Sony AF DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 37    1 2 >>
reviewer#38882 date: Jun-14-2017
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 own this lens
compared to:Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.8
Sony 18-55mm SAMII
Minolta 50mm f1.7 (both versions)
Minolta 24-50mm f4
Minolta 35-70mm f4
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro
Various other lenses (I seemed to have reviewed 24 now. Obviously too much spare time!)
price paid:£70 s/h
positive:Nice focal length
small
compact
sharp
excellent MFD
negative:FL A bit short for a macro lens
Aperture compared with 35mm f1.8
comment:A curious lens in some respects as the 1:1 macro specification is achieved with the subject less than an inch (20mm) from the front of the lens, though not the glass, which is well recessed. The attraction is the combination of a nice focal length, just a bit wider than the ‘standard’ 35mm (equivalent of 50mm on FF) and an ability to focus as close as desired in one range with working AF.
Yes, everyone says the focal length is really too short for a macro, though on APS-C it is equivalent to the Min 50mm f2.8 or 3.5 macro which everyone raves about. Go figure!
I like it. The focal length is just a bit wider than the 35mm f1.8 (which is a great lens) and loses a stop and a bit in aperture, but the close-focus capability makes up for that. It's a good general purpose prime lens to have on your APS-C camera and the ability to focus closely on flowers is worth having. It can also do those ultra-wide DOF images too.

It has a 49mm filter thread which is a bit irritaing if you have acquired filters and fittings for the mostly-55mm dt lenses, though the 50mm f1.8 dt is the same, and it has no bayonet or hood unlike the 35mm dt. It has a small flat front element barely recessed at all, so maybe it could do with a hood?
The lens has three separate groups of elements, a fixed rear and two moving groups, unlike the other two dt primes which are classic all-moving designs. It isn't a real challenger for proper macro (for insects the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro is best with or without a TC for extra reach) but a small light walk-around lens with a useful close-up & macro capability and reasonable low-light performance (though doesn’t AF as well in the dark as the 35mm f1.8). It can achieve near-macro with background still recognisable if desired, as 30mm focal length and f16 gives a 2mm entrance pupil which will make backgrounds less blurred than usual in macro shots.

Reviews on http://kurtmunger.com/sony_dt_30mm_f_2_8id115.html praise it, and the test chart at http://www.photozone.de/sony-alpha-aps-c-lens-tests/561-sony30f28dt?start=1 shows it to be very good wide open (f2.8) with very low CA, and to have superb sharpness over f4-f8 (best in centre at f4 and at edges at f5.6, so is very useable over f2.8-f4 as well as all the way to f16 when needed.
Kurt Munger says bokeh is better at f4 than f2.8 and lens is good at flare & ghosting, though some light fall-off in corners at f2.8. There is also a very complimentary review at .
DXOmark (https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Sony/DT-30mm-f2.8-Macro-SAM-mounted-on-Sony-SLT-Alpha-77-II---Measurements__953) shows the corners to be slightly soft at all apertures with the difference being more marked at f4, f5.6 and f8 best at f2.8!), but it isn’t known at what distance they measured this. Suspect it is better close up. Away from corners the lens is sharp at all apertures to f11.

My own tests show no CA at full aperture on high-contrast tree branches into the corners and edges, but quite significant bowing of horizontals near the screen edges (worse than the 35mm dt). These are corrected in-camera for jpegs but not during live view (EVF or LCD). Take a picture on an EVF camera and watch the picture straighten half a second after taking the picture! I have given it a 5 for distortion because it gets in-camera corrections in jpegs which I use. Without that, it would probably get a 4.

The 30mm f2.8 has a long focussing action (1/2 turn) which works nicely in MF, and this is just as well since AF is quite useless in close-ups, being unreliable, slow, and very inaccurate when it does finds focus. Turn off steadyshot*, put it on MF, use the peaking function to focus and check the histograms carefully in all colours, and it will reward you with sharp and pleasing results. Or you can just half-press the shutter in AF and move yourself to get the subject sharp, though you won’t get peaking to help.

* On the A58 at least, the basic 2-axis steady-shot/IBIS works really well on long teles, but at macro distances it makes things much worse rather than better even hand-held, presumably since the dominant motion is translation rather than angular and the software/hardware can't cope with that. Hadn’t noticed it before getting this lens but a more modern 5-axis SS might work better.

