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07-04-2009, 07:22 PM   #16
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strange... I don't really see too much distortion in that image... not anything I'd really notice anyways. Have a daylight pic?

I just went to the store and tried out the Nikon mount version on the Nikon D90. Actually, from what I could see, the lens seems pretty capable for pulling off some pretty cool stuff. But yeah, it definitely focuses a lot on the center being in focus. Reminds me of FA lenses, actually.

Manual focus was not 'buttery smooth', but I kinda liked how there was a bit of grit to it. Not so much sandy, but it felt like it had 'stick'. Kind of like when I manual focus the DA*50-135.

07-05-2009, 11:21 PM   #17
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I had this lens in Nikon mount. It had Sigma's ring-type focus motor. I don't believe the 30mm for Pentax does. Too bad because it was great! The build quality and heft were very comfortable, and the focus was fast and sure. To be honest, I've left Nikon but probably won't be buying this in non-hsm for Pentax. I haven't used it, but I suspect the heavy elements might be slower to focus (louder for sure). The 7 is supposed to have faster body-driven focus. I simply can't say. That depends on your desire for a fast and powerful hsm motor.

As for the image quality I was very pleased. This lens is great for people inside, evenings, etc. GREAT BOKEH--and I'm taking quality not just "out of focus". I love the image. Great for portraits. I went on vacation to NYC and did some street shooting and was nothing but pleased. Soft corners don't matter to me unless I was doing very technical work, which to be honest I don't really. Center sharpness and overall quality made it a "want to use" lens. Pentax is said to have a fast 30 somewhere on the horizon (how distant please?) I would also look at the fa35. Bokeh isn't as good... I would say "imo", but it just isn't (imo
I haven't checked prices lately. Hopefully other people suggest some good options. I'm liking the size and macro of the 35ltd, though it's 2 stops slower than the sigma. If your shutter speed can stand to slow down a bit I'm sure 2.8 on the ltd would look great. A little extra depth of field also helps a bit with focus.

Most every lens available is great for artful photography. It's often the one you're excited to use that makes the best pictures.

Good luck!

chris

Last edited by QuixoticTonic; 07-05-2009 at 11:36 PM.
07-05-2009, 11:27 PM   #18
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haha... I too tried it on a Nikon D90... and if I was a Nikon user, I'd probably get it for its flexibility.

It seems that, assuming you get a good version, this lens is pretty good for overall use. I myself am not into very technical shooting and prefer a good bokeh and good portrait/model lens to something for ... well, what is technical shooting anyways?

The manual focus seems very usable. I think this might be my next lens!!
07-06-2009, 01:40 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
haha... I too tried it on a Nikon D90... and if I was a Nikon user, I'd probably get it for its flexibility.

It seems that, assuming you get a good version, this lens is pretty good for overall use. I myself am not into very technical shooting and prefer a good bokeh and good portrait/model lens to something for ... well, what is technical shooting anyways?

The manual focus seems very usable. I think this might be my next lens!!
It appears that it's sharp in the center and softer in the borders, by design.

Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX HSM DC - Test Report / Review

It's probably even more evident on a 14mp sensor.

EDIT: Take a look at optyczne.pl's charts which confirm photozone.de's findings: First chart is center resolution; second chart near the bottom is border resolution:

http://www.optyczne.pl/140.4-Test_obiektywu-Sigma_30_mm_f_1.4_EX_DC_HSM_Rozd...3;_obrazu.html

(Some results depend on the size of the sensor, i.e., in the case of the Olympus.) Border resolution stinks.


Last edited by asdf; 07-06-2009 at 01:52 AM.
07-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #20
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I checked out the photozone.de review earlier. Strangely enough, the review on the Pentax DA21 F3.2 was not all that great, but I love that lens to bits!

So, I guess for me it comes down to application more so than numbers. It's very strange... most of the lenses that photozone.de likes are not my favorite lenses, but some of the more mediocre ones on photozone I have in my stable! (still, it's good to know if the lens is ultra killer or not).

I'm thinking that this lens selection is more a personal thing. From what I can tell, and based on the images I've seen on flickr, it seems that the Sigma 30mm is a great lens when used within it's boundaries.... or even beyond its boundaries. hmm...
07-06-2009, 01:58 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
I checked out the photozone.de review earlier. Strangely enough, the review on the Pentax DA21 F3.2 was not all that great, but I love that lens to bits!

So, I guess for me it comes down to application more so than numbers. It's very strange... most of the lenses that photozone.de likes are not my favorite lenses, but some of the more mediocre ones on photozone I have in my stable! (still, it's good to know if the lens is ultra killer or not).

I'm thinking that this lens selection is more a personal thing. From what I can tell, and based on the images I've seen on flickr, it seems that the Sigma 30mm is a great lens when used within it's boundaries.... or even beyond its boundaries. hmm...
photozone "highly recommended" your 40, 70 and thought 50-135 was "quite a sound offer." But you're right about application vs. optical qualities. A sharp lens you never use is a waste of money, of course.
07-08-2009, 09:43 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by dantekgeek Quote
By edge quality, I don't mean just a reduction in sharpness, but actual distortion. For an example, see the corners and edge of the shot below.

