Photographers' eyes.

Pieces of life

Scenes in front of my eyes. Things that move my heart.Discovering the details of life through photography.

Sakiko Ohno

1980 Born in Ibaraki
2004 Graduated from Tokyo Zokei University, Department of Design
2006 Graduated from Tokyo Visual Arts
2006 Joined

Back Story The first story of SIGMA's Iconic “50mm F1.4” Art line

Back Story

The first story of SIGMA's Iconic “50mm F1.4” Art line

The first time an independent lens manufacturer releases a classic “50mm F1.4”

In 2008, SIGMA released the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM. The “50mm F1.4” is the classic of classics which any camera manufacturer would add to their line up without exception, and the “standard” lens that shows the manufacturer's policies and characteristics. This is why back in those days there were only products from camera manufacturers in the market and it was believed that it was something that lens manufacturers did not or should not develop.

“Lenses are the most important elements for photographic expression” – based on SIGMA's basic philosophy and as an inevitable choice to build a firm system as a total optical equipment manufacturer, SIGMA decided to develop a “50mm F1.4” for the first time as a lens manufacturer.

Develop the best performance “50mm F1.4” to be found anywhere

Though it is a standard lens, there was no “50mm F1.4” designed for digital cameras at that time from any manufacturer. Not only as the first interchangeable lens manufacturer, but also as the first lens developed for digital cameras, our pursuit for the best optical performance would impress even the most discriminating fans. This was the concept SIGMA set up.

The world of optics is the ultimate classical physics and a lens's image quality and its size are in a relationship of trade off. In order to achieve “the best optical performance”, based on the concept that image quality was more important than size, the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM was created from substantial optical design ensuring sufficient peripheral light from the open aperture. As a result, the front group of lenses was relatively large in order to obtain stable rendering performance and glass mold aspherical lenses were integrated into the design.

Bravely opened the way for “the best performing 50mm F1.4”

Big, heavy and expensive. At the time of the announcement, the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM attracted a lot of criticism and doubts as much of the common knowledge about “50mm F1.4” design did not apply to it. However, as soon as the product was released, the astonishing optical performance received comments such as “remarkable result that changes SIGMA's impression” and “Worthwhile challenge” from both Japan and overseas. A clear concept, high level design and production achieve high quality products. Essential and valuable “things” that are not influenced by former practices or general knowledge are suggested and the challenging attitude is maintained. “The best performance 50mm F1.4” achieved with the 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM became one of SIGMA's icons.

Renew SIGMA’s Icon with the Art line concept

SIGMA has started ">full renewal of lens lines based on clear concepts, high level design, production and inspection since 2012. The 35mm F1.4 DG HSM was released first as a flagship of the Art line achieving astonishing optical performance while pursing artistic expression at the same time. Designed as a definitive edition of large aperture fixed focal lenses that is the new standard suitable for the era of ultra-high image quality, this lens has been a bestseller that received high reputation from photo enthusiasts and journalists of all over the world.

Art | 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is the advanced “best performance 50mm F1.4” based on SIGMA's new production concept “Art line”. Large aperture lenses are condensed into 13 elements in 8 groups, and new build quality is ensured. It became the new era's “standard” that has the optical performance best suited digital cameras with higher resolution.

Excellent balance of high resolution and bokeh expression are essential for the new “standard”

For large aperture fixed focal lenses, not only resolution performance but also bokeh expression is an important element. With Art | 50mm F1.4 DG HSM, spherical aberration is corrected as much as possible at infinity shooting distance, while intentionally leaving some spherical aberration in order to ensure the softer bokeh expression when the shooting distance gets shorter. At the focused point, resolution is of course high and bokeh stays soft and beautiful. The best balance of both elements is achieved in this lens at a level that has not been possible until now.

The angle and shooting distance have been optimized. The feeling of distance, far and close, and bokeh expression have also been optimized. Basic lens work is incorporated to create the standard lens that enables photographers to achieve creative expression, so the lens is full of essence for photography expression. Enjoy the new standard lens with the best performance to be had.

