Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 50    1 2 >>
reviewer#39919 date: Aug-12-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Discover 25 F1.8
Sony AF 28 F2.8
Minolta AF 28 F2.8
Neewer 28 F2.8
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Fotasy 35 F1.6
Kaxinda 35 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7
Minolta MC 58 F1.4
price paid:230 USD (refurb)
positive:Long focus throw
Stationary filter threads
Decent petal hood
Soft case
negative:CA/softness
Diagonal astigmatism
Barrel distortion
Focus shift
Corner shading
Noisy focus gears
Very octagonal aperture
comment:This is a factory refurbished lens sold by Adorama on eBay. It looks to be in mint condition with all the original packaging and accessories. 30 mm is a nice focal length on APS-C. Sigma has a couple of newer 30 mm F1.4 lenses one for SLRs and one for mirrorless which have better reviews than this lens. These lenses are all roughly equivalent to a 45 mm F2 on full-frame, but they are all much bigger than the diminutive Minolta MD Rokkor. "MADE IN JAPAN"

The simple unit focus design moves all the glass together inside a stationary outer barrel just like the C-mount and Fotasy lenses. It only only moves a few mm from infinity to closest focus. The minimum focus distance is quite long.

This lens definitely has trouble getting sharp wide-open. The images actually shift in one direction when focused which probably indicates some alignment issue. When focused it seems pretty similar to the other fast primes.

The mirrorless 30mm F2.8 Art lens is certainly much shaper at the same apertures. But wide-open this lens allows in 4X more light. It does have better image quality than the 30mm F2.8 SAM Macro at the focus distances it covers. It is more of a mixed bag compared to the Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM.

The focusing range is very limited compared to the 30 mm Macro or even the 35 mm F1.8. This is another way it is similar to the old, fast 50 mm lenses.
reviewer#29675 date: Aug-27-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28 f1.8. Zeiss 85mm f1.4. Sigma 50mm f1.4. Minolta 50mm f1.7. Minolta 35mm f2.0. Minolta 20mm f2.8. Zeiss 135mm f1.8. Zeiss 35mm f2.8. Sony 28mm f2.0.
price paid:225 GBP
positive:Tack sharp. Well made. Compact. Much improved over earlier examples.
negative:None
comment:It is possible that I just got lucky with a brilliant example but it is much more likely that the second generation that doesn't have the flock finish had benefited from some further development.
For the money this lens is a no brainer.
reviewer#27580 date: May-20-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50/1.4 and 1.7
Minolta 50/2.8 RS Macro
Minolta 28-105/3.5-4.5
Sigma 18-200/3.5-5.6 DC II HSM
Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6 DT SAM
Sears Pentax M42 28/2.8

price paid:$220 new in box
positive:Fast
Decently Sharp
Mostly well built
Attractive
Fast and accurate AF
45mm APS-C Equivalent
D-Type/ADI compatible
negative:Slight play in focus ring when manual focusing
Not HSM
My copy has slight backfocus issue
CA is on the low side of average for my copy of the lens, but easily fixed in post.
comment:I was torn between this lens and the newer Art lens, but I found this new in box for less than half of the new version, and I couldn't justify the extra dough so I got this one.

First, this lens fills an important empty spot in my APS-C range of prime lenses. This produces a very close to "normal" view equivalent to 45mm full frame. There are few options to get this aspect for APS-C, and virtually none that are f/1.4. I am very happy with this lens so far.

I did notice what others have said about the corners being "soft", however the softness is so slight that I wouldn't even subtract points for it. If you stop down a stop or two it goes away anyway. There is some noticeable CA/fringing in my copy but it's easily removed in post. There is also minor barrel distortion, but there is a camera raw correction profile that works well. Overall, IQ is great, but not top notch. Well worth the price I paid, but I'm sure the Art lens outperforms this.

Construction quality is excellent all over, except for the minor bug of the focus ring having just a tiny bit of play in it. While shooting MF, I haven't found it to be an issue, though I do notice it. The finish is attractive and the lens looks professional and solidly built. I would give it 4.5/5 if it was an option.