On film, I don't notice any vignetting through the OVF at normal focussing distances though a dark corners can appear in the corners of prints, so I guess if you use FF this would be worth a try for square crops. And why don't Sony give the option for square crops in their cameras?
reviewer#32724 date: Dec-3-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:Sony SEL 30mm F3.5 Macro
Sigma EX DG 50mm F2.8 Macro
Sigma EX 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC HSM Macro
price paid:100 USD
positive:-af stabilty with dim light
-small
-cheap
-sharp
-1:1
negative:-plastic , plastic and plastic
-non full/limit switch
-noisy af
comment:Really sharp even at 2.8 . Angle is good for fast shutter speed .
reviewer#21425 date: Nov-14-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 24 F2.8 II
Sony AF 28 F2.8
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony DT 18-55 SAM I/II
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta AF 28-135 Macro
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
price paid:108 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Very Sharp
1:1
Minimal CA
Little barrel distortion
Curved aperture
Smooth bokeh
negative:Inaccurate AF
Bluish color cast
Minor purple fringing
Lack of any sort of hood
49 mm filter size
comment:This is the second cheapest Sony lens behind the 50 f/1.8. With the caps on it looks practically identical to the 50/1.8. Both use the less common 49 mm filter size and lack hoods. The main body is also shared with the other two Easy Choice Lenses (35/1.8 and 85/2.8). The 30/2.8 has a 180 degree focus throw like 85/2.8, but the barrel doesn't extend as far as that lens.

Unlike the other macro lenses and the primes the tiny front element of this lens is close to the front of the lens and rather unprotected. There is no provision for a hood other than the filter threads.

This lens has much better image quality than the discontinued 28 f/2.8 full frame prime. The semi macro mode of the Minolta AF 28-135 has a similar field-of-view except with considerable purple fringing.

As long you can get very close to the subject this lens works very well. The 30 mm focal length gives it generous depth-of-field. It has slightly better contrast than the Tamron 60/2 at 1:1. It is amazingly sharp when used with a generic 7-element 2X teleconverter. The combination doesn't quite have the flatness and consistency of the 60 mm Macro, but the center sharpness is great. SAM AF works well using the Kenko Teleplus 1.5x DG and 1.4x DGX teleconverters.

The more I use this little lens, the more impressed I am with it. The 35 f/1.8 is probably a better everyday lens because of its AF accuracy.
reviewer#12096 date: Jan-20-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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 Macro 2.8
price paid:180
positive:It's cheap.
Sharp
Close focusing
Good colour
light
small
negative:It's plastic fantastic
Close focusing
comment:I used this lens for a few years when i had the a35 & a65. For the money it's a great lens. It's sharp, easy to use and has the usual Sony colour.
Achieving 1:1 means the lens has to be about an inch away from the subject, which will cast shadows and give you a razor thin DoF (which has it's own pros and cons), similarly, if you're wanting to photograph insects they'll mostly likely be spooked by having a lens that close to them, if not the noisy AF will probably disturb them. I wouldn't recommend it for wildlife but for objects, product etc it's very good.
If i'd have paid £500+ i'd be annoyed, but i didn't, so i was very happy with this lens and was sad to see it go.
reviewer#11367 date: Oct-5-2013
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:Sony 50mm F/1.8
price paid:80 GBP (used)
positive:Cheap, light
negative:Close effective distance
comment:Got this just to play with and explore macro world.

Things I liked- very light and compact, like other Sony lenses in this series, I have 50mm /1.8 and it's about the same, I don't mind about plastic mount, really don't care.

Image- need some practice, but looks like, that you can get some nice shots if light is proper, but that's the problem of photographer not lens.

