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

reviewer#9001 date: May-9-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
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:Sigma 18mm "Zen"
Sony 18-70mm DT kit zoom
price paid:£200
Pretty fast lens (F2.8)
Compact build.
Cheap filter size (49mm)
IQ is very impressive given price
negative:Pretty loud AF.
Too short FL for most macro use.

comment:This was my entry into the world of macro lenses. Had I done my research, I might not have bothered and gone straight to the classic Tamron 90mm F2.8 instead. 90mm+ seems to be a far more useful FL for true macro shots; but in anycase I bought the Sony 30mm.

Its a nice, compact size, weighs very little (owing alot to construction materials) and its not expensive to get filters for either. The 49mm filter size was not stocked by Sony at the time I purchased the lens (rrp £46) but I sourced one out elsewhere and ended up paying £7 for a protective filter instead. Not bad! I use the lens more often than not as a general shooter and more recently, as a tester for circular polariser filters. This lens taught me how effective they are to reduce the reflection from the river shots I was doing at the time so I ended up buying a larger one for my Sigma 18mm prime and Tamron 180mm macro & thanks to a voucher, didn't really pay that much for the 72mm polariser either. Again, kudos to the 30mm!

The AF may be a bit louder than what I'm used to, its the only SAM lens I have currently so maybe this is just an element of that design. Its not a major issue as far as I am concerned.

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