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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
79 166356 Feb 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $386.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.11
8.85
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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grendel
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Registered: Apr 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 76
Review Date: May 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: As sharp, or sharper than, my Canon 50mm f1.4 or 100mm f2.8. Better build quality than non-L Canon lenses. Fast focus. Hood included. Nice color and contrast...slightly warmer than my Canons.
Cons:
Green ghosting of bright points of light/spectral highlights if used with a cheap UV filter. This is my only lens that really can't be used with anything but multi-coated filters. AF is susceptible to front focusing if the camera is not calibrated spot-on.

You can't beat this lens for the price. This is _the_ prime to own on an APS-C sensor camera.

For those experiencing front focus issues, here's my experience.

When I got my 40D, all my lenses produced a bit of front focus. The Canon primes front focused, but it was almost unnoticeable. My Sigmas (70-200 f2.8, 18-50 f2.8, 30mm f1.4) front focused A LOT. I sent each Sigma in for calibration, and it didn't fix the problem. Eventually I sent the 40D (and my 20D) in for calibration, and lo and behold, the problem with the Sigmas went away.

It seems that if your AF is slightly miscalibrated with Canon glass, the Sigmas will focus even worse...multiplying whatever error is in the system. If it's calibrated correctly, both manufacturers' lenses focus great.

FWIW, Sigma customer service was MUCH better when I was going through this. Quicker turnaround time and an actual human picks up the phone when you call. Crazy, I know.


May 19, 2008
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hdco1098
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Registered: May 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $385.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: SHARPNESS and clarity at all apertures, including 1.4. Solid build quality, nice looking. Fast, quiet auto-focus.
Cons:
AF/Man focus switch feels cheap. A little bit of motor feel in the manual focus mode.

Having read the various complaints about focus issues, I'm happy to say that I've had none of them. This lens is on my camera more than any other at the moment (although maybe that would change with a EF-S 17-55). Incredibly sharp and clean, even wide open, especially compared to both copies of Canon's 28mm 1.8 that I had at various times before buying this lens. At 1.8mm I found Canon's lens to have a bleariness that I couldn't stomach.



May 8, 2008
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jj sach md
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 42
Review Date: Apr 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f1.4 at such a great price!!! Great focal range for crop sensors.
Cons:
The Sigma yellow colour cast but I shoot RAW so don't care considering the price compared to a 35L. Can't get to lens cap with lens hood on.

Had this lens since they were first release and used on a 20D and 30D. This lens is immersed in fear - I have ever ever had any focusing/calibration issues. The Sigma 30 f1.4 has work flawlessly for me.

I can't say how much I love this lens. In low light, music/arts, wedding situations it never lets me down. Great walkaround, travel lens too. My Canon EF-S 17-55 is my workhorse lens i.e. it gets used the most for work week in, week out. This 30EX is the lens I use most for both work and pleasure.

Draw backs are minor - the Sigma yellow cast on photos may be a problem for those shooting in formats other than RAW. Also with my big fingers I find it difficult to take off/put on the lens cap with hood attached.


Apr 28, 2008
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NealeF
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Registered: Jun 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Apr 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, even at 1.4. Light weight, nice focal length on Rebel XT
Cons:
Crop lens - but you know that when you buy it

Bought this used off FM site, seller was selling 20D and going to 5D. He had previously had lens calibrated - told me if I wasn't happy he would take it back. It is absolutely sharp at 1.4. It actually made me look closer at my Canon 50 1.4 and I ended up sending the Canon in.

I bought a ID MKII and it appears to work well on that.

Highly recommend - noting that it may need calibration to work at 1.4 - but that isn't just Sigma's problem. Canon has the same problem from my experience.


Apr 18, 2008
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linuxgod
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Registered: Apr 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: nice bokeh makes a great (nearly) 50mm lens on digital camera HSM
Cons:
focus sometimes hunts below f/1.8

I love this lens - it was worth every penny. Indoors I flip on the lights and never use a flash. Very sharp, nice bokeh, almost nothing I can gripe about.

The only downside is that it tends to hunt for focus a bit at low f-stops (below f/1.8), particulary at f/1.4. I tend to shoot f/1.8-f/2.5 and ISO400-800 with it, so it's fine with me.


