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01-21-2011, 12:55 PM   #1
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Sigma 30mm f1.4 or Sigma 28mm f1.8?

Hi, I recently sold 2 great lenses - the DA 40mm and F 50mm 1.7.

I sold them because the 40mm, which is a terrific lens, just isn't fast enough for extreme low light. The 50mm, which is fast and a very nice lens as well, is too long for my style.

The perfect replacement would be the FA 31mm but at $1k it is well out of my price range. The Pentax lineup has lenses in the 35mm range but none which are very fast.

So as much as I would like to keep the money from those sales I am finding myself in a situation where I still need a fast lens, f1.8 or faster, in the 30mm focus length range for under $500 and the only options I am aware of are Sigma 30mm or 28mm.

Therefore, the options come from Sigma only in the form of 30mm f1.4 or 28mm f1.8 and I am leaning toward the 30mm.

If anyone has experience with these lenses or have other suggestions please chime in.

BTW, I am NOT interested in MF lenses.

01-21-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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I have the Ex DG 28mm f/1.8. It is a great lens. Mine is sharp in the center from wide open. It is my favorite lens. However, a lot of people do not like it because it is big. It uses 77mm filters. I think the macro capabilities and fast max aperture make it a very unique lens.

Here is a link to all the photos I have online with this lens: Stephen Merola's Photos : Photo Keywords : sigma ex dg 28mm f

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is great as well, but a different type of lens. It is a "normal" lens with a focus on center sharpness. I do not own the lens, but have been impressed by what I have seen. It is smaller and a bit faster, but lacks the close up abilities. Also, it is not designed for full frame (which may or may not matter to you).

Hope this helps.
01-21-2011, 04:51 PM   #3
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What will you be using it for? If the speed is so important, the 30 is a good focal length, and very fast. I don't know any faster Pentaxes than the Sigma (in the FL area).
But then I suppose I'm just pointing out the obvious.
Just go with what you need more for your kit.
01-22-2011, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Wrote this info on the 30mm a little while ago. I'm a fan of this lens, although I haven't used the 28mm. For my needs, the 30mm is very good, as I don't need the close focussing, and like the smaller size, greater speed, good AF speed and very good performance from f/1.4

01-23-2011, 07:07 AM   #5
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I've used the 28 in a Nikon mount at work. I used it usually wide open in an industrial environment. I bought the lens because the environment was dark, and I needed all the details of the background. Many of these photos were used in advertising and corporate publications. The lens is well built also, I've taken thousands of photos with it, I moved out of that job about three years ago and it is still the number one lens of my replacement.

I can't help but think the 30 would be just as good, but faster, just lose a little width.
01-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #6
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I have the 30mm f1.4, I really like it, it's a very natural focal length, I find, it lives on my camera. Low light, especially with anti-shake, it performs well, though focusing those shots is always trickier (I think that's more the body than the lens's fault though).

The only irritant for me, is that in Pentax mount, it isn't HSM, whereas for other systems it is (at the same price grrr). More recent sigma lenses are HSM even for Pentax. The 28mm isn't HSM in any mount of course, so at least it's like with like for your comparison.
01-23-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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Hey, check that out. I just clicked over to the lens forum to post this EXACT question.

I've seen that one major con of the 30 is slow low-light AF, but I haven't seen anyone comment on the 28's low-light AF speed. How does it compare?
01-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
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CWyatt, thanks for the link to the write-up. everyone else, thanks for your input.

i went ahead and ordered the 30mm lens since it seems like the best compromise of features and price.

01-27-2011, 01:25 AM   #9
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got the 30mm lens today and so far i am impressed.

the build quality is good. i did a quick focus test and did not see any front / back focus issues. the size of the lens was a pleasant surprise since i was expecting something bigger and instead it's fairly compact and fits well on my k7+grip. the focus ring has great feel too.

otherwise, it does not have HSM or an AF/MF switch on the lens but that's just fine with me since it seems that screw drive lenses have less problems.

overall i am very impressed. the only complaint i have is that the sigma focus ring is backwards (i think it conforms to canon style). not that it's a big deal

can't wait to take it for a test drive and see how it performs wide open!
01-27-2011, 07:08 AM   #10
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Congratulations. I am sure you will love the lens. Please post some photos when you have time.

QuoteOriginally posted by pb_red Quote
got the 30mm lens today and so far i am impressed.

the build quality is good. i did a quick focus test and did not see any front / back focus issues. the size of the lens was a pleasant surprise since i was expecting something bigger and instead it's fairly compact and fits well on my k7+grip. the focus ring has great feel too.

otherwise, it does not have HSM or an AF/MF switch on the lens but that's just fine with me since it seems that screw drive lenses have less problems.

overall i am very impressed. the only complaint i have is that the sigma focus ring is backwards (i think it conforms to canon style). not that it's a big deal

can't wait to take it for a test drive and see how it performs wide open!
01-27-2011, 08:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pb_red Quote
the only complaint i have is that the sigma focus ring is backwards (i think it conforms to canon style). not that it's a big deal
Yeah, I wish there was a standard. Sigma's zoom is backwards as well. Took me a while to get used to it when I got my first Sigma zoom.
01-27-2011, 01:02 PM   #12
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The zoom on which lens?
I have the Sigma 70-200 and the zoom just works like it does on a Pentax lens. But focus is clockwise - so different than Pentax.

Also have the Sigma 28 f/1.8 Macro and I find it absolutely great. Stopped down to f/2.8-f/5.6 sharppness is just incredible and the close focus capability is totally great.
If the Sigma 30 f/1.4 would allow me to get so close I would have considered it but the way it is the 28 Macro was a clear choice.
01-27-2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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It's difficult to describe zoom directions, because it depends on the orientation of the lens and the hand. On my Sigma 17-70, when viewed from the rear, a clockwise turn of the zoom ring zooms in, and clockwise, the focus ring goes to infinity. As far as the zoom, that's the reverse of my Pentax 18-55. I don't often manually focus, so I can't say for sure.
01-28-2011, 10:12 AM - 1 Like   #14
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here's what the lens looks like on my camera. i don't know if you can tell from the photo but even with the hood on it doesn't look huge although it doesn't look very small either. i would say it's just right.

i wanted to take some test shots last night but it was way too late by the time i got around to it so i'll try again this weekend.

i will say that AF works exactly as i expected. it hunts a little when wide open in low light but otherwise locks focus pretty quickly on my K7. good ol' screw drive works just fine

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01-28-2011, 10:18 AM   #15
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Thanks for the pic. We need a database of photos of lenses on cameras.
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