Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC A-mount lens review by N_Raged
|N_Raged#6768 date: Jan-17-2010|
flare control: 5
|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|
+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.