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04-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
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sigma 30mm f1.4 or 28mm f1.8 macro - opinions please

Hi Guys

So have decided I'd like something fast and wider than 50 mm and wider than 35mm to pair with my K5.

My desire is for something that will let me take handheld shots (I dont have the steadiest of hands) in low light.

Image quality is everything for me so looking for the best optical performer.

I do a variety of photography , though saying that approx 90-95% is of and in derelict/abandoned.disused buildings - hence low light capability being useful.

Having done some reading up already both appeal and seem to have some nice benefits but also some very mixed reviews.

I'd really appreciate thoughts and opinions from you guys , especially from anyone owning either of the lenses as to which would be the better one to go for.

So some thoughts of my own and influence from what I've read.

Both seem to suffer from quality control issues.

The 30mm is smaller and lighter which would be good and the extra stop would be handy (and I believe centre performance is already good at f1.4) though is 1 stop going to make that much of a difference.

The 30mm seems to not be the sharpest at the edges at any setting but especially so wide open and other end of the spectrum.

The 28mm has the handy added benefit of macro but I already have the sigma 50mm macro so that's not that important, but still handy to have.

I suspect being a macro it will probably be more evenly sharp right across the frame - is it reasonable to tink this ?

Will I miss that extra stop compared to the 30mm ?

Is one likely to suffer anymore from distortions - thinking if I'm shooting inside a building/down a corridor - will a door frame or similar be any more distorted with one than the other ? I suspect 2mm difference probably not.

The extra 2mm on the 28 will be useful with squeezing more in on interior shots.


price difference seems to be fairly negligible.

I'll do more reading up myself too but would appreciate thoughts n comments please guys

many thanks in advance

Oh yes is there any others I should also consider ? the pentax 31 f1.8 limited is out of the question ...at half the price It would still be more than I'd want to pay.

Mike
Just a bloke with some cameras

04-19-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
hcc
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I think that you should consider the Pentax FA31mm f1.8. I have one and it is my most polyvalent and useful prime lens.

The FA31mm f1.8 is a legendary lens which has the highest score in the PF in-depth review (https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pentax-fa-31mm-limited/review.html), and it is Highly Recommended by Photozone.de (http://www.photozone.de/pentax/122-pentax-smc-fa-31mm-f18-al-limited-review--test-report). Simply the FA31m is a great, great lens.

Yes it is expensive (I bought mine from Adorama for ~$950), but it is less tha twice the Sigma price. And it is worth its price IMHO. The FA31mm is also much lighter than the Sigma lenses and this might be important if you backpack, bushwalk or carry for a long time your camera and lenses.

Hope that the comment may help.

Last edited by hcc; 04-19-2012 at 04:49 PM.
04-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
You should seriously consider the Pentax FA31mm f1.8. This is a legendary lens which has the highest score in the PF in-depth review (Pentax-FA 31mm Limited F1.8 Review - Introduction - PentaxForums.com), is Highly Recommended by Photozone.de (Pentax SMC-FA 31mm f/1.8 AL Limited - Review / Test Report).
see this bit of my post:

the pentax 31 f1.8 limited is out of the question ...at half the price It would still be more than I'd want to pay

but thanks for replying.
04-19-2012, 04:23 PM - 1 Like   #4
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It really is too bad that Pentax doesn't make very many fast lenses, especially the wide angles. Is AF important for you? If not, Samyang (Rokinon, Bower, Walimex, Pro-Optic, all the same) makes a 35mm f1.4 made especially to be used completely open. Might not be wide enough for you, though.


Last edited by Na Horuk; 04-19-2012 at 04:44 PM.
04-19-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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agreed. No 35mm not really wide enough and already have the 35mm f2,4.

thanks for the reply
04-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #6
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Go with the 30/1.4 - the difference in FOV will be negligible, but that half-stop of light will not.

Beyond that, learn the fine art of noise reduction and set your K-5 for ISO 6400+ since that will make a greater difference in the perceived sharpness of your images (both noise reduction and noisy images appear softer, but higher shutter speeds will prevent blur from your handholding).
04-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Sigma 30mm f1.4 gets my vote (will never sell mine)

Check out this thread - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/149865-sigma-3...-examples.html

EDIT - of course if you want the "macro" functionality then go for the 28mm
04-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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I had the Sigma 28/1.8, and it was pretty good. A little big in my hand. And I wasn't crazy about the color rendering. I switched to a Vivitar 28/2 close focus, which I like better, except for the MF. I would be tempted to try the 30/1.4 over the 28/1.8, but I wonder if the long minimum focus distance would drive me crazy.