As others have noted, there is a backfocus issue with this lens, at least in my copy. My a77ii has a microadjustment feature, but annoyingly, I haven't been able to nail down a proper setting. Most of the time I get a slight backfocus, however about 20% of the time I get a slight frontfocus. I have the profile set to -5 and that's roughly correct, though I'm sure it could be fine tuned better if I spent more time with it.

The included hood works great, but flare control is also a little better than average for this type of lens. Which is to say it's fine as long as there isn't a bright light shining right in your lens.

Overall I'd rate this lens 4.5/5. It could be a hair sharper, but if it had HSM focusing and the backfocus problem was fixed it would be a perfect 5!

reviewer#12129 date: Feb-13-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAL1855
Minolta 24-105mm D
Minolta 50/1.7
Minolta 50/2.8 Macro
Sigma 55-200 DC
price paid:190 EUR (used)
positive:Speed
Colors
Weight
Fixed length
negative:Plastic body
My body has sometimes autofocus problems with lens wide open (no problems when shooting at f2 and more)
comment:It's superb lens. I really like it. It's very sharp even wide open. Only corners are sometimes little bit soft when shooting wide open, but I never found it annoying.

I compared it with Minolta 50/1.7 and this lens is much better so I sold Minolta. I compared it with Minolta 50/1.4 too and Sigma wins again. Maybe it's little bit more expensive than Minolta 50/1.4 but it's much sharper and more useful on APS-C.

This lens is really worth the price i paid.
reviewer#11708 date: Feb-27-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50 1.4
Minolta 24 2.8
price paid:265 USD (Used)
positive:Digital Coatings
Large Aperture
Bokeh
Color
negative:Plastic outer casing
Not full frame compatible
comment:Purchased used. I also considered the Sony SAL 35mm 1.8.
I opted for the Sigma because of the larger aperture, metal mount and 45mm versus 52mm field of view on APS-C (since on APS-C a normal lens would be a bit shorter than 50mm equivalent).
The lens is sharp from 1.4. Focusing is accurate in Spot & Local modes. Colors are well saturated and crisp. The lens is heavy and feels substantial in the hand but the plastic casing and hood , while adequate, could be more sturdy. I have not noticed any distortion. I have encountered lens flare.
The Minolta 50mm 1.4 is great but too long for some uses. The Minolta 24mm 2.8 is also a great lens but is too wide and slow on cropped sensor for available light shooting indoors. Neither is a normal lens on the A700.
The Sigma 30mm 1.4 allows me to unobtrusively capture images that reflect my natural field of vision. No compression of distant objects or stretching of edges.
The pictures look wonderful. The subject achieves an impressive separation from the rest of the composition. The out of focus areas are rendered smoothly and attractively in the background.
A used copy costs more than the SAL 35mm 1.8 brand new but much less than any full frame lens available new or used.
Bottom line - you cant blame your camera for not being full frame with this lens on it because the large aperture allows similar control of depth of field and lots more light to boost image quality.
It doesn't disappoint.





reviewer#11517 date: Dec-3-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28/2.8 AF
Sony 30/2.8 DT SAM Macro
Sigma 50/1.4 HSM
price paid:229 USD (KEH - used)
positive:- fast maximum aperture
- good build quality
- sharp wide open and very very sharp stopped down
negative:- screw drive
- focus ring rotates during AF
- not as well built as its bigger brother, the 50/1.4 HSM
comment:- Build quality is good, but at the lower end of the Sigma EX lenses, in my opinion. The focus ring rotates during AF, and is a little scratchy on my copy during MF.
- Screw drive is quick, but not as quiet or smooth as the ring HSM on the Sigma 50/1.4
- Sharpness is good wide open, a little soft in the corners, but usable. Stopped down, it's razor sharp. If you've ever used the Sigma 50/1.4, you know what to expect here. More than usable wide open, and damn sharp from f/2 or 2.8.

