Sony AF DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 39    << 1 2
reviewer#6952 date: Feb-23-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5
price paid:199 USD (new)
positive:Good sharpness stopped down and even wide open. 1:1 Macro. Light weight.
negative:For the price, not much. Maybe a very small amount of CA in certain lighting conditions, but nothing major.
comment:Excellent focal length as a general purpose prime with macro ability. Sharp wide open and even better stopped down. This is a very versatile prime lens. On my A200 this makes for a fun walk-around setup that's lightweight and easy to use. I expected AF to be slow because it's a macro, but in use it's fairly quick. I think the SAM really benefits the AF. I've had this lens for a few months now and It's become one of my favorite pieces of glass! I now use it more than the 50mm f/1.7.

Some of my images from this lens can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/herbphoto/sets/72157622756997778/
reviewer#6903 date: Feb-11-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:zeiss 16-80mm
sony 20mm
minolta 50mm
sony 50mm macro
price paid:170
positive:good sharpness
very usefull focal
very light, small
very versatile use
less than 200$ !
negative:built cheap, plastic.
not as sharp as some prime or zeiss glass.
comment:I love the this, not because it's the best glass but... because it's a small, light, and VERY VERSATILE focal:
panorama, street photography, macro, lanscapes.
This is a very light, cheap and full of qualities... walk around lens.
reviewer#6898 date: Feb-11-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50/1.8 (they have the same body)
price paid:175 USD (new)
positive:1:1 focusing
lightweight
flare-resistant
good color rendition
focal length is good for use as double duty wide prime
fast aperture
negative:plastic build
extension makes 1:1 difficult without lateral lighting or a macro flash
comment:i bought this piece o' glass because the 50/1.8 scales up to 75mm on my A200, which was too long in a lot of cases on APS-C. This lens scales up from 30mm to 45mm, making it very close to a FF 50's FOV. The fact that this lens is also a dedicated macro made it a very attractive option over the 28/2.8; it can pull double duty when i need a shorter prime and keep me from having to carry an extra macro lens.

i haven't had much time to shoot with it, but from what i have shot, it's very sharp, even at 2.8. it's sharper than my 50/1.8.

As for the macro side of things, 1:1 is certainly possible, but because it's a 30, and there isn't much working distance, extending to 1:1 will cast a shadow over the frame if you don't have some kind of lateral lighting, whether it be a wireless flash or a macro flash. I realize that 30mm may not be a viable working distance for those who shoot insects and the like. But for me, shooting flowers, i think it will work well.

There's no visible distortion i can find in the test shots i took.

As flare goes, i've taken shots of a bare light bulb positioned off the edge of the frame, and one of the bulb as the point of focus. There was no visible flare in either case.

Regarding build, it's essentially the same as the 50/1.8. The lens bodies are exactly the same. The focus ring on the 30 is a hair wider and much smoother, which is a huge plus since macro requires alot of MF, and the rear element is smaller; definitely APS-C size. Both use a SAM motor as well. I have read that some people have had trouble with the SAMs in their copies, but the one in mine is relatively quiet, fast, and accurate. I haven't had any focus hunting yet. The manual focus ring is well marked and has a large turn making MF easy and fine tuning simple. Overall a great first experience with macro.

Colors are rendered accurately and contrasty. overall the lens produces very nice images.

For 175 (on sale... normally 200) this lens is a steal. The ability to function as a fast wide prime (remember... scales up to 45mm normal range), and as a dedicated macro capable of 1:1 makes this lens a no brainer for any user of Sony's APS-C SLRs. Very good piece of glass, recommended!

