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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
79 165492 Feb 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $386.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.13
8.88
8.9
113_small

Specifications:
Lens Construction: 7 Elements in 7 Groups
Angle of View: 45 degrees (SD format)
Number of Diaphragm Blades: 8 Blades
Minimum Aperture: F16
Minimum Focusing Distance: 40cm / 15.7 inches
Maximum Magnification: 1:10.4
Filter Size Diameter: 62mm
Lens Hood: DiaPetal Hood
Dimensions Diameter: 75.5mm X Length 59mm
2.97 inches x 2.3 inches
Weight: 430g/15.2 oz.


 


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jobodaho
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Registered: Dec 29, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $370.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness where it counts, light weight (this is relative), focusing accuracy on my copy, and great bokeh. If you get a good copy you will love it.
Cons:
None worth complaining about, it vignettes (correctable and typical for this type of lens), has some CAs (shoot RAW if you care about it), and people complain about corner sharpness, but if you are trying to get corner sharpness at f/1.4 your probably just shooting brick walls and test charts.

This is a great lens, lets get that out there. Someone mentioned that it is a photographer's lens, and I agree wholeheartedly. This lens is PERFECT for indoor shooting, people shots, and as a general walk around lens. The shallow depth of field for a normal lens on a DX body is awesome, and can really create some beautiful images. You will love this lens if you prefer to go out and take pictures instead of shooting test charts. I don't need a chart to tell me its center sharpness is superb, because it blows away my old Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D. If you are creating beautiful images, then chances are you corners will be out of focus anyways.

People also complain about focusing issues, I can say that my copy is right on the money on my Canon 40D, and being in correct focus is way more important than corner sharpness. The focus is sure footed and pretty snappy, although not quite as quick as my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L, it is more than adequate for all uses.

If you are looking at the alternatives to this lens on the Canon side, like I was, then in my opinion you won't find a better offering for the money. The Canon 28mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/2 are both fine lenses, but share similar or worse image quality and are built worse and about a stop slower. If you have the money to jump to the "L" alternatives then more power to you, as I am sure they are better than this MUCH cheaper alternative, but the price/performance isn't worth it to me on a DX camera.

So in conclusion I have been really impressed with my copy of this lens and I highly recommend it for those seeking a fast normal lens.


Jan 1, 2009
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Larry Carter
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Registered: Jan 7, 2002
Location: Georgia
Posts: 3739
Review Date: Dec 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Well made.
Cons:
I was very disappointed in this lens. Center sharpness is very good but the edge to edge killed the lens IMO. Too much CA for my liking.



Dec 21, 2008
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ray_lam5
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Registered: Sep 18, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 71
Review Date: Dec 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 30mm is perfect, sharp at f1.4, fast focusing, nice size and feel
Cons:
focusing in low light possibly?

Ive owned 12-24, 15mm, 20-40 and now a 30mm sigma and have never had an issue with qc problems. The 30mm is no exception, from the little time ive had it i think it produces fantastic results at all f stops.

Dec 14, 2008
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seidler
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Registered: Dec 11, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 11, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: center sharpness even wide open, nice focal length for indoors
Cons:
1.4 is not really 1.4, limited use, too expensive for what it does

I just returned my Sigma 30/1.4 today. I had it for a little longer than a week, but I have reasons to return it.

First I must say, it is a great lens. The focal length is really nice indoors in normal-sized rooms, the perspective you get is really about "standard" (what you see with your eyes). I took some shots of a little boy i took care of (18 months) and they make great photo album pics. But then, this is also a limitation of the lens. "Real" photographers will tell me that it is good to run around for half an hour in order to find the "right angle" for your shot - that's not for me. I just love the versatility of a zoom lens. With the 30/1.4 you constantly move around to frame your picture. Outdoors or in big rooms it's worse - you just can't make a good shot unnoticed.

