This full-frame standard prime for DSLR cameras is one of the best-respected ultra-wide-aperture 50mm lenses on the market. The standard focal length, which renders images that closely match the perspective of the human eye, makes this a true all-rounder that gives natural-looking results. It’s suitable for a very wide range of photo and video applications, including portraits, weddings, street, landscapes and travel.
The lens’s F1.4 aperture allows photographers to achieve a shallow depth-of-field and work hand-held in low light, and the background blur is smooth and attractive. Optically the lens delivers exceptional sharpness across the frame, even on the highest resolution mirrorless cameras, and colour rendition and accuracy are of the highest level. This makes for characterful and expressive results typical of Sigma’s Art line primes. Used widely by professional photographers, the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is also ideal for casual day-to-day shooting.
The superb build quality of the 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is exactly as you’d expect from an Art-line lens, both in its intuitive ergonomics and in the quality of craftsmanship.
The lens’ outer barrel is made of a polycarbonate called Thermally Stable Composite (TSC), which is not only strong and light, but has a similar thermal expansion rate to aluminium. This ensures that the interior aluminium parts and the exterior TSC parts behave in a consistent way as temperatures change.
The focus ring is rubberised for easier operation, and focusing is internal, meaning the lens never changes length.
To reduce flare and ghosting in bright sunlight, and to help protect the front element from damage if dropped, the lens has a robust petal-type lens hood.
The durable brass mount is surrounded by a rubber seal to help keep out dust and moisture.
Precision brass mount with seal
Protects against dust and moisture.
Made from a strong and light polycarbonate that behaves in a similar way to aluminium.
The 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art for DSLRs boasts outstanding optical quality, with excellent rendering of detail right into the corners even wide open at F1.4.
The lens has an advanced optical design made up of 13 elements in 8 groups, including 1 aspherical element and 3 SLD elements. This ensures razor-sharp results with very minimal chromatic aberration, flare, distortion and vignetting.
An advanced Super Multi-Layer Coating on the surface of the elements helps to reduce flare and ghosting when working in bright direct sunlight, creating high-contrast images with rich colours and strong blacks.
As is true of all SIGMA Global Vision lenses, the 50mm F1.4 produces images with vivid and true-to-life colours straight out of camera. This is partly thanks to the exceptional control of flare, which keeps image saturation high.
With the same maximum apertures, the same Art-line optical and build quality, and the same HSM focusing motors, the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art and the SIGMA 40mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art are both very high-performance wide-standard primes. The 40mm is heavier and larger, so it may not be so well-suited to street or wedding photography, or other occasions where the lens has to be carried for long periods.
All Sigma cameras and lenses are designed, manufactured and assembled at our sole factory at Aizu in Japan. This domestic production model is unusual in today’s industry, with most imaging companies opting to outsource to other countries to reduce costs. But SIGMA believes that keeping virtually all manufacturing, processing and assembly in Aizu is essential for creating innovative, carefully thought-out and impeccably constructed products that meet the high standards demanded by professional photographers and film-makers around the world.
Sigma chose Aizu as its main production base in the early 1970s. Situated at the base of Mount Bandai in the Fukushima Prefecture, about four hours’ drive north of Tokyo, Aizu has an abundance of very clean water from mountain streams, which is essential for grinding and polishing lenses. Sigma’s founder, Michihiro Yamaki, was also drawn to this area for its workforce, who have a reputation for their craftsmanship, work ethic and attention to detail. Mr Yamaki’s son, Kazuto Yamaki, now the owner and CEO of SIGMA Corporation, has the same unwavering commitment to keeping production in Japan.
Today Sigma’s factory is more than 50,000 square feet in size, and packed full of some of the most advanced optical manufacturing technology in existence. So when you buy a Sigma camera or lens you can be sure that virtually every single component part has been manufactured and assembled by SIGMA, in Japan, with the greatest level of care and attention. We hope you enjoy using our products.
If you want to see how a particular SIGMA lens or camera performs, why not test drive it with our SIGMA Select hire service. Available for selected SIGMA lenses, short-term loans are free of charge (including shipping), with a small fee if you want to test it for longer. Refundable deposit required. Subject to availability.
13 elements in 8 groups
Angle of view
Number of diaphragm blades
9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum focusing distance
Maximum magnification ratio
Dimensions (diameter x length)
ø85.4mm × 99.9mm
Corresponding AF mounts
Canon EF | Nikon F | Sigma SA | L-Mount | Sony E
Canon EF barcode
Nikon F barcode
Sigma SA barcode
Sony E barcode
Specifications are for SIGMA SA mount
A special coating applied to the front element to help repel water and oil.
This suppresses flare and ghosting by minimising reflections within the lens, ensuring punchy, high-contrast results. All lenses in the current Sigma range feature this technology.
Internal focus or an inner focus system means the lens configuration uses movable internal lens elements that adjust focus without changing the length of the lens barrel. This helps keep the centre of gravity of the lens more constant when changing focus.
Sigma’s Hypersonic Motor (HSM) uses ultrasonic waves to drive the autofocus mechanism. It is extremely quiet, fast and accurate, so is well suited to a wide range of photo and video applications.
The lens has an image circle large enough to be used on a full-frame camera. It can also be used on cameras with a smaller ‘crop’ sensor, provided the mount is compatible.
The lens has a filter thread around the front element onto which filters and filter holders can be attached.
The mount is the part of the lens that attaches to the camera body. A coated brass mount is used for strength, and is surrounded by a rubber seal to keep out dust and moisture.
This switch toggles between autofocus and manual focus.
The diaphragm is constructed of nine rounded blades for a circular aperture opening and round out-of-focus highlights.