Today on the Slanted Lens we are taking a look at the Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens compared to the Panasonic Lumix s Pro 50mm 1.4 lens. Both of these lenses are L mount lenses, which is kind of becoming a bigger deal as time goes on – Panasonic has L mount cameras, Sigma has L mount cameras – it’s much more used in the industry when it has been in a long time and of course Sigma comes in at a fraction of the cost, just over $800 compared to $2300!
So let’s take a look at these. Let’s see if the Sigma is as sharp, if it’s as fast, and also the bokeh and take a look at the image quality.
IMAGE QUALITY TEST
So the first thing that most people are going to assume when they spend more than twice the money on a lens is that it’s going to be a lot nicer of an image – it’ll be sharper, have better color, better contrast – I’d sure hope so!
Here we have images from both lenses – all the settings are the same and first of all in terms of sharpness they look identical to me. They both are super sharp!
My first thought is the Panasonic does have a little more contrast – it’s a nicer image, no doubt about it – but is it a minor difference. Overall they look very similar!
AUTO FOCUS TEST
This is a really important test these days because of the most important things your lens can do is focus!
Here we have screen captures of both lenses and the cameras were focusing on infinity and then bringing it to her face. We do this several times with each camera and they seem to be responding the exact same!
So to get faster auto focus, would you spend that kind of money? Probably not!
Now on to the sharpness test – I’m using the SpyderLENSCAL because I love this little device for getting my lens as square as possible, and I’ve got this graduating scale to make sure I’m focused right in the middle. The idea is not to find the point of focus, but to see how in focus it is at the most critical focus point.
It looks like we missed the 0 on the Panasonic, but we still have a place to look that’s absolutely in focus.
When you zoom in close, there is a weird color ghosting on the Sigma and the Panasonic is not doing that. So that is a solid advantage that the Panasonic has.
BUT let’s look at a real world photo.
First of all, the most contrast we’re going to find in these images is down on these little buttons, we’re also going to look at her hair line to see if we can see any of that color casting but we’re not seeing it.
It seems a bit cleaner the way the Panasonic falls out of focus in comparison to the Sigma.
I actually think the bokeh looks nicer on the Sigma – it’s very round on the 1.4 whereas it’s more football shaped on the Panasonic.
Here the Sigma starts to go a little oval and the Panasonic is more round, which is interesting.
You’re not really getting the bokeh here, but the Panasonic has more blades. So that bokeh is going to be a little less hexagonal.
Why are you wasting your money on brand name lenses?!
The $1300 extra dollars you’re going to spend on the Panasonic gets you a little less chromatic aberration is the out of focus portions of some images that have very high contrast and fine detail and it has slightly more pleasant bokeh at times and slightly more contrast, which you can adjust in post.
So the reality is that there isn’t that huge of an advantage. I had hoped that there would be but the Panasonic just didn’t blow the Sigma out of the water at all. So looking at these two, I’d buy the Sigma.
Looking at the picture quality test again – if you added a little contrast to the Sigma and showed it to anybody, they’d probably say this is the same lens.
I would buy the Sigma and then buy another Sigma and I would still have 2-3 hundred dollars left over. Not that the Panasonic is a bad lens at all – it’s very well made, performs well all across the board, it’s just hard to beat the way the Sigma comes in so close.
So why are YOU wasting your money on name brand lenses? Tell us!
Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickin!
Sigma 50mm 1.4