Overall, if you can get a good price on this lens, and you're using an APS-C body, snap it up. the new Art version of this lens is supposed to be better wide open (and has HSM), but is twice the price of a good used copy, and this version is more than capable of doing a good job in the hands of a good photographer.
reviewer#10975 date: Mar-12-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 50 1.4
price paid:570 usd new
positive:f1.4 good for low light
sharp centres
good size
negative:soft corners
no HSM
focus ring rotates on AF
comment:good for portraits, when corner sharpness is not so important.
large aperture is handy for low light situations.
focus ring rotates when AF, which is annoying as sometimes your hand touches it.
reviewer#10928 date: Feb-17-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:330 USD (used)
positive:+ f/1.4
+ nice colours
+ bokeh
+ build
negative:- no HSM
- AF accuracy below f/2
comment:
missing
reviewer#10802 date: Dec-24-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7
price paid:250 EUR
positive:Bokeh
Sharpness
Weight
Colours
negative:Focus issues
comment:With backfocus in A580 & A300... only the A77 can correct it so I'm beginning to enjoy it.
reviewer#10650 date: Nov-4-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:bokeh
ideal range (for almost everything causual)
the feeling of beautiful image

negative:missing hsm
comment:
missing
reviewer#10648 date: Nov-4-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-Minolta 35 1.4
-Sony - AF 35 F1.4 G
-Minolta - AF 35 F2
price paid:300 USD(used)
positive:+f/1.4
+build quality
+good wight(not so heavy, but not so light)
+great BOKEH!!!
1nice colors
negative:-no HMS(why?!)
-accuracy of AF in so shallow DOF(f/1.4 - f/2.8)
-no AF/MF switch
-noisy AF
-not so sharp below f/2
comment:
missing
reviewer#10543 date: Sep-25-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL1650 16-50 F/2.8
Sony 24mm F/2
price paid:330 USD (used)
positive:Widest F/1.4 AF you can get for APS-C
Good for low light
Pretty sharp in the center even wide open
reasonably lightweight
negative:Noisy AF motor - just forget it for onboard audio for video shooting.
No AF/MF switch
Focus ring makes noise even in MF mode
APS-C only
NO HSM in Sony mount! Why?
comment:The widest autofocus lens you can buy that opens up to F/1.4. Next is the Sigma 20mm F/1.8, then the 24mm F/1.8. All three (for me) are far inferior to the Sony 24mm F/2. I use this lens to shoot low light MF video with the A77. For shooting indoor kids pictures and movies I feel it's a tad too "tele" for my purposes with the A77. Since the video crop factor with that body is an effective 1.86, this is 55mm equivalent in video mode. 45mm effective for pictures is much better.
This is a great all around lens especially for the money, but I will sell this and stick with the Sony 24/2 and 16-50/2.8. Colors IMO are a tad on the flat/warm side; definitely not as nice as Minolta colors.

If Sony would release an updated version with HSM focusing and FF compatibility it would FLY off the shelves.
reviewer#10533 date: Sep-21-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:309 €demo,like new
positive:Compact, it will always fit in a crowed photobag, silent
negative:no HSM
comment:Whe using this lens you need to put the sharpness exactly at the right place wide open.
reviewer#10190 date: May-12-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:€ 200,- mint
positive:High speed, small, (relative) small filtersize.
negative:No HSM.
comment:Not the best IQ in the corners at 1,4! But stopped down to 2,0 or 2,8 improves a lot. I use this lens to avoid the use of flashlight during wedding-receptions (or funerals). It gives a clear view with the A700 in dark enviroment. Altough it has no HSM the focus is pretty fast, even in lowlight conditions. Overall I'm quit enthousiast about this little treasure.
reviewer#9894 date: Feb-6-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:cz 16-80
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp centre
good build quality, much better than a sal 35 1.8
colour is as close as matters to the CZ 16-80 & other lenses in my collection
1.4 aperture
good manual focus control for a modern af lens
Bokeh
price
negative:slightly softer in the corners
Some barrel distortion
comment:I think I might have a good copy of this lens as I have found most aspects of it to be as good or better than what I have read in reviews so far.

This lens is a good if slightly wider equivalent to the traditional 50mm on 35mm cameras. It provides a fairly natural field of view and is very pleasant and satisfying to use for a wide variety of situations.

