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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Review Date: Jun 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: contrast, flare resistance, sharpness at all apertures, color, HSM
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