Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN Art E-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#34764 date: Jan-28-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Discover 25 F1.8
Neewer 25 F1.8
Canon EF 28mm F1.8 USM
Sigma 28 F1.8 HS & EX DG
Sony FE 28 F2
Minolta MD & AF 28 F2
Canon EF 28 F2.8 IS USM
Minolta/Sony AF 28 F2.8
Neewer 28 F2.8
Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss Touit 32 F1.8
Neewer 35 F1.2
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Tamron SP 35 F1.8 USD
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Minolta AF 35 F2
Rokinon AF FE 35 F2.8
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
price paid:170 USD (new)
positive:Sharp wide-open corner-to-corner
Quiet, fast AF
Soft storage case
negative:Slower T-stop than other F2.8 lenses
Mild barrel distortion
Shiny aluminum focus grip
Moderate Size
Undersized hood
46 mm filter thread (shared with the Discover lenses)
comment:This is the first lens I've bought brand-new in nearly 2 years. I ordered it at my local camera shop, and it arrived in a couple of days. I had ordered a used copy 2 months prior through Amazon but never received it. Considering the very minor discount, I am glad I didn't end up getting the used copy. This lens seems to be permanently on sale new for $170 though the list price is $200. Sigma once had a deal for the original version of this lens and the 19 mm together for $200. "MADE IN JAPAN"

Judging from other reviews there seems to be some sample variation with this lens, especially the DXOMark results from the two versions. So, I wasn't sure what to expect, but this copy seems to be excellent. It is sharper corner-to-corner wide-open than any other lens I have, and it maintains that lead when stopped down. Though to be fair the DT 30 F2.8 Macro is sharp corner-to-corner at 1:1 just not at lower magnifications.

There is really very little to criticize. There is a tiny amount of lateral CA--very similar in color and amount to the 16-50PZ at the same focal length--less than the DT lenses. There is some very minor barrel distortion similar to the 16-50PZ and DT 30mm Macro. The Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM has nearly no distortion at 30 mm.

The T-stop seems to be about T3.2 wide-open compared to most other F2.8 lenses, and if that is accurate the little Neewer 28 F2.8 is more like T2.5.

It is a small lens, but it is larger than several E-mount lenses. It is basically the same size as the full-frame Minolta 50 F1.7 or 28 F2.8 not counting an adapter. The 16-50PZ kit lens is significantly smaller when retracted but is certainly much larger when zoomed to 30 mm.

The front element is comically small and the 7 curved aperture blades seem to sit very close behind it. The rear element is fairly large and similar in size to one on the 25/1.8 but more recessed.

Unfortunately the included LH520-03 circular hood is shared with and sized for the 19 mm lens. It is also larger in diameter than it really needs to be, but it does reverse onto the lens securely for storage. Replacements are also very affordable compared to Sony hoods.

This lens is well-supported by Capture One, and seems to communicate lens-profile information to the A5000. AF with the A5000 seems as good as the native Sony lenses.

Overall an excellent budget everyday prime lens. I only wish I had bought it sooner!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 4.75
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.67
  • flare control: 4.33
  • overall: 4.48 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania