Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art

The light at the end of the tunnel is in sight for Pentax and Sony users who pre-ordered the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC Art: it is coming soon…

From Sigma’s Sales Operations Supervisor in the US:

The latest we’ve heard from our parent company is that, barring any further production setbacks, the Sony version is going to be released in early May and the Pentax in early June.

[See original email]

…and a few links in case you want to pre-order this fantastic lens.

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC Art Pentax mount: Adorama | B&H Photo | Wex Photographic (UK) | Digit Photo (FR)

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC Art Sony mount: Adorama | B&H Photo | Wex Photographic (UK) | Digit Photo (FR)

What lens(es) would you like to see next from Sigma?

Sigma is upping their game with unique and very competitive lenses. They said a few times they were monitoring the demand and part of it is keeping an eye on what people say on the web. There is little chance Sigma would change their roadmap based on a poll, but it can be of interest. And it’s fun.

All rumored lenses are included, as well as a handful of Global Vision updates to existing ones, and a few cool others. For those, I tried to keep the combination of focal length and aperture reasonable.

Reminder: DG = full-frame lens, DC = APS-C lens, OS = Optical Stabilization. The expected category (Art, Contemporary or Sports) is included just for the fun of it.

To vote, select your lens(es), and don’t forget to click on the green button at the bottom. After that, you can share the poll on social sites if you want to. You can vote for several lenses, but prioritizing and choosing no more than three lenses is advised so as to keep the results interesting. Here you go.

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It has been two days since Sigma announced price and availability of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art and we already have plenty of reviews and sample images to get an idea of its potential. Does the lens live up to the hype? It seems so.

The reviews are mostly glowing, the main complaint being the weight of the lens (815 g / 28.7 oz.), but it is the unavoidable trade-off for achieving higher performance here.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art review roundup

  • Gear for Image: In-depth technical review, comparison with Canon 50mm f/1.4, sample images
  • SLR Gear: In-depth technical review, comparison with Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
  • SLR Lounge: Field review, sample images, RAW files available for download
  • CNET: Short review, sample images


50-to-58mm large-aperture DSLR lenses

From left to right, approximately to scale: Canon 50mm f/1.4, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX, Canon 50mm f/1.2 L, Nikon 58mm f/1.4 G, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4.

50mm DSLR Lenses to Scale

Double-gauss designs can be spotted easily: they are short and usually wider than long. Sigma and Zeiss strayed away from this formula with their latest 50/55mm lenses.

I’m reading here and there that the 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art adds some difficulty in choosing a lens in the ~50mm segment. I disagree. I don’t see any redundancy here – on the contrary, the new Sigma lens is a much needed offering. Read on to understand what I mean.

Canon 50mm f/1.4, Nikon 50mm f/1.4 G, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX

$400-$500. Good performers stopped down, but show the usual nasties of simple double-gauss designs: lack of contrast at wide apertures, degraded performance up close, barrel distortion, CA and LOCA, coma, etc… Relatively compact and lightweight. May or may not be “good enough” depending on one’s needs, but image quality will most likely fall apart on high-megapixel cameras.

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Sigma USB Dock

Sigma has announced the upcoming release of the USB Dock – the little device enabling lens firmware updates and autofocus fine-tuning – in Pentax mount and Sony mount, starting late April.

Meanwhile, an update for Sigma Optimization Pro will be available on April 18th, incorporating the profile for the newly released Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Mounted

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is finally available for pre-order. The demand for this lens is very high, and will most likely exceed supply for a few weeks. You should pre-order your copy now in order to get it soon enough.

Using these links helps Sigma Rumors – thank you for your support!

Pre-order links


For Canon (Available late April 2014)Adorama | B&H Photo

For Nikon (Available June 2014)Adorama | B&H Photo

For Sigma (Available May 2014)Adorama | B&H Photo

For Sony (No availability date yet)Adorama | B&H Photo


For CanonPCH (839€) | CameraNU (849€) | Digit Photo (899€) | Wex Photographic (£849)

For NikonPCH (839€) | CameraNU (849€) | Digit Photo (899€) | Wex Photographic (£849)

For SigmaDigit Photo (899€) | Wex Photographic (£849)

For SonyCameraNU (849€) | Digit Photo (899€) | Wex Photographic (£849)

More links to come. Meanwhile, you can join the Flickr group dedicated to the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art.

Retail prices

US: $949
EU: 899€
UK: £849.99

The new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM comes at quite a bargain price. The new Art lens is challenging the four-times-more-expensive Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens from Zeiss on the optics, and is a far cry from the 50mm f/1.4 EX in all aspects.

Reviews, sample images

  • SLR Gear: In-depth technical review, comparison with Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4
  • SLR Lounge: Initial thoughts with a few sample images and crops
  • CNET: Short review, sample images


Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art reports that the Canon mount version of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art will be available starting April 25th at the price of ¥127,000 “plus tax” (translates into approx. 1,250 USD, 900 EUR). This is the retail price for Japan.

The info comes from Sigma themselves, although there is still no word about it on Sigma’s Japanese site.

The release date for the others mounts is still unknown but I was told “soon after”.


Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art

Gear for Image (see post below) has posted a few more wide open and full-size sample images from the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art. They are available for scrutinizing purposes here.

It’s a matter of hours before the price (most probably around 1,000 USD) is finally known. The lens will be available for pre-order in Canon, Nikon, Sigma and Sony mount.

Hold your breath and stay tuned!

ADDITION: Imaging Resource put up a Flickr gallery with many sample images from the lens. Thanks David.

An image supposedly coming from the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art has been posted on the Korean website Gear for Image.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Sample Image

The picture was taken wide open with a Canon 5D Mark II, and is available at full size on the original page. Click it first, and then click the icon at the top left.

By the way, SLR Gear posted their lab sample images from the new Art lens (scroll down to the bottom of their review to find them), as well as an interesting comparison with the Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 on the same page. The Sigma lens does seem to have the edge in terms of local contrast.

 Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art VS Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

Sigma earned some confidence lately, so much that they now don’t hesitate to boldly challenge Zeiss on their own course for uncompromising image quality.

The Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 costs $4,000. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is expected to be sold between $900 and $1,200. Both are made to achieve high contrast and high resolution at all distances and all over the frame, and to reduce nuisances such as distortion and flare to their minimum.

So what accounts for the huge expected price difference, beyond the brand name? Even with no direct comparison and a frustrating lack of sample images from the Sigma lens, at least two things can be noted.

No “APO” correction

Unlike the Otus, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art is not “apochromatic”. Apochromatic lenses control – to some extent – color aberrations of all kinds. The Zeiss lens excels at it.

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Big Giveaway: Sigma, Blackmagic, Kupo

Aspiring filmmakers, this huge giveaway is for you. Amongst around thirty products are the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM and the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM, both in Canon EF mount.

One lucky filmmaker is going to win the ULTIMATE STUDIO worth over $12,000 during our FILMMAKERS ULTIMATE STUDIO giveaway. Everything someone needs to start a small film studio is in this kit. Beginning April 1 and ending June 30, 2014, filmmakers can enter right here and also at to win.

Right here is on Sigma’s blog, so here you go: Win Sigma Lenses, Black Magic Camera, and more!