This morning I compared on paper the new Nikon 50mm f/1.4G and Sigma's 50mm f/1.4 EX HSM. That was the plan anyway. I started by overlaying the MTF charts, but then got greedy and overlaid a whole bunch of charts together until I landed with this mess...
Yes, I interpolated the Leica and Zeiss charts in MS paint too. ;^)
The word is out that Nikon's not so proud of their new Fifty at the moment. At least that's what Nikon's body language is saying: it's supposed to go on sale in a little over a month's time but they don't want to let the press touch it in America. Or even take pictures of it from behind a glass box. That smells.
My take from this is that they hadn't predicted Sigma's move and played it too safe. They must have known this for months, I don't know why they went ahead and announced a loser into the competitive marketplace. The least they should do now is delay by a few months and announce that production copies of the lens will be nano-coated. From a brand image perspective that would deflect some of the pressure by tying-in a popular new feature, and deliver more customer confidence with every box. "Who knows what coatings Sigma uses?" would be message between the lines then.