Finally, we know how much the Otus-killer will cost and when it will be available. According to Sigma, the 50mm f1.4 Art is supposed to be available in Germany starting in May, with a recommended retail price of €999.
Remember: during the CES in January many people within the photography community thought that Sigma was pulling off a marketing stunt by calling the 50mm Art a direct contester to the Zeiss Otus. But I did not fall for that rumour since I am aware that Sigma employs many excellent engineers and designers, who can easily build a lens of such quality.
The bigger challenge I saw in making the lens affordable while keeping the high-level, Otus-like imaging quality. Following first tests at Xitek and Imaging Resources/SLRGear, it was clear that the imaging quality was excellent and equivalent to the Otus‘. Yet many, including myself, were afraid that such great performance will mean a great/high price as well. I really did not expect the price tag for the Sigma to read such small numbers and undercut the price for the Otus by that much. But don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining! I am rather glad that I was wrong. 😉
As already mentioned, Imaging Resources/SLRGear has tested the 50/1.4 Art – one of the first tests at all. In the meantime they have posted some samples on Flickr. At Gear for Image you can find some extra samples and an extensive comparison with the Canon EF 50mm f1.4 and Sony 50mm f/1.4 ZA. They compared resolution, distortion, CA’s and Bokeh. At DigiFotoPro, Fstoppers and ThePhoblographer one can examine dozens of additional pictures.
And finally: Sony and Pentax users can cheer-up. At the end of April, beginning of May, the USB Dock will be available for both mounts.