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Sigma brought some exciting new glass, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens. I wanted to give it a try and I wanted to compare the background rendering with my trusty Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens. Was it really that sharp wide open? And what about the background rendering, the bokeh?
I decided to try both of the lenses outside and in studio setting, while testing for bokeh, rendering of flare and local contrasts. I wanted to adjust my light to give the images a soft, dreamy effect while retaining details, acutance.
Working with two different types of glass was a breeze. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art gave me much flexibility: I could include more of the background, more of the context, while retaining the same facial proportions because I didn’t have to step back to zoom out. The results were tack sharp! Unfortunately, the background was rendering a little bit busier but to me it wasn’t clear if it’s caused by the focal length or the properties of the lens. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM was rendering the background ultra smooth.
Overall, both of the lenses are great performers. I will keep on using the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM for half-body and closeup shots and I will use the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for environmental portraits: images with full body and/or more of the surroundings.
I’m letting you guess which images are taken at 50mm and which ones are taken at 85mm. Of course you can check the EXIF information but as you can see.. it’s not that much of a difference. In my work the subject and the light makes the image. And the lens choice? Well, of course it’s important but also a simple kit lens can do the job, as long as the light metering is perfect and the color calibration is good. And the model of course.. thanks Ramona! 🙂