A Closer Look: The Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L vs The Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art

Canon EOS R

The Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L gives the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art a closer run for it’s money than originally thought.

The Canon 50mm f1.2L is a mighty fine lens, and anyone who uses it will be happy to have it as part of their kit, but the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art is also a nifty fifty that packs a heck of a punch. Recently, DXOMark reviewed the new Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L, and part of its comparison saw the Canon and the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art go head-to-head, but the results (as some of you pointed out) could have been a little skewed due to the cameras that each lens was tested on. Let’s take another look at these two lenses in another head-to-head that is on a more level playing field.

Editor’s Note: Canon got in touch with us about this to share with us that when to compare the two side by side on similar cameras, the results are much different.

The review of the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L over at DXOMark gave the lens an overall score of 38, which is a solid score overall. The Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art was awarded a score of 44 overall when it was tested. One thing to note here is that when the Sigma was tested, it was tested on a 50.6 Megapixel Canon 5DS R, while the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L was tested on the Canon EOS R which has a 30.3 Megapixel sensor. So, as you can imagine, the scores between the two cameras when it came to sharpness were slightly skewed. Let’s take a closer look at these two lenses again, but this time, let’s see the results of the Sigma when it is used on a more comparable Canon EOS 5D IV, which has basically the same sensor as the EOS R.

The Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L scored 22 points when it comes to sharpness, a 1.5 when it comes to light transmission, it has a distortion rating of 0.2%, a rating of -2.2 when it comes to distortion, and a rating of 3 for chromatic aberration. What we are really looking at here is the sharpness rating. Now, when the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art is used on the Canon 5D IV it scored 25 points when it came down to sharpness, 1.7 in regards to light transmission, 0.1% in the distortion category, -1.5ev for vignetting, and a 6 for chromatic aberration. As you can see, the results are much closer when these two lenses are used on cameras with comparable sensors. The Sigma however still creeps ahead of the newer, more expensive Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L.

canon rf 50mm 1.2l

So there you have it. The original review over at DXOMark wasn’t entirely fair when it comes to the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L and it’s sharpness levels when compared to other lenses, but as we said beforeunless you’re a chronic pixel peeper, you’ll likely be very happy with the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L, just as you would be happy with the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art.

These numbers are great, but they are not the be all and end all. Real world reviews like the ones we have completed on both the Canon RF 50mm f1.2 L, and the Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art are far better at seeing what lenses can do in real life situations, and trust us, you’ll be happy with either lens. At the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not you want a native RF mount lens on the end of your EOS R, or if you want to adapt older lenses. The choice is yours to make. You can find them both for sale here, and here. Now forget about the numbers, and go out and make beautiful images, people. That’s what photography is all about, not charts and scores.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.