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

reviewer#9894 date: Feb-6-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:cz 16-80
price paid:
positive:Very sharp centre
good build quality, much better than a sal 35 1.8
colour is as close as matters to the CZ 16-80 & other lenses in my collection
1.4 aperture
good manual focus control for a modern af lens
negative:slightly softer in the corners
Some barrel distortion
comment:I think I might have a good copy of this lens as I have found most aspects of it to be as good or better than what I have read in reviews so far.

This lens is a good if slightly wider equivalent to the traditional 50mm on 35mm cameras. It provides a fairly natural field of view and is very pleasant and satisfying to use for a wide variety of situations.

Centre sharpness is really wonderful from as low as f2 and useable from 1.4. It is noticeably sharper than the CZ 16-80 which itself is no slouch when compared at around 30mm and the same aperture, of course the sigma has a much wider aperture available. There is some softening off in the corners but I have found that my copy at least is not so bad as to be an issue and the edges still have good sharpness.

The AF speed is good but not as fast as some other lenses I’ve used, it is quiet enough for a screw drive af and so far has been quite accurate in low light situations.

Manual focus is one of the strong points of this lens compared to other af lenses at least. The focus ring rotates a bit further than most and this allows for fairly easy fine tuning. I suspect that the longer rotation may have something to do with the slightly slower af speed but I think it offers a good balance between af speed and mf usability.

The build is as good as I have come to expect from plastic bodied metal mount lenses, it feels solid enough, the focus ring has very little ‘slop’ and is smooth enough. There are no rattles and the front element doesn’t wobble at all.

I think this is the better choice over the sal 35 1.8 which where I am is about $500 compared to the sigma at $550. I would have gladly paid a little more for better corner sharpness but the only other option is the sal 35 1.4 g at around au$2300 which is ridiculous

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