New Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art Lens
Photo courtesy of Sigma, shot by Alexandre Souetre.

Sigma has just announced their latest addition to the DG DN | Art line up. Meet the new compact 50mm lens with a maximum aperture of F1.2. While there are a number of 50mm lenses available on the market, we’re delving into all the features that set Sigma’s apart from the others.

A Bokeh Masterpiece

Weighing an astonishing 745g, this lens is the lightest in its class.* Incorporating Sigma’s first ever 13-blade diaphragm, this lens produces bokeh that’s smooth as butter. It corrects various optical aberrations, such as spherical aberration, coma, and distortion, producing mellow, round expressions every time. The aberration correction on this lens is phenomenal (pictured below), delivering natural colors and edges. This holds true even in low light settings. We happened to test this lens out on an overcast, gray day at Brooklyn Bridge Park – perfect conditions for shooting. It began to drizzle mid-afternoon, so we got a chance to experience the excellent weather-sealed build firsthand.

Precise Aperture Control

The rain gave us an excuse to head indoors and check out how the lens performs in a lowlight environment. Aside from producing beautiful bokeh, the 1.2 aperture provides a shallow depth of field allowing you to silence everything in the background and get a clear focus on your subject. In darker settings, you’re welcome to raise your shutter speed without compromising the clarity of your focal point. A standout feature of this lens is the impressive minimization in focus breathing. This is especially useful when recording video, as it gives you a much more natural shift from your subject in the foreground, to a subject in the background. You can see this in action in our YouTube (linked) video.

Photo courtesy of Sigma, shot by Xiao Ting Wu.

Compact Powerhouse 

Every glass element in this 50mm is crafted to be ultra-thin. It uses high-refractive-index glass and incorporates four specially shaped aspherical lenses. It has a filter diameter of 72mm, leaving plenty of room for accessory attachment and creative filter stacking combinations.

Close-up Capability

With a minimum focus distance of 15.8 inches, you can get fairly close to your subject. Sigma has also incorporated floating focus in this prime lens. Through thoughtful optimization of the internal movement of lens elements during focusing, this lens attains exceptional optical quality while maintaining a compact form. You will notice stability in close-up shots, and high-level image quality is guaranteed regardless of the shooting distance.

Photo courtesy of Sigma.

Innovation At Its Finest

Sigma has developed a new system to make the HLA (High Linear Accuracy) smaller but still powerful. The HLA is characterized by its accuracy and quietness. This new system is in both focus groups of the lens. With this innovation, the lens can focus quickly and quietly. You can tell that this lens was designed with its weight in mind, and we love how compact it is. It’s perfect for photographers who value portability and convenience without compromising on image quality.

Take a look at this edge-to-edge clarity! The surface accuracy of the aspherical elements on this lens ensures that your images will never come out blurry or distorted. Image courtesy of Jonny Carillo.

Buttons & Operation Features

Adding to the list of features, the lens is equipped with an AFL button that can be assigned to your preference of function in your camera settings. We found it useful for Eye AF on the Sony A1. Alongside its classic aperture ring, it features convenient additions like an aperture ring lock switch and a click switch, allowing you to toggle between audible clicks or smooth, silent adjustments.

Photo courtesy of Sigma, shot by Xiao Ting Wu.

Final Verdict: Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art Lens

The Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN | Art lens offers remarkable visual precision, sophisticated functionality, excellent portability and is now available for pre-order. In comparison to similar lenses, such as the Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master, this fast-aperture art prime lens is a more affordable choice. Would you try this lens out? Let us know what you think in the comments.

* As an AF 50mm F1.2 interchangable lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. As of March, 2024 by SIGMA 

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