Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 50    << 1 2
reviewer#4746 date: Jan-26-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:Canon 50mm f/1.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Exceptionally sharp in the centre, even wide open.
Focuses pretty quick.
Comes with a decent case.
negative:Lens hood a bit tricky to attach, might just be me though.
Focus is a bit noisy.
62mm Filter size.
comment:This is a great lens. Leave it on the camera most of the time.
reviewer#4520 date: Dec-11-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Sony 35/1.4 G
price paid:370 USD (new)
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:I purchased this lens to match my A700 bodies as close to a 50/1.4 (film) lens as possible. Considered the Sony 35, but after ready Pop Photo review, decided it was the better deal. I will be keeping this one as long as I have an APS size body.
reviewer#4480 date: Dec-6-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:kitlens, Sony 20mm f2.8
price paid:N/A
positive:Phenomenal lens that constantly delivers WOW results, low light capability, way cheaper than any other similar lens I can think of (Sony 35mm 1.4 G)
negative:Nothing that I can think of, it's not FF if FF is your thing (to me it does not matter)
comment:One day I will go to Japan, find the dude who designed this beauty, kneel before him and say "Thank you!" in five languages. This pretty much sums up how I feel about this magnificent lens.

This lens is one of the reasons I don't regret going the DSLR route. Fantastic for the kind of portraits I am interested in (ranging from full body from couple meters away or face from very close up with slight-ish distortion), good bokeh control, excellent in low light, VERY sharp in good light stopped down, flexible enough to cover all kinds of situations, this lens is a dream to use.

I gave it 5 for sharpness - there are probably some sharper primes around, but a) they cost at least 2-3x more and b) I am not really a "sharpness freak", to me this lens is a 5 as it's the sharpest lens I owned or used, to you it might not be if you have collection of 1500+ USD Zeiss lenses lying around...
reviewer#4450 date: Nov-29-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Sony SAL-1680Z Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5
price paid:390 USD (new)
positive:Very high center resolution
Very good color reproduction and contrast
negative:Noticeable loss of corner resolution at f2.0 and larger
Noticeable chromatic aberration in the corners at all apertures
comment:My copy has on the Sony DSLR-A300 a center resolution of more than 2100 LPH from f1.4 to f8.0. The corner resolution starts at around 1400 LPH at f1.4 and is going up to 1600 LPH at f8.0. When compared to the very good Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5, the Sigma is slightly better at 30mm/f4.5, but not really that much.

Where the lens shows mediocre performance is in chromatic aberration. It is not noticeable in the center, but is noticeable in the corners throughout the complete aperture range. I did not notice any distortion, vignetting or flare that is worth mentioning. Color and contrast are natural and quite attractive. Out-of-focus blur is, for my taste, very nice. Build-quality is excellent. Focusing is fast and accurate, even at large apertures and low-light conditions.

My first copy was actually defective, i.e. had unacceptable optical performance. Sigma acknowledged the technical defect. Since I bought the lens abroad, they required a proof that the lens was legally imported. Only then they exchanged the lens.

One practical note: The Sony DSLR-A300 does not choose aperture values lower than f2.0 in "Program" or "Auto" modes. If you want to use them, you have to switch to "Aperture" or "Manual" modes and set those values manually.

I bought this lens as a complement to my Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 for low-light situations. The Sigma meets exactly this demand. The loss of corner resolution and the chromatic aberration in the corners are usually not that noticeable at wide-aperture shots, since those areas are usually out of focus anyways. As a result, the faults of this lens are acceptable for me. However, I would have expected a better performance in those areas from a prime lens with this price tag. Probably, Sigma put more effort into the excellent build quality than optical performance.
reviewer#4233 date: Oct-13-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 28mm f/2.8
Minolta 135mm f/2.8
price paid:415 USD (new)
positive:1) Amazing f/1.4 @ 30mm!
2) Excellent CENTER sharpness at all apertures
3) Excellent build quality
4) Bokeh
5) Cost
negative:1) Corners VERY soft @ f/2 and below
2) Not for FF cameras
comment:FINALLY a reasonably priced replacement for the "standard" 50mm f/1.7 on cropped sensor!!!

CENTER sharpness is excellent throughout the range, but corner softness is excessive. However, stopping down to f/2.2 or so sharpens up the corners nicely. This is really not an issue because the whole point of this lens is subject isolation. The softness actually works quite well with the amazing, completely blurred bokeh that is produced by this lens.

