Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM

I raised an eyebrow when Sigma announced the next lens in it's rejuvenated arsenal of high-class 'Art' glass. And today I raised my other eyebrow at the price...

This new lens' older brother - the 35mm f1.4 DG HSM - converted me back from the traditional "L series only" attitude I'd developed over the last few years. As it happened, the 35mm was released around the time I realised I wanted to invest my money in prime lenses, and for the money it was perfect. A fantastic focal length for small venues, great for dramatic wide group portraits, and ridiculously sharp. I'll make no bones about it, I LOVE the 35mm f1.4 - it is my favourite lens.

The amazing quality of the 35mm f1.4 really whet my appetite for Sigma's new range, and I'd given serious consideration to replacing my L series glass with it (over time). For example, the 120-300mm f2.8 is a fantastic option for sports, large festivals and arena shoots. Similarly, the prospect of a 24-70mm f2.0 is bound to sway a few people looking at Nikon and Canon's standard zooms - especially fellow gig photographers for whom that extra speed would come in useful.

12 months on from the release of the 35mm, and the 50mm is dued. Many, like me, awaited the price with baited breath. I tried to second guess using the 35mm as a guide, but that wasn't easy. The Canon L equivalent of the 35mm was nearly twice the price, but Canon don't currently do an L series equivalent of the 50mm - the nearest equivalent would be the 50mm 1.2L. Using that logic, the faster, flagship Canon L lens retails at around £1200. So I'd expected the Sigma to retail at around £600. Sadly I'm mistaken...

The price for the new Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM is a WHOPPING £850.

I'm not in a position to question whether the lens is worth it or not - going on my experience of the 35mm it may well be - but when grey imports or second hand Canon 50mm f1.2L can be picked up for around £900, I may struggle to justify the expense. This is a bit of a shame, as I could really do with adding a decent 50mm to my kitbag. I could pick up the Canon standard equivalent for less than a third of the cost, but this is renowned for being a bit flakey. Alternatively I could save a bit more and get the f1.2L.

That said, the lens must be that price for a reason, and all the reviews are suggesting that it might even be BETTER than the flagship Canon prime. With comparisons being drawn to Zeiss glass, and a price tag that seems very high, you can only assume that this lens really is a world beater - I just wish I could afford to find out myself! 

Best start saving...