Review Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN

mnhoj

There and back again and again
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
1,603
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
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

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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
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On the EM1
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In comparison
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Nikon 100E far right.

Wide open
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Stopped down
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