After giving you a little impression of the SIGMA Art 50-100mmf/1.8 DC HSM lens on my photo tour in the zoo and the photos I was taking there, today you’ll get the extensive review of this new lens which I promised you. My descriptions and technical information will be highlighted with a lot of pictures I took in the zoo so you’ll get a proper insight into how things work out in practice. With the photos you’ll also receive the metadata to get a real impression. The camera I used was the Canon EOS 600D.
May I present…
As you’ve probably read already, the SIGMA 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM is part of the Art series. It was exclusively produced for APS-C format cameras and impresses with its extremely intense aperture of 1.8 covering a total focal length range between 50mm and 100mm. This focal length works really well for people, that is for portrait photography, as it combines three amazing fixed focal lengths within one lens – 50mm, 85mm and 100mm.
However, the lens with its tele-zoom can be used for landscape, travel and wildlife photography as well. Its high light intensity also makes it perfect for photos taken with Available Light.
Some brief specs with hard facts:
The SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM is available with a SIGMA SA Mount, a Canon EF Mount and a Nikon F Mount.
The lens consists of 9 aperture blades. The smallest aperture for configuration is 16. By the way the SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM has the second largest aperture diameter in the SIGMA family, which requires a soft but fast control mechanism. For this reason the aperture blades are covered or crafted with specific materials (carbon fiber and fluorine), which makes the aperture mechanism very consistent and low-wear.
The close-up limit of this lens is 95cm while the largest possible image scale is 1:6.7. The maximum image angle in the diagonal is 31.7 – 16.2.
The SIGMA 50-100mm f/1.8 measures about 93.5×170.7mm. Beyond this the lens weighs about 1,490 grams. This means quite some weight to carry. But I can already tell you – the top quality the photos offer will make you forget this aspect very quickly.
- Build quality:
The camera body doesn’t only feel stable and high-quality, it was also manufactured like that. It consists of TSC, meaning Thermally Stable Composite. This means that the camera has great form stability. The bayonet is made of brass. However, one little negative aspect is that the lens isn’t splash-proof.
The technology this lens offers
- The quality of the lens
The glass of the lenses is made of different kinds of glass elements. Parts of it consist of three FLD elements. This makes it a glass with extremely low dispersion, which provides excellent photo quality as the refraction index and the level of dispersion are clearly lower than with other typical kinds of glass. Some more advantages of the FLD glass elements are their high transparency and the fact that because of their quality they reduce chromatic aberration.
Another component of the lens is an SLD glass element providing Special-Low-Dispersion. The third essence in the glass is three SLD glass elements which, however, have a high refraction index. In addition there are other special glasses for color dispersion which eliminate horizontal and vertical color flaws in the best possible way.
With the construction of this lens SIGMA aims to reduce its susceptibility to reflexes and ghosting.
- An extension of the HSM motor
As the full name of this lens – SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM, shortly called HSM – suggests, it has an integrated Hyper Sonic Motor. With this lens the HSM motor was extended on a technical level as SIGMA optimized it by reducing its size by 30%. This is a very relevant requirement which guarantees that such an intensive zoom lens will create high quality photos.
As for the focus, SIGMA writes on its website about this particular lens that we can expect the SIGMA Art 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM to be often used in tandem with the SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM. For this reason when producing the lens the company paid special attention to making the differences between both lenses very small when zooming and focusing. The overall length of the lens isn’t changed when focusing or zooming.
Regardless of all the things I’ve mentioned above, I can tell from my personal experience when testing this lens that the focus is reliable and reacts efficiently. Moreover the auto-focus finds the focus point quite fast. Nevertheless, the focus speed was a minor disadvantage for me on my trip to the zoo because it sometimes was too slow to capture the quick movements of an animal.
An awarded lens
The SIGMA Art 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM has already been awarded a number of times with high-quality prizes – among many other awards, it received the TIPA Award 2016 as “Best DSLR Telephoto Zoom Lens”. It also won the EISA Award as “European DSLR Zoom Lens 2016-2017“ and the Plus X Award in the categories Innovation, High Quality, Design, Ease of Use and Functionality.
Not only for this reason but, of course, also because of the excellent and brilliant quality this lens provides the recommended retail price is 1,249 €. Buying this lens, however, does pay off in every way.
Despite its weight the lens proved to be perfect for me for taking pictures in the zoo. The light conditions I had to face were sometimes quite difficult. Artificial light, dark rooms and dark corners, red heat lamps, and so on. I was confronted with all different sources of light. As I can’t even consider increasing the ISO value on my camera, the very efficient open aperture of 1.8 did not only outbalance this flaw but it also gave the photos a very special and high quality look due to the resulting low depth of field. More than that, the high focal lengths allowed me to get much closer to the animals than it would have been possible in real.
I’m going to test this lens even further in the near future and present you some pictures from many different fields in photography on this blog – portrait, landscape, still-life and food photography. Be thrilled. I’m looking forward to your opinions!
I wish you all some nice remaining days in the year 2016 and a Happy New Year 2017!