Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens vs the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens

edited February 2012 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
I've being doing some research on the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens. It was between that and the 50mm f/1.8 for the longest time. I finally came to the conclusion to stick with the f/1.4 version.

I went to the local hobby store in Orlando (the one off Mills and Colonial for people who know the area) and was talking to the specialist about the lens. I felt like he wasn't being biased, but still wasn't sure and wanted a second opinion. He mention that there is something faulty with the focus mechanism on the Canon 50mm f/1.4. He had four come in on a random Saturday a few weeks back, all with the same problem.

He said it hasn't been documented yet, but told me to be cautious if I was to buy it. He then recommended the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and said it was a little more expensive, but that it has more glass and a solid body...felt more sturdy all around. I played around with it and was pretty impressed with the Sigma.

I have always been known to go with factory products in this case, Canon. What is your opinion on Sigma lenses, specifically the 50mm f/1.4, the cost difference doesn't seem to be a big issue for me, but is it worth it? Thanks!


  • @gon1885 - When it comes to "budget" level lenses ($500 or less), Sigma, Tamron and Tokina match up very well with Canon lenses in the same class.

    The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 has class leading image quality, especially when shooting at f/1.4. One of the biggest issues with the Canon 50mm f/1.4 and the 50mm f/1.8, is the fact that they're a bit soft when shot wide open (using the lowest aperture f-number available). In order to get razor sharp results, you have to shoot near f/2 when using the 50mm f/1.4 and f/2.8 when using the 50mm f/1.8.

    When looking at autofocus speed, I would say the Canon 50mm f/1.4 has the advantage. Canon's USM motor is a bit faster and more accurate when compared to the HSM motor on the Sigma.

    In regards to the faulty focus mechanisms mentioned by the salesman, he failed to mention that the Canon 50mm f/1.4 is more widely used (and sold) than the Sigma 50mm f/1.4. I would venture to say that for every Sigma sold, they probably sell close to twenty Canon lenses. Naturally, the lenses that get purchased more will tend to have more reported issues. In my experience, issues are usually isolated and not something that affects every Canon lens on the market. If something is wrong with your lens, you'll know within the first year and thankfully every Canon lens comes with a one year warranty.

    Hope that helps and happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2012
    Thanks for the input, I really have to get my hands on both to really get a feel of them individually. If anyone has first hand experience with the two lens please feel free to voice your opinions. Thanks! :)
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