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08-15-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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Question for Sigma 30mm f/1.4 users

I'm getting the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, mostly for street photography uses. For those that use/have used this lens, I'm interested in it's tendency to flare or lose contrast around bright lights or the sun.

The reason for this is that if it performs OK without the hood, I would like to keep the hood off sometimes, to cut down the size of the kit and make it less imposing.
Thanks for input.

08-15-2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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I don't have, never have had, and probably won't ever have the Sigma 30 (very well covered in that range). With that said, I find that if for some reason I don't want to use the hood, I can simply flip it around and it becomes less imposing. Just a thought.

08-15-2010, 11:58 PM   #3
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I have that lens and I'd like to find the courage to do street photography, but can't answer your question as I tend to gravitate towards wide angle lenses, my favorites being the 10-20 and the DA15.
08-16-2010, 02:07 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
I'm getting the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, mostly for street photography uses. For those that use/have used this lens, I'm interested in it's tendency to flare or lose contrast around bright lights or the sun.

The reason for this is that if it performs OK without the hood, I would like to keep the hood off sometimes, to cut down the size of the kit and make it less imposing.
Thanks for input.
I have the Sigma 20/1.8, and it is more prone to flare than the DA15ltd or DA*16-50, but it is not a lost cause. Presuming Sigma use the same coating on all lenses. But as Jeff says, just flip the hood. It is reversible (the hood locking mechanism is however more flimpsy than Pentax).

Why a 30mm for street? Isn't a wide angle more usefull? I find the 20/1.8 very good for street shooting. Look in my flickr for examples (most pictres are sorted according to lens).

08-16-2010, 02:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
I'm getting the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, mostly for street photography uses. For those that use/have used this lens, I'm interested in it's tendency to flare or lose contrast around bright lights or the sun.

The reason for this is that if it performs OK without the hood, I would like to keep the hood off sometimes, to cut down the size of the kit and make it less imposing.
Thanks for input.
I tried this on the street. Flared like a mofo. Well, in all honesty the shots that showed flare were pretty bad, but this was a few shots out of a few hundred. And the lens was more or less pointed towards the sun. The hood isn't too big, but I think i'll have it on next time if the sun ever decides to come out here in Melbourne. Reversing the hood will completely kill your ability to manual focus, so keep that in mind.

I do have to think differently using this lens as opposed to my old faithful street buddy, the Tammy 17-50 though. 17mm and from the hip was a breeze compared to framing with 30mm and shooting at f/2. So, i'm looking through this lens a lot more, but at least it has speed on it's side. Have fun with it.

Last edited by fractal; 08-16-2010 at 04:49 AM.
08-16-2010, 03:12 AM   #6
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Cheers, about what I thought. Flare isn't the end of the world anyway.

QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
Why a 30mm for street? Isn't a wide angle more usefull? I find the 20/1.8 very good for street shooting. Look in my flickr for examples (most pictres are sorted according to lens).
I've done quite a bit of street shooting, and I'm pretty familiar with ultra-wide to short-tele street shooting. I don't think a fast standard is very limiting.

I chose the 30mm over the 20mm f/1.8 and similar for several reasons - mostly that the 20mm is a pretty large lens, and has a long focus throw to wind around, whereas the 30mm is medium sized and has a quick little AF throw.

I had the DA 21mm and liked that for street, so down the line I might get a wider prime. At the moment I have wider covered with zooms.
08-16-2010, 06:06 AM   #7
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I have the 30mm and haven't found it to be worse than any of my other lenses (albeit, I've never tested it against open sun flare). People like to dog on this lens for some reason or other and I'm not sure why - when it's pretty spectacular.

As for your hood dilemma...you can always use a rubber retractable hood that screws into the filter threads. This way it's there if you need it, but folds back if you don't (and won't be in the way of using it to MF). Just a thought...

c[_]
08-16-2010, 07:08 AM   #8
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I don't think the hood size will be your major concern. I've never had flare issues but don't take photo's of the sun. I also always use the hood.

The weight of this lens will be more of a concern then the size. If you flip the hood backwards you need to put your camera on auto as it'll cover the manual focus ring.

I use this lens for portraits mostly, especially indoors. That's what it is spectacular at. For street photo's i'm enjoying the kit lens that I finally got much more.

08-16-2010, 07:44 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dj_saunter Quote
I don't think the hood size will be your major concern. I've never had flare issues but don't take photo's of the sun. I also always use the hood.

The weight of this lens will be more of a concern then the size. If you flip the hood backwards you need to put your camera on auto as it'll cover the manual focus ring.

I use this lens for portraits mostly, especially indoors. That's what it is spectacular at. For street photo's i'm enjoying the kit lens that I finally got much more.
I can't imagine weight being of any concern. It's really a very light lens. We get a little spoiled with our Limiteds, but in the general world of photography, this lens is a flyweight.