Maybe the only downside is that 1:1 magnification is only inch away of object, so it's more difficult to adjust tripod and get the light where you want it. Anyway, for the price I paid, it will be in my bag for some time.
reviewer#11342 date: Sep-15-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
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:Tamron SP 90mm macro (55B)
price paid:£129
positive:Very sharp
Good contrast
No flare with infrared
Light
Gives 1:1 reproduction
negative:Slightly noisy focus motor
Plasticky construction
Close working distance can cast a shaddow
comment:Surprised how sharp this lens is for the price. It has really unlocked the resolution of my 24MP sensor in A65. My old Tamron was manual focus and manual aperture control which was a bit of a hassel.
I have had no problems with central flare when using it for infrared photography.
great value for money.
reviewer#11271 date: Jul-27-2013
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100mm f2.8 macro.
price paid:120 GBP (with c/b)
positive:Excellent value for money. Light Weight. Small size. Pretty good Bokeh. Fabulous all rounder lens.
negative:None for the price.
comment:For a first foray into Macro it's a good intro. It also does a great job as a prime if it's the only lens you have with you.
reviewer#10877 date: Jan-27-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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:minolta 50mm 2.8
price paid:$140 used
positive:light, sharp and versatile
negative:plastic
comment:loving it more the more i use it. decent for landscape, some indoors capabilities, and of course macro. for less than $200, its value is well underrated. a must have if you like fun, sharp pics, and cheap lens.
reviewer#10805 date: Dec-28-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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:100mm Vivitar Plastic Fantastic
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 35-70mm f4 'Macro'
price paid:119 GBP
positive:Fast positive AF
Circular aperture
negative:No AF with a tele converter
30mm FL = Short working distance

comment:The price paid was after the £30 Sony Cashback.

Excellent macro lens. The short FL gives good DoF compared with my 100mm macro. At 1:1 the subject is almost touching the lens but this is characteristic of the 30mm FL. With a 2x TC (8 contacts), there was constant hunting with AF; with a 1.4x TC with only 5 contacts, no AF. However, at macro distances, the MF had a short sweet travel making it easy to use.

The focus system seems to be a combination of Internal and External mechanisms. The lens extension is too short for true external focus. It would appear that the rearmost element remains fixed when focusing and this might explain it. This shorter extension does make it easier to frame a macro subject, which would be more difficult with true external focusing, and also makes the focus faster.

The 5/4 lens elements help to give excellent colour rendering with good contrast reminding me of those older Tessar lenses!
reviewer#10548 date: Sep-28-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50/2.8 Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, light and inexpensive.
negative:None as yet
comment:I bought this lens around the same time as purchasing the Sony 85/2.8. I am really pleased with this lens both for it's close-up performance and as a moderate wide-angle. The lens makes a great companion to the Sony 85/2.8 as part of a lightweight walk around kit with the NEX-7.
reviewer#10446 date: Aug-11-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 f1.4
price paid:200(SGD)
positive:Light
Cheap
Sharp
Macro capability
negative:Feels very plasticky
Loud AF motor
No Internal Focus
comment:A lens worth buying if you want it's versatility of a 30mm as well as a wide angle macro lens. However Its best not to do macro with this because it may damage your front element if you are not careful enough.
reviewer#10142 date: Apr-24-2012
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:I have nothing else to compare it to !
price paid:100 GBP used
positive:Light
Pretty sharp
Reasonably fast
Reasonably priced even when new
Good general purpose/walk round lens too
negative:A bit plasticy !
comment:Great little lens, pretty well lives on my A100 as a back-up/work camera.
Highly recommneded
reviewer#9846 date: Jan-24-2012
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:Sony 18-55
price paid:£120.00
positive:Macro
Lightweight
Prime
negative:Plastic
Not long enough
comment:For your 1st macro , you cant go wrong with the price tag,
And its a prime and iq is pretty good to,
Only draw back , just not long enuff, so i got some extensions, and makes all the diffrence.
reviewer#9804 date: Jan-18-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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:- Tamron SP90
- Minolta 100 F2.8 macro
price paid:160 USD (used)
positive:- Light weight
- Cheap
- 1:1 macro lens
negative:- SAM is a bit noisy
comment:Easy to carry, usable 2.8.
Step down to F4 will get good sharpness for all purpose.
reviewer#9569 date: Nov-10-2011
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:
missing
price paid:120 € (used)
positive:- Cheap
- sharp macro for small spaces
- almost normal field of view for street photography
- ultralight & compact
negative:NOISY AF
comment:I'm very pleased with this purchase. I'd recommend it if you want something small that you won't mind packing or don't want to spend too much on a great quality Macro. But u must be sure that u don't need to have 1:1 in all of your marcro pictures, because the front element is mm's away from the subject.
reviewer#9341 date: Aug-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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 50mm f1.4 / Minolta 24mm f2.8
price paid:120 EUR (new)
positive:- Cheap
- sharp macro for small spaces
- almost normal field of view for street photography
- ultralight & compact
negative:- loud & slow SAM motor
- AF/MF switch on the lens only, impossible to control from the camera
- doesn't come with hood
comment:I was looking for a cheap macro to photograph the rings & other details on weddings and that's exactly what it is suitable for. I have no complaints about sharpness whatsoever.