A big plus is the fact that because of the short focal length, 1.4 is not as shallow DOF as you might think. In fact, it is pretty usable if you are about or more than 1m away from your subject. I had the KM 50/1.7 before, and it was really "worse" in terms of DOF - meaning you could hardly use 1.7 because it was really really hard to get a face in focus so it wouldn't look strange. With the 30mm it's not that bad, even at 1.4 you can make a portrait that looks not too blurred all around.

Many people report focus problems, like front or rear focus or hunting/focus misses. I did not have any problems, and this is amazing because the A100 is not the best when it comes to focus accuracy (I have troubles with my Tamron 17-50/2.8 all the time...). Maybe I just got a good sample.

Anyway, I already wrote about the limited use (for me, at least), but that alone wouldn't have been a reason to return it (although I hesitated to pay almost 400 euro for a single-purpose lens). Much worse was when one eveing I sat in my room and took some comparison shots with it, I realized that the f/1.4 apparently is not really f/1.4. I did a simple test: my room, evenly lit by a light bulb, manual exposure.
- all on ISO 1600 (not that it would matter)
- Tamron@f/2.8: shutter 1/25 - good exposure
- Sigma@f/2.8: shutter 1/25 - good exposure
- Sigma@f/2.0: shutter 1/50 - good exposure
- Sigma@f/1.4: shutter - what would you think? Right, you would think shutter speed has to be 1/100 for the same exposure as the other two. WRONG! At 1/100 the image was visibly underexposed, even more visible in the histogram. Only at 1/60 shutter the image was about equally bright as the other two! WOW, what a fake I say! After that, I searched specifically for exposure problem with the Sigma, and behold, many people report problem. For most of them, wide open (1.4) is good, but the stopping down the picture is too bright. Now, that happens when wide open is not 1.4 but slower in reality, because the camera THINKS it measures exposure through a 1.4 lens, but really the Sigma gives you about 1.8 I'd say.

That was a real reason to give it back - I wanted the lens for two stops faster than the Tamron, but I got only a bit more than 1 stop.

If you disagree with my findings, test the lens for yourself (unchanged lighting, manual exposure) and report back. I can't imagine this is by chance - it's marketing and nothing more to me.


Dec 11, 2008
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palombian
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Registered: Sep 22, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast and sharp, small DOF, silent, again a normal image angle lens
Cons:
loose hood, corners soft wide open (no problem indoor)

I bought the lens from an experienced photographer who upgraded to FF, paid 280 EUR, 70-75% of new price (almost a Canon L), to be sure to have a good copy after all the rumors on this forum Smile

Excellent indoor lens, very sharp wide open to catch the light in the eyes

On the 50D the AF (and AI) focus is instant and correct, much better than the Canon EF50 1.8 II, on the 400D (XTi) there is also a lot of progress

I didn't see any problems outdoor


Nov 26, 2008
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twistedlim
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3127
Review Date: Oct 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, Fast focus, nice size, comes with hood (get it canon...it comes with a hood!)
Cons:
corners are soft until about 5.6 but that is not what I got it for anyway. Had to send it in for calibration---dreaded front focus, but it came back perfect.

Good, nice sharp lens. Balances well on a 40d. Focus is fast and silent. As sharp at 1.4 as the canon 24 and 35 L's. Only complaint is that it came front focusing. Sent to sigma and they had it 2.5 weeks but it came back perfect. Dead on. Colors and contrast are above what you would expect at 1.4. It is really hard to tell the difference in the center from 1.4 to 4.0. The problem lies in the edges. Pretty soft until 5.6 but then again I did not get this lens for its corner sharpness at 1.4. ( what does that matter anyway).

Oct 28, 2008
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Jman13
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Registered: May 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 10690
Review Date: Oct 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, even at f/1.4. Great contrast at all apertures. Beautiful color rendition. Class leading bokeh. Fast AF
Cons:
Quality control problems.

