigma was decentered, Otus was not

It may simply mean that the best Sigma 50mm f1.4 sent from Japan was not as good as an average Otus.

I am not sure why it seems unreasonable to assume that the 3,000 US$ price difference doesn't just go in Zeiss pocket without any benefit in terms of product quality.

Cheers,
Bernard


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KevinA
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2014, 02:52:00 AM »
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It may simply mean that the best Sigma 50mm f1.4 sent from Japan was not as good as an average Otus.

I am not sure why it seems unreasonable to assume that the 3,000 US$ price difference doesn't just go in Zeiss pocket without any benefit in terms of product quality.

Cheers,
Bernard



My thoughts as well. Will the Sigma still be doing it after 6 months of use or 5 years banging around in a camera bag? You get nothing for nothing, great as the Sigma is, if there was both on the table and I could have either, I know I would pick the Zeiss.
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Kevin.
henrikfoto
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2014, 05:23:48 AM »
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Bernard!

Is the Otus usable at all on people and other off tripod work with this small appertures and just MF?

Henrik
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2014, 06:41:40 AM »
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Bernard!

Is the Otus usable at all on people and other off tripod work with this small appertures and just MF?

Henrik

I have a surprisingly high success rate MFing the Otus at f2, but it is of course significantly lower than what I get with my 85mm f1.4 with AF on the D800 (not perfect either). Some of my favourite model:  Wink









Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 07:25:42 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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chez
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2014, 07:01:39 AM »
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My thoughts as well. Will the Sigma still be doing it after 6 months of use or 5 years banging around in a camera bag? You get nothing for nothing, great as the Sigma is, if there was both on the table and I could have either, I know I would pick the Zeiss.

Yeh...but at the price difference you could pick up at least 4 Sigmas and have 3 as spares to be used 5 years from now.

Like with anything else, the extra $3,000 for the Zeiss gets you very marginal ( that's even debatable ) more quality in the images. I question if you would see any difference at all in prints...highly doubt it.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2014, 07:27:10 AM »
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Yeh...but at the price difference you could pick up at least 4 Sigmas and have 3 as spares to be used 5 years from now.

Like with anything else, the extra $3,000 for the Zeiss gets you very marginal ( that's even debatable ) more quality in the images. I question if you would see any difference at all in prints...highly doubt it.

There is little doubt that the Sigma is a much better deal.

Cheers,
Bernard
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dreed
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2014, 09:57:11 AM »
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Zeis Otus 55 is here:
http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1664/cat/98

The Sigma has slightly worse CA but better (less) distortion, etc.
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kers
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2014, 10:16:02 AM »
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interesting to see that if you compare their fullframe samples at D8 of the Zeiss Otus, the Nikon 58mm and the Sigma 50mm Art, the Nikon comes out best...
Why? I think because of the different body;  D800e vs Canon 1ds III

So in this case we are comparing bodies instead of lenses...

I am sure they had no Nikon copies of the Otus and Sigma, but if your job is to compare lenses you should do it better than this.
(Of course to be first with any comparison will make more money...)


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Pieter Kers
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2014, 03:19:53 PM »
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interesting to see that if you compare their fullframe samples at D8 of the Zeiss Otus, the Nikon 58mm and the Sigma 50mm Art, the Nikon comes out best...
Why? I think because of the different body;  D800e vs Canon 1ds III





How do you know this?
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