04-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #9
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Not sure of the current prices, but the FA*24/2 might be worth a look. It seems that 24mm would be a more logical step down (in FL) from 50 and 35mm.

I can recommend the FA20/2.8, which I have, and the very nice A24/2.8, which I previously owned. The A24 is quite affordable. It has nice sharpness and IQ just 1/3 stop from wide-open. The Sigmas I've had often need about a full stop to come into their own (for example, their classic (AF or MF) 24/2.8). It's my opinion that Sigma effectively exaggerates the speed of their lenses, giving them the appearance of value when in fact the IQ isn't there. It's not only sharpness, it's more than that. While the aperture actually does go that wide, it's of little use for those who prioritize IQ.


Of course, an obvious help here would be a lightweight monopod. Since you're doing so many shots of buildings, you may not need to be as freewheeling as most of us like to imagine ourselves.


And I agree with Nick, that all the Sigmas I've used have a similar color rendering that I'm not that fond of. In fact, when looking at a series of photos, if I know one is a Sigma I can usually pick it out. But I can't speak directly for the 28 and 30 you mention here, having not owned them.

Last edited by DSims; 04-19-2012 at 06:05 PM.
04-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #10
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I second the monopod suggestion - but make it a tripod. You will get more creative options - long exposures / depth of field / lighting / multiple exposures / HDR with a tripod PLUS your photos will be so much sharper.

I shoot architecturals with the 18-55 and sigma 10-20 and no one ever said they were the best lenses, however the use of a tripod makes them much, much sharper than the world's best lens hand held. It's worth remembering any resolution tests of a lens will be done on tripod in mirror up mode - so unless you shoot like that, you won't get the benefit of your investment.

Shots below show the advantage of a tripod in dealing with difficult lighting. Both with K-7 and 10-20.
First has not enough dynamic range due to strong light source, next shot exactly the same but using tripod allows HDR to solve the issue.

Last edited by calsan; 10-20-2013 at 03:23 AM.
04-19-2012, 06:05 PM   #11
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I have the 28 and like it but it is a little large.
04-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by judderman62 Quote
though saying that approx 90-95% is of and in derelict/abandoned.disused buildings - hence low light capability being useful
Get the DA15mm and a tripod instead, I used to shoot alot of abandoned buildings and 30mm IS NO WHERE NEAR WIDE ENOUGH!
04-19-2012, 06:53 PM   #13
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Where do you find abandoned buildings in Bris?

I do agree though, I use my 30mm for shallow DOF shots or as a "normal" lens

I use my 10-20mm for almost everything else...
04-19-2012, 07:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
Where do you find abandoned buildings in Bris?
Theres quite a few good spots, mental asylum's and leper colony's are my favorites.
04-21-2012, 03:06 AM   #15
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Hi all

thanks for the replies, and so many of them.

OK few replies, thoughts n change of direction.

First off I should have mentioned I already have two tripods, and a sigma 10-20, the idea for this lens was for days where I really am feeling lazy/want to travel extra light - body, attached lens and maybe one more.

Monopod ...hmm now then I have never understood the concept of monopods (motor racing aside) - you pop your camera on the end of a stick which can then move in every single direction and every plane bar the vertical one. What am I missing in my belief that this makes them less than useless ? Clearly they're not else they would not sell but my pea sized intellect doesn't understand why.

The more I have thought about it after some of the replies I do agree that going 30 or even 28mm isn't that big a move from 35mm, so maybe I need to consider wider. However if I go too wide will I get distortion/softness at edges bearing in mind I'm shooting buildings, inside buildings that will include door frames , corridors etc. How wide can I go before this becomes too big an issue - I'm also too lazy to change any such distortion in lightroom (no idea what/how much work is involved to be honest).

so bottom line not sure where to go or even if to just stick with what I ahve and crank the iso up real high.

I also have a fully manual sigma 24mm f2.8 that has not seen action that I may play with a little to see how that goes for me.

thanks again to all.
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