Sigma’s 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens Comes in Second Only to Zeiss in DxOMark Tests


Back in February, we posted about Xitek’s testing of the highly anticipated Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens. Against the $4000 55mm Zeiss Otus, Sigma came out on top in comparisons and shocked almost every photography blog out there. Today, however, DxO mark put both lenses up against each other and it seems from their end that the Zeiss Otus hasn’t been ousted just yet.


When it comes to camera testing, DxOMark is arguably one of the most respected names in the business. They are to camera lenses what AnTuTu is to Android benchmark testing. Basically, it’s pretty clear that these guys know what they’re doing. So when I heard about the Sigma underperforming Zeiss in DxOMark’s tests, it got me a bit curious. Let’s go over what exactly happened.

When you look at the actual numbers, not much really happened at all. Where Sigma’s 50mm lens was outperformed by Zeiss was light transmission, distortion control, and vignetting control. Other than that, both lenses perform to a point where you can’t tell who’s in the lead. That also means that Sigma’s lens is the only one to achieve a score as sharp as Zeiss’s.

So none of this is bad news at all. In the words of the DxOMark’s Kevin Carter, Sigma’s underscoring is “trivial”. When the biggest complaint to come out of DxOMark about Sigma’s new lens is its heavy size, then you know you’ve got something good. Sigma’s lens was beaten- but it came second to the Otus. And we’re talking about a lens coming at a quarter of the price of Zeiss’s $4000 glass. So what do you guys think would be the smart decision here? For me, I think the 55mm Zeiss Otus is something you’d want to buy if you’ve got the money and are an absolute perfectionist. But the facts are that Sigma is offering a steal, and it’s performing four times of what its price says it should be.

[Via The Phoblographer]

  • Jon

    What lens you choose comes down to who your audience/clients are. Are they pixel-peeping internet forum lurkers? Get the Zeiss. Are they average Joe citizens who aren’t photographers by trade, hence the reason they’re hiring you? Get the Sigma.

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    Poor dxo mark being compared to a little android app

  • timothyhood

    Skip the Zeiss unless the Sigma costs less than a day’s billing for your work. It’s that simple. 99.9% of people couldn’t tell the difference in the quality of images between the two.

  • Alps

    These tests miss one pretty significant point of difference, the sigma has AF, which is a MASSIVE plus and because of that feature, it’s all over for the otus.
    Even if you like manual focusing, at the same price it’s worth having AF and the sigma is cheaper.

  • echomrg

    does it really make sense to spend 1000$ for a 50mm lens?
    and i mean this as a serious question.
    nikon’s F1.4 50mm is around 450$ and canon is around 400$.
    are these lenses actually so much better in use to justify a price ranging from 2x to 10x?