This is the lens Sigma wants to compete with the manual focusing, $4,000 priced Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 sells for $949 (and has auto-focus). Btw, in the meantime we know that the Sigma easily holds up to the Zeiss.
About build quality:
The 50mm f1.4 Art lens looks as spectacular as the 35mm f1.4–plus it feels like Hasselblad would have made it […] Everything about the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens screams about its quality
autofocusing to be speedy and accurate for the most part providing that the focusing point is over a clear contrasting point. In low light situations, the focusing struggled a bit
About image quality:
When it comes to image quality of the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens, it truly is deserving of its Art moniker. This lens delivers some of the most beautiful image quality that we’ve seen and surely puts lots of the first party offerings to shame
Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 is super sharp. We find it to be incredibly sharp when shot wide open and that is manages to reach its critical sharpness at f8
As far as colors go, We don’t think that the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens is better than the 35mm f1.4 Art offering
Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 Art DG HSM is an exceptional lens. Starting with the design, it very much is in line with the company’s 35mm f1.4 Art optic. The outside feels and looks like something that Hasselblad might make. It feels just so great in your hands that you’d never want to let it go. In fact, if you’re a big fan of the 50mm field of view you might never want to give it up.
Users also just won’t be able to complain about the image quality. The sharpness, bokeh, colors and look are top of the class despite some personal gripes. We feel like most users will be very satisfied. Once again, if you purchase the lens and are still looking at/talking about how the Zeiss performs better, then you should probably just go for the Zeiss. Again though, not everyone can afford it.
The Phoblographer’s review of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens comes with much more information, and a rich set of sample pictures. This is a killer lens at a killer price, there is no excuse not to buy it at this price
Sample pictures shot with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens mounted on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (price & specs):