Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art is the lighest lens in its class

Mar 26, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art is the lighest lens in its class

Mar 26, 2024

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

Sigma has announced a new Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens (buy here) for full-frame mirrorless cameras. Of course, that means just Leica L mount and Sony E mount cameras. At least for now.

The new lens offers a very bright f/1.2 aperture with a “standard” 50mm focal length. Despite its wide aperture, Sigma says it’s the lightest weight lens in its class, suitable for a wide range of applications.

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Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art – Light and bright

The Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens weighs in at 745g, which is pretty lightweight for a lens with this wide an aperture. In comparison, Canon’s RF 50mm f/1.2 (buy here), for example, weighs a whopping 950g. Sony’s FE 50mm f/1.2 GM (buy here) weighs closest, at 778g.

This light weight will no doubt be a big draw for customers who might have been considering the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art (buy here). That lens weighs 660g, so users aren’t going to have to carry too much extra to go up to f/1.2.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

Of course, older DSLR lenses were significantly lighter, oddly enough. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L lens (buy here) for Canon EF mount DSLRs weighs only 580g. So much for mirrorless making things lighter, huh?

Although it’s a hair wider in diameter, the Sigma 50mm f/1.2 Art is actually a little shorter than the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art. The 50mm f/1.4 Art measures 78.2 x 111.5mm, while the 50mm f/1.2 Art measures 81.0 x 108.8mm.

Wide f/1.2 Aperture

The bright f/1.2 aperture offers a number of advantages. That it opens so wide and lets in so much light means that it’s excellent in low-light conditions, offering about a stop and a third more light than a 50mm f/1.8.

That means you can shoot at a lower ISO or with a faster shutter speed to help ensure a good, sharp, well-exposed photo. It also means you can get those super shallow depth-of-field shots when you want them. That’s the real point of an f/1.2 lens for most people.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

The paper-thin depth-of-field never really attracted me to wide lenses like these, but the ability to shoot in lower light conditions can be invaluable. For things like street photography, especially as it’s still getting dark quite early for most of us, this lets us keep shooting for longer.

Minimised focus breathing and aberration

Sigma says that the lens has been optimised for minimal focus breathing. The company hasn’t said if the Sony E mount version of the lens is compatible with Sony’s focus breathing correction or if it will become available in the future, but it has it built into its very design.

It has a rounded 13-blade diaphragm, which Sigma says produces “rich and beautiful bokeh without colour bleeding”. They say that it eliminates double-line bokeh, which often presents as a bright outline around each bokeh ball. Overall, it should offer the smoothest of smooth bokeh.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art

Aspherical elements, along with various coatings, help to suppress the usual array of lens problems. Flare, ghosting, chromatic aberration, contrast, coma, spherical aberration and more have all been addressed.

Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Specs

50mm f/1.2 DG DN50mm f/1.4 DG DN
Focal length50mm50mm
Max aperturef/1.2f/1.4
Min aperturef/16f/16
Lens mountSony E, Leica LSony E, Leica L
FormatFull-frameFull-frame
Angle of view46.8°46.8°
Minimum Focus Distance40cm45cm
Optics17 elements in 12 groups14 elements in 11 groups
Aperture blades13, rounded11, rounded
Focus typeAutofocusAutofocus
StabilisationNoneNone
Filter size72mm (front)72mm (front)
Dimensions81.0 x 108.8mm78.2 x 111.5mm
Weight745g670g
Launch Price$1,399$849

Price and Availability

The Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens is available to pre-order now for $1,399. The lens begins shipping in mid-April.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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