It never comes on my camera for anything else, because of the loud and slow AF motor and inability to override the AF from the camera back (on A700).

Some dyslexic on the Sony Belgium website must have switched the numbers: normal price was 210 EUR in shops, but I was able to "steal" it for 120 EUR on the Sony website.
reviewer#9206 date: Jul-5-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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:£120.00
positive:Sharp
Lightweight
Fast
negative:Bit noisey
Plastic
comment:A great investment, i got a mint copy off of fleebay,Plastic so very light, but the IQ is top notch, and its macro,
Af is noisey but it dont bother me.
reviewer#9001 date: May-9-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18mm "Zen"
Sony 18-70mm DT kit zoom
price paid:£200
positive:Light-weight
Pretty fast lens (F2.8)
Compact build.
Cheap filter size (49mm)
IQ is very impressive given price
negative:Pretty loud AF.
Too short FL for most macro use.

comment:This was my entry into the world of macro lenses. Had I done my research, I might not have bothered and gone straight to the classic Tamron 90mm F2.8 instead. 90mm+ seems to be a far more useful FL for true macro shots; but in anycase I bought the Sony 30mm.

Its a nice, compact size, weighs very little (owing alot to construction materials) and its not expensive to get filters for either. The 49mm filter size was not stocked by Sony at the time I purchased the lens (rrp £46) but I sourced one out elsewhere and ended up paying £7 for a protective filter instead. Not bad! I use the lens more often than not as a general shooter and more recently, as a tester for circular polariser filters. This lens taught me how effective they are to reduce the reflection from the river shots I was doing at the time so I ended up buying a larger one for my Sigma 18mm prime and Tamron 180mm macro & thanks to a voucher, didn't really pay that much for the 72mm polariser either. Again, kudos to the 30mm!

The AF may be a bit louder than what I'm used to, its the only SAM lens I have currently so maybe this is just an element of that design. Its not a major issue as far as I am concerned.
reviewer#8952 date: Apr-19-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
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:$199
positive:Sharp, Value, Color, Contrast, Great Focal length
negative:Build Quality, NOISY AF
comment:Great lens Amazing focal length on Smaller Sensor....

Noisy AF, but accurate.
reviewer#8461 date: Dec-29-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.3
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:sony 50mm 1.8
Sigma 50mm 1.4 HSM DG
Sony DT 35mm 1.8
price paid:136 USD (Used)
positive:Sharp
Very Very Cheap
Dual usage Walk about & Macro lens for APS-C
negative:A plastic toy
comment:Ever since i started out into primes i have forgotten about using my 18-250mm Zoom. Prime lens are light, quick focus and super on low light, indoors and night. My most preferred prime on A700 is my Sigma 50mm 1.4 HSM. But the focal length is not the most ideal for group portraits or the Streets. I wanted something wider occasionally. I shortlisted between the DT 30mm macro and the new DT 35mm 1.8. I was lucky to find a mint condition used DT 30mm 2.8 lens for a very reasonable price.

Given its price I can't complain the DT 30mm 2.8 isn't one bit disappointing. its super light and can be put in your side pocket. I dont mind the plastic build quality as the IQ, Sharpness and quick focus is very good. Plus the focal length on APS-C turns 45mm which is great for an everyday lens. Bokeh may not be as smooth n creamy as the Sigma or DT 50mm but is descent. It doubles up as a macro too. I have captured some nice photos of flowers and even car details.

