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

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; 61MP61 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:
-Auto Focus speed and accuracy
-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.

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