Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens Review

When Sigma released the 50-100 f1.8 as a new addition to the Art line back in February, the thought of a telephoto 1.8 for APS-C bodies seemed insane. Whilst the 50 - 100 won't win any awards for its zoom range, the 1.8 constant is something that no other manufacturer has managed to keep at 100mm making this lens, one of a kind. 

I bought myself this lens as I mainly shoot portraits and I have heard from the previous buyers that any lens from their art line are usually very sharp and I bought mine from Harrison Cameras for £755. It was lens that had broken new ground and there are not many manufacturers out there that make professional glass for APS-C cameras.


- Quick Specs -

Focal length - 50 - 100mm

Sensor type - APS-C

Mount - Canon, Sony, Nikon 

Filter Size - 82mm

Aperture range- 1.8 / 16

Aperture blades - 9 

Rounded? - Y 

Weather Sealed? - N

Image Stabilisation? - N

Weight - 1.4kg 


Taken with Sigma 50 - 100 F/2 ISO 1650 1/160th - Canon 70D

Just like all of the sigmas other lenses, the 50 - 100 screams quality. It has a mainly metal build that feels well built and grippy in your hands. The two rubberized focus and zoom rings turn smoothly and whilst they seem tight at the start, over time, it loosens up slightly. Whilst this lens does not have Image Stabilization, the 1.8 aperture makes up for it allowing you to shoot in poorly lit scenes and still capture stunning images 

Lens Hood

This lens is built for use on APS-C camera bodies and its short 50-100mm range can show to be useful for a number of different scenarios. When I bought this lens, my main use would be for portraiture, it could not be more of an ideal focal length for portraits and the 1.8 aperture is just the cherry on top. This is my main workhorse of a lens when on a portrait shoot. 

Sport can also be a great use for this lens. Whilst full outdoor cross fields sport won't be ideal at such a short zoom range, this lens can definitely perform when shooting indoor sports and events. 

The 50-100 focal length is one that could be absolutely perfect for travel, however, the weight of the lens is what stops me from being able to recommend this lens for this purpose. At 1.6kgs this lens is definitely heavy. If you used to packing light and shooting with light gear, then this lens may not be for you. It definitely is something to get used to and I personally was not used to such weight but am begging to become more confident handling the lens and am used to it now after some time shooting.

- Calibration -

Out of the box, this lens was badly calibrated from the manufacturer meaning that the lens front focussed and back focused when wide open. Whilst it is not something that is unchangeable, it definitely something to consider. Sigma offers a USB dock that allows you to calibrate the lens but it is an extra £30. However, it may just be that I had got unlucky with my lens as not every user is finding this an issue. 

- Image Quality - 

At 1.8, in the right conditions, this lens is a tiny bit soft however in comparison to other lenses, is extremely sharp and once you stop down to about F/2 or F/2,8 this lens becomes one of the sharpest I've ever shot with. The colour rendition straight out of camera and the FLD elements mean that whilst shooting into the sun the haze and flare is greatly reduced. 

Vignetting and chromatic are also not too much of an issue with this lens and whilst shooting in the real world found that they weren't too much of an issue. At 100mm wide open is where vignetting is most present and that same at 50mm however, as soon as you stop down to about F/4 it is practically gone. Chromatic aberration is most prominent at 50mm and is practically invisible at 100mm.

- My Final Thoughts -

Overall, the Sigma 50-100 F1.8 HSM is once of the best-built lenses I've used so far and could be classed quite literally as a piece of "art". Sigma has released a lens that has broken ground as a Mid Tele-zoom with a constant 1.8 and they have done so extremely well. This lens has been one of my favourite purchases so far and the quality of the lens is simply superb. I tip my hat to sigma and their quality range glass. 

Pros

  • - One of kind lens
  • - Constant 1.8 aperture 
  • - Great build quality 
  • - Allows calibration 
  • - Reasonable price 
  • - Smooth Focus and Zoom ring 
  • - Extremely Sharp 
  • - Good colour rendition 
  • - HSM Focus  

Cons

  • - Very heavy 
  • - No Image stabilisation 
  • - Front/back focusing issue  
  • - Tripod collar very close to zoom ring 

 Images shot with Sigma 50 - 100 

                Are you looking to buy this lens or have any gear related questions?

I'd love to help you with any questions you have about this lens or if there is anything you think I might have missed, be sure to let me know by dropping me an email to lindsayperezphotography@gmail.com and I'll be sure to answer as soon as possible!

Here are a few links as to where you can buy the lens!

- Amazon - £858 

- Sigma Website - £890

- SLR Hut - £775

- B & H - £890