This is an excellent normal prime lens, with extremely good image quality even wide open. This lens at f/1.4 is easily as sharp as my old 28 f/1.8 was at f/2.2, and I loved my 28. Contrast does not suffer at wide apertures either. Beautiful bokeh...easily as good or better than the 35L. Great color response and a beautiful tone curve. AF is fast and (for the most part) accurate.

On the down side...quality control. This is currently my 3rd Sigma 30. The first two front focused so horrendously on anything over 6 feet away that the lens couldn't even reach infinity. Shots on distant buildings would put the focus point 15 feet out. After two exchanges, got one that slightly backfocused, so I sent that one to Sigma for calibration. Came back spot on, and now I can really appreciate the fantastic optics. If buying this lens new, though, allow time for exchanges or calibration. Once you get a properly focusing one, though, it's fantastic.


Oct 14, 2008
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bklyn_g
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Registered: Oct 8, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Build, sharpness, speed, size, price
Cons:
hood is not very tight when attached, squeaky AF on my 450D (not on 50D)

I waited for a while before reviewing this lens. I have used it on the 450D and my new 50D. Overall the qualities of this lens are favorable, if not excellent. The max. aperture and normal fl on 1.6 bodies are the best aspects. The EX build is also stellar.

The lens is sharp wide open and stopped down improves noticably. The sweet spot of my copy seems to be about 5.6.

The size and usability are great features. The lens is small and robust, a bit heavy for its size but with a solid feel. The focal length is perfect for a general use prime. Indoors its the perfect focal length (~50mm on crop sensor)...coupled with the f1.4 aperture, its a great social lens for parties etc. With the iso 12000 on the 50D it can basically see in the dark.

AF is fast on the 50D, not as fast on the 450D. One aspect that was odd was that the AF squeaked when on the 450D but not on the 50D. I guess the AF speed of the 50D put the frequency of the vibrations (that were making an audible sound) high enough as to be inaudible.

The first 10 or so pics on this page came from the 30mm 1.4 on a 450D:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycgeo/

Overall Im very satisfied with the lens. I may have considered the Sigma 50mm 1.4 because of its great reviews and more exciting focal length. The "normal" 30mm is not very exciting or dramatic...but has stellar capabilities and quality as an all-around prime.

for the price...its a definite recommend.


Oct 9, 2008
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RSHEINWALD
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Registered: Sep 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 30
Review Date: Oct 9, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Has anyone used this lens on a fullframe camera?

Oct 9, 2008
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Phast1
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Registered: Jul 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2082
Review Date: Sep 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, small, light, fast.
Cons:
sigma cast, hood.

Being a huge fan of Canon's 35L & 24L I was skeptical about buying this lens for my crop body camera (40D). I was surprised... this lens is sharp wide open, nice. For less than half the price of a 35L it's also much lighter and much smaller, making for a more compact/portable discreet camera. I love it.

It does have the Sigma signature warm cast but I always shoot RAW so no biggie there. Besides, I've seen this cast on a few of sigma's lenses so it's not like it is this particular lens' trait. The hood on mine doesn't lock in like Canon's do. I does click into place with a half turn but comes loose fairly easy. Not a huge thumbs-down but it's there.

Why I like this lens:
It is sharp, it is small, it is light, it is cheap (comparitavely) for a fast prime lens. I've gotten great large prints from it on a 40D at wide (1.4 - 2.2) apertures.

I would not hesitate to reccomend this lens but would suggest testing for front/back focus based on other reviews written on this lens.


Sep 26, 2008
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fandrews
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Registered: May 25, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 22
Review Date: Jul 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great Image Quality. Great lens for crop bodies
Cons:
none at this stage

I picked up this lens a couple of days ago. I must say I am in love with it. I also have a canon 50mm f1.4 however the 30mm lens has quickly replaced it as it is more practical on a crop body. Problem is now I can't imagine ever using the 50mm again.

Great lens!!


