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Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

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Reviews Views Date of last review
88 194265 Oct 23, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $1,370.66
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.86
9.32
8.5
15_30f35_45_1_

Specifications:
Focal length: 15-30mm
Maximum aperture: F3.5-4.5
Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
Focusing system: Internal Focusing
Angle of view: 110.5°-71.6°
Number of diaphragm blades: 8
Minimum aperture: F22-32
Minimum focusing distance: 12 in. (30cm)
Maximum magnification: 1:6
Filter size: Rear (gelatin filter insert type)
External finish: EX finish
Lens hood: Petal shape hood (non-removable)
Dimensions: 3.42 in. (dia) x 5.12 in. (length)
87mm (dia) x 130mm (length)
Weight: 21.8 oz. (615g)
Mount: Sigma SA, Minolta (D), Nikon (D), Pentax, Canon


 


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Tigadee
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Registered: Aug 4, 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $357.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light, good build quality, fast AF (even in low-light), sharp results
Cons:
Weird lens filter adapter system, 82mm filter, darn zoom ring at the back/focus in front, AF noisy

Just got this lens 2nd hand yesterday and had a test run with it today. This 15-30mm equals 24-48mm on my 1.6x DSLR and it complements nicely my 28-300mm IS USM L (which equals 45-480mm). Good thing the weather cleared up in time! Samples here (unprocessed except re-size and light sharpening):
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403385.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403386.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403387.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403388.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403389.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403390.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403391.html
http://tigadee.fotopic.net/p22403392.html
Surprisingly light lens considering its size, but build quality is sufficiently strong. Was also surprised that the lens hood/shade is part of the lens! i.e. it's not removable! And there's also a lens filter adapter just for you to fit over the lens hood so you can clip on the lens cap and/or screw on a lens filter! Bizarre!

Images turn out sharp in good lighting, you get almost L-quality results. Colour sat and contrast are very, very good. I'm pleased with that aspect of the lens. :-) Even in low-lighting the AF works well and doesn't hunt (although this AF is a bit noisy). But since it's not a fast lens (i.e. f2.8), I've had to turn up the ISO on my 300D sometimes and although the results were usable, but nothing spectacular (more the camera than the lens as the high ISOs of the 300D blot out a lot of details - should be better with a 20D or next gen). Will have to look into a fast lens for low-light work, e.g. Sigma's 24-70mm f2.8.

I really am utterly annoyed by the placement of the zoom & focus rings! I find myself often reaching for the thin narrow zoom ring only to find it's the wide fat focus ring which rotates! And the zoom ring being located at the rear of the lens close to the body makes for rather unsteady/awkward handholding! But thankfully this lens is only used in certain situations and because of the short focal range, I seldom venture near the zoom ring and treat the lens like a prime. (If this were a lens with a range such as 18-125mm - which I had - or 28-300mm, I'd have thrown it away in frustration!)


Nov 4, 2005
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MaxG
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Registered: Nov 20, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 522
Review Date: Oct 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: range, price, build quality, sharpness...everything you want really.
Cons:
none for the price.

wont get anything better for this price. It's a beauty.

Oct 5, 2005
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 216
Review Date: Sep 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent optics, good contrast and colour, solid build quality and it's sharp.
Cons:
Absolutely none for the money.

I bought mine off eBay for roughly Ģ200 (about $340) and was more than impressed at the quality of this lens on my D30. It's produced amazing results and have noticed that it needs very little contrast adjustment, possibly a little extra yellow (as mentioned by others) but very easily adjusted in Photoshop. I was originally looking for a Tokina 17mm f/2.8 prime but here in the UK finding them is very difficult so I took a gamble and bought this. I am so pleased that I did!

Some people have mentioned that the 15mm end is better than the 30mm end but on my copy the 30mm end has produced excellent results. This lens is superb value for money, performance is not as good as say the 50mm f/1.4 but for those wide shots it's very, very good. On 1.6 factor cameras this is great wide angle lens.

Hand held on my camera the lens is well balanced. The only down side is that I need to buy a bigger camera bag although it comes with a nice padded bag.



Sep 19, 2005
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Powerdoc
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Registered: Feb 4, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jul 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, wide for a full frame lens, wide enough on a cropped camera
Cons:
Ghosting (blue patterns) some flare (but not so much for a wide angle), no USM

This lens deserve his DG logo. This lens is better on a DSLR camera, than a film one. Stopped down to F5,6 and F8 this lens is very sharp at all focal lenghts. It's perhaps the sharpest zoom at 15 mm.

There is a slight yellow cast, but on a DSLR everything is just a question of white balance. There is some ghosting issues : blue patterns (I use one hand to handle my camera, and the other to hide the light emiting source), and some flare (althought it's more a ghost issue than a flare one : for a UWA zoom, I will said that the flare is rather good).
This zoom is rather large, not so heavy. It lack USM but the AF is rather fast, but a bit too much noisy.

The filter diameter is a bit too much : 82 mm. Filters at this size are rather expansives.


Jul 22, 2005
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bigredbob
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Registered: Jun 5, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 568
Review Date: Jul 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid build quality, clear images
Cons:
Big and a little on the heavy side

I bought this lens about 18 months ago and it goes everywhere with me. Highly recommended.

Jul 21, 2005
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20Dshooter
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Registered: May 24, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 1035
Review Date: Jun 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide, well built, extremely sharp!
Cons:
Audible, scratchy sounding AF.

I absolutely love this lens! It is way sharper than my other L zooms, such as the "legendar" 24-70 L and 70-200 IS. I never have to use USM with shots taken with this gem!

The only con is the scratchy sounding, relatively loud AF. However, this is really no big deal, as the focussing is always very fast. It doesn't bother me at all.


Jun 18, 2005
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vemplord1
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Registered: May 11, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Build like a rocket, starting at 15MM.
Cons:
Flare while standing in front of a light source.

Great lens, great Focal length, build strong, good colors, very sharp even with wide open aperture. Recommended!

May 24, 2005
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abargath
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: Iceland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good image quality, little distortion for a wide angle. Light but still built resonably well, felt solid.
Cons:
Terrible flare, can only use 82mm filters and no filters with full frame cameras. Awkward pull focus system. Average contrast and colours (compared to canon L glass)

I bought this lens to use with a 10D in the summer of 2003. I was very happy with it optically but I sold it after having it for about 1 year to get the 17-40L from canon. I used this lens as a wide angle when the 24-70L wasnīt wide enough. I exchanged it for the 17-40 for the following reasons.

1. The flare in this lens was unacceptable, lost too much contrast and every single light in the shot is star shaped. Pretty much useless for me personally in night shots.

2. Uses 82mm filters and I had lots of 77mm ones and I wanted to be able to have as few filters as possible. Also plan on getting a full frame camera sometime in the future and in either case you just screw the filters right on the 17-40L but not this one.

3. While the images were pretty sharp for a wide angle zoom they still didnīt have the same "look" as the 24-70L so I found myself having to set the WB specifically for this lens and another setting for Canon glass. What I am trying to say is the contrast and colours are different from what I had grown used to from the 24-70L.

4. I had gotten used to the USM focus motor on the 24-70L and really didnīt like the focus system on this, both the fact that you had to pull the ring to switch to manual focus and also I wanted a quieter focus motor.

5. I really hated the fact that if I was at 15mm and f3.5 and then zoomed out to 30mm the aperture goes to 4.5 and then when I zoomed out to 15mm again the aperture is still 4.5. This is just nitpicking but I am NEVER again getting a lens that doesnīt have a constant aperture throughout the zoom range, wether it be f2.8 or f4.

All these issues are just personal issues with this lens and optically itīs pretty good. If I couldnīt afford L glass I would still have this lens and be pretty happy with it, but I could afford to switch so I did.


Mar 28, 2005
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Tony Bonanno
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Registered: Jan 9, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 287
Review Date: Mar 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid build, very good performance for this focal length range, excellent value.
Cons:
Two steps required to switch from AF to MF.

This is the only NON-Canon lens I use. Most of my glass is L stuff. I purchased this lens a couple of years ago and use it mostly for architectural interiors. Overall, I've been very pleased. I was seriously thinking about the Canon 16-35L when it came out, but too many of my colleagues were not that thrilled with it, so I just held off, especially considering the price. Then Canon introduced the 17-40L, and I'd pretty much made up my mind to replace the Sigma with the 17-40L... that is, until John Maclean and I did side by side tests with his 16-35L, a 17-40L I had loaned to me, and my 15-30 Sigma. Geesh, I was pretty surprised at how well the Sigma 15-30 performed at all focal lengths and apertures compared to the two Canon "L" wide angle zooms. Maybe I just got an exceptional 15-30 sample. The optical performance regarding sharpness and contrast was pretty much on a par with the more expensive Canon samples. I really wanted to buy the 17-40L, but can't justify it at all after seeing how my 15-30 compared. It may be a little "clunky" and slower to AF, but it gets the job done to the standard I require. A number of the interior shots on this sample page were taken with this lense: http://www.bonannophoto.com



Mar 21, 2005
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Agamemnon
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Registered: Jun 1, 2004
Location: Serbia & Montenegro
Posts: 187
Review Date: Mar 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: 15 mm, build quality & construction, sharp, low price
Cons:
noisy focus

I am very satisfied with this lens. It’s very wide and produces nice and quality images. Flare is very small. It's a big lens and has a cool robust feel.
I only don’t like the sound......with HSM it would be perfect!


Mar 15, 2005
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clonardo
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Registered: Jan 19, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 608
Review Date: Feb 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: focal length, full frame, round front element, no rear filter slot
Cons:
slow aperture, slow AF, flare, soft

It does the job a cheap wide-angle zoom is supposed to do. The one lens in my kit I really look forward to replacing with something better.

For the money, there's not much else out there that can compete. Even in the $1000 range, the Nikon 17-35/2.8 isn't as wide. Still, flare resistance and sharpness are the name of the game here, and the Sigma simply can't compete with pro-quality glass that costs several times as much.


