Review: Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Milvus (Canon EF)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Milvus lens review product images (6 of 8)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 4.0

Quite honestly, reviewing cameras doesn’t excite me anywhere as much as it used to years ago–but reviewing lenses is always incredibly fun. At this point in the game, I typically know that a camera will be great and more than suffice for the needs of most, but lenses are a different story. They can surprise you. Yes, the technology makes them very good too but lenses and lighting quite literally are at the heart of what makes your image look the way that it does.

When Zeiss released their lineup of Milvus lenses, I was sent five of them to play with before the announcement date. And to be honest, I was dreading playing with the 50mm f1.4 Milvus quite a bit. Why? I hate the 50mm field of view, but the results that this lens offers seriously knocks you down onto the ground with amazement.

Continue reading…

Field Test: Comparing an 85mm and 50mm Lens for Portraits

Sigma 85mm vs Sigma 50mm lens

We’ve had some heated debates recently on the site’s Facebook page when it comes to 85mm vs 50mm lenses. We tested it out ourselves a very long time ago, but recently another posting made readers wonder about it more themselves. To figure out which lens can render a better image when it comes to portraits, we tested two lenses from the same manufacturer to put an end to the debate once and for all.

So the real question is: Which lens is better for portraits? The 85mm vs 50mm Lens?

Editor’s Note: this is a formal comparison test not done in a lab, but instead in a real life situation. Real life situations simulate shooting subjects and not test charts. Frankly, if you’re purchasing a lens just to shoot charts all day you need to open a gallery of your test chart images and see someone’s reaction to them.

Continue reading…

DxOMark: Sigma’s New 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Doesn’t Best Zeiss Otus

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 8.51.07 AM

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 8.51.07 AM

DxOMark is announcing their Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens findings today. According to what they did in the lab, the company concludes that the lens is outperformed by the 55mm f1.4 Zeiss Otus lens only in terms of light transmission, distortion control, and vignetting control. Otherwise, they’re basically exactly spot on when it comes to sharpness numbers. The even more fascinating news is that they both wipe the floor with Canon’s f1.2 L offering–and hopefully will dispel the myth that someone should only go for all L glass when building their Canon kit.

The company didn’t test the lens on the Nikon D800E and we figure that this is mostly because the units going around right now are Canon mount.

More findings are after the jump.

Continue reading…

Which One? Sigma 50mm f1.4 I vs Sigma 50mm f1.4 II Art

Chris GampatThe Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 lenses (3 of 3)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 4.0

Chris GampatThe Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 lenses (3 of 3)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 4.0

Sigma recently updated their 50mm f1.4 lens to include not only the Art branding badge, but also a totally new look to the lens. The new Art offering joins the 35mm f1.4 as another prime for DSLRs under the new Global Vision that the company is touting right now. Many folks own the older Sigma 50mm f1.4, and with the release of the new one you might be wondering if it’s worth an upgrade or not.

In our real world tests, we explore the differences.

Editor’s Note: Check out our first sample imagesfull review, and comparison posts against the 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 version 1.

Continue reading…

Sigma Announces $949 Price Tag for New 50mm f1.4 Art Lens

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma dp and 50mm f1.4 product images first impressions (11 of 12)ISO 64001-60 sec at f - 5.6

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma dp and 50mm f1.4 product images first impressions (11 of 12)ISO 64001-60 sec at f - 5.6

Early tests have already come out, and have shown that Sigma’s new 50mm f1.4 Art lens is going to be quite the contender. Today, news is being announced that makes it even more viable–the new Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens will retail for $949. At under $1,000 the lens comes in at a more affordable price point than Sony’s, Canon’s and Zeiss’s high end offerings.

When the lens is available for purchase in April users will be able to purchase it in Sony, Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts.

Over the next couple of days, we’ll be publishing lots of our findings on the lens. So stay tuned! But in the mean time, you can check out our first impressions.

First Impressions: Sigma 50mm f1.4 Version II Art

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma dp and 50mm f1.4 product images first impressions (10 of 12)ISO 64001-40 sec at f - 4.0

There has been lots of talk about Sigma’s new 50mm f1.4 Art lens. Early reports have shown that it is about on par with Zeiss’s 55mm f1.4 Otus lens–and Sony themselves have created one heck of a 50mm f1.4 lens. Based on mostly the same formula (at least on the outside) as the company’s very successful 35mm f1.4 lens, it only makes sense that there is a ton of hype about this lens.

We got to play with a pre-production unit recently–and it seems every bit as beautiful as it seems.

Continue reading…

First Impressions: Sigma 50mm f1.4 II

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When Sigma launched their 50mm f1.4, it was heavily praised over the likes of Canon’s offerings. But with the company’s new Global Vision ideology, it was only a matter of time before the company decided to refresh the lens. Indeed, Sigma’s new vision of how a 50mm should be is quite different from how they previously thought.

And we mean that in many different ways.

Continue reading…

Sigma Updates The 50mm f1.4 and 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM

2013_10_29_sigma_18_200_001_a

For CES 2014, Sigma has decided to revamp two of their most popular lenses. It was only apparent that a redesigned 50mm f1.4 was coming, but we didn’t really expect to see a new 18-200mm f3.5-5.6. The 18-200mm is designed for APS-C DSLRs, can focus as closely as 14.7 inches and has Special Low Dispersion elements. Not much information is available at the moment though, but Sigma is also putting the MACRO term in the name of the lens.

As excited about the new 18-200mm as Sigma states they are, the real star of today’s show is the new 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art. The lens features SLD glass and Sigma is also claiming that wide open performance will be better due to placing the wider elements towards the front. Plus, the lens has a matte finish like its 35mm f1.4 brother (that is essentially my spirit animal.) The lens also sports 13 elements in eight groups. Lastly, it can focus as closely as 15.7 inches, which trumps the previous version’s 18 inches.

No other word is available on pricing or tech specs just yet. We’ve already called in review units–so stay tuned.