Sigma unveils a killer portrait lens for Sony and Panasonic cameras with a tempting price tag

Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens in the hand
(Image credit: Sigma)

Sigma has unveiled its latest prime lens, the 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art. It's available in Sony E-mount and L-mount, and it looks like a stellar lens for portraiture. 

Directly compatible with Sony cameras like the Sony A7R V, and L-mount cameras like Sigma's own FP-L, the new Leica SL3, and Panasonic full-frame mirrorless cameras such as the S5 II, the 50mm F1.2 promises excellent portraiture characteristics such as rounded bokeh and shallow depth of field, especially at its particularly wide f/1.2 maximum aperture.

Sigma says the 50mm F1.2 is its first ever lens with 13-blade aperture, and is able to create the round bokeh that's particularly favored by portrait photographers. 

What's even better is that Sigma's new lens costs around half as much as proprietary Sony and Panasonic lenses, which you could get four of these lenses for the price of a single Leica-branded alternative, with change left over – its list price is $1,399 / £1,299 (about AU$2,300).

A nifty fifty is your classic portraiture lens, but we've come a long way from the cheap and cheerful $100 50mm f/1.8's that we'd typically recommend to beginner photographers as a second lens after your standard bundled kit lens. 

Sigma's new 50mm F1.2 is a very different proposition: it's heavier (26.3oz / 745g), larger, optically complex, and destined for the kit bags of professional portrait photographers, thanks to its particularly large f/1.2 maximum aperture and 13 diaphragm blades, which create that rounded aperture when wide open.

It rivals Sony’s own pricier 50mm f/1.2 lens, and it could become one of the best Sony lenses, especially for weddings and portraits. Other features include a dual linear floating autofocus system for fast, quiet and precise focusing, and a weather-resistant build. 

Filmmakers should appreciate the lens's minimal focus breathing and clicked aperture control ring, while Sigma says the 50mm F1.2 produces outstanding sharpness across the entire image area, whatever the aperture, and excellent control over all lens distortions. Put simply, the 50mm F1.2 promises to be an all-round excellent lens that takes Sigma's range of Art lenses to a new level. It will be available to buy from April 18. 

Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens on white background

The Sigma 50mm F1.2 DG DN Art lens in the hand. (Image credit: Sigma)

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.