Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Third-Party Pentax Lenses - Reviews and Database » Sigma Lenses » Legacy Prime Lenses
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Review RSS Feed

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Reviews Views Date of last review
21 90,693 Fri November 2, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
90% of reviewers $421.57 9.30
Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Fast, sharp and solid build lense.

Lens Construction: 8 Elements in 6 Groups
Angle of View: 46.8 degrees
Number of Diaphragm Blades: 9 Blades
Minimum Aperture: F16
Minimum Focusing Distance: 45cm/17.7 in.
Maximum Magnification: 1:7.4
Filter Size: Diameter 77mm/3 in.
Dimensions: Diameter 84.5mm X Length 68.2mm
3.3 in. X 2.7 in.
Weight: 505g/17.8 oz
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
Price: $499
Mount Type:
Price History:

Add Review of Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Buy the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 21
amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 28,041
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $299.90 | Rating: 10 

Pros: color rendition, bokeh, build quality
Cons: a bit heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3    New Or Used: Used    Autofocus: 9   

the Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM is a hugely-versatile and capable lens...

I was in the market for a modern, fast 50mm lens and my search came down to two: DA* 55mm f1.4 SDM or Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM - I compared specs and photos, read reviews and comparisons, etc and could not find really much to split the two lenses; there are a couple of thread here on PF that were searches for the same thing I was looking for: a clear winner between the two...

I bought a (hardly) used copy of the Sigma here on the Marketplace for less than $300 and could not be happier with my decision; the month's Single In Challenge was the obvious choice to get a handle on the lens...

firstly, it is a substantial lens - weighing in at just over a pound, you are not going to forget it's there... the focus ring is nicely-damped, should you want to manually-focus the lens and there's a bayonet-mount hood that reverses for storage purposes (unlike the 70/2.8 EX DG)...

the HSM drive is quick to focus and near-silent - many times, early in the month, I missed noticing that the lens had focused on my subject and I was waiting to push the shutter.... waiting.... and then realizing that we were ready to go...

colors are a little cool in comparison to Pentax lenses, but easily corrected in post...

I noticed very little in the way of CA or aberrations in the month I used the lens - shots were quick and rarely did I have anything unusual or unwanted in the shot due to the lens...

the lens does tend to overexpose, but that's my tendency for darker images just getting in the way...

bokeh is smooth and rarely unsightly - with 9 blades in the aperture and a large f1.4 to play with, you have many options for DOF and bokeh to play with...

overall, it was a good month and I'm glad I spent it with the Sigma 50/1.4 - this lens is a definite keeper and I cannot imagine that I would have been any happier with the DA*55...

a few of my favorites with this lens:

fencepost, barbed wire by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

Stormy & Finn by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

maple, fall colors by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

mailboxes... by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and the rest of my flickr album:
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 22

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $333.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very bright and sharp! good contrast, colors
Cons: quite big for a 50mm, some low aberrations visible
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-70    New Or Used: 10   

I had few 50mm lenses in my hands : Pentax-M 50mm f1.7, Helios 55mm f2, Pentax-DA 50 1.8 and rare Pentax-FA 50 f1.7. When i found an cheap offer with sigma 50 1.4 with i thought: "well I have fa 50 1.7 so i don't need to buy another 50".
Anyway after some time i decide to buy it cheaply, after all that I could sell it later with a profit
So i Did... funny thing is i sold a FA 50 1.7 but not the Sigma.

Sigma found to be VERY useful - bright and sharp. At 1.4 it's just good but fom f2-f5 it's razor sharp! And f2 is still BRIGHT AS HELL.

It's also very colorful, contrasty so it not always necessary to edit shoots in LR.

Only Thing i found to be well a con - it's preety big. Anyway IMHO it's worth it

here's aparature comparision:

aparature is At the bottom of the page ( image name )
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2010
Location: TromsÝ, Norway
Posts: 886

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $258.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP, fast, nice bokeh, silent AF
Cons: big, occasional focus hunting, stiff focus ring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

I bought this lens used to replace my ailing Pentax-M 50 f1.4. The previous owner had (luckily for me) always kept a protective filter on the front element, so it was pretty much new when i received it, but cost a third of the price it goes for new in Norway.

I'll start by saying this is not the lens for you if you're a fan of the limiteds. It's bulky and heavy and attention seeking. It would make a fantastic studio lens, and it works well for me-- although I do a lot of adventure and travel photography I'm perfectly fine to make a weight sacrifice for my camera gear.
I find that the focus does hunt occasionally, but mostly only in snow or in very low light. It is not a great lens for manual focus, the focus throw is short, and the focus ring has no hard stop and I find it to be quite stiff as well.
Other than that, the lens is a dream! It is incredibly sharp at f2.0, and performs quite well at wider apertures as well. It is about neck-to-neck with the Pentax-M wide open, but practically, the AF means (for me) that I'm much less likely to miss focus on shots in low light. It is my first lens with silent AF, and this has really been spoiling me-- I find my self jumping at the sound of my DA 35 f2.4.

I'll let photos do the rest of the talking. I've tested it compared to my old M 50 and the DA 35.


IMGP6096 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Sigma @ f1.4

IMGP6110 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax @ f1.4

IMGP6098 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Sigma @ f2.0

IMGP6112 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax @ f2.0

IMGP6101 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Sigma @ f2.8

IMGP6115 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 50 @ f2.8

IMGP6124 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 35 @ f2.8

IMGP6104 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Sigma @ f4

IMGP6117 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 50 @ f4

IMGP6129 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 35 @ f4

IMGP6105 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Sigma @ f5.6

IMGP6119 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 50 @ f5.6

IMGP6130 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 35 @ f5.6

Bokeh comparison (all lenses at f2.8):


IMGP6134 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 50:

IMGP6136 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr

Pentax 35:

IMGP6139 by Zoe Bazilchuk, on Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 83

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, silent focus, solid
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-3   

One of the best lenses I've tried so far, sharpness, noise, precision even at 1.4. Suffers less from chromatic aberrations and definitely the most beautiful colors of the consideration pentax ago 50 1.4. I'm definitely happy with the purchase made highly recommend.

Senior Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 143
Lens Review Date: December 15, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: Sharp, bokeh, 1.4, proffessional looking, solid build
Cons: Inconsistant AF!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: k30   

This lens is amazing in every way except that the auto focus is very inconsistant. Sometimes I find it front focusing several feet and I have to wiggle the lens. Sometimes it will back focus past someones eyes. When you change the aperture the focus will front and back focus differently as well. I may send it back after I do further testing

I would recomend if you got a good copy I guess
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2013
Location: Fullerton, CA
Posts: 34
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: sharp (when focused), solid, cool-looking
Cons: focus, flaring

I, unfortunately, was a person who got a not-so-QC'd-well copy of the lens. I often shoot at wider apertures because I enjoy the shallow DOF. I could rarely focus on what I wanted to, correctly, with the autofocus. To be honest, I couldn't tell if it was backfocusing or frontfocusing as it just confused the heck out of me! If I wanted to have to manually focus something, I might as well have just bought a manual focus lens.

Regardless, when it was focused on something, it was pretty fantastically sharp. Contrast was great, there was no fringing (to my eye). The only other problem I encountered was when photographing at night, the flaring from the fire was pretty extreme. It's a pretty harsh test of any lens, but my old Nikon 1.4D didn't react as much to it as this lens did.

In the end, I returned the lens to B&H.
New Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: January 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even at 1.4, very fast AF
Cons: Heavy, CA

Excellent portrait lens with the fastest AF I've ever seen for Pentax mount.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2006
Location: North Face of Mount Shasta
Posts: 120

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 28, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, Silent focus, Optical quality, New finish
Cons: None so far

After reading all of the Professional and User reviews of this lens, I was a bit leery of the widely reported focus issues. Knowing that B&H would be there if I received an inferior copy of the lens, I decided to make the leap.
When I received the lens, I was anxious to put it through its paces and determine once and for all if this lens was sharp and if the focus system was accurate and consistent. I made direct comparisons with my F50 1.7 as well as extensive focus tests to determine if I was experiencing any back/front focus issues. I also took a series of critical focus shots at all apertures to see just how sharp this lens was.
I'm very happy and relieved to report that it passed and exceeded my expectations. It is sharper at f1.4 than I was expecting, it focuses accurately and consistently and at f8.0 is razor sharp. The build quality is very good, the new finish is a huge improvement over the previous textured finish, the weight and balance is excellent with my K20d with grip.
This lens is a pleasure to use and I once again am excited to get back to my workstation to work on my images. This lens is not the smallest, lightest or even the cheapest but it can give any 50 on the market one hell of a run for the money.

(example of sharpness and bokeh)
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: London Ontario
Posts: 149
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $399.99 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Weight, Build
Cons: Front Focus

I got a bad copy of the lens , I needed front focus change on my k3 of -10 to come close to fixing the problem so I decided to send it back to get a new one! hopefully I get a good copy this time. The lens is great value, I took some great shots even with the bad copy I got above 2.0. In the 1.4-1.8 the front focus was an issue thats why i send it back. Once the focus hits, WOW you get some great shots, clear and crisp. Bokeh is amazing, havent seen a lens perform this well in that area. Handling is a 9 because you almost cant manual focus because the throw is so short, however i do like in af mode that the ring does not turn. HSM is GREAT, its so much faster than pentax motor . I would recommend this lens to anyone in the market for 50mm over pentax or another brand. Just hope that you get a good lens off the bat so you dont have to do the return hassle!
New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 17

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 24, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, solid, nice bokeh
Cons: nil

Purchased a mint used copy. loved the f1.4 on my Kx, gives me huge low light ability, but of course a narrow DOF.
Nice colour rendition and beautiful bokeh.

Addendum: Now used it on my K5IIs and a recent second hand K-01. Interestingly, the micro adjustment may have been a minor issue on the other cameras, but when tried on the K-01...WOW. Soooo sharp, I have never seen that before. Absolutely no need for PP sharpening or the subjects skin flaws would be far too obvious.

The colour continue to impress me with this lens, loving it's tones.

As a low light option with the K5IIs......what a killer combo.....a super fast lens and a camera that can shoot in the dark. If your into night clubs or bands, then have a good look at this combo !!! Awesome.
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: December 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: well made, modern optical design, fast AF
Cons: A bit heavy, slight front focus problems

As usual when I get a new lens, I spent a day or so looking for any faults that have been reported by others. At first I found no problems but eventually I noticed that there appears to be front focusing issues at f1.4 to f2.0 and medium (more than 3m) range, which is correctable by fine tuning the focusing to between -7 and -10. This appears to be a design problem and I suspect that adjusting the lens internally to correct it would then make the lens back focus at short range. I intend to discuss this problem with the technicians at Sigma and will update this review to include what I find out.

CAs are minimal. Full open the lens may be very slightly 'soft' but, compared to many cheaper lenses, it's sharp enough to keep me happy. (I'm using a K-5). Stepped down to f5.6, this lens is very sharp indeed.

For the moment - I think, providing you are willing to fine tune the focusing when working with very large apertures and big prints (A3 or larger), you will be happy with this interesting lens. For smaller than A4 size prints, one can mostly forget about any focusing issues at large apertures as they become hard to detect. Relax and don't pixel peek!

And in response to the people who grumble about the weight and size - I also think that the laws of physics and optics dictate that good lenses with big apertures will be larger and heavier than cheap lenses with small apertures!
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2011
Posts: 274

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 3, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great IQ, fast and silent auto focus, well balanced on gripped K-5
Cons: not so sharp at f/1.4

I chose this lens over FA 50mm f/1.4 even it costs about $150 more. Extremely fast and silent auto focus and really sharp at f/1.8 and above. I love the feeling of holding this lens with my K-5 quipped with grip, greatly balanced. For the money, I gave its at 9/10 due to its sharpness and fast and silent auto focus compared to FA 50mm. Overall, this Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM deserves a 9.5/10, which I rounded up to 10.



HIEP3148 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr

HIEP3166 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr

HIEP3114 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr

HIEP3226 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr

HIEP3251 by ngnhuhiep, on Flickr
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2011
Location: near Berlin
Posts: 9

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: well build, bokeh, sharp
Cons: unreliable AF because of focus shift, expensive compared to FA 50/1.4 or 50/1.7, CAs (until f/3.5), a bit heavy, QC

I thought, this would be a great lens in my collection of glas, but it wasn't. When i got the lens, I recognized a huge front focus. I sent it to Sigma Germany, but when I got it back, -10 focus correction was neccessary to rely on focus. I sended it to Sigma again and then focus fits without any correction. Then I recognized, that the lens a slight focus shift from f/1.4 up to f/2.8. There are more users that have such problems and also tests figured that out.

Now I use a Pentax FA 50/1.7 and I don't want to change it. If the Sigma had no AF-Probs, it would have been a nice lens to me because IQ and Bokeh were nice.

Greetz, Paul
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 46

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 18, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, Color Rendering
Cons: Size, Weight

This has been the primary lens on my K7 for nearly two years. This lens really stands out for portrait work: at short to medium distances it produces fantastically sharp and detailed images and the bokeh is very pleasing.

This lens is big and heavy, especially compared to any of the limited offerings, but I find that it balances well on the K7 and I have no complaints so far about the build quality.

The biggest complaint I have about my copy that it has some difficulty getting a good focus at infinity. Of course this could be operator error. Either way, I'm usually shooting at distances closer than this and so I have no real grudges against this lens.

If you can get past the size and weight, I highly recommend this lens for portrait shooting.
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2010
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 3,053

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 10, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $480.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp pictures; HSM; built like a tank; nice bokeh
Cons: Big and heavy for a prime

Optically and mechanically this is a superb lens. It is quick, quiet, and accurate when focusing even in low light situations. It is sharp in the center wide open and even sharper at f2, beyond f2 it is tack sharp from edge to edge. I chose this lens because it seems to be one of the best available in any mount at this focal range and because the motor on closest competitive pentax, the DA* 55 MM f1.4 SDM, is reported to be slower and less reliable than the motor on this one.

This focal length and this lens is great for portraits and indoors photography. Combined with a k-x you can get away with very good handheld photos even under very low light conditions such as candle lighting without a flash.

It also supports quick shift focus, which the FA 50 f1.4 does not, and the focusing ring moves smoothly which is nice for shooting video in poor lighting conditions.

If I could rate in half point increments I would probably give a 9.5 because the heft which is the lensí only significant drawback IMHO because it can get to you some days. It seems that the weight is typical for Sigmas lenses, especially their EX line. The weight is not enough to make me want to exchange this lens for something lighter like the Pentax FA 50 f1.4. The experience I have had with this sigma so far has made me put the 30 mm sigma on my wish list despite its similar stature.
People also complain about the filter size being 77 mm, but as I donít use any filters I donít really view this as a drawback.
Other thoughts: Nice hood, not so nice lens caps the front one is easily knocked off and sometimes difficult to put on and the rear one is always difficult to put on although it covers all contacts which is nice, supports FF (but who knows if that will ever come in handy)
Add Review of Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Buy the Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:13 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]