Jul 14, 2008
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Chez Wimpy
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Registered: Jun 11, 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jun 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: contrast, flare resistance, sharpness at all apertures, color, HSM
Cons:
uneven sharpness obvious when shooting objects with pattern detail barrel distortion unavoidable on surfaces parallel to the frame my copy squeaks when focuses off the horizontal

I got this lens within a week of its release in June 2005. At first I had been using the Canon EF 35/2, but I wanted the extra (f1.4) stop for even more lowlight possiblity with my Canon 20D. As it turned out, image quality was so good on the Sigma 30/1.4 that it soon became my default "normal" lens, and is only passed over when I need to do portraiture or the outdoor flexiblity of a zoom. About half a year after I got my lens the reports of "bad focus" started snowballing, and now this lens has a tainted reputation. However, had I not spent time on camera forums, I would never have been the wiser. It is such a critical element of my photography that I would have a hard time managing my quality level if I had to settle for something else. All of this for the equivalent of US $400 - the best value of any of my lenses.

(Owing to this experience I preordered and got one of the first Sigma 50/1.4s in Japan. Again, the focus motor works fine, but I await the first reports of "bad focus" in the coming months Wink


Jun 24, 2008
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mckenzy
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Registered: Mar 19, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp
Cons:
not that cheap for a 3rd party

Get a good copy and you will be a happy person for life.

On a x1.6 this comes up to about the 50mm. This is a good focal length. Brings me back to the SLR days with the (then) 50mm f/1.8...

It instills good discipline in composition at this focal length and brings you back to your basics (i.e. zoom with your legs not your hands)...

Get it with your local warranty as many users have had to send in to Sigma Service centres for Focus recalibration (front / back focussing).

If you are into primes... this is an easy one to decide upon.


Jun 22, 2008
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jirok12944
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: center sharpness, contrast, price, build, AF speed, f/1.4
Cons:

I'm absolutely happy with the lens. handling, sharpness and contrast are very close to 50L on FF. priced very well!

minor issues - corner softness, CA.


Jun 13, 2008
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MilesR
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Registered: Nov 29, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 129
Review Date: May 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, lightning fast AF, size, weight, price, 1.4, normal lens for aps-c
Cons:
AF can sometimes (not often) hunt in low light, but what lens doesn't?

if you own a camera with an APS-C sensor, you owe it to yourself to get this lens. this is the first prime lens i've owned, and i think i lucked into the perfect example to own. i picked mine up from another FMer, and it hasn't come off my camera since i got it. I've shot nearly 1,000 pictures in the meantime, in all manner of situations... concerts, portraits, landscapes, candids, available light, artificial light, auto focus, manual focus, everything i could think of.

i haven't found a single thing that this lens can't do.

highly recommended, especially if you can find a good copy used. it's a hell of a value.


May 27, 2008
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dennisvillegas
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Registered: Jan 21, 2008
Location: Philippines
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small,light,bokeh,sharp,cute,outstanding colors, one of the sharpest Sigma primes ever produced
Cons:
None that I know of

I own the version 2 of this lens with the stupid AF/MF switch removed, and has full manual focus override.

The lens is specially designed for APS-C dslrs and performs as a standard prime. At f1.4, the lens is incredibly sharp. I don't understand why some users complain of corners being soft at 1.4. Corners really should be soft at 1.4 because of the wide open aperture! However, the center is extremely razor sharp! Stop down to f4 and everything becomes sharper.

I also own the discontinued and super-expensive Nikkor 28 1.4 before, but had to sell the lens because I cannot keep a very expensive lens in my bag. After some hesitation, I bought this cheapo Sigma 1.4 and was floored by the results: I found that this might be even sharper than the Nikkor.

The colors are fantastic and the bokeh creamy. I still believe to this day that this is one of the sharpest Sigma prime lenses ever produced, along with the Sigma 14 2.8, and the 180macro.


May 21, 2008
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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
79 165492 Feb 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $386.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.13
8.88
8.9
113_small


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