With a field of view that’s said to closely match that of human vision, the humble 50mm lens is one of the most popular lenses available. So much so, you’d be hard-pressed to find a professional photographer who doesn’t own one or at least a lens in another format with an equivalent field of view. Great image quality coupled with a compact design and fast maximum aperture are just two reasons why ‘nifty fifties’ are one of the most popular lenses available. And that’s before we even begin discussing the many applications including portraits, fashion, documentary, wedding photography and much more. In fact, it’s probably easier to list the subjects you can’t shoot with a 50mm lens.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is Sigma’s current 50mm offering and competes directly in one of the most crowded and competitive lens groups for DSLRs. With camera manufacturers and third-party lens manufacturers all producing their own version of this focal length, sometimes two, there’s plenty of choice out there for photographers.

Released in 2014, the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art was a highly anticipated lens that certainly didn’t disappoint. At 815g it’s significantly heavier than comparable lenses, but this is due to the use 13 elements in 8 groups, which is more glass than is usually used in a 50mm lens. The 50mm f/1.4 Art replaces the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM released in 2008 and was itself a popular and highly regarded lens. And at 505g it too was heavier than the competition, but still 310g lighter than the 50mm f/1.4 Art.

The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art is exceptionally sharp, and indeed popular. Plus, as a fairly recent release, it’s perfectly matched with modern ultra high-resolution cameras in fantastic resolving power. Not to mention excellent overall image quality and pleasing bokeh – exactly what you want in a 50mm prime.

Price: £749