- Solid feeling lens with weathersealing
- Very compact for its fast f/1.4 aperture
- Fast and relatively accurate autofocus
- Very sharp wide open and exceptional central sharpness stopped down
- Smooth, pleasing bokeh
- Good color and contrast
- Very low chromatic aberration
- Very high native pincushion distortion
- Pronounced vignetting wide open
- Edges are fairly sharp, but don’t really improve upon stopping down.
In all, I was extremely impressed with the Sigma 56mm f/1.4. It’s a surprisingly small lens despite its large f/1.4 maximum aperture, and it’s quite a solid little thing. Image sharpness is excellent, and even at f/1.4, the camera produces very good sharpness across the frame, while becoming about as sharp as it gets in the central region stopped down. Bokeh is quite pleasing, and chromatic aberration control is outstanding. The 56mm does show pronounced pincushion distortion, but this is easily remedied with a lens profile. When you consider the very affordable $479 price, it becomes an even better choice. In a surprise to me, I found the overall quality to be better than on my Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2. I enjoy this Sigma so much that I sold my Fuji 56mm f/1.2 and replaced it with the smaller 50mm f/2, as if I need the wider aperture on APS-C, I can grab my Sony APS-C kit and use this lens.
To put it this way: if you shoot with APS-C E-mount, get this lens. It’s the best portrait lens for Sony’s 6000 series cameras. Sigma nailed it with this lens, and I hope to see them continue to push affordable, high quality optics such as this going forward. Bravo.
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