Centre sharpness is really wonderful from as low as f2 and useable from 1.4. It is noticeably sharper than the CZ 16-80 which itself is no slouch when compared at around 30mm and the same aperture, of course the sigma has a much wider aperture available. There is some softening off in the corners but I have found that my copy at least is not so bad as to be an issue and the edges still have good sharpness.

The AF speed is good but not as fast as some other lenses I’ve used, it is quiet enough for a screw drive af and so far has been quite accurate in low light situations.

Manual focus is one of the strong points of this lens compared to other af lenses at least. The focus ring rotates a bit further than most and this allows for fairly easy fine tuning. I suspect that the longer rotation may have something to do with the slightly slower af speed but I think it offers a good balance between af speed and mf usability.

The build is as good as I have come to expect from plastic bodied metal mount lenses, it feels solid enough, the focus ring has very little ‘slop’ and is smooth enough. There are no rattles and the front element doesn’t wobble at all.

I think this is the better choice over the sal 35 1.8 which where I am is about $500 compared to the sigma at $550. I would have gladly paid a little more for better corner sharpness but the only other option is the sal 35 1.4 g at around au$2300 which is ridiculous
reviewer#9192 date: Jun-29-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:399 EUR (new)
positive:Fast
Very smooth bokeh
Center sharpness
Build quality
negative:Corner sharpness
Loose focus ring
Clumsy hood
comment:I have a love/hate relationship with this lens.

For all large aperture shots with good center sharpness and very smooth bokeh, this lens cannot be beaten on this focal length. Stopped down, center sharpness only improves. I use cropped shots as fake-macro shots, it can be that good.

Build quality is also very good, as can be expected of the Sigma EX-series lenses. Only thing I noticed after about 6-8 months of use is that the focus ring loosens and wobbles more and more over time. As I MF all the time, this is a bit of a letdown.

As a landscape shooter, the biggest negative is the corner softness. Even stopped down, the corners are not as sharp as I expect from these kind of lenses.

Only thing I really don't understand is how hard it can be to design a hood that can actually be attached in one go?! Most of the time, I leave it off.

I don’t know about QC at Sigma, because I just own one copy of this lens. Maybe other copies are sharper in the corners, but from what I’ve read in several reviews, I doubt it.
reviewer#8626 date: Feb-7-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:250 Euro(used mint)
positive:Sharp(if you get a good copy)
Very fast
Light and small compared to other fast Sigma primes
negative:Very long MFD
Sample variation
comment:The first one I bought second hand from this lens had a backfocus problem of 2cm so I had to send it back to the seller.

The second one was tack sharp.

Unlike most modern Sigma's this lens had a very long MFD(and I like short MFD's like with the Sigma 20mm 1.8 EX DG).

For some reason I didn't fall in love with this lens(it couldn't do nothing which my Sigma 20mm 1.8 EX DG couldn't do) and I sold it shortly after I bought it without loss.
reviewer#8488 date: Jan-7-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 35mm f1.4G
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 30mm f2.8 Macro
Sigma 50mm f1.4
price paid:
missing
positive:Very good to excellent bokeh
Excellent low light results with fast f1.4
30mm on APS-C is perfect for intimate photos
Much cheaper than the deeply flawed 35G lens
negative:Not good for landscapes
Soft edges
AF can struggle on low contrast
Missing HSM for Sony mount
Geometry should be better for a prime
High sample variability
comment:Sony users are in dire need of a no-compromise fast "normal" prime for APS-C. For those crop sensors, a lens in the range of 30-35mm is considered normal (equivalent to the field of view of the human eye). Every option currently in production has significant shortcomings.

The Sigma 30mm is a great lens for the amateur user but there are serious drawbacks for the professional user. It is sharp wide open in the center, fine in the mid, with significant softening in the edges. Bokeh is much better than the 35G and somewhat better than the Easy Choice 35mm. There is slight distortion and vignetting, but not bad. Price is reasonable. There is sample variation so be prepared to check the lens thoroughly and/or be willing to send to Sigma for adjustment.

