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Thread: It's on its way!!!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    It's on its way!!!

    Sigma ART 50/1.4: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Lens for Nikon F 311306 B&H Photo Video

    Be here tomorrow. Stay tuned for a report, later this week
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Hoping to see a 24 1.4 Art in October.

    Paul

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Hoping to see a 24 1.4 Art in October.

    Paul

    I don't believe they will do it, but my guess is that the proper line of action will be to release a 135mm f2.0 art in Nikon mount first (Canon has the 135mm L).

    The Zeiss 135mm f2.0 is probably the best lens in the market (taking into account the price) but it's manual focus only. Canon and nikon have excellent 85mm lenses and good 24mm(s). The money will be on a 135mm.

    Taking into account the expanding waistlines a little extra compression (compared to the 85mm ) will be great, great bokeh etc.

    But I don't believe they will do.

    Best regards,

    J. Duncan

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    Member dogstarnyc's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    I hope they just keep on bringing these ART lenses out every 6 months....!

    Would an 85mm 1.4 ART next make more commercial sense..? Just thinking of the numbers involved, 85's are very popular now and would sell well. A 135mm not so much, even though it is a great focal length it's not as popular right now.

    I hope I'm wrong and they bring out both ha!

    S
    Steve Brickles

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    Senior Member Dogs857's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    You should love it Jack it's a cracking lens.

    I can highly recommend getting the dock as well, a real piece of work that.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by dogstarnyc View Post
    I hope they just keep on bringing these ART lenses out every 6 months....!

    Would an 85mm 1.4 ART next make more commercial sense..? Just thinking of the numbers involved, 85's are very popular now and would sell well. A 135mm not so much, even though it is a great focal length it's not as popular right now.

    I hope I'm wrong and they bring out both ha!

    S
    I'm not so sure an 85 would be a great seller in C or N mount as both C and N have stellar fast 85's already at a similar pricepoint; and I'm not certain the Sony and Sigma mount camera installed base can support the R&D costs of an 85. As re a 135, I'm not convinced it's a popular enough focal anymore to sell enough -- but then what do I know :lol:

    As for wides, the next logical step is a 24, and while N's is already excellent it focus-shifts a bit. C is lagging here and they have the largest installed base, so my guess is it would be the logical next release. Personally, I am a huge fan of the 28 over the 24, so my wish would be for a solid 28 -- but I know that the 24 is more popular by far, so I am dreaming here. Fortunately though, I already have a stellar 28 I'm in love with -- so I personally might consider adding an Art 24 to my stable.

    On the other hand, if Sigma keeps releasing lenses this good, and figures out how to move their Art technology into zooms, the game is on and I have zero issue dumping N glass and migrating to Sigma!
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs857 View Post
    You should love it Jack it's a cracking lens.

    I can highly recommend getting the dock as well, a real piece of work that.
    I hear good things about the dock and may eventually get one -- we'll see.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    I got my 50mm Art last Friday and am currently using it with my 800E.

    My first impression is that it is extremely well corrected. I've not used it wide open to any great extent, but at intermediate apertures its resolving power is impressive. In the original of the attached photo it's perfectly possible to read the small print on the posters, and I can see no evidence whatsoever of fringing, even in the extreme corners.

    It handles well too – fairly heavy, but comparable with my 24-120 f4 Nikkor.

    Attachment 81735
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    I just mounted it and ran my usual quick initial test. No great images to post yet as these are of boring material just looking at lens performance. In a nutshell summary, it's up there with the best 50's I've ever seen and is in the bag and not going back!

    More detailed summary:

    Wide open it's very sharp centrally all the way out to the horizontal edge of frame. Corners only slightly soft -- may be a little curvature, not certain yet -- and clean up gradually to f4 where they are almost as sharp as the center; at f5.6 corners essentially match center.

    Contrast is surprisingly good wide open, remains about the same at f2, and then crisps up a little bit more at f4. Impressive really.

    Distortion appears very low; falloff is visible at f1.2 and 2, slightly at 4 and gone by f5.6, but again all are gradual and pleasant.

