Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC A-mount lens review by amarston22

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; 61MP61 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!


rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 50
  • sharpness: 4.61
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.52
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 4.52
  • overall: 4.58
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