It is most suited for intimate photos in low light environments where the fast f1.4 aperture shines, the soft edges are not missed, and the bokeh can stand out. Highly recommended for family photos. The worst use would be landscapes where edge to edge sharpness is critical, for that use the 30mm Macro or 35mm f1.8 and just stop down or better yet, a wider lens (CZ 24mm f2 would be optimal).

The 35G is what makes the Sigma look like a real bargain. At 1/3 the price, you get f1.4 and very good bokeh (the 35G's achilles heel among other optical issues). The 30mm Macro is almost complimentary to the Sigma as it does everything the Sigma doesn't and is weak everywhere the Sigma is strong.

The only real contender is the 35mm f1.8. It is sharp wide open, mostly fast enough, and cheap. Build quality is a concern though, and it's still not f1.4 so doesn't quite match up in terms of low light use and quality of bokeh. Plus the price difference isn't so far apart in absolute dollars.

One other lens to directly consider is the big brother Sigma 50mm f1.4 which is an amazing design and a joy to use, it even includes HSM this time! Obviously it isn't 30mm but it's usable in many of the same situations, it is a bit more expensive (it's also full frame compatible so keep that in mind), and it's HEAVY for a prime.
reviewer#7809 date: Aug-12-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50 1.7 and 1.4. 17-35g
price paid:350 USD (new)
positive:Incredible lens. I no exactly what to expect with it, so consistent on a700. Perfect bokeh and good color.
negative:Not a full frame lens and attaching the hood always gives me trouble.
comment:Great lens for a700. Somehow more consistent than minolta primes mentioned in regard to sharpness. Don't really know how to explain that other than I know where sharp is more easily with this. Certainly as sharp as anything else this open at any price. Build quality is superior. Doesn't always attach to the camera properly, kind of have to twist it after its locked to get it to function properly, even when new.
reviewer#7803 date: Aug-10-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm f1.8
CZ 16-80 Zoom.
price paid:£349
positive:Solidly built
Sharp
Generally good distortion control
Much Cheaper than the 35G!!
negative:A little soft wide open at the edges of the frame.
comment:This little lens has surprised me in it's performance. I have read about the magic of the 35G but from reviews couldn't se that it was much better than this lens.

I am really pleased with this lens, solidly built and trial shots have pleased me. The edge softness wide open is not a major issue.


I bought it specifically for it's low light capabilities, compared to the CZ16-80 which is very sharp at this focal length. I will report on my findings shortly (wedding this weekend)!
reviewer#7160 date: Mar-26-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28mm f2.8
price paid:250 USD (New)
positive:Fast
Perfect range
quick focus
negative:none yet
comment:I love this lens! I bought it a few days ago and what a difference. I have been using my 50mm as a stand alone for indoor shots and I was constantly to close. My 28mm was not fast enough (in my opinion) for indoor and was tough to get a nice clear picture (could have just been my copy). Anyway, this little sigma will do nicely in my lineup.

This lens is sharper than my other two primes hands down. About the same build as the minoltas, the sigma has a better hood.
reviewer#6929 date: Feb-18-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-Minolta 50mm f1.7
-Minolta 24-85mm
-Minolta 28mm f2.8
-Minolta 28-85mm
-Minolta 28-105mm
-Minolta 35-200mm
-Minolta 28-80mm
price paid:
missing
positive:-Expression
-Auto Focus speed and accuracy
-Sharp
-Great contrast
-no purple fringes
negative:-Some distortion
-Strong backlight can cause problems, usually not.
-uncircular aperture
-rear element may protrude, and can be scratched if put mount down on the ground.
-poor magnification
-Even at f1.4 DOF is too wide
comment:I use this lens on a daily basis to shoot portraits of my family and friends.

I find the biggest advantage of this lens to be the expression. Both the 50mm and 28mm Minolta has a more grainy look and more unnatural foreground and background rendering. (I tried two 28mm lenses and three 50mm lenses) The Sigma is simply by far more natural looking and is completely devoid of the grainy feel.