    Bokeh is outstanding beyond POF. But the real surprise is in contrast to the PhotoZone comments, my copy has very pleasant front bokeh as well. At f5.6 it starts to show a tiny bit of nervousness, but still more pleasant than most other 50's I've seen. At f4 and wider, front and rear bokeh remain -- for lack of a better word -- lovely!

    Focus speed is fast, but not blindingly so. The HSM is very quiet. Oh, the lens required a +5 AF fine tune adjustment on my D800E, where most Nikkor lenses are close to zero. But I noted no significant focus shift at any aperture.

    Size. It's a relative monster for a 50. As I recall from using Bob's 58 Nikkor G last Fall, it's about that same diameter, but longer and heavier still. Or another comparison, it's a little longer and a bit thinner than my 85/1.4G and a little heavier still -- or not enough size difference between them to care much; both are relatively heavy, big lenses. I do not prefer this weight/size, but the image character more than offsets this issue for me.

    Overall image character. This gets tough because everybody sees things differently. I will shoot this lens mostly wide open and occasionally stopped down for a detail shot. In a nutshell, the way it draws is very reminiscent of the contrast and resolution of the 50 Lux asph M with the bokeh of the 50 Lux Pre-Asph M -- and I know this comparison may irritate the Leica fanclub a bit, but it's true... For me, that gives it an almost ideal character for a 50 and will be a tough animal for any manufacturer to best. (I have not tested an OUTUS, but I suspect that may be the only serious competitor at present in an SLR lens. And of course it's manual focus and even longer and heavier, not to mention 4 times the price!)

    So, will I be selling my Nikkor 50/1.2 D? Probably not, at least for now. While it does not have the contrast or resolution of the Sigma Art, and has more nervous front bokeh by far, it still has a look wide open I really like. You can bet I'll be comparing them head-to-head in a wide-open contest shortly. After that, my opinion may change -- I do prefer good AF and this lens has it...

    Is it better than the 58 Nikkor? I think that depends on what you plan on using it for. If for people, then the extra 8mm of focal length make a notable difference for a head & shoulders portrait; and then the softer rendering of the 58 almost certainly make for better looking skin. I prefer looser framing, so this Sigma lens better suits my needs. I could probably make a good case for owning both if I shot more people though.

    I'll try and get some sample images up later this week.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    From my limited experience of using this lens so far, it's becoming quite obvious that it will resolve more than the D800E sensor is capable of recording.

    One to keep in anticipation of 50+MP sensors…!
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Jack,

    Please check for skewing..... One of the ways is to shoot an elevated cityscape that spans out about 5 to 10 miles. Even at f5.6 left to right detail should be spot on the same near to far. I found out differently with my Otus on a recent shoot in Lisbon Portugal and my lens is being replaced by Zeiss who agreed with my assessment.

    Victor

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    VJ, I did check for that when I did my distortion test -- my copy shows nothing obvious or visible.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I'm not so sure an 85 would be a great seller in C or N mount as both C and N have stellar fast 85's already at a similar pricepoint; and I'm not certain the Sony and Sigma mount camera installed base can support the R&D costs of an 85. As re a 135, I'm not convinced it's a popular enough focal anymore to sell enough -- but then what do I know :lol:

    As for wides, the next logical step is a 24, and while N's is already excellent it focus-shifts a bit. C is lagging here and they have the largest installed base, so my guess is it would be the logical next release. Personally, I am a huge fan of the 28 over the 24, so my wish would be for a solid 28 -- but I know that the 24 is more popular by far, so I am dreaming here. Fortunately though, I already have a stellar 28 I'm in love with -- so I personally might consider adding an Art 24 to my stable.

    On the other hand, if Sigma keeps releasing lenses this good, and figures out how to move their Art technology into zooms, the game is on and I have zero issue dumping N glass and migrating to Sigma!
    The deal breaker for me on the Nikon 24mm 1.4 was the extreme coma aberration from 1.4 to 2.8 which made it terrible for night work. The butterfly wing effect.