All in all, probably the best prime for a shooter not looking to drop $3k on a FF camera anytime soon.



reviewer#3845 date: Jul-12-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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:sony 50 1.5
price paid:370 (new)
positive:compact, f1.4
negative:not very sharp unless stepped down to 3.0
comment:i used to own this lens, i have the sony 1.4 and compared to it, it has to be stepped down a lot to match the sharpness.
reviewer#3635 date: May-27-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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:
missing
price paid:430 USD (new)
positive:Compact, great viewing angle on a APS-C sensor, very very fast
negative:A little soft wide open
comment:This lens tests the AF system on the A350 to its limit. The very shallow DOF means that focussing is critical, very easy to miss the intended focussing point. Saying that the results are excellent, very sharp at f/8 and great low light opportunities at f/1.4 and iso800.

However, the best thing about this lens is it has the near perfect focal length for indoor shots.
reviewer#3554 date: May-4-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:sony 50.4, much better quality and sharpmenss
price paid:500 CAD (New)
positive:very sharp
negative:no HSM for sony mount
comment:I got mine from Henry's (Toronto, ON) and I love it so much!

This lens will stay with my sony alpha 700 till end!

great out focusing and great sharpness.

since it's 30mm I can use it when I am facing my gf in the cafe or restaurant without step back.

great lens but somehow no HSM for sony mount..
reviewer#3531 date: Apr-28-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:Sony 35 F1.4
price paid:
missing
positive:Bokeh
Price
Compact
Build
negative:Corner sharpness
No SSM/HSM
comment:Good lens for the price. Bokeh is very nice, but sharpness is nothing compared to the Sony/Minolta 35 F1.4. My camera might have some trouble with focussing. Noticed major backfocus on my a700 since I have this 1.4 but it seems I have the same trouble with my minolta 85 F1.4. I will update this review when my a700 is back from repair.
reviewer#3208 date: Jan-25-2008
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 28-75 F2.8 D
Sony AF 50 F1.4 SAL-50F14
Sony AF 35 F1.4 G
price paid:
missing
positive:price, bokeh
negative:quality control, thin DoF, soft in corners
comment:Are you guys so lucky choosing Sigma? I tried 6 or 7 lenses in attempt to buy one. NONE of them was good enough. All of them had serious BF, some had problems focusing with low light, others were TOO soft in corners. Predictable shallow DoF is also annoying. My good old Minolta AF 28-75 F2.8 on its 30 wins in every point (since 1.4-2.8 are hardly usable), except the bokeh, sure. Yeah, bokeh is really nice, but overall you expect much more from a prime!
reviewer#2780 date: Sep-26-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Sony 50/1.4, Sigma 15-30
price paid:430 EUR (new)
positive:- speed and focal length (wide-enough) make it very useful for shooting indoor events.
- good build quality
negative:- noisy focusing
- optical quality is decent but doesn't match Sony 50/1.4
comment:
missing
reviewer#2243 date: May-1-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Sony 50/1.4, Minolta 28/2.8
price paid:429 USD
positive:- Super center sharpness, even at f/1.4
- Contrast
- Colors
- Bokeh
- Focus ring
negative:- Some CA
comment:This lens rocks! Normal FoV, very high DoF control, exceptional center sharpness at all apertures. Stoping down make corners sharper.
It performs great for indoors and low light shoots. I have choosen this one thinking about aperture and bokeh against Min 28/2 (which has very very good contrast and corner sharpness)
As I read once: "If you want a great lens for low light and bokeh, this is for you. If you go to sleep and keep thinking about corner sharpness, this is not for you."
reviewer#2042 date: Mar-26-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Sony 18-70 f/3.5-5.6
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:"Fast Normal" for digital
Bright viewfinder
Excellent for indoor shots
negative:Cropped sensor size
No HSM
Slightly soft at f/1.4
Razor thin DOF
comment:This lens is excellent for avaliable light shooting, and for anyone who wants the 45-50mm "Normal" range with a DSLR. DOF at f/1.4 is very shallow and it can be difficult to focus correctly - focus bracket! Build is IMO excellent - an all metal body which is very solid feeling, nice strong petal hood, and a positive if slightly "geary-feeling" manual focus ring. The quality of the padded softcase included is an extra bonus.
reviewer#1850 date: Feb-17-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:50 mm/1.7 and the other ones
price paid:
missing
positive:Pretty Fast
sharp
well mechanic
negative:no SSM
comment:
missing
reviewer#1695 date: Jan-24-2007
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast 1.4
Light
negative:Check for focusing issues
comment:When i first bought this lens it was sharp and fast at day time..After some usage at low light area i have discovered that it back focuses, so i sent it to Sigma for calibration.
After i got it, things are very sharp even at wide open, very usable. Colors are warmer, as compares to other brands, standard color os sigma glasses.
Bokeh is nice also.
For the price paid, it is well worth it.