A huge surprise was to me the speed and accuracy my A300 and this Sigma 30mm offers when it comes to auto focus. I find myself only longing for more senors, as I trust all the ones I got. I can even focus in seriously dim light with the center sensor, and hit focus. (iso3200, f1.4, 1/15s)

As I have stated in the forums, I have sold all my zooms and only shoot with this lens. I even got rid of the 50mm f1.7. This Sigma simply killed all the fun with the zooms and the old primes, as they simply could not touch this Sigma. I do not need any USM using Bibble with this lens, still getting incredible detail.

My only real complaint is the limited macro. I have taken a handful images with some mild issues with washed out colors under backlit conditions, and a lot with no such issues at all.
reviewer#6924 date: Feb-18-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony and Minolta 50/1.4, Tamron 17-50
price paid:
missing
positive:Range, speed, size, sharpness
negative:Bokeh could be better.
comment:Very versatile lens on aps-c camera, good choice for indoor and outdoor shooting. My copy had AF problem and needed adjustment (covered by warranty).
reviewer#6768 date: Jan-17-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5
Minolta 50 f/1.7 (O)
price paid:$437 CAD total (new)
positive:+Very sharp where it matters
+Wonderful contrast
+Decently smooth bokeh*
+Solid build, a nice piece of glass
+Fills a hole in Sony’s lens lineup (sort of)
negative:-Loud & rough autofocus gearing, no HSM, large focus ring rotates with AF
-Required focus calibration
-Some barrel distortion
-*No circular aperture (come on!)
comment:I’ve longed for an affordable large-aperture normal prime on APS-C and this Sigma 30/1.4 is still the only option available. The Sony 35/1.4G is too expensive and the Minolta 35/2 is nowhere to be found.

I took advantage the awesome Canadian warranty since my copy was notoriously backfocusing. Once calibrated this lens is bloody sharp in the center. Corner sharpness catches up nicely at f/8 when I need it for landscapes. Chromatic aberrations are minimal and are easy to correct. I absolutely love how this lens renders colours and contrast with the exception of skins tones being a bit reddish.

However this lens has plenty of quirks. Most serious is the omission of HSM on the Sony/Pentax mounts. Sigma’s 50/1.4 has HSM on all mounts, so how hard can it be?! What we’re left with is Sigma’s typical screwdrive gearing which is incredibly noisy. I’m used to my other screwdrive primes which are close to silent. I was also surprised to see that a lens of this class lacked a circular aperture which would’ve improved bokeh even more.

But if you like taking pictures then you’ll easily overlook these quirks. I even tried it out on a film body with amusing results.
reviewer#6681 date: Jan-5-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24mm f/1.8
Sony 50mm f/1.4
price paid:389 USD (new)
positive:Comparable field of view to a 50mm lens on a full frame camera. Center is sharp wide open.
negative:Somewhat expensive, not full-frame compatible, yellow tones compared to Sony/Minolta glass.
comment:This is a fantastic prime for a crop-sensor camera. It has good center sharpness wide open, a natural field of view, and the wide aperture is great for low-light work. Until the 35mm f/1.8 SAM came out, I considered this a must-have lens for crop sensor cameras. My only complaint is that it, like all other Sigma lenses, gives colors a somewhat yellow tone when compared to Sony/Minolta glass. It's not the end of the world and actually works well for some shots, but be aware of it.
reviewer#6310 date: Nov-2-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:km 50/1.7
tammy 90/2.8
km85/1.4
price paid:379 EUR (new)
positive:sharp
beautiful out-of-focus rendering
negative:no hsm
auto-focus hit and miss wide open in poor light
comment:i think the sharpness is great on this lens. i looked at the photozone review, and perhaps the far corners are soft wide open. but towards the edge is fine, and centre is completely sharp. sharpness really isn't an issue.

the bokeh of the the lens is fantastic. a bit of optical vingetting wide open gives it a bit of shape towards the edge of the frame, but the spherical abberation is almost perfectly corrected, which leads to perfect disks, and a great sharpness in the plane of focus.

