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05-08-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
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Sigma 30mm F1.4 Opinions

Hi all,

I am seriously considering buying this lens for my Portrait work, but have to admit, I have heard some mixed reports about focus issues.

I tried this lens out the other day, in store, on a Canon and have to say that I am might impressed with its results.

Does anyone here own this lens and can shed some light on any issues it may or may not have?

Thanks
John

05-08-2010, 08:17 PM   #2
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Some people here PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC own the lens.

And a few more here PentaxForums.com Third-Party Lens Review Database - Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM (AF Lens) own an HSM version of the lens
05-08-2010, 09:44 PM   #3
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Great lens, possibly the sharpest one I own. This lens pretty much lives on f/1.4 and is my go-to for low light shooting. Being a normal lens on APS-C it's fairly versatile and comfortable focal length for portraits. It can do anything from group shots to head shots, though it excels at torso crops. The bokeh is creamy, subject separation is excellent, and the colors are vivid. There's almost no reason to stop this lens down, other than to get more depth of field.

Downsides? The focus ring is backwards from all of my pentax lenses, which is infuriating because it's the lens I use for shooting video. The corners are somewhat soft and don't really improve by stopping down. Also, the lens also can be forced into some nervous bokeh if the subject is at medium distance (10ft +) with a busy background further behind (20ft+).

As for the focus issues, my copy exhibited some back-focus which required a +10 focus adjustment. However, all of my lenses back-focused on my K-7 across the board, with the lowest adjustment being +3. It wasn't something I immediately noticed until I spent the time to calibrate my lenses on the K-7, but looking back I can see instances of back focusing from my K10D shots.
05-08-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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I've got it for low-light indoor shooting and does the job very well.

It needed no micro AF adjustment, not even 1.
Focus ring is indeed backwards from limiteds but then how many are there that is better : )

These are f/1.4





05-09-2010, 03:11 PM   #5
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Sigma 30 1.4

I am very impressed by the images this lens produces. My copy is tack sharp. Only cons, hunts a bit in low light and I cannot get it to focus using my far left and right selective points on my K20D, well it does, just not very well. I have not heard this complaint before either way not a big enough deal for me to return it. I wish the bokeh was a little creamer.



05-09-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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From what I've seen - even at F 1.4 - this is a pretty amazing, must have lens. So I snapped up a used one and it should ship in the next day or two.
05-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for the information guys.

I have decided to sell my Tamron 90mm F2.8 1:1 to obtain finances for the 30mm.

From all reports, it looks like a smart move for me

Thanks again
05-09-2010, 09:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moose Quote
Thanks for the information guys.

I have decided to sell my Tamron 90mm F2.8 1:1 to obtain finances for the 30mm.
I wouldn't sell my Tamron 90, even if I was hungry, I wouldn't do it.

05-10-2010, 06:08 PM   #9
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The Sigma 30mm is a fantastic lens and is about 1/3 the cost of a FA31 (pending where you live) - which makes it total steal and a no brainer.

Some folks here dog on Sigma lenses, but I've never had a bad copy and love the build quality of the EX line. My copy of the S30mm doesn't have any focus issues, nor any bf/ff issues. I'm quite pleased with my copy.

As for the bokeh - I find it silky smooth and quite like it. Some don't like the triangular shaped highlights in the deep corners, but I like the look.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy this lens at all. It's one of my favourites and gives me no reason to spend the extra on a FA31.

As a side note - I originally had an A 35 2.8 which I sold, then an FA35 which I sold. I now swing with the 30 and won't be selling it.

c[_]
05-11-2010, 04:21 AM   #10
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Hey Moose, sry for hijacking your thread but the title just seemed right, so i hope you don't mind...

Do you guys think this Sig could be used as a walkaround lens?
I'm planning on buying a K-7 and am looking for a good quality lens to go with it. I like the 30-35mm FLs so i was considering the 35mm Ltd and this Sig.
I read all the reviews I could find and really like the bokeh this lens can produce, but i'm not sure how would it perform on higher f-numers, for landscapes and stuff where you want larger DOF...
I mostly shoot people (indoors, outdoors) and landscapes, and think this FL would suit me best. The f/1,4 and the things you can do with it are just amazing and i'd really like to have a lens like that but i'm wondering where's the lens's sweet spot and how it performs on landscapes, so any thoughts?
05-11-2010, 04:40 AM   #11
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The Sigma 30 has two flaws:
1. It is very heavy (not a good walk around lens)
2. It shows a strong field curvature (not good for architecture, landscape etc.)

I think the lens is especially well suited for portraiture and low light things in-door.

As a walk around lens I would suggest the F28 or the FA35.
05-11-2010, 09:24 PM   #12
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I don't think comparing the 30mm sig and the 31mm ltd is ... right. While the focal lenghts are basically the same, the 30mm edges (on my copy at the very least) was horrible. I found that the 30mm was unusable as a walkaround, because occasionally I like to tak landscapes and at every Fstop, the corners on the sigma suck.. just mushy horribleness. Now for Low light center pictures it's great, probably better than the 31mm. For a walkabout, I'd say the 31mm was more usable and versatile, because of superior edges. NOTE: I don't have the 31mm, but if the edges aren't better than the sigmas, I'll eat my hat. my 21mm and 43mm edges are Soooo much better than the sigma.
05-12-2010, 04:22 AM   #13
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In addition, I find the lack of magnification quite annoying. Min. focus distance is about 40cm, which is somewhat limiting for my walk-around use.

Edit: Sigmas 28/1.8 may be better suited for landscape, and also has much better close-up.

Last edited by KjetilH; 05-12-2010 at 04:41 AM.
05-12-2010, 04:56 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 1marek Quote
The f/1,4 and the things you can do with it are just amazing and i'd really like to have a lens like that but i'm wondering where's the lens's sweet spot and how it performs on landscapes, so any thoughts?
The lens's sweet spot is f/1.4, stopping down only really improves depth of field. Also, the overall rendering seems to change (for the worse) when you stop down. My 16-45 is plenty sharp from f/4 on and is relatively compact, so I only need the primes for wide aperture.


Sigma 30mm @ f/1.4


Sigma 30mm @ f/8

If you need an all-purpose walk-around lens, then the 35LTD is a pretty tough package to beat.
05-12-2010, 06:33 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moose Quote
Thanks for the information guys.

I have decided to sell my Tamron 90mm F2.8 1:1 to obtain finances for the 30mm.

From all reports, it looks like a smart move for me

Thanks again
Heh, and here I wanted to tell you to look at http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/60mm.asp

Tamron 60/2 macro, but it don't seem to be available with Pentax mount atm

It's reasonable cheap, reasonable fast, reasonable spot on
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