Sigma Announces the Ultra-Fast 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art Lens


Fast, sharp, and small, Sigma has just announced the 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens for L-Mount and Sony E systems. This is the third 50mm DG DN lens in Sigma’s lineup and among the brightest lenses the company has ever released, offering exceptional performance in low-light conditions, as well as giving you the utmost in depth of field control. What’s truly special about this normal-length prime, though, is its sleek design that’s hardly larger than the 50mm f/1.4 and 30% smaller than the 35mm f/1.2 lens, giving you speed and compactness together.

Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens
Sigma 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lensXiao Ting Wu

Sigma states that a new “streamlined optical design” is the key reason it was able to make this lens so small (relatively), deeming it the lightest in its class—this 50mm f/1.2 weighs 1.6 lb (745g) and measures 3.2 x 4.3" (81 x 108.8mm).

  • Compared to the brand’s own 50mm f/1.4 DG DN Art, this f/1.2 version is just 2.8mm larger in diameter, manages to be 0.7mm shorter, and weighs 75g (2.5 oz) heavier.

  • Next to the admittedly petite 50mm f/2 DG DN Contemporary, the f/1.2 is 400g (14.1 oz) heavier and 1.5" (30.8mm) longer.

  • In comparison to the other f/1.2 lens, the 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens from 2019, this 50mm f/1.2 is more than an inch shorter and weighs 345g (12.2 oz) less!

  • The 50mm f/1.2 shares a 72mm filter size with the 50mm f/1.4, while the 35mm f/1.2 requires larger 82mm filters.

Alexandre Souetre

Impressive size aside, the other key attribute of this lens is its impressive speed. At f/1.2, there is an objective advantage over f/1.4 for those working in the lowest lighting conditions or wishing to blur that background with shallow depth of field. Plus, this is the first Sigma lens to feature a 13-blade rounded diaphragm, so it’s poised to be a true bokeh monster. But the advantage of f/1.2 vs f/1.4 is there and, in practical terms, the surprising benefit is the extra speed comes at almost no cost in size. The f/1.4 still has the weight advantage, but if you’re up to balance an extra couple of ounces, the f/1.2 makes a strong case for certain shooting applications, like nighttime work and portraiture. As an Art-series lens, the optical quality is present with the inclusion of aspherical elements to control distortion and achieve high sharpness throughout the aperture range.

Noriko Yamaguchi

Among other new design elements, the 50mm f/1.2 also sports a dual HLA-driven (High-response Linear Actuator) floating focus mechanism that manages quick, quiet, and accurate AF performance, and also contributes to the smaller overall design. The dual linear motor design, coupled with a floating elements layout, helps to better ensure consistent sharpness throughout the focusing range (down to the minimum 1.3' focusing distance) and also helps suppress focusing breathing to benefit video shooters. Also, the L-Mount version of the lens permits assigning the focus ring to linear or non-linear MF response when used with a compatible camera.

Meg Loeks

Rounding out this fast normal-length lens’s feature set is a dust- and splash-resistant build, a front element coating that resists water and oil, and a durable brass bayonet mount. It has a manual aperture ring that can be de-clicked and there is an AFL button as well as AF/MF switch for tactile control.

Sigma’s 50mm f/1.2 DG DN Art lens adds another degree of nuance to its 50mm lineup, contrasting the f/2 and f/1.4 versions as the option for photographers and filmmakers looking for a premium normal-length lens that prioritizes speed without bloating in size or weight.

Alexandre Souetre

What are your thoughts on Sigma’s new normal-length prime? Are you going for the new f/1.2 or sticking with the f/1.4 or f/2? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below.