Those of you who already have a 50mm i suggest to buy this lens for your prime collection. Its an essential. For the ones who do not have a 50mm i suggest to check out the DT 35mm 1.8. It a very new lens in the easy choice collection and seems promising on reviews.
reviewer#8179 date: Nov-4-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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:
missing
price paid:150
positive:Cheap
Useful FL
negative:Slow
SAM
pretty useless as macro
vignetting with any filter
comment:This lens really can't be considered a macro lens, as the subject has to be about 1" from the front of the lens to get 1:1 magnification. 30mm is one of my most used focal lengths, however, so this lens is my main prime walkaround until I get the Sigma 30/1.4. The build quality is so-so; you really can't expect much for the price of this thing. SAM is as stupid as always, and this thing is ridiculously slow once it starts to hunt, as the wimpy SAM has to spin the focus ring 2/3 of the way around the lens. This lens also vignettes with any filter, which is pretty disappointing since it's not wide by any means; the front element is not very recessed either. For the price though, you really can't expect much.
reviewer#8078 date: Oct-12-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM
Sony DT 50/1.8 SAM
Sony DT 18-70/3.5-5.6
price paid:200 USD (new)
positive:- 1:1 Magnification is awesome
- Allows you to get real close to the action
- Sharp
- Lightweight
- Great Bokeh when focusing close
negative:- Build quality leaves something to be desired
- You get real close to the action if you want 1:1
- It's a bit hard to focus near 1:1 (this is usual for macros though)
- SAM is loudish and not fast
comment:I think this lens is a great bargain if you're looking for Macro on the cheap, though don't expect much in the way of build quality, it is OK, acceptable, decent, but just that. The Image Quality, on the other hand, is really good.

I'd recommend it if you want something small that you won't mind packing or don't want to spend too much on a great quality Macro.
reviewer#7770 date: Aug-2-2010
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:Minolta 50/1.7
CZ 16-80
Beercan
price paid:£169
positive:Very sharp, light weight, resistant to flare, good contrast
negative:it's built to a price, but having said that I've not had any actual cause for concern from the plastic build. Ask me in ten years time!

F2.8 gets you chromatic abberation in some circumstances.

SAM is not quiet!
comment:Overall, I'm very pleased with this purchase. I'm sure that paying £4-500 for a macro lens would get some improvement in build, but as a value proposition this is excellent. My experience with this has put the upcoming 85/2.8 on my wishlist.
reviewer#7708 date: Jul-22-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:have nothing to compair it to
price paid:£129
positive:Sharp as hell light focus to infinity , and superb low light,small pocket size ,cheap
negative:nasty feel ,focus 1/1 is 1cm thats to close for most insects ,but its a cracking len,s for flowers and other suff,off camera flash needed or light box for close up work
comment:I got this to mainly do insects ,and it was in my budget ,im allways skint lol .Anyway the 1/1 scale is about 1cm from the subject and thats abit close for live insects,no problem though is an amazing len,s very very sharp everywhere ,does fantastic landscapes and flowers and general close up work its amazing .If you want a bug spotter get the 100mm macro just under £400 i think at the moment , but if like me you want a budget macro lens to take you into this very interesting field ,you wont go far wrong,dead bugd dont move lol its an idea to use slave flash or a light box for real close work as the len,s tends to block the flash on the camera,so a macro ring light or off camera flash is needed,but i have got many superb shots with this lens and its does awsome sunsets landscapes aswell im going to try it on star,s soon .
reviewer#7665 date: Jul-6-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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 50mm f1.7
Sony 18-70 kit lens
price paid:180 USD (new)
positive:Inexpensive
Sharp
Nice bokeh
negative:I worry about the build quality
A bit loud
comment:I would imagine that 30mm is a bit short for photographing insects and other things that might move, but I normally photograph plants & flowers, especially indoor plants. They don't move much. :)

It's also a nice lens for everyday use. Sharper than my zooms.

At the price, it's a steal.
reviewer#7639 date: Jun-28-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:50mm 1.7
Beercan
Kit
price paid:157 USD
positive:- Good Macro
- Cheap
- Wide Prime
- Sharp, extremely sharp
- Versatility from wide to macro to wide to macro to wide to macro...

negative:- A little slow AF
- light fall off
- CA
comment:This is now my new walkaround lens. The kit has served its purpose.

