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Sigma Standard Prime lenses for Four Thirds DSLRs

Standard lenses are so-called because they match the magnification of the human eye. As such they produce very natural-looking results and are ideal general-purpose models. The standard focal length for film and full-frame DSLRs is 50mm and before the widespread adoption of zoom lenses, almost every photographer owned one.

Like most fixed focal length lenses, standard 50mm models generally have a much brighter aperture (smaller f-number) than zoom lenses, allowing them to gather more light and be more flexible in low light conditions. These smaller f-numbers also allow you to more easily blur the background on portraits.

Lenses with f-numbers smaller than f2 are normally very expensive, but 50mm models are the exception. Due to their ease of construction and high manufacturing volumes, 50mm lenses with very bright apertures can be very affordable – and models with f1.8 or f1.4 apertures are most common. To put these numbers in perspective, most kit zoom lenses at 55mm have an aperture of f5.6. A lens with an f1.4 aperture can actually capture 16 times more light. This low light performance also makes them great for astro-photography. Sigma offers one 50mm lens with a bright focal ratio of f1.4, making it great for low light work or blurring backgrounds.

As always, bear in mind any reduction in field due to your DSLRs sensor when choosing a lens. Models complying with the Four Thirds standard have a reduction factor of 2x, which effectively turn 50mm lenses into 100mm models. So if you actually want 50mm standard coverage, you should be considering focal lengths closer to 25mm in our wide-angle prime section. That said, an equivalent of 100mm gives you short-telephoto coverage which is ideal for portrait work, especially with the small f-numbers allowing very blurred backgrounds. As such, 50mm lenses are proving very popular with DSLR enthusiasts. For a full explanation of lens specifications and examples of coverage at different focal lengths, check out our Camera Labs Lens Buyers Guide.


Sigma 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM

Focal length: 50mm
Aperture: f1.4
Lens mount: 4/3 mount
Equiv on 4/3 DSLR: 100mm
Anti-shake: No
AF motor: USM
  Closest focus: 45cm
Filter thread: 77mm
Lens hood: TBC
Construction: 8 el. / 6 groups
Diaphragm blades: 9
Weight: 505g
Size (diam x length): 85x68mm

Sigma lenses for Four Thirds DSLRs
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