Sony AF DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM A-mount lens review by Bob Maddison

reviewer#10805 date: Dec-28-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:100mm Vivitar Plastic Fantastic
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 35-70mm f4 'Macro'
price paid:119 GBP
positive:Fast positive AF
Circular aperture
negative:No AF with a tele converter
30mm FL = Short working distance

comment:The price paid was after the £30 Sony Cashback.

Excellent macro lens. The short FL gives good DoF compared with my 100mm macro. At 1:1 the subject is almost touching the lens but this is characteristic of the 30mm FL. With a 2x TC (8 contacts), there was constant hunting with AF; with a 1.4x TC with only 5 contacts, no AF. However, at macro distances, the MF had a short sweet travel making it easy to use.

The focus system seems to be a combination of Internal and External mechanisms. The lens extension is too short for true external focus. It would appear that the rearmost element remains fixed when focusing and this might explain it. This shorter extension does make it easier to frame a macro subject, which would be more difficult with true external focusing, and also makes the focus faster.

The 5/4 lens elements help to give excellent colour rendering with good contrast reminding me of those older Tessar lenses!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 40
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.63
  • build: 3.43
  • distortion: 4.48
  • flare control: 4.50
  • overall: 4.34 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania