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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.

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julius motal the phoblographer sony a7 product image

When Sony’s full-frame E-mount system was first launched last year, it comprised four dedicated lenses for the A7 and A7R cameras. These were the two primes, the FE 35mm f2.8 and FE 55mm f1.8, and the two zooms, the FE 24-70mm f4 and the FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6. An FE 70-200mm was also announced along the cameras, and will be available soon. While five lenses is quite a solid setup for a brand-new photographic system, these particular ones offer too little choice for demanding photographers.

The good news is, though, that Sony has been promising more lenses for the system, including a wide-angle zoom, another fast prime lens and a macro lens. Zeiss also announced that they are working on new lenses for the full-frame E-mount system, and theirs will be manual primes just like they made for various DSLR systems in the past. Another fast, manual prime lens has recently been announced by Chinese manufacturer Mitakon and should also soon be available.

Sony Alpha Rumors now heard from an anonymous source that over the course of this year, a total of fourteen lenses for Sony’s full-frame E-mount system will become available. This means that in addition to the five lens previously announced by Sony, there will be nine more coming this year including the ones from Sony and Zeiss that we mentioned above. Together with the Mitakon lens, these will make for a total of 15 lenses.

That’s actually not too bad for a system that by the end of the year will be just over a year old. Also, among these 15 lenses, there should be enough choice for most photographers that are contemplating switching to the A7, A7S or A7R. And let’s not forget, because these cameras are mirrorless E-mount cameras, you can adapt almost any full-frame lens to these cameras, and even use autofocus with some when you have the right adapter. So overall, the lens choice for these cameras is already pretty huge.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review product lead (1 of 1)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art is the successor to the company’s previous 50mm f1.4 lens that was also held in very high regard. However, the new lens has been brought in line both in terms of design and image quality with the company’s new Global Vision–and specifically under its Art lineup. The focal length and aperture are an iconic one that many photographers swear by. In fact, many only shoot with this one lens.

But is Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art offering enough to make you want to trade up?

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

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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.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus product photos (5 of 5)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

“Do whatever you need to,” was the response given to me by the other editors of the Phoblographer when asking about budget for the review of the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens. When we were calling it for review, it was also decided that I’d handle it–afterall, this is probably the single most important lens that anyone has created this year (with Sigma’s 18-35mm f1.8 being a close contender.) Then you add in the fact that we only had this lens for 10 days (we usually test a lens for an entire month before publishing a review) and you’ve got one of the most challenging reviews that we’ve ever done.

When Zeiss created this lens, they decided that it shouldn’t have a single compromise on the image quality. It was also designed for high megapixel DSLRs. The image quality is reflected in the price tag–which is just under $4,000. Indeed, it isn’t a lens that we believe everyone will go out and buy.

And while our thoughts on the lens are overwhelmingly positive, we encountered a couple of situational problems that made the lens’s functionality somewhat tough at times.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Octa Phottix review (1 of 6)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

Phottix introduced an Octabank earlier this year that is not only collapsible, but also fairly large at 43 inches. In the right situations, you can get some beautiful and soft light, but the overall feeling that you can get is also very punchy. And for the person interested in shooting fashion, this modifier is an invaluable and affordable piece of your kit.

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