Videography Review of the new Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 HSM DC Arts Lens

15Sigma has gone out of the tradition to launch a 50-100mm HSM DC Arts Lens for the cropped sensor (APS-C), and rightly so, has surprised many people for various reasons, one of which is the range of 50mm to 100mm, which translate to a 75mm-150mm, that comes close to a 70-200 range for a 35mm equivalent on a full frame body. Second, is the decision on Sigma to launch an amazing lens which can deliver superb quality on a DX or Cropped Sensor (APS-C), with of course, many conversations or arguments out there that a full frame sensor is better than a cropped sensor. Third reason why this came as a surprise for many, that could this lens be a specialty lens just for the newly launched series of bodies by the Canon and Nikon for Sports Photography such as Nikon D500?

This short user-review unfortunately, will not cover those user scenarios but something out of the ordinary, that I am testing this on my Blackmagic 4k Cinema Camera. This superb but weirdly designed video camera is built for a canon mount and besides the usual suspect of using the range of Canon lens or the third parties lenses, this specific 50-100mm f1.8 HSM DC Art Lens may be an interesting fit to find out how it performs on shooting video.

At the publishing of this article, I have yet to reformat the huge raw video footage showing the quality of this lens shooting video and most importantly, testing the focusing, and the sharpness of this lens on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Some background to this video camera, that it has a cropped sensor, captures great professional grade video in multiple format, from Raw, to ProRes422 (which is the compressed version that makes it easier to repurpose faster for delivery to multiple devices mainly for Apple devices). Rest assured, once i have reformatted the video footage showing the speed of focusing, the sharpness of the video and the colour rending of this lens on the video, i will put up a link. So in the mean time, I will go through my thoughts for now on this lens.

Amazing build quality

Expected as of any ART Series from the Sigma lineup, this lens is built like a tank. Great material, almost feel like it is made solely from a block of cast iron, and the smooth black with the rubber ring makes it extremely comfortable in the hand albeit its weight, I think it has a right feel and balance to it, especially when holding the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The focusing ring is smooth and somehow on the video camera, manual focusing is a tad faster and painless than the auto focusing, and somehow this is different from a Canon lens or other third party lens I have tried, but with the peak focusing feature, manual focusing of this lens on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is extremely easy.

Focusing

This lens may not be optimised for use on a video camera, as the focusing speed is not fantastic. You can see this on the video which i will be putting up, and while that, I am not too bothered because I know the target audience of this lens is on professional shooting on their DSLR for Sports. While that, the engine and the focusing of the lens is very quiet and I am very impressed by the silence. It is not the chunky loud focusing I have experienced in other third party lens which really bothers me especially when I am taking video as the sensitive microphone tends to pick up these noise.

ColourĀ 

This lens live up to its reputation as on the ART series, the ART implies on the brilliant rendering of colours on the video, and it is extremely sharp when shooting in f8 and above. For me, I am no expert on colour but at least it renders green as green, red as red and overall, less than a harsher saturation which gives a great overall balance to the video. It is one of the key when choosing lens for video production.

Some of the photos of the lens on my Blackmagic Cinema Camera

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