The reason i rated sharpness at 4.5 beuase i need to send it for calibration. If i didn't it would be 5

Just make sure you have a good copy...
reviewer#1693 date: Jan-23-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:Tamron 18-200, Minolta 50 mm 1.7, Phoenix 100mm macro, Sigma 105mm macro, CZ 16-80
price paid:380 (used)
positive:Amazing low light performance lets you work in dark conditions handheld, a very usable focal length, great build and focusing, fast AF, and nice sharpness.
negative:Nothing major.
comment:Not too much to complain about. Amazing performance in low light makes it very flexible and I love how bright the viewfinder is with the huge aperture. I've gotten handheld shots on this that I couldn't get on any other lens. The color is nice and it is very sharp. The AF is very fast too and I think 30mm is about the perfect focal length for a normal lens on a cropped sensor body like the A100. The build is very solid and the focusing ring is well damped and huge which makes this a fun camera to use MF.
reviewer#1640 date: Jan-12-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:511
positive:From 1,8 razor sharp
Well builded
Fast focus
negative:So far none
comment:This lens is realy good maybe bit soft on corners wide open but from 1,8 is razor sharp. Af is very fast colours are realistic and you can take photos handheld in night. This is realy coool.
reviewer#1501 date: Dec-3-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:28-75 2.8 minolta
28-105 2.8 Tamron
50mm 1.7
85 1.4
price paid:~$400 new
positive:Size
Speed
Center Sharpness
IQ
Price
Bokeh
negative:1:10 magnification ratio
Corner Sharpness at 1.4
APS-C sensors only
Not SSM on Minolta, but SSM on canon/nikon
comment:This lens is a joy to use, I got it the day before Halloween and it handled itself in a dark environment very nicely wide open. The size of the lens is a definite plus, and the hood works without any vignetting. It handles flares very well, I have taken some photos with the sun without any cloud cover (stopped down), and received little if any flare. There is some CA at f/1.4, but by f/2.0 it is very well managed. The focal length is great as a walk-around lens and the only real negative I have found is that the magnification ratio can leave something to be desired. I've put a 12mm extension tube on it before, and since the focal length is so short the working distance for focus ends up being between one inch and 5 inches. The image quality is still great of course. If you need a fast normal lens with great image quality and can live with the reproduction ratio, this is the lens for you.
reviewer#1458 date: Nov-21-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:50mm f1.4
price paid:419
positive:SMOOOOTH bokeh!
Sharp
Well built
Relatively compact
negative:For the price of this lens, can't think of any.
comment:
missing
reviewer#679 date: Apr-12-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast F1.4, Sharp wide open, Build quality and size really nice, Focus speed
negative:at f1.4 some CA, minimum focussing distance could be closer
comment:The first few days with this Lens are really a pleasant experience. For me it is unbelievable how this lens performs in low light... you can shoot at night like with other lenses on daytime. Fast and precise Focus (just near infinity in really bad light condition it sometimes does not lock, but there the manual focus with its large grip comes in handy) and above all really sharp results from f1.4 on, getting even better around f2... at first I was concerned about the shallow DOF at f1.4 but in practice it did not turn out too bad, for street shooting you will get amazing results even at f1.4. The only thing about image quality that leaves room for improvement is the slight showing of CA, but it is a minor complaint and CA is mostly gone at f1.7-f2.
Build quality is very good and the balance of the lens on my 5d is just right. The focal length of 30(45)mm is a plus too. on the street you will hardly feel the need for a wider lens and when you need tele you just walk a few steps closer...The minimal focussing distance is around 40cm, that is ok, but because of the nice small DOF it would be fun if the lens were more macro, like other primes from sigma.
So in conclusion, with this lens you get a lot of choices in low light, while other lenses just leave the choice to opt for the largest aperture, which is sometimes far from perfect in quality terms, this sigma 30mm gives you most of the time more choices for the aperture since f1.4 is so fast that you dont need to use it all the time, or you might take shots in low light with still acceptable fast shutter speed for catching the action, which would be impossible with smaller apertures. The quality is very good at f1.4 so you can get amazing results in really dark environments. It is a challenge to produce a blurry pic with the lens.
reviews found: 50    << 1 2

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

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