The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN lens is the latest in the upgraded Art lens line-up for L-Mount. Announced today, it will be available from 23 February at a price of £850/$850. It further expands the extensive catalogue of Sigma lenses which are available to users of Leica’s SL, SL-2 and SL2-S cameras, providing a lower-cost alternative to Leica’s superb but pricey optics.
Better optical performance
Designed specifically for mirrorless cameras (a Sony E-Mount version is also available), the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art offers better optical performance than the existing Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM and faster and more precise autofocus. The smaller and lighter (670g) Art lens features an aperture ring and AFL button and offers smoother bokeh than the old version.
The company claims that the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN delivers even sharper results across the frame, particularly towards the periphery. Employing the latest optical design technology, the lens is constructed of 14 elements in 11 groups, including one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) element and three aspherical elements. It delivers significant improvements to sagittal coma flare and effectively suppresses various aberrations, such as astigmatism and field curvature, which cannot be corrected digitally.
High-response focus motor
The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN is the first lens in the Art range to incorporate the new HLA (High- response Linear Actuator) autofocus motor technology. This ensures fast, accurate and near-silent focusing, and despite its ultra-wide aperture, exceptionally fast tracking performance. Owing to the power of the new HLA motor, Sigma engineers were able to use a single double-sided aspherical element as the focusing lens – a stark contrast to the eight-element focusing group on Sigma’s existing 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art. This has delivered both autofocus and optical design benefits.
Throughout the development of the SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art, every effort was made to slim down the lens barrel by reducing the weight of the focus lens and optimising the lens unit layout. This allowed Sigma to create a light and compact lens that feels well-balanced on a full-frame mirrorless camera without compromising on optical performance.
With a dust- and splash-resistant structure, a rubber seal around the mount, and a water- and oil-repellent coating on the front element, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is suitable for use in difficult shooting conditions. The outer barrel is constructed of TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), which has a similar thermal expansion rate to aluminium. This means the metal inner barrel and the TSC outer barrel behave similarly as temperatures change, ensuring consistent performance in all environments. Both materials are very light, with the lens weighing just 670g (L-Mount version).
As with all Sigma lenses, the 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art is crafted using cutting-edge manufacturing technology at Sigma’s factory in Aizu in, Japan. Before leaving the factory, every lens is evaluated with the proprietary MTF measuring system.
The lens barrel is equipped with a range of useful functions. As well as a manual aperture ring, the lens has an Aperture Ring Click switch, which allows users to switch between stepped, third-stop aperture increments and smooth, click-free action. This is particularly useful for videographers who may want to use the aperture to adjust exposure seamlessly while filming. The aperture ring can be locked with a lock switch.
The lens has an AFL button, which can be customised to perform a range of different functions (depending on the camera model).
Also on the lens barrel is a Focus Mode switch, a rubberised focus ring with a smooth, fluid-like movement, and a robust, petal-type lens hood with lock button. The hood also has a rubberised grip for easy attachment and removal.
For L-Mount users, the 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art can be connected to Sigma’s USB Dock for customisation and adjustment, including switching between linear and non-linear focus ring movement.
- Lens construction: 14 elements, 11 groups (1 SLD and 3 aspherical elements) Angle-of-view: 46.8°
- Number of diaphragm blades: 11 (rounded diaphragm)
- Minimum aperture: F16
- Minimum focusing distance: 45cm
- Maximum magnification ratio: 1:6.8
- Filter size: φ72mm
- Dimensions (max diameter x length): φ78.2mm x 109.5mm Weight: 670g
The Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN | Art will be available in retailers from 23 February at a price of £849.99, including UK Tax. In the USA, it will cost $849, excluding tax.
Patrick Leong’s review of the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG
I had the 85mm version of this lens for my SL2-S and it was an absolute stonker of a lens. Really well made, excellent image quality and lovely handling on the SL. 72mm filter thread is a bit odd for me (77mm thread on the 85mm). but for a f1.4 lens looks like a great option.
The 50 APO SL is one of the best 50mm lenses I’ve ever used, but it’s considerably more than the sigma.
Leica’s own 50 f1.4 summilux, is great quality but it’s the size of a car (well almost) and very expensive. The size alone makes that an absolute no go for me. 50 Summilux M works brilliant on the SL.
Call me old fashioned, but I do like Sigma’s decision to retain an aperture ring against the gathering trend to rely on electronics for everything. I still find it invaluable to be able to glance down at the camera and see what aperture is selected. I think the Contemporary line lenses, in particular, are very handsome and the haptics are great. I agree on the quality of the APO SL primes but, like you, I am concerned more by the weight that even the cost — although the difference is astonishing.
I’m totally with you on the aperture ring, Mike. If this one operates like the 85mm, there is also an option to go no clicks which is good for video folks, or lock it out for electronic control. They seem to have thought of everything and that to me looks like the best of three worlds to me.
Nicely put Röd
Sigma are such a good company – I’ve been using their lenses on and off since the early days and they have always been fantastic.
Not sure I’ll be buying this as I already have the 50 APO for my SL2, but if I didn’t I certainly would – Sigma are a fantastic asset for L mount.
“Smaller and lighter” seems to be pretty heavy in 2023! I mean…670g! That’s in my heavy category for a standard lens even at 1.4.
Have to agree though, Sigma’s optics are excellent.
Is Sigma designing lenses just for other brands?, because their camera is out of proportion compare to lenses 🤪
I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Leica 24-70 L mount made in collaboration with Sigma? I know the 24-90 isn’t, that one is all Wetzlar. Both are fabulous lenses, though my 24-70 seemed to like sucking dust into the front which was a bit off and out of character. Haven’t seen that for years and never on Leica.
Everyone things this is the case. The specification is almost identical to the Sigma 24-70. Of course, Leica is notoriously reticent about the origin of its lenses. I can’t remember if the Leica 24-70 is marked as Made in Japan. It ought to be. There is also a question mark over the origin of the two Summicron-SL lenses announced today.