I thought you might like to see how the Sigma 50mm ART lens performs on the 36MP Sony A7r camera.
As you can see these are pretty amazing results. The level of detail that the 36MP sensor on the A7r captures is astonishing. The 'hyper-reality' of an image capturing what we can't see with our eyes. (Well mine anyway!)
As you can see from the top of the page this is hardly a small, light, carry round outfit and the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 is much better suited to that. But with the Sigma attached to a tripod at ISO 50, as was the case with these shots, I'm not sure I've seen anything better.
Unfortunately an e-mount or a-mount version isn't available yet, though the a-mount is coming. Though who knows when.
FULL-SIZE IMAGE SAMPLES FOR APPRAISAL
The two pictures below are full-size samples processed from raw in ACR and Photoshop. Clicking on the image takes you to my Google Drive account where you can view the image at full size and / or download the image. Please note that these are © images and CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be re-used, re-sold or shared with anybody, anywhere, anytime. Pleae respect copyright. These images are provided so that you can make an assessment of the camera / lens performance. If I detect ANY unauthorised use or sharing, I will take legal steps to obtain compensation. If the images are uploaded to a stock photography site, please note that they will also take legal steps to obtain compensation.
Gallery of images above. Click on the images to proceed through the gallery.
I also used the above combination to take a series of 'selfies with guitar.' I finally found something that the Play Memories is good at! I had the camera facing me, prefocused with it on the 2 sec. self timer setting. I then pressed the take picture button on my iPad, got into position and got the shot. Fun to do and I got some useful guitar playing shots with my guitars.
So a good test and I got some useful stock images from it, but hardly something I'm going to be doing on a regular basis. I will be comparing this Sigma lens with Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 and it will be interesting to see which is sharper. The Sigma however has the advantage that I can use it on my Fuji's as well as my Nikon Df. Manual focus only, but certainly stellar quality.
Finally something I've touched on before. There is a lot of chatter about how adapters can diminish the quality of seriously good lenses. The thing is I've never had a problem with misaligned adapters and I really don't think that there is a problem if you use good ones. My personal favourites are Metabones, which I used above. As well as their amazing Speed Boosters they also make passive adapters which are well made and have very useful aperture indicators. I've also used Novoflex which are beautifully engineered, though expensive. A decent budget alternative is Kipon, which I used for my Fuji X-T1 test.
I've never made any comments about whether people should use adapters or not. I do use them from time to time and find them useful, but it's certainly the case that some love them and some won't use them under any circumstances. Plus they are probably more useful for video. And I can certainly see how a lens like this would produce some pretty special results on an A7s in 4K. I'll try to shoot some footage using the above combination at some point to show how it works with that.
So, more evidence to suggest that this is one of the best lenses I've ever used, if not the best. And it is good to see it coming from Sigma. As I've mentioned before, the rumour is tha Sigma are making the Leica T lenses to Leica's specifications and though that might have caused a surprise a while ago, I'm not sure it does now. Sigma are slowly but surely clawing their way up the quality lens maker ratings and must be getting pretty close to Zeiss with their latest ART offerings. Now you could pay £3000+ for a Zeiss Otus manual focus lens or just under £700 for this autofocus lens as I did. Particularly since the DxO comparison is shown below.
I've already made my choice.
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There is an interesting article on the BBC website HERE, which deals with many of the issues above.