EDIT: i just discovered something about the build quality of this lens that is a huge plus:

The rear element of this lens does not move. when the lens extends the element right in front of the rear element moves with the rest of the lens group. The fact that the rear element does not move is great because it creates a seal against dust on that side of the lens. wonderful!
reviewer#6893 date: Feb-10-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50/1.7
18-55 kit
price paid:150 (used)
positive:-Sharp, especially when stepped down a stop.
-Inexpensive.
-light.
negative:-Plastic build feels cheap
-AF hunts in low light.
-Slow and noisy AF.
-No focus limiter
comment:Plastic build feels pretty cheap. On the plus side it's really light.
Good range for a "walk-around" prime. $50 cheaper than Sony 28mm. Probably a better option than the Minolta/Sony 28mm/2.8s for APS-C users.
reviewer#6659 date: Jan-1-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MAF 35-70mm F4
MAF 24mm F2.8
Tamron 90mm F2.8
Sony 50mm F1.4
price paid:237 $ with shipping
positive:- very sharp
- AF
- compact sizes
- cheap
- A/M switch
- bokeh
negative:- loud AF
- plastic mount
comment:
missing
reviewer#6635 date: Dec-25-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f2.8 macro
Vivitar 100 mm f3.5 (cosina) macro
price paid:$199.00 USD new
positive:Light,small, reasonably fast focus. Uses 49mm filters (same as Minolta lenses).
negative:Plastic lens mount, loud AF. DMF on A-700 will not work
comment:Very small light weight lens. gives the equivalent focal (field of view) length of a 45mm on an APS-C sensor.

My copy seems to have no back or front focus in my quick and dirty test. AF seems fairly fast and it locks quickly. SAM focus motor would be ok if it were significantly less noisy than screw drive, but there really is no advantage. It may actually be noisier. This lens is so light weight that on my A-700 with grip the camera will not tip over with the lens on.

Be careful when getting really close, if you shoot on an angle the lens bottom will touch your subject

I'm not sure if the plastic lens mount is really a concern on such a small light lens

Update:

The more I use this lens the more I like it. I have used with multiple off camera flash units and doing "product" style photography it really shines. Images are sharp and crisp. A real sleeper

reviewer#6629 date: Dec-24-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina ATX Pro 100 Macro
Sony SAL50M
price paid:SG$208
positive:Light
Friendly MFD
Sharp
Versatile Prime
Cheap
negative:Build Quality could be better
Noise
comment:I bought this lens instead of the 28mm prime for it's versatile role. The color and sharpness is good. Decent bokeh but not earth shattering. The lens noise will take getting used to...but then again all macro lens aint exactly quiet, right?

reviewer#6430 date: Nov-22-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:sigma 105 macro
sigma 10mm fisheye
minolta 50 1.7
(only listing the prime lenses I own)
price paid:199.99
positive:macro
sharp
cheap
negative:noisy
cheap build
front/back focus
comment:I am sending back my copy. It has severe focus issues. It is very noisy. It is not smooth focus. I took only 5 pictures with it since I was convinced that this copy might break because of the grinding noise. I don't know if this is normal, but this one was awful.

I will say that where it is in focus it is very sharp.

I would have loved a 30mm macro lens, but this is not the one. I had planned for this to be a flower lens, but the noise on this copy would have scared the flower away. And it would have been embarrassingly noisy in a place where other photographers might be.
reviewer#6419 date: Nov-20-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 sony
24-70 2.8 ex dg sigma
50 1.8 sony
70-200 2.8 ex dg sigma
price paid:199
positive:very sharp even wide open
nice bokeh
1:1 macro
negative:loud SAM
AF hunts in dim light
comment:i was very suprised by the sharpness of this lens even on wide open aperture. the macro capability is in my opinion limited with still life objects because it will surely scare insects. purple fringing is visible with bright lights/objects but only visible when pixel peeping... =)

also very nice for portrait shots, this lens produces a very pleasing bokeh.

bang for the buck for 199usd
the plastic build.. really doesn't bother me as this lens is very light!
the af hunts when in dim light so the use of spot af is needed.
i really can't see the difference between the screw driven AF and the SAM, the both sound the same but the speed.... i think the sam beats the screw.

if you are looking for a low budget macro lens, this is the best one for sony..
if you own a FF body then i am sure you can afford a 100++ mm macro lens!

thanks!
Mark
reviews found: 39    << 1 2

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

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