PetaPixel

Sigma Slaps a $950 Price Tag on the 50mm f/1.4 Art Series Lens, Shocks Us All

sigmaCES_1

The first reviews have been clear: the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art series lens delivers quality on par with the exceptional $4,000 ZEISS 55mm f/1.4 Otus. That’s no small feat, but just how impressive that fact was revolved entirely around what the company decided to price the lens. Well the answer is finally official, and it’s going to blow some minds.

You’ll be able to get Otus-quality PLUS autofocus for, get this, only $950!

Almost nobody expected Sigma to price this lens so competitively. Most had it pegged at least a few hundred dollars more, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this announcement has some people at ZEISS sweating now.

The lens will be available in late April (April 29th, according to B&H) for Canon, Nikon, Sony and Sigma mounts, and can already be pre-ordered from B&H Photo by clicking on any of those links.


 
  • http://www.mkshft.ca/ Mark Shannon

    This is such fantastic news! Definitely looking to pick one of these up for myself in the future.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgnixer niXerKG

    Because Sony slaps it on their lenses does not make it a Japanese company. Is Leica Japanese since Panasonic uses their lenses and rebrands their cameras?

    Zeiss is still very much a German company.

  • DafOwen

    $949 US
    So let’s guess say 9% sales tax ~ $1034
    = £617 inc VAT UK
    But UK price is listed as £850 – Ouch.

  • wickerprints

    WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN

    This lens is gonna FLY off the shelves. Sigma, it was clear that you’ve really put Canon and Nikon to shame, but to think that you’ve also somehow managed to eat ZEISS’s lunch too with this pricing…words fail me. Well played, well played.

  • PeterHubert

    the sigma has the same quality in the CENTER!!!
    overall the otus has the better quality over the fullframe image circles.
    the noobs here seem not to care but professionalls like myself do…

  • Ian

    I pre-ordered one, but I’m trying to find reasons to cancel the order as I already have the Canon 50 f/1.2. So far, it looks like Zeiss kills it on LoCA (Sigma’s isn’t an APO design), and the bokeh has some minor ringing and onion skin, but for this price, it’s 90-95% of the Otus quality with AF, so I don’t think the comparison is too far off, especially compared to the other ~50mm lenses on the market.

  • Ian

    Here’s something to make you feel better keeping in mind that your Otus has almost zero LoCA: http://www.cnet.com/pictures/sigma-50mm-f14-photo-samples/3/

  • Peteris

    Oh, you sound like such a professional. Please do show us some of your professional work, mr. professional, so we can see how professional it is. You seem to like that title a lot. And calling other people noobs just ensures your professionality, right?

  • Bob

    And, how many people do you know that earn their living through photography and buy MF-only lenses? Zero, for me.

  • Bob

    Zeisses lenses are made by Cosina in Japan. Look it up.

  • Bob

    SLRgear has reviews of both the Zeiss and the Sigma, as well as a bunch of other popular ~50mm optics. That is the only source for a scientific review at this point.

  • Stanojev

    You guys are missing the quadramatic measurable component of the 5.2 output factor of the hypometric component denominator that makes it pleasant to the non human eye factor that can make you horny when you press the “enter” button on your computing devices screens that translate the measurable turn on factor x10.3 to the nearest denominator of 10 pleasurable units of visual stimuli without any abberations on an individual chromatic zonal cortex.

    This is what you photo geeks sound like to the rest of us humans. Just letting you know.

  • Stanojev

    55.2

  • Bob

    Seriously. And when I google “peter hubert photography” I get a whole lot of nothing.
    Again, l’d bet dollars to donuts less than 1% of real professionals are going to be interested in MF-only glass. I don’t know a single one who is, personally. The only people I ever see using MF-only glass are retired and have the time and patience to use antiquated technology.

  • Stanojev

    No, I was wrong, it should have been 55.3

  • affr

    haha.. photography ego. love it.

  • affr

    hell yeah, i want one too. $1000 is a lot for a 50mm, but it’s a quite the 50… I love their 35 too.

    Well done Sigma.

  • affr

    yeah it’s not needed.. but you get what you pay for.. in this case considering the Zeiss, a value price.

  • Blah

    Can anyone show me two images on the web, taken under the same circumstances of the same subject, with two different lenses where on has better micro contrast?

    I’ve only been doing this for 25 years so please use short words and sentences.

  • Flying Tanooki

    go sigma! go!
    sigma seems to be in a streak with high-quality and competitively priced lenses like this and the 35mm 1.4 :)

  • Tom

    Zeiss has several factories and brands. Cosina is one of their manufacturing arms that makes, among other things, the Voigtländer brand in their Japanese factors. Leica has facilities in Germany, Poland, Austria, Spain, and Canada.

    In fact, many Leica lenses are made in Canada thanks to the vast supplies of natural resources there that guarantee muti-decade consistency of sands available for supply.