Apr 2, 2008
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esti
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Registered: Feb 27, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, vibrant colours
Cons:
Doesn't work on full-frame 30mm focal length is a bit "middle of the road"

I originally bought this lens to have a fast, wide prime for concert photography. It actually wasn't very suitable for that purpose, but never-the-less I've come to really love this little lens. Having never used an 1.4 lens before I found it scarily fast, even in low light. Colours are vibrant and it's nice and sharp if you stop it down a little.

As with all Sigma lenses, you hear reports of people who have had bad copies. Mine is fine: rugged, well made and well behaved.

The biggest negative is that it's a DC lens, and so I can't take it with me when I switch to a full-frame sensor. The other thing you have to consider is if a 30mm focal length is useful for you: it's not wide enough for landscapes and not really long enough for portraits (although I have taken some superb shots of kids with it).

Otherwise this is nice, sturdy and fast little prime and a fun lens to shoot with.


Feb 27, 2008
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YLTan
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Registered: Sep 19, 2002
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 14
Review Date: Feb 26, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Bright, very sharp in the center even at F1.4, reasonably fast focus for a very good price
Cons:
Corners at f1.4 to f5.6 are very soft. Uneven sharpness - the right side of the view is significantly softer than the left - perhaps a centering problem? Spectral hightlights have strange ugly triangular shape.

I bought this to see what it can offer. I tested at the shop on the focus issue for a few days before I bought it - after hearing so many issues on this.

At least this copy was OK for focus. However when I took it home, I found that the corners and the right side are very soft when I took a picture of my bookshelf - the only thing I have that is flat. I compared it to my very old 35mm f2 - and it is obvious. By f5.6, the left side of the picture is acceptably sharp, but the right side need 1 more stop to decent. I have no issues with corner sharpness at f1.4 to f2.8 - for the purpose of this lens, the corner blurrness doesn't matter at those aperture. However, I expect that corners should be acceptable by f4 - it was still horrible.

Only by f8 was the corner acceptable.

Also, when doing night shooting, out of focus spectral hightlights have funky ugly triangular shapes - not too sure why since the lens is set to about f2!

I am not too sure what I am going to do - send it for adjustment for centering or return it.

My old 35mm f2 is not so sharp in the center at f2, but by f2.8, it is excellent, with even very good corners. At f4 it is impeccable.


Feb 26, 2008
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andrew jarvis
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Registered: Nov 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 19
Review Date: Jan 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, EX finish, comes with hood and pouch, quiet & fast focus, full-time manual focus
Cons:
minimum focus distance a bit long, tough to lock focus in low light

Great lens for the price...would have paid more. Wish I could get closer to subjects, the minimum focus distance is a bit far. Been shooting our new baby lately and wish I could get nice and close but the lens doesn't like to get up close and personal Smile

Love the EX finish, sharp even wide open. Smooth bokeh, color rendition is a tad warm, but not bad.

No front focusing issues, has performed perfectly.

Perfect focal length for a crop sensor especially. Highly recommended.


Jan 12, 2008
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sdgphoto
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Registered: Apr 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 145
Review Date: Jan 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp even wide open at f1.4, smaller and lighter than 35 f1.4 L, colors vibrant and pop, ring autofocus (HSM), has full-time manual override, flare and chromatic aberration controlled very well, amazingly low price for this quality lens
Cons:
Extreme borders soft until f5.6 or so, shading and some barrel distortion evident, close focusing distance a bit far

Tried both the 30 f1.4 EX and 35 f1.4 L and kept the Sigma. Optical performance is basically a wash (I'd say the Sigma is sharper actually). The center sharpness at f1.4 is as good as I have seen, and the colors really "pop". This lens is my most used prime on my 40D. I fully agree with this review http://photo.net/equipment/canon/40D that mating the 40D to the Sigma 30 and the Canon 17-55 IS is about as good a setup as they come. In fact, it's what I use. The Sigma 30 is a flat-out performer.

Jan 3, 2008
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Macindows
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Registered: Dec 12, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 4
Review Date: Dec 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, GREAT colors, great boukeh
Cons:
kind of big, 0.4m minimum distance

I bought this lense 6 months ago and I'm more than happy with it.
I use it mainly to shoot portraits or during low light situations and it is simply great. It has very little distortion and gives a great boukeh. It is sharper at f/1.4 than the Nikon 28mm f/1.4 AF and MUCH sharper than Nikon's old-school 35mm f/1.4 MF lens. This lense is like a vampire. It unfolds its full potential only during low light or night scenes. For me the perfect lense to shoot inside restaurants or clubs.
Try it out! It's really worth the money!