For a lens that can take wide angle shots without the constricting limitations of a 50mm, this is the way to go.

Extremely sharp at F4 for group shots. Extremely sharp at F8 for macro. F2.8 effect on macro has superb results and bokeh but beware of CA at large F openings.

Do not compare this lens to the 50mm 1.7. The 50mm 1.7 focuses faster but shall only be a portrait lens for the most part.

This will never leave my bag now simply because of versatility. Wide shots, F2.8 advantage, macro...what's not to like?
reviewer#7533 date: Jun-5-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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:18-250
sigma 50 2.8 macro
minolta 100/2.8 macro
price paid:175 USD new
positive:sharpness
colors
microcontrast
focal length for general photography
negative:1:1 focus distance not that usable
light fall off at 2,8
inconsistent focus at non macro range
comment:There are two ways to see this lens:
1) a dedicated macro lens
2) a normal prime with very close focus abilities
The fact is that this lens is not best in class for the above applications, but it does both pretty well.
1;1 macro is challenging because the front element is mm's away from the subject. For 1:2 macro or less, it is very handy.
At non macro ranges, one has to be careful about focus, which is not the most precise I've seen (there is something like 1-2mm of rotation between infinity and 2 m on the focus ring).
Apart from that, sharpness is exemplary starting f3.5, colors and contrast are very good. Some purple fringing is also present at larger f stops, as is light fall off. Swirly bokeh is also present untill f4.
For the price, this lens perfectly able and will deliver great images if you are aware of its limitations.
reviewer#7532 date: Jun-5-2010
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 own this lens
compared to:Min 24/f2.8 (RS), Sony 100/f2.8 Macro
price paid:149 GBP
positive:Compact, sharp, cheap + you will bump into things before you are too close to focus on them.
negative:Horribly light off the camera. Front element quite exposed (not recessed).
comment:Amazing little lens - could be as sharp as the 100 Macro and will never refuse to focus on anything - you will give up before the lens does.

Tested on a full-frame film camera, where the image circle filled the entire viewfinder - looked like there was some darkening in the corners, but still very usable.

Double extension is very robust, without wobble and the front of the lens does not rotate (so OK for polarising filters).

Front element is not recessed and there is no lens hood, so I've ended up screwing an empty 49mm filter ring on the front to give a little protection and to allow the fitting of the lens hood from an old 28mm Takumar (although the hood has to be removed for close-ups as the lens focuses so close).

DMF does not work with this lens - similarly the AF/MF button on the a700 body will still work, but the lens is not released. The on-lens AF button is a positive asset on the 5D, where it falls to hand better than the body switch.

Although the lens is very light off the body it seems quite well put together and you don't notice the absence of substance when it is attached to a camera body.

Lovely little lens - a treat to use - a new 'plastic fantastic'.

reviewer#6952 date: Feb-23-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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:Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5
price paid:199 USD (new)
positive:Good sharpness stopped down and even wide open. 1:1 Macro. Light weight.
negative:For the price, not much. Maybe a very small amount of CA in certain lighting conditions, but nothing major.
comment:Excellent focal length as a general purpose prime with macro ability. Sharp wide open and even better stopped down. This is a very versatile prime lens. On my A200 this makes for a fun walk-around setup that's lightweight and easy to use. I expected AF to be slow because it's a macro, but in use it's fairly quick. I think the SAM really benefits the AF. I've had this lens for a few months now and It's become one of my favorite pieces of glass! I now use it more than the 50mm f/1.7.

Some of my images from this lens can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/herbphoto/sets/72157622756997778/
reviewer#6903 date: Feb-11-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:zeiss 16-80mm
sony 20mm
minolta 50mm
sony 50mm macro
price paid:170
positive:good sharpness
very usefull focal
very light, small
very versatile use
less than 200$ !
negative:built cheap, plastic.
not as sharp as some prime or zeiss glass.
comment:I love the this, not because it's the best glass but... because it's a small, light, and VERY VERSATILE focal:
panorama, street photography, macro, lanscapes.
This is a very light, cheap and full of qualities... walk around lens.
reviews found: 37    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 37
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.57
  • build: 3.38
  • distortion: 4.46
  • flare control: 4.49
  • overall: 4.32

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