  • Whatever

    We’ll see. There are two problems I see, one is that Sigma — fairly or not — has had longevity issues with their lenses. Nikon’s pro lenses are like the Energizer bunny. Sure, each manufacturer occasionally produces a lemon but I’ve never been anything but impressed with the OEM pro lens build quality and having been at this for 20 years, gear failure is nothing I want to worry about.

    Secondly, and this is a known issue, lens resolution is a very easy thing to test for and so it’s what people tend to test and can blow its relative value out of proportion. For example, the tone curve in a lens is relatively difficult to test for and are not measured in MTF charts.

    Is there a lump in the contrast curve here? Is the curve gentle or steep? Does it squash the blacks? These all matter.

    I’ll leave you to your MTF charts.

  • Voodoo

    I am with you. My comments are for the theoretical zealots here

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Just because a lens is made in Japan doesn’t mean the company is Japanese. Toyota makes cars in the USA, does that make it an American company?

  • Genkakuzai

    Kicking ass and taking names.

  • OtterMatt

    I realize that buying one of these for my budget DLSR is like slapping five grand worth of rims onto a ’76 Olds, but I might not be able to resist for that price… Now to start saving up…

  • Clayton Finley

    better than the ‘craigslist photographer’ rant stories we used to get all the time. Lucky us the lady does not write for PP anymore.

  • Rcreek

    Sure wish they would release it in fuji xf mount.

  • Crreek

    Would be quite front heavy… X-T1 with battery and card weights ~440g and this lens ~815g.

  • Ms.KrystalMeth

    I am testing the Otus against the Art. I can’t wait to slap both lenses on my Nikon D800. I bet I buy…neither one. I will wait for Samyang’s 50mm that will beat them all! Crack is good for my toof.

  • Gabriele Profita

    It depends…if you work with film medium or large format cameras.
    But if you use digital I’d use a manual focus only for wide-angle like the Samyang 14mm f/2.8.
    It’s quite difficult to manage a 50 or 55 f/1.4 lens on a digital camera focus wise.

  • tttulio

    why Sony A-mount? That is dead, give us the A7 ready version.

  • kgelner

    There is a difference – the Sigma has better micro contrast, which Sigma specifically designed to improve. Check out the very carefully done SLRGear review on this point. CA is hardly noticeable on either lens.

  • kgelner

    SLRGear has EXACTLY that (comparison of two images under identical circumstance of the same test chart) in the Sigma 50mm review (or it may be the Zeiss review, it’s in one of them). They point out pretty carefully how the Sigma has better micro-contrast.

  • fsjal

    It’s alive in my heart… *starts crying*

  • empireinrecline

    this reaction is exactly the problem with tech journalism in general. The writer is always astounded at basic facts. Here’s the deal: technology ALWAYS provides more for LESS, which INCLUDES PRICE. Lens making has been in iterative process for a thousand years, everyone is perfectly justified in EXPECTING new lenses to give superior performance at a lower price. ALWAYS. I’m so tired of tech writers giving gee whiz copy to performance and price points that are adequate, rather than something worth actual comment. Hey Petapixel, nine HUNDRED dollars plus is still ALOT of money for a lens. Get some perspective. I expect more, so should you.

  • Broseph of Arimathea

    A new product that outperforms first-party versions for half the cost and gives performance equal to that of something four times the price?

    Seems pretty noteworthy to me.

  • Fred

    Coming to a landfill near you….
    My Nikon 50mm at $400 fits the bill nicely. Thank.

  • http://www.torontocorporatephotos.com/ Toronto corporate Photos

    Am I the only one here shouting at the top of my lungs that the sigma came in expensive …….
    I am sure Sigma has a huge advantage coming after the 4000$ price tag after Otus…….

    Nikon 50 1.4 Price….399
    Canon 50 1.4 Price….399
    Sigma 50 1.4 price 950

    Ohoo yea its art…..
    Seriously u want to pay twice the price for art and its quality compare to 400$ nikon and canon quality..
    I agree its better but price they are asking for is insane…
    As i mentioned above they have a huge advantage of otus launching them before….If it didnt come out ..guess what people would compare this lens to …canon and nikon…..

  • http://www.torontocorporatephotos.com/ Toronto corporate Photos

    Am I the only one here shouting at the top of my lungs that the sigma came in expensive …….
    I am sure Sigma has a huge advantage coming after the 4000$ price tag after Otus…….

    Nikon 50 1.4 Price….399
    Canon 50 1.4 Price….399
    Sigma 50 1.4 price 950

    Ohoo yea its art…..
    Seriously u want to pay twice the price for art and its quality compare to 400$ nikon and canon quality..
    I agree its better but price they are asking for is insane…
    As i mentioned above they have a huge advantage of otus launching them before….If it didnt come out ..guess what people would compare this lens to …canon and nikon…..