    Paul

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    If you decide to sell the 50/1.2 I insist on first dibs. Ditton 28/1.4 I need my fourth copy ( note to self never sell this lens!)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    LOL! Graham, that 28 will probably be buried with me, but you definitely have first dibs on the 1.2
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Sigma has a nice 150... Look into it if you have a hankering for a 135. (It has more letters than I have keys on my keyboard... )

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Looking forward to seeing some shots Jack, I'm looking for the quality of the Zeiss 135 f2 in the 50mm focal length, saving for the Otus but would go for this if it's good enough, don't really care about AF, just the look of the files on the D800/E.

    Mat

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Sounds like its rather similar to the Sony 55 FE in performance. I've been looking for a fast 50mm for my Canon and eyeing this one up....

    FWIW, I have a Canon 24 1.4L II and think its remarkable. Not only is it sharp where it matters (on centre, wide open and at the edges a couple of stops down), but it has lovely bokeh and a very gentle rendering. It seems far less clinical than some lenses and for me that's important. As an existing owner, I wouldn't see the appeal of a 24mm ART myself, as the usage of a 24mm f1.4 is not likely to require (or necessarily desire) sharp corners wide open. For many uses (documentary) its actually a bad thing. Rendering is so much more important for environmental portraits, where it is most likely to be used at wider apertures. I think Canon is pretty smart....

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    If you decide to sell the 50/1.2 I insist on first dibs. Ditton 28/1.4 I need my fourth copy ( note to self never sell this lens!)
    Well for once Graham I may have you beat. This in regards to the # of copies of the Nikon 28mm f1.4 I've tested and owned. What, only four? What that says about me, I haven't a clue but anyday I can top you photographic equipment wise is quite rare indeed. For all else you definitely reign supreme and have my humble respect

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Needs and wants differ for sure, as for my work, I am looking for what Jack found in the 50 1.4 hopefully at infinity, with soft but workable corners. I would love to know if the 50 1.4 has coma aberrations, which will really only show up in night work. The difference with a 1.4 vs even 1.8 at night is quite amazing as you can drop down from 2500 iso to around 2000 or 1600. With star freeze or Milky way, you pretty much have to limit exposure time to 15" or less due to movement blur and or trailing. so the wide open aperture becomes much more necessary requirement.

    The Nikon 24 1.4 had great bokeh, (still not sure what front bokeh is) but background was very nice. However one of my main interests for this lens was night, star and Milky Way landscapes and the amount of coma aberration was amazing, pretty much ruined the images. The Nikon 24 1.4 did have focus shifting issues also, as Jack mentioned.

    Paul

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    I would love to know if the 50 1.4 has coma aberrations, which will really only show up in night work.
    I will try and test this at the earliest opportunity, which may be a while.

    The Nikon 24 1.4 had great bokeh, (still not sure what front bokeh is)
    Rear and front bokeh are terms I use to describe the behavior of bokeh behind the plane of focus separate from in front of the plane of focus. Most of the time, the two behave differently, and while it is relatively common for a lens with a many-bladed aperture to render decent rear bokeh, achieving smooth front bokeh along with good rear is a taller order.
    Jack
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Jack,

    Thanks for the info, I will have to start looking for that in the future. I will be interested in the coma aberration testing when you get it done.

    Paul

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Rear and front bokeh are terms I use to describe the behavior of bokeh behind the plane of focus separate from in front of the plane of focus. Most of the time, the two behave differently, and while it is relatively common for a lens with a many-bladed aperture to render decent rear bokeh, achieving smooth front bokeh along with good rear is a taller order.
    Yep it's all about the light paths in the cone of light formed behind the lens. Often when a lens manufacturer prioritizes smoothness in rear defocus, the front defocus gets "busy", and vice versa. A good example is the hot-edge rear defocus highlights produced by the 50/1.4D and 50/1.8D wide open, as well as a number of other 90's Nikon designs. The worst one I have seen is the 85/1.8D. On the other end of the spectrum, the Sigma 50/1.4 (non-ART) renders beautifully wide open.

