Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art review: A new go-faster standard prime

The Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art joins the super-fast f/1.2 club, available in L-mount Sony E-mount options

5 Star Rating
Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Faster isn’t necessarily better but I’m very much impressed with the Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art. It delivers a really tight depth of field with beautiful bokeh, without compromising on sharpness where it counts. And it’s reasonably compact, lightweight and affordable for an f/1.2 nifty fifty.


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    Delicious image quality

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    High-end handling

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    Comparatively affordable


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    Necessarily bigger and weightier than a standard prime with a slower aperture rating

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Sigma lenses have long been impressing me, since the 35mm film days of my youth. Everything shifted up a gear in 2012, with the advent of the company’s ‘Global Vision’ line-up of Art, Contemporary and Sports lenses. The new 50mm F1.2 prime is definitely of the Art variety, designed to maximize creative expression. It takes on all-comers in a bid to be one of the best lenses for Sony cameras and the best lenses for L-mount cameras on the market.

There’s actually no shortage of Sigma 50mm lenses available in E-mount and L-mount. I’ve already been won over by the slightly slower Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN Art and the relatively small, fun-sized Sigma 50mm F2 DG DN Contemporary primes. In the E-mount camp, the fully fast f/1.2 lens goes head-to-head with the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master. Key benefits of the fast aperture include the availability of a really tight depth of field, and the ability to maintain fast shutter speeds for freezing motion, under very low lighting conditions.

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Mount optionsSony E (FE), Leica L
Lens construction17 elements in 12 groups
Angle of view46.8 degrees
Diaphragm blades13
Minimum aperturef/16
Minimum focus distance0.4m
Maximum magnification0.16x
Filter size72mm
Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master

For Sony shooters who prefer to stick with ‘own-brand’ lenses, the Sony FE 50mm F1.2 G Master is a direct equivalent but costs around 50 per cent more to buy.

Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN Art

If you don’t feel you need to stretch to an f/1.2 aperture rating, the Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG DN Art is a standout buy. It’s a little lighter in weight and outstanding value at the much reduced price.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.