Cliché? You bet, but what would you do with no images made in the morning (somehow I always manage to get into a hurry on Fridays) and a short way of only 500 meters above ground to find one?
I guess I’ll find better uses for my new Sigma 50/1.4, but here we are, the first image taken with it 🙂
Did I really need this lens? Sure enough I did not. There is nothing wrong with my Nikon 50/1.8, to the contrary, it is small, light and cheap (all that is the Sigma not), and its quality is excellent as well. If I really want something faster, then I always have the manual Nikon 50/1.2, so what the hell did I think???
Uhhh, this is not a rational thing, you know? I always lusted for a 50/1.4 with autofocus. Autofocus is such an elementary thing and such a necessity with today’s viewfinders (admittedly less so on FX), that I rarely use manual focus at all. For macro yes, but otherwise? Not really.
The current Nikon 50/1.4 is not an option because it is to be replaced in November by a new design, and the Sigma was there. Both have about the same price and all reviews of the Sigma so far have found it to be the best 50/1.4 on the market, regardless of brand.
My impressions? Focus was off like with most of my Sigmas. Dialling in an AF compensation of -15 did the trick. This could well be the fault of my camera, because half of my lenses, although most of them Sigma, need exactly -15. The same lenses that need compensation now, did fine on my old D200. Anyway. This was a matter of 10 seconds, but it could be an issue on a camera without AF compensation. In doubt try before you buy.
And after compensation? Sharp as a razor, even wide open. Autofocus seems reliable even in low light, at least as long as you stay above the minimum focusing distance. Failing to do so, I had one of two false positives.
Speed is OK, I found no hunting or pumping. I have not loked into bokeh systematically, and I doubt that I’ll ever do, but the reviews on the net have all pointed out that this is a major strength of this lens, and so far I have no reason to disagree.
Just one more thing that I should mention: I did not use a polarizer in this shot although I suppose I should have had so. As a result there was a lot of glare on the ground. A saturation layer in Multiply blending mode, and blended into the light tones, then selectively painted in with a mask, did wonders here.