i am very happy with this lens. i'd rather use this 30/1.4 on a crop sensor than a 50/1.7 on full-frame. the 50/1.7 on full frame would have resolution going for it, but this 30/1.4 has the out of focus characteristics nailed, and that's what affects the overall feel of the image more, in my opinion.

my copy focuses very accurately. it's a great walkaround.
reviewer#5626 date: Jul-2-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50.7, Tamron 17-50
price paid:450?USD not sure.
positive:Very nice bokeh, One of the best.
negative:No SSM for the Sony mount.
Focus problems due to such low DOF
comment:This lense have one of the best ever bokeh I have ever seen. Due to being a f1.4, it's very usable in low light situations. I use it with my alpha 100 however the problem is that Alpha 100 isn't good at focusing at low light situations and it's without a AF beam so it's real hard to focus properly but I got a 58am to help with that in low light situation, just using it as a real expensive AF beam, haha. Also the lense of such DOF confuses the camera abit so at first it was back focusing quite a bit. I had to send it to the Sigma to fix the problem. They said it's normal for the alpha series and these low DOF lenses as Alpha finds hard to focus. It depends lot on the lighting as well.
My lense was set to florecent lighting as I use it alot inside instead of outside. It all depends on the use actually, if let Sigma know what environment you will use the lense mostly in. They will set it that way for you. When my lense is used in Normal bulb lightings it back focuses quite abit at 1.4 due to my setting, but in florecent it's dead on the middle.

By the way you should always buy the non parallel import
cuz adjusting focus costs so much for parellel imported one. hahah I spent like $80 bux...just for that.
reviewer#5529 date: Jun-14-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50
Minolta 50mm RS
Sony CZ 1680
price paid:€400 (new)
positive:I wanted a ~30mm lens. I have been thinking about the 35mm Sony. I considered it too expensive for my daily use.
I like the lens for street photography (better than the 50mm Minolta)
negative:The protruding back lens
comment:Stupidly enough I formed the habit of putting lenses on the back end when changing them. The protruding last lens gets damaged that way :(
I like the lens, it's sharp (from 1,4 on, on the subject) to 2.0 where it us great allover.
The build rating is only related to the protruding end (WATCH IT)
I changed using my Minolta 50 for this one as my most used fixed focal lens
reviewer#5433 date: May-22-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:*tamron 1750
*minolta 50mm f/1.7 rs
price paid:RM1800 (+/- USD520)
positive:*i love the size. not as petite as 50f/1.4, but it's just nice.
*sharpness is good at wide open (f/1.4).
*colors are great. nothing to fault here.
*focal length is PERFECT.
*blazing fast focusing on my a350!
negative:*focusing noise is kinda annoying.
*min focus length is 1 feet. i wish it's shorter (like my tamron 1750)
*for APSC sensor, it's expensive!
comment:this focal length represents the TRUE 'standard' focal length given the 1.5x crop factor of an apsc sensor. so, it's very easy to get true-to-eye view shots. i'm quite amazed of the fact that i've not taken the lens off my camera, despite after almost a week of acquiring it, with >300 shots under its belt.

for a person who owns a fast lens (tamron 1750), this is a strong statement to how versatile the 30mm focal length is. it's also perfect for photo journalism work.

and with f/1.4, it has a superb capability to isolate the subject from the surroundings.

i particularly like the fact that i can stay with iso 200 in almost all light conditions, without having to go to iso 400 (unless i have to), and still able to shoot within reasonable shutter speed.

i truly recommend this lens to.... ANYONE!
reviewer#4799 date: Feb-3-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Rokkor 58mm 1:1.4
price paid:390 EUR (new)
positive:Wide aperture
Nice standard prime
negative:
missing
comment:A very nice prime lense that stays 80% of the time on my A700.
Very practical in low lights situations. Having such a prime is also valuable to take shots very quickly and offers a light setup. Something like a must have for APS-C sensors. I like this one as much as my old Rokkor on my X300.
reviews found: 50    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 50
  • sharpness: 4.61
  • color: 4.70
  • build: 4.52
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 4.52
  • overall: 4.58

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