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

reviewer#679 date: Apr-12-2006
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
price paid:
positive:Fast F1.4, Sharp wide open, Build quality and size really nice, Focus speed
negative:at f1.4 some CA, minimum focussing distance could be closer
comment:The first few days with this Lens are really a pleasant experience. For me it is unbelievable how this lens performs in low light... you can shoot at night like with other lenses on daytime. Fast and precise Focus (just near infinity in really bad light condition it sometimes does not lock, but there the manual focus with its large grip comes in handy) and above all really sharp results from f1.4 on, getting even better around f2... at first I was concerned about the shallow DOF at f1.4 but in practice it did not turn out too bad, for street shooting you will get amazing results even at f1.4. The only thing about image quality that leaves room for improvement is the slight showing of CA, but it is a minor complaint and CA is mostly gone at f1.7-f2.
Build quality is very good and the balance of the lens on my 5d is just right. The focal length of 30(45)mm is a plus too. on the street you will hardly feel the need for a wider lens and when you need tele you just walk a few steps closer...The minimal focussing distance is around 40cm, that is ok, but because of the nice small DOF it would be fun if the lens were more macro, like other primes from sigma.
So in conclusion, with this lens you get a lot of choices in low light, while other lenses just leave the choice to opt for the largest aperture, which is sometimes far from perfect in quality terms, this sigma 30mm gives you most of the time more choices for the aperture since f1.4 is so fast that you dont need to use it all the time, or you might take shots in low light with still acceptable fast shutter speed for catching the action, which would be impossible with smaller apertures. The quality is very good at f1.4 so you can get amazing results in really dark environments. It is a challenge to produce a blurry pic with the lens.

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 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania