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Archive 2012 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)
  
 
Jman13
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p.1 #1 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Got my Sigma 19mm today (picked it up for $150 at Amazon). Some quick impressions:

The lens is built very well. It's a little larger than it probably should be, but it's small enough to still fit in my belt pack on the GX1. It balances well. In pictures it looks cheap, but the plastics used are high quality and the lens is built to high tolerances. It feels solid in the hand, the focus ring is wonderfully damped and it's just solid. It is a boring looking lens, though. The lens hood design is fabulous...when reversed, it sits extremely close to the lens body, such that with hood reversed, the lens is barely larger than with the lens hood off. It's the best fitting reversed hood I've owned. Sounds odd to go on about that, but it's very nice. And hey...Olympus...take notice: Sigma can package a very nice lens hood AND a very nice lens case with a $150 lens...stop being cheapskates! Only downside to the build is that the focusing group is loose when the lens is off the camera, which makes a not so reassuring rattle. It locks into place on the camera, though.

First impressions on image quality: It renders like a Sigma. The lens is very sharp over most of the frame at f/2.8, with only the corners being a little soft. By f/4, it seems quite sharp across the frame. We're not going to break records, but it is nice and crisp. The lens focuses VERY close, and when near MFD, sharpness does suffer a bit wide open, especially in the corners, which gain the 'Sigma Glow' on high contrast edges (very similar to most of their other primes near MFD). Stopped down it stays sharp even near MFD. Bokeh is decent, though not exceptional, and partially because you can't really get a lot of background blur due to the short focal length and moderate aperture. Still, it's generally pleasing. Can't really evaluate color yet...just did some indoor shot under fluorescent light.

Some quick snaps (all wide open):

























Some pics of the lens on the camera (the first just snapped with my iPhone, so excuse the quality):






And some better:






Showing hood stowed:






Edited on Nov 30, 2012 at 04:07 PM · View previous versions



Nov 30, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #2 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


One more shot, because what's a new lens thread without a cat photo (and I edited the above to show some better pics):








Nov 30, 2012 at 04:06 PM
httivals
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p.1 #3 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Why did you prefer to purchase the Sigma 19mm to the Panasonic 20mm?


Nov 30, 2012 at 05:03 PM
michael49
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p.1 #4 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


httivals wrote:
Why did you prefer to purchase the Sigma 19mm to the Panasonic 20mm?


The existence of the Pany 20 f/1.7 makes the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 irrelevant to me.

When I shot with the NEX I used the similar Sigma 30mm f/2.8 which made sense on the NEX due to the lack of native mount lenses but the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 makes no sense on the m4/3 to me. Its larger and slower than the Pany 20 1.7 and I can't imagine its any better optically - I just don't see the appeal.



Nov 30, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Betacamman
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p.1 #5 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


michael49 wrote:
The existence of the Pany 20 f/1.7 makes the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 irrelevant to me.

When I shot with the NEX I used the similar Sigma 30mm f/2.8 which made sense on the NEX due to the lack of native mount lenses but the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 makes no sense on the m4/3 to me. Its larger and slower than the Pany 20 1.7 and I can't imagine its any better optically - I just don't see the appeal.


I agree on all points. But it's also half the price of the Pany. For that matter, it's cheaper than the Oly 17 2.8 as well. That may have been a consideration.



Nov 30, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #6 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Yeah, I actually agree with the points myself, and even expressed the same "WTF, Sigma?" thoughts when this and the 30mm were announced. However, I view the lens as more a competitor to the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 than the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. If you don't have a wide/normal and want something fast and small, the 20/1.7 is your lens, hands down.

I bought this lens for three reasons.

1) I have the PL 25/1.4, and prefer it overall to the panny 20/1.7 (I owned the 20/1.7 for some time and sold it when I got the 25/1.4). I will still use that as my main 'normal lens', for sure.

2) Sometimes I still want a wider prime, in the ~35mm range, but I don't shoot enough in that range to make it worth plopping down the $500 for the 17/1.8 or to rebuy the 20/1.7. Also, the extra 1mm is actually noticeable, and the lens feels more like a 35mm in use than a normal lens.

3) I had a $100 Amazon gift card and $50 from my grandpa for my birthday, and the lens went on sale for $150 over the holidays. I didn't really have anything else I wanted to buy, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The lens is significantly better than the Oly 17/2.8, and Lenstip shows it to even be sharper in the center than the 17/1.8. While optically, it's not going to best the 20/1.7, and it's a stop and a half slower...and a little bigger, it's still very sharp, relatively small, and the AF is much faster and quieter than either the 17/2.8 or the 20/1.7.

So, ultimately, the price was the main driver, but it's a very good lens for the price. I think at $150, it was well worth the money. At it's regular price of $199, it's still worth it, but not by as big a degree. If it were $250 or more, I'd just stock a little more for the 20/1.7.



Nov 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
 

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mirkoc
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p.1 #7 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Well, happy birthday!


Nov 30, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #8 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Happy birthday.

And for Christmas 17,5mm f0.95?



Dec 01, 2012 at 04:15 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #9 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Happy Birthday!


Dec 01, 2012 at 09:22 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #10 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Thanks. My birthday was 3 weeks ago, but I'll take the belated wishes. 35. Somehow that sounds old, even though I know it's not.


Dec 01, 2012 at 07:15 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #11 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Ach, don't worry about it, I didn't start feeling old (by the numbers) until 43, really.


Dec 01, 2012 at 09:38 PM
rbiffl
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p.1 #12 · Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Impressions (m4/3)


Thank you for the review and photos, Jordan. You, your daughter, and your cat make a strong case for this lens.


Dec 08, 2012 at 05:56 AM





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