A lens put to the acid test – the SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM


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As you can certainly remember, the SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM lens has been tested twice already under different conditions. Here comes the third practical test. First I tested the lens during a visit in the zoo, another time during a walk at night as I was searching for the colorful shining city lights I wanted to capture on my camera’s sensor.

Now I wanted to find out more about the image quality of the lens while shooting in the daylight in the early afternoon under a cloudy sky in a room with big windows. Moreover, in this article I will describe many advantages but also some minor drawbacks of the lens from my point of view and experience.

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Differences between the SIGMA Art 50-100mm, SIGMA Art 50mm f/1.4 and SIGMA Art 85mm f/1.4 lenses

One definite advantage of this lens is its range of typical focal lengths used for portraits. The lens covers 50mm, 85mm and 100mm. Let’s not forget, however, that this lens can only be used on APSC cameras. Compared to the amazingly good fixed focal lengths of the SIGMA Art series I noticed the following: The closest focusing distance of the SIGMA Art 50-100mm is at 95cm, which in my opinion makes a fairly big distance to the subject. However, you can still get close to your subjects thanks to the big fixed focal lengths without being really close to them. With the SIGMA Art 85mm f/1.4 you get closer with a distance of at least 85mm while with the SIGMA Art 50mm f/1.4 you only need 40cm of distance anyway.

Another fairly obvious difference is, as you can guess from the name of the lens, that its fixed focal lengths have an open aperture of 1.4 while the zoom lens has an open aperture of 1.8. But there’s no need to complain with this kind of light intensity…

Weight/Size

With a weight of 1,490g the SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 weighs about 300g more on a scale than the SIGMA Art 85mm. In terms of its size the lens isn’t really that compact, either.

Sharpness/brightness/contrast with AvailableLight

The lens was tested in a bright room. The photos were taken in the three typical focal lengths used for portraits, once with a fully wide open and once with a critical aperture. You can get an impression of the result in the image below.

Conclusion

The zoom lens can’t keep up with the wonderful fixed focal lengths of the SIGMA Art series. Since I mainly shoot with the SIGMA Art 35mm f/1.4 I’m kind of spoilt with its brilliant quality. However, I think that this lens can be used very well and will deliver high quality pictures when shooting in a photo studio for portraits with flashes and a tripod. For documentary and wildlife photography I consider it too heavy to carry it with me along with my standard equipment. But in the zoo it was very nice to balance the distance to the animals with long focal lengths. After all I didn’t regret carrying a lot of weight at all. You can also get an impression of these photographic results – I’ve selected some new photos for you which you still don’t know.

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