Shootout Siggy vs. Nikon - a one-shot 50 1.4 shootout

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FWIW: I was checking out reviews Thom Hogan did on the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and he seems somewhat split on the two, but suggests the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is the better choice compared to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D. YMMV.
For the most part, I agree. I had the AF-D version, and didn't like it. the bokeh was too busy for me, and the lens wasn't sharp when I shot it wide open. Stopped down, it was fine, but I don't buy 1.4 lenses to shoot at f/5.6. That's why I love the Sigma: it's sharp wide open.
 
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It's my understanding there tends to be more sample variety among Sigma lenses. They can be good, if you get a good sample, but some have had to swap two or three lenses with their vendor of choice, before getting a sample they could live with.

Does this ring true for people in this thread - regarding this lens?

Honestly, I have leaned away from Sigma due to that since I have no local supplier and not excited about having to ship a few copies back and forth to get a decent one.
i don't know about this lens but it's true for most of their lenses
I got a good 10-20, a horrid 50-500, a good 120-300, a horrid 300 2.8, a great 150 2.8, a bad 30 1.4 and a good 30 1.4, and a 2nd good 10-20

it's a crap shoot with their stuff so many of us have stopped trying
 
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FWIW: I was checking out reviews Thom Hogan did on the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S and the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and he seems somewhat split on the two, but suggests the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is the better choice compared to the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D. YMMV.
Some time back I was looking for a 50. A buddy has a Nikon 50 1.8. I borrowed it for a couple days and was happy to return it to him.

I bought the Sigma 50 1.4 a couple days later and though I haven't shot it much, I love how crisp the shots are at the point of focus and the smooth brokeh.

As BurbonCowboy notes, I didn't buy a 1.4 to shoot it stopped down.
 
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Wileec

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Some time back I was looking for a 50. A buddy has a Nikon 50 1.8. I borrowed it for a couple days and was happy to return it to him.

I bought the Sigma 50 1.4 a couple days later and though I haven't shot it much, I love how crisp the shots are at the point of focus and the smooth brokeh.

As BurbonCowboy notes, I didn't buy a 1.4 to shoot it stopped down.
The Nikon 50mm f1/8 was my first lens and it became one of my favorites, as I loved it's sharpness and f-stop range. With extension tube(s) and tripod, I've gotten some great macro shots. That said, it's seeing less camera time, as the 85mm f/1.8 and a newly acquired (from a Cafe member) 105mm macro wrangle for my attention.
 
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Two notes. I like the Nikon. I have to say that becuase big brown just delivered my new 50 1.4g afs today..:smile:
And, you couldn't find a pretty girl for those test shots?:wink:
 
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Interesting comparison. I'm happy as I have the Sigma - picked it up for under $400 when a local Ritz closed recently. I haven't shot it mush yet though.
 
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Pretty much every test I've seen has come up with the same conclusion...the siggy is the better lens. Pretty sad considering nikons reputation.......both are about the same price now...I bought the siggy and am very happy with it.
bb
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
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I think the margin is pretty small - just look at the 50mm G photo thread.
Agreed. If I didn't have the photos I could scroll up and down and compare directly, I really wouldn't have noticed much. The bokeh in the Sigma is better, but the Nikon's isn't bad either. Sharpness difference needs to be pixel-peeped.

One day I'll shop for a newer 50/1.4. The Sigma does look marginally better except for what I see as better color in the Nikon. Not sure if that marginal difference (along with the heavier weight) is worth the hassle of playing Sigma roulette. At least for me.
 
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Pretty much every test I've seen has come up with the same conclusion...the siggy is the better lens. ...
Not every test and not in every criteria. E.g. Thom Hogan's comments:

http://bythom.com/Sigma-50-HSM-lensreview.htm

Compared to the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G AF-S the Sigma is less sharp wide open in the center, about as sharp at f/5.6. But the Sigma ramps faster from the poor f/1.4 results to the good f/5.6 results. For example, f/2 is more usable on the Sigma. So it's a tradeoff: if you really need the f/1.4, the Nikkor is the better choice in the center. Beyond that, the Sigma has a slight advantage until about f/5.6, where both lenses are about as good.
Of course, he might have been victimized by a less-than-perfect example of the Sigma. Mark's example has the Sigma being sharper wide-open than the Nikon.

There's that sample variation again ...
 
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I know MTF doesn't determine the whole story, but the difference in MTF between these two are quite significant, yet the quality is quite the same.

Nikkor (Left) Sigma (Right):
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dL
 
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Wileec

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Seems like if you get a good sample of the Sig, then you're in the good (and should be, given it is a little more expensive lens, heavier, etc.), but that variety in samples is a pain to deal with.
 
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