Feb 20, 2005
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Fer1
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Registered: Jan 3, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 9
Review Date: Jan 3, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Wide, sharp *at the center of the frame*, contrasty; focus is fast and accurate. Good build quality for the price.
Cons:
Terrible edge softness (on my unit at least), heavy barrel distortion, flare-prone (not too much with a 1.6 DSLR since you can leave the cover ring on); bulky; uncomfortable MF due to odd controls (switch + clutch)

My unit has excellent center sharpness from f/5.6, but poor corner sharpness even when used on my 10D (1.6 crop).
Has a warm, almost yellowish color response (I like it; someone don't).
Focusing is fast and accurate, though no HSM.
CA is well controlled, and actually better than my Canon 24/2.8!
Barrel distortion is heavy, and noticeable even on my 10D.
Flare is a fact with this lens when used on a full frame camera. You have to find proper shooting angles to avoid flare from sun or other strong lights. On the 10D, due to the crop factor I can leave the cap retention ring on, and the situation gets much better; still prone to flare, but to a way lesser degree.
No vignetting on the 10D; visible vignetting on full frame at < f/5.6.

The main problem I see with this lens is the edge softness. I sent it to Sigma and they say it's within acceptable limits.


Jan 3, 2005
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jorob
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Registered: Mar 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jan 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great lens for the money very sharp,
Cons:
Your not buying a Cadalac

I purchased this lens a year ago and have had excellent results both indoors and outdoors shooting from bright light to low light levels. I have not experienced any of the problems I have read here. For the amount of money spent on this lens I would not expect it to be in the same class as the more costly nikons or canons. To assume that this lens should proform as the higher priced nikons and canons is absurd. This is why we do'nt compare cadalacs to volkswagons. In closing when you make the choice to spend less for what ever reason do'nt expect more and remember to read,read,read the lack of knowledge is the reason for alot of negativity. Just my opinion everyone has one.

Jan 1, 2005
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DamienB
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Registered: Jan 24, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 20
Review Date: Oct 24, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Price/performance ratio
Cons:
Build quality, flare

Compare to the examples I tested of Canon zooms in a similar range, this lens was sharper so I bought it.

Use in the real world taught me that it suffers awfully from blue circular flare marks - my first copy was so awful for it I returned it for another. The second example didn't suffer as badly but the zoom ring sounded like it had something grinding inside it, so I returned that one too. The third had flare again, but not as bad as the first.

It also broke down on me after 11 months, just within warranty, with the aperture blades sticking in position when taking a shot, rendering it useless. Repaired under warranty within 3 days by Sigma though.

The reason I bought it over supposedly superior Canon lenses - sharpness - only applies when it isn't wide open (both zoom and aperture), at those points it is a little 'digital' looking - almost over-sharp, difficult to put over in words really. Outside of those areas it's generally excellent so I'd still recommend it, just make sure you get a good one!

(price paid is in UK Ģ)


Oct 24, 2004
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dfoto
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Registered: Sep 6, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 6, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wide, sharp, little distortion, contrasty, well built and good price.
Cons:
None at this price.

This lens stands against the 17-40L in most people's minds. I scoured the web looking at shots of each and quite a few where people had tested both together and some on a FF 1DS. I could see no advantage optically, for me, to buy the 17-40L The Sigma 15-30 is wider and those few mm do make a difference. It is as sharp in some cases more so and almost as conratsty.

I see the recent condemnation for flare... I honestly I have not found it any more an issue than on any other lens I have and in any case a WA is a little more prone to it. Maybe take a little care. CA also has been so minor as to be 'forget it'. It offers sharpness across the frame at all lengths - in the corners too. It does give a slight warm tint to shots but I like that and if I do not I can remove it easily. Distortion is minor - about as much as the 17-40L wide. I like this lens indoors too; it has a nice range for people shots. Outdoors it's not super wide (try the 12-24) but better than the 28-70s and does give a good sense of width with some nice wide effects possible.

It feels balanced on my D60. The DF AF/MF switch is a minor bother since the focus ring is a little stiff - in this case. But I am used to the DF with my other Sigma EX lenses and can do it very quickly almost without a thought. Focus is slightly noisy but nothing bothersome and is reasonably fast, positive and on the D60 it is accurate.

Could it be better? Of course. Most things can be improved. However, the pertinent questions are does it do the job and at an affordable price. The answers are yes and yes.


Sep 6, 2004
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teglis
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Sep 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Price, wide, close focus
Cons:
Physical size, flare

Most reviewers report this as a sharp lens. However, in my experience, its sharpness is only average--not any better than the Canon 300D kit lens in the range they have in common. Even on a 1.6 crop factor camera, edge sharpness deterioriates noticably at wider aperatures. That has been my biggest disappointment.

Flare can appear as blue circles/ovals that often become more prominent as you adjust levels in PS, and can be hard to edit out.

Though noisy, the focus is quick.

Sigma rates the closest focus distance as 30cm. That would be to the film plane. Given the sheer size of the lens, you're actually closer than that for some very cool effects.


Sep 1, 2004
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Sigma 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 EX Aspherical DG DF

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
88 194265 Oct 23, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $1,370.66
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.86
9.32
8.5
15_30f35_45_1_


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