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

reviewer#21425 date: Nov-14-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 50 F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
price paid:108 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Very Sharp
Minimal CA
Little barrel distortion
Curved aperture
Smooth bokeh
Nearly covers 135 format
negative:Inaccurate AF
Bluish color cast
Minor purple fringing
Lack of any sort of hood
49 mm filter size
comment:This is the second cheapest Sony lens behind the 50 f/1.8. With the caps on it looks practically identical to the 50/1.8. Both use the less common 49 mm filter size and lack hoods. The main body is also shared with the other two Easy Choice Lenses (35/1.8 and 85/2.8). The 30/2.8 has a 180 degree focus throw like 85/2.8, but the barrel doesn't extend as far as that lens.

Unlike the other macro lenses and the primes the tiny front element of this lens is close to the front of the lens and rather unprotected. There is no provision for a hood other than the filter threads.

This lens has much better image quality than the discontinued 28 f/2.8 full frame prime. The semi macro mode of the Minolta AF 28-135 has a similar field-of-view except with considerable purple fringing.

As long you can get very close to the subject this lens works very well. The 30 mm focal length gives it generous depth-of-field. It has slightly better contrast than the Tamron 60/2 at 1:1. It is amazingly sharp when used with a generic 7-element 2X teleconverter. The combination doesn't quite have the flatness and consistency of the 60 mm Macro, but the center sharpness is great. SAM AF works well using the Kenko Teleplus 1.5x DG and 1.4x DGX teleconverters.

The more I use this little lens, the more impressed I am with it. The 35 f/1.8 is probably a better everyday lens because of its AF accuracy.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 39
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.62
  • build: 3.41
  • distortion: 4.49
  • flare control: 4.51
  • overall: 4.34 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania