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Review Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by mnhoj, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again and again Subscribing Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    My thoughts
    Although designed for APS-C it I feel it transforms really well to MFT. It utilizes the center area of the lens without being overly large and it adds another nice option to an already great selection of lenses. A choice for every shooter.

    I really enjoy the fact that it's tighter than the P42.5/O45, cheaper than the OPro/PLNoct and wider than the O75.

    Here's a link to the specs.
    Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary | Sigma Corporation of America

    Here's a continuing discussion about the lens with a lot of information from some very technical forum members. Highly recommended.
    Discuss - Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN

    Here's the sample image thread.
    Showcase - Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN

    $50 rebate as of 03/25/19.
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    Handling
    On the EM1 it feels nearly perfect - a great balance of lens and body. On the Em10ii with ECG it's a good balance but for lengthy shoots the Sigma and EM1 would produce less strain. Without the ECG the balance favors the lens and asks for a shift to a dominant left hand cup and support method. Not a bad thing as the wide with short dimensions feels good in hand and may be why I prefer it over the slightly longer narrower 75mm.
    The manual focus ring feels nice. Very smooth but not loose. For those that use MF a lot I think it will work great. The hood is nice and when it's reversed it hugs the body for storage.

    Finish and build
    The build feels solid and par to it's medium price tag. Tolerances feel tight. I like the finish. It feels like it could take minor rubs and still look great which is one of the things I didn't like about the 75. Not that the 75 couldn't take abuse, it was just so pretty I was scared to scratch it. Definitely better than the first gen Sigma's of old with the finish that flaked right off.

    AF speed and accuracy
    I shoot mostly static subjects and subjects that are mostly static so my requirements aren't very demanding. I find speed and accuracy to be more than adequate - easy and smooth in fact. Apparently this not the case for all. There are users with issues over at the discussion thread. I recommend reading before purchasing, especially if buying used.

    Image quality
    Very good. I feel like it competes with the best I've owned when it comes to output.
    I am not very mathematical when it comes to measuring so simply put...
    It succeeds in a sharp center wide open and a nice nine bladed OOF rendering for portraiture.
    Stopped down it's excellent out of center for land/city scapes.
    I don't find CA or flare to be problematic but I'm pretty sure I can find it if I look for it.

    Value
    Very good. It's a nice balance of build, design and output without the OEM sticker price.

    Summary
    I really like it.
    It's viewing angle is useful and comfortable. It functions well. It feels good in hand. I like the images it produces. It's a great value.

    Images
    Size

    On the EM10ii
    40485287353_5cbf3d5663_o.jpg
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    On the EM1
    46536054155_7bec42a4ac_o.jpg
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    In comparison
    40485287153_3eb96b8305_o.jpg
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    Nikon 100E far right.

    Wide open
    40485287413_b3507c3e87_o.jpg
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    33575082858_2fa2f812ed_h.jpg
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    40485287243_3fd7b80148_h.jpg
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    47391693721_91d654474f_h.jpg
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    Stopped down
    46536053635_c6c23fb3a1_h.jpg
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    46536054055_c895b34262_h.jpg
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    46536053685_0f1792be43_h.jpg
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    32512012817_c33bd8aa27_o.jpg
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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  2. comment23

    comment23 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    809
    Aug 26, 2016
    Hampshire, UK
    Simon
    What a great review! Thank you.
     
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  3. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again and again Subscribing Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I borrowed some of the models at work for head/shoulder shot samples. These guys moonlight as service technicians on their off time.

    The lens excels with this type of duty imo.
    47483193921_12cb187b40_h.jpg
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    32541260757_a36be9ca27_h.jpg
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    47483193981_53ed715014_h.jpg
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    47483193951_7ce1cf775e_h.jpg
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    47430335982_7faac867de_h.jpg
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  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Great shots John! This reminds me, we still need to do lunch sometime!
     
  5. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again and again Subscribing Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    And a DTLA walk. :2thumbs:
     
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