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Features The new standard lens. The new standard of SIGMA


The new standard lens. The new standard of SIGMA

The “50mm F1.4” was released by SIGMA for the first time in 2008. The Optical performance suitable for this new standard and the astonishing rendering expression that made the lens as SIGMA's icon were both main elements that contributed to “the best performance standard lens”. This SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is the lens that we refined thoroughly based on our Art line concept. Moreover, the excellent balance to embrace both the high resolution performance optimized for this era of ultra-high image quality, and beautiful bokeh expression ensure that this is the ultimate example of large aperture standard lenses. No doubt this will be a must have lens among “50mm F1.4” that shows manufacturers' uniqueness and charm.

More on SIGMA GLOVAL VISION and new product line ups
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  • The best balance of high resolution and rich rendering

    Aiming thoroughly to achieve rendering performance that can meet the required standard in an era of ultra-high image quality, it gives the greatest consideration to the performance and balance in order to ensure high resolution at the point of focus, as well as to achieve soft bokeh expression at the front and back. This lens distinguishes itself from others as a standard lens that is the basic of photography expression.

  • Available mount conversion service (charges apply)

    SIGMA has started new chargeable service “Mount Conversion Service”. The mount of your current SIGMA lens can be converted to another mount system, depending on the specification of the camera body. With this service, the lens system can be retained for a long time even if you change camera brands in future.Read more

  • Material, usability and functionality – high level integration

    By incorporating HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor), and by optimizing its algorithm, smooth AF is ensured. It incorporates a brass made bayonet mount which has both high accuracy and durability. All metallic parts and the new compound material, TSC (Thermally Stable Composite), which has high affinity to metal parts, are housed internally. It is the integrated design of layout ensuring essential function and “workmanship” of manufacturing that is carried out under an integrated production system in Japan.

  • High optical performance that minimizes various aberrations

    In pursuit of the best performance standard lens, various aberrations are thoroughly corrected. SLD (Special Low Dispersion) is incorporated for axial chromatic aberration; glass mold aspherical lenses are positioned in the rear group arranged for sagittal coma flare; and the power alignment of the lens was optimized for distortion, achieving an uncompromised large aperture standard lens.

  • An all-new, all-premium lineup, thanks to SIGMA's proprietary new A1 MTF measuring system.

    However, we've now developed our own A1* proprietary MTF (modulation transfer function) measuring system using 46-megapixel Foveon direct image sensors. Applying this system, we check each lens in our new lines at our Aizu factory, our sole production site.
    * A1:Aizu 1

  • Exclusive software and SIGMA USB DOCK make customization simple.

    For our new product lines, we have developed exclusive SIGMA Optimization Pro software that allows the user to update the lens firmware and adjust the focus position and other parameters. The user will be able to connect the lens to a computer with a special SIGMA USB DOCK and use easy-to-operate on-screen controls to create personal lens specifications.Read more

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The service ensuring your lenses remain yours to use for many years.

Mount conversion service

Based on our know-how as an experienced lens manufacturer that has been creating a diverse range of interchangeable lenses, SIGMA provides this unique chargeable service “Mount Conversion Service”. With this service, the mount of your current SIGMA lenses can be converted to another mount system, depending on the specification of the camera body.

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Lens construction
13 elements in 8 groups
Minimum aperture
Filter size
Angle of view (35mm equivalent)
Minimum focusing distance
40cm / 15.7 in.
Dimensions (diameter Χ length)
ø85.4mm Χ 99.9mm
(3.4 in. Χ 3.9 in.)
Number of diaphragm blades
9 (rounded diaphragm)
Maximum magnification ratio
1 : 5.6
815g / 28.7 oz.
Corresponding AF Mounts
  • Case, hood (LH830-02) included.
  • * All figures calculated by SIGMA. Appearance and specifications are subject to change without notice.
  • * Nikon mount lenses do not have an aperture ring.
  • * This lens cannot be used with film SLR cameras with the exception of the Nikon F6 and Canon EOS-1v.
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