    This is easy to test yourself: Find a pinpoint light source such as the power LED on a computer. Focus closer or further away to defocus, and underexpose so the light source goes not get clipped. Look at how the intensity varies over the defocused highlight. Compare front and rear defocus, center vs. corner, and wide open vs. stopped down. Also compare different focal distances. There - now you can measure bokeh.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    I got my Sigma 50mm Art yesterday. I had also sold one of my D800s and purchased a D810. As a point of interest, I started to calibrate my lenses using MicroFocus. With all 4 of the nikon lenses, I found they were tack on and did not require any adjustment but the 50mm Art needed a +8 adjustment.

    In my tests below i used LV-- mirror lockup and manual focus on a tripod.

    I compared the Sigma 50mm Art against the Zeiss 50mm 2.0 Makro and the Nikon 85 1.4 G. I know many people are not big fans of the Zeiss but I really like it. It is sharp light and can focus up close -- I also like the warmer tones-- it is really nice as a travel lens.

    My first comparisons were comparing the two 50mm lenses. In my comparisons, I did some general sharpness testing and bokeh rendering. First, I was really surprised that the Sigma was sharper in the center up until about f5.6 -8.0 when they became extremely close. The edges were always better (including distortion) with the Sigma but I guess i am not surprised since the Zeiss was designed as a makro. The center sharpness differences on their own were not a big deal to me. The zeiss is pretty darn sharp. I will say the bokeh was "nicer looking" with the Sigma as well even when the she scene shot at f2. Of course you get the extra f1.4 with the Sigma with provides even more "creamer" OOF backgrounds.

    In terms of the NIkon 85mm 1.4--- I found that if you control for the same frame -- I could not say I liked the bokeh from one lens any better (f1.4). I still think that Nikon 85mm is an outstanding lens. I do not use it that often but I hate to sell it because when i do use it-- I really like the results. I do think the 50mm prime is a more useful focal length for me.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    Mark, I'd echo what you say about both the Sigma and 85/1.4G -- they render very similarly, sharp with great oof character. The 28/1.4 asph is in that same league if you get a good copy. The 35 Art is in this class too, but I haven't used a 35 focal since I got the 28. As such, the 28/1.4, Art 50 and 85/1.4G are my goto trio.

    PS: Very curious to hear (and see!) what you think of the D810!
    Jack
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    I think a 28mm focal length would be more useful with the 50mm in hand. So what is the major variation issues with the 28mm? Is it the flare or are there sharpness issues. I have read some folks don't like the flaring on the Nikkor 28mm 1.4.? In terms of the 85mm-- if i want to take that focal length out in the field, I tend to go with the 90mm TS.
    In terms of the D810--- I pretty much in line with the consensus--- the IQ not much different. I do not like the beta CS6 raw converter. It tends to under saturate and the reds are a bit off. The new Nikon converter is a huge improvement over their previous software. The none IQ improvements are very nice-- rear LCD, shutter noise, iso 64, etc. I still not sure if the 1st curtain electronic shutter makes a huge difference but it sounds like in some scenarios it might.

    Happy to meet up if you want to try it out.. !

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Mark, I'd echo what you say about both the Sigma and 85/1.4G -- they render very similarly, sharp with great oof character. The 28/1.4 asph is in that same league if you get a good copy. The 35 Art is in this class too, but I haven't used a 35 focal since I got the 28. As such, the 28/1.4, Art 50 and 85/1.4G are my goto trio.

    PS: Very curious to hear (and see!) what you think of the D810!

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: It's on its way!!!

    28 issues: the aspheric element was hand-ground in these, so in some it was sharpness -- due to either poor grind or decentering -- others were reported to have excessive flare, not sure why, and some apparently had both softness and flare. My guess is the flare came from internal element contamination of some kind -- it's a large lens with a lot of elements.

    Would love to find a time to meet and share my 28 and your D810
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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