Dec 12, 2007
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simon_k
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Registered: Mar 12, 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 390
Review Date: Dec 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: incredibly sharp even at f/1.4 (center), very nice colors, cheap, perfectly built, AF precission
Cons:
border sharpness

I picked up this lens about 3 months ago for my 40D and i'm still stunned every day by it's quality.
The only real drawback is the IQ at the borders (quite soft untill f/5.6) but this is only a problem if you shoot testcharts!
In real-life use I never had a problem and 90% of the time I use it between f/1.4 and f/2.8.
I guess this is one of those lenses you have to test before you buy it. It doesn't fit everybody's style in shooting.
So if you want a perfectly built, very sharp lens for available light photography on a crop camera and don't want to invest a fortune for the 35L, this is the one to look for.


Dec 9, 2007
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danny d
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Registered: Dec 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 682
Review Date: Dec 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Compact, Sharp, Good Colors & Contrast
Cons:
focusing distance could be closer, longevity (see below)??

I purchased this lens two years ago and still enjoy the product as much as I did on day one. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a "normal' prime on a APS-C sensor. The lens is mounted on my camera 50% of the time, due to this the hood does not screw on as easily as it used to, also when I aim the camera toward the floor the focus motor can "squeek" on occasion. This lens has a 4 year warranty, so after the holiday season I think I will send it on for service to address these issues.

Would I go out and buy it again? An easy Yes..



Dec 3, 2007
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RandyR
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Registered: Feb 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3425
Review Date: Nov 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: very sharp with good contrast
Cons:
canon mount mis focused 50% of the time Nikon mount is much better

for high school bb this lens is great, even at 1.4

Nov 26, 2007
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David Israel
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Registered: Nov 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3766
Review Date: Nov 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $427.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great center sharpness (great edge to edge sharpness when stopped down to f2), good contrast, fast and accurate focus, price
Cons:
None (at this price, anyway)

My copy of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is very sharp and produces excellent colors. It is the only non-Canon Lens that I own. This lens performs favorably to my Canon L lenses and better than my 85 f/1.8.

A few people noted that their copies tended to front focus, though I have not had that problem. Suparman noted that he had problems with focus when he combined this lens with his 40D. I have been more fortunate with my copy, as I use it on a 40D with no problems. This lens costs me less than half of what the EF 35L would have cost and I am extremely pleased with the results.

I was a little apprehensive prior to purchasing this lens, fearing that I would be disappointed with the performance. However, having seen so many positive reviews, I decided to give the lens a try. That was 6 months ago. I have not regretted the decision to purchase this lens. The 30mm f/1.4 represents one of the better values I have found in a lens. I use it often.

I now find myself seriously considering other Sigma lenses. Perhaps Sigma has a QC problem. In either case, I'm one of the lucky ones who got a good copy. For the price I paid for this lens, I couldn't be more pleased.


Nov 24, 2007
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Suparman Widja
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Registered: Feb 21, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 71
Review Date: Oct 25, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast, cheap
Cons:
Focus problem with Canon mount

I loved this lens when I had it mounted on XTI. The pics were nicely saturated and very sharp. It's very usable indoor.

However, when I upgraded to 40D, I got severe front focusing issue. Sending it to sigma made it worse even though they said 'it was re-calibrated to spec'. They did suggest me to send my camera body so they can adjust it to the body. However this makes the lens not compatible with non 40D bodies (ie the focus cannot be guaranteed sharp anymore).
Note: The 40D has no problem with other 3 canon lenses.

I guess this is the risk of buying non-OEM lens.


Oct 25, 2007
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Ion Hancu
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Registered: Oct 8, 2007
Location: Spain
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: f/1.4, center sharpness, a perfect lens to walk around town with day or night
Cons:
Soft edges and slight vignetting when wide open

I'm quite new to the world of SLRs and have very few lenses to compare to but let me just say that after owning it for a couple months and taking a few thousand pictures with it (on a 30D) I'm quite pleased with the results. When using my UV filter (a cheap brand) I often get flare but without it it's never been a problem. When it's dark I have gotten a few shots that were out-of-focus but I think it happened due to carelessness rather than the lens itself.

Overall I highly recommend it!


Oct 8, 2007
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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
79 166356 Feb 16, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
91% of reviewers $386.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.11
8.85
8.9
113_small


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