....
Check out the difference between the center and the edges (look for the triangular windows in the buildings caused by distortion: downtown is sharp, east and west midtown is not)
One really expensive bottom of a bottle, not optical appliance....

Softness can be lived with sometimes, but these triangular things are dreadful.
07-08-2009, 02:45 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim71 Quote
One really expensive bottom of a bottle, not optical appliance....

Softness can be lived with sometimes, but these triangular things are dreadful.
Took another look at it and... oh wow... I see what you guys are talking about. I guess if you're taking vacation photos with it... something like that would show up, hey?
I was initially thinking this lens for people shots, but sometimes I put people or things at the edge or at the border... hmm...
Maybe this particular lens has this issue? or this is for all Sigma 30mms?


QuoteQuote:
photozone "highly recommended" your 40, 70 and thought 50-135 was "quite a sound offer." But you're right about application vs. optical qualities. A sharp lens you never use is a waste of money, of course.
Hehe... I kept the 40 but sold the 70mm. The DA21 was given okay reviews, but I like it a lot. Yeah, definitely comes down to application vs. optical quality. Hence my dilemma with this Sigma lens. Overall optical quality seems... okay. But whether I can use it and (further) whether it can warrant the price it demands... hmm...


....Also... I just realized... Sigma doesn't make an HSM version of their lenses for Pentax, yet charge the same price as HSM lenses???


Last edited by dugrant153; 07-08-2009 at 03:09 PM.
07-08-2009, 09:41 PM   #24
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After being so negative about the lens earlier, I feel duty bound to try and set things right.

If you're looking for a low-light portrait lens, this is a fantastic choice.

The triangular distortion pattern doesn't show up very much when you're shooting more organic shapes such as people, and you probably won't have you main subject at the edge of the frame very often anyway.

Essentially all of the concert shots since last October in my Flickr stream are with this lens, so check those out if you want an idea of how it performs.
07-09-2009, 11:39 AM   #25
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It was one of my favorites when I had it (for a different mount) but I never exactly used it to shoot architecture or cityscapes.
07-09-2009, 11:48 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote

....Also... I just realized... Sigma doesn't make an HSM version of their lenses for Pentax, yet charge the same price as HSM lenses???
Some of their newer lenses, such as the redesigned 10-20 now say they support HSM for Pentax. Perhaps a redesign of this lens will come as well. It is a dynamite spot for some competition, given the sharp price increase on the 31mm Ltd.
07-09-2009, 03:39 PM   #27
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That would be cool if it had HSM. Then I could justify the price better. The 31 Ltd in Canadian funds is now $1300 + tax. That's.... pretty harsh... The Sigma is easily half that price. That being said, if I had the funds, I'd get the 31 Ltd in a heartbeat...

I definitely take a lot of non-technical photos. This lens seems to excel in street photography, indoor photography, night shots, wedding photography, portrait and model photography (all stuff I do)...

If I have it all right, what we're saying is that because of the edge and corner resolution drop, this lens is not good at architecture, scenery (travel?), landscapes (until stopped down to F8?)...

This really seems to be my lens. Hopefully I can get a run at one this weekend.

Sorry for the nonsense, but I just like to speak my mind here. Hopefully someone can help decipher it and help me out!

Last edited by dugrant153; 07-09-2009 at 04:57 PM.
07-09-2009, 06:24 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by dugrant153 Quote
That would be cool if it had HSM. Then I could justify the price better. The 31 Ltd in Canadian funds is now $1300 + tax. That's.... pretty harsh... The Sigma is easily half that price. That being said, if I had the funds, I'd get the 31 Ltd in a heartbeat...

I definitely take a lot of non-technical photos. This lens seems to excel in street photography, indoor photography, night shots, wedding photography, portrait and model photography (all stuff I do)...

If I have it all right, what we're saying is that because of the edge and corner resolution drop, this lens is not good at architecture, scenery (travel?), landscapes (until stopped down to F8?)...

This really seems to be my lens. Hopefully I can get a run at one this weekend.

Sorry for the nonsense, but I just like to speak my mind here. Hopefully someone can help decipher it and help me out!
Personally, I'll wait for the 31. I just don't get this lens. For now, I use my Kiron PKA 28mm f/2 for this range.
07-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #29
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well, I gave this lens a quick run in a shop. My conclusion: It's a good lens, but not a great lens. Unfortunately, the price of this lens can only be justified if it's a great lens (as is the case of the DA*55 F1.4).

It's definitely nice to have a very sharp center and F1.4 available. But there was something missing. It was missing that Pentax 'quality'. It's an equation of the build, the overall feel, the IQ, the ability, etc. Maybe the copy I was playing with wasn't their best copy... but anyways... it just didn't give me the 'wow' I need... especially at that price range.

If this lens was about $200 cheaper and had better QC history, I would seriously consider it. Unfortunately, I guess I am spoiled by Pentax Limited and DA-Star lenses so... ah well.

Appreciate all the advice. I might have a look at the FA35 F/2 now
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