This really is the most unfairly maligned lens I can think of. But if you'll notice, they don't seem to become available in the marketplace too often. Those that have them tend to like them.
08-16-2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Cheers, about what I thought. Flare isn't the end of the world anyway.



I've done quite a bit of street shooting, and I'm pretty familiar with ultra-wide to short-tele street shooting. I don't think a fast standard is very limiting.

I chose the 30mm over the 20mm f/1.8 and similar for several reasons - mostly that the 20mm is a pretty large lens, and has a long focus throw to wind around, whereas the 30mm is medium sized and has a quick little AF throw.

I had the DA 21mm and liked that for street, so down the line I might get a wider prime. At the moment I have wider covered with zooms.
Never noticed that the 20mm would be slow in AF.
08-16-2010, 09:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
Cheers, about what I thought. Flare isn't the end of the world anyway.



I've done quite a bit of street shooting, and I'm pretty familiar with ultra-wide to short-tele street shooting. I don't think a fast standard is very limiting.

I chose the 30mm over the 20mm f/1.8 and similar for several reasons - mostly that the 20mm is a pretty large lens, and has a long focus throw to wind around, whereas the 30mm is medium sized and has a quick little AF throw.

I had the DA 21mm and liked that for street, so down the line I might get a wider prime. At the moment I have wider covered with zooms.

The DA21 is my lens of choice for street shooting. The hood is built in, so no worries on that front.

I have the same issues with the DA12-24 as a street shooter. I really like this lens, but the hood (as well as its size) detract a bit from its usefulness for this purpose. On most lenses of small to moderate physical length, the hood turned around backward seems to get in the way of something.

If not the DA21, I'm partial to the kit lens as a street lens for its size and range.
08-16-2010, 11:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
If not the DA21, I'm partial to the kit lens as a street lens for its size and range.
Right-o. I use any of a few wide-ish manuals -- Zenitar 16/2.8, Tokina 21/3.8, various 24/2.8's, M28/2.8 -- when I want to force myself to shoot with discipline and character. But the 18-55 kit (which I bought after I'd had my K20D for a year) is nice and small and flexible for wandering around narrow streets. Ah, but to grab inaccessible details, it's the DA18-250, which is faster at 55mm too, although not quite so unobtrusive, eh?

Of course, there's street, and then there's street. Depending on the street, I'll go longer the M50/1.7 or FA50/1.4 or MacTak 50/4 or Helios-44 58/2, or a Nikkor 85/2 (my favorite for SF Chinatown) or B135/2.5 or TeleTak 200/5.6 (my fave for small hilly villages). And for dangerous streets, there's always the compact Sakar 500/8 mirror.

Last edited by RioRico; 08-16-2010 at 12:00 PM. Reason: further blather
08-16-2010, 12:20 PM   #13
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I have to ask the 'street shooters' this question. Do any of you really think that the size of the lens masks the fact you are pointing a camera at someone (who in all likely-hood, you do not know)? I could see the obvious, we'll call it an intrusion concern, if you were using a Bigma. In other words, How exactly does the Hood Detract from the usefulness of lens A with a hood vs Lens B, without one?

08-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #14
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Ta, won't be any issue flipping it around, I don't MF much. Lens seems to be highly rated by many users.

Most of this thread seems to be more suggesting other lenses for various reasons. I've shot of lot of street, and I know what I like to use, and these are based on opinion/what I've read:
Sigma 20mm f/1.8, pseudo macro means the focus throw is long, I don't need close focusing, I prefer smaller, and it doesn't sound good till stopped down.
Kit lens, No smaller than Sigma 30mm really, slow apertures, I have better zooms already
Pentax 21mm f/3.2, big fan of this lens. I had it but it was stolen. Would be my 2nd choice probably. But hard to justify the money when I can only afford one lens, as it is a focal length and speed I already have, whereas the:
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 adds the speed to my set up I don't have. Great centre performance from wide open. Medium size, fast AF. Seems geared to be a classic standard which is fine by me. I don't care about weight, I care about physical size.

QuoteOriginally posted by jeffjs:
I have to ask the 'street shooters' this question. Do any of you really think that the size of the lens masks the fact you are pointing a camera at someone (who in all likely-hood, you do not know)? I could see the obvious, we'll call it an intrusion concern, if you were using a Bigma. In other words, How exactly does the Hood Detract from the usefulness of lens A with a hood vs Lens B, without one?
My concern was the hood doubling the length of the Sigma 30.
Have you done much street shooting? It's a big deal, depending on your technique.
08-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote

My concern was the hood doubling the length of the Sigma 30.
Have you done much street shooting? It's a big deal, depending on your technique.
No, I don't. That's why I asked the question. Seems like a bit of a pointless worry to me but, that's just me.

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