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09-13-2009, 11:26 AM   #16
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Sigma is like Russian roulette. If you get a good copy it think it's very good lens. If not, you can go trough 3 copies, calibrate your camera and still have some AF issues.
And it has a pretty good reason. Sigma is native HSM, god knows how well they replaced that with screw drive.

09-13-2009, 02:23 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
Sigma is like Russian roulette. If you get a good copy it think it's very good lens. If not, you can go trough 3 copies, calibrate your camera and still have some AF issues.
And it has a pretty good reason. Sigma is native HSM, god knows how well they replaced that with screw drive.
My copy works perfectly and I've never had a problem with a Sigma lens yet (have now owned several).

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09-13-2009, 03:45 PM   #18
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This is actually a fairly simple decision to make.

Do you want to shoot at f/2 and above most of the time? Choose the FA 35mm f/2.

Do you want to shoot at f/2 and below most of the time?
Choose the 30mm f/1.4.

Test sigma 30_Da35

Here is a comparison between the Sigma 30mm and the DA 35mm f/2.8. The article is in French, but the pictures are self explanatory. The Sigma is kind of an interesting lens. Even at f/1.4 it's as sharp as the venerable FA31 at f/1.8, and is even sharper than the LTD stopped down. The border performance, however, is terrible and never really improves regardless of the f-stop.

The more you stop down the Sigma, the more you seem to expose the weaknesses that would otherwise be hidden by the rather good bokeh. Other than the poor edge resolution figures, the Sigma produces some weird geometry distortion in the corners.

I actually ran across this lens while browsing pictures on PhotoHito trying to find motivation to pull the trigger on a FA31 I was looking to buy. Here are a couple random shots:

IMGP8572 - ???????:photohito
??????? - ???????:photohito
??? - ???????:photohito
?????? - ???????:photohito

However, the FA35 is better in nearly every major category. It's smaller, lighter, has comparable center sharpness, far superior corner sharpness, supports full-frame, has less barrel distortion, less vignetting, less chromatic aberrations, and less focusing problems.

Nevertheless, simply by nature of its design specs(30mm f/1.4), the Sigma provides something the FA35 cannot. The Sigma is closer to being a true normal on a APS frame, and the large max aperture gives it a very film/full frame DoF look. So for low light shooting, candid portraits, abstract shots, and food/product shots the Sigma would be preferable. For all around usage, landscape, and architecture shots the FA35 would be better suited.

The FA35 would function as an all-purpose walk around, whereas the Sigma 30mm would be more of a specialist lens for when you want extreme separation subject and background. IMO, the Sigma would serve better as a specialist lens to supplement something in the same focal range, i.e. the DA 16-45 f/4, where as the FA35 would be better if you're planning on going the all prime route.
09-13-2009, 03:56 PM   #19
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Wow. Not a single post on why the FA 31mm ltd is better than both of them. (and costs as much as BOTH of them)

09-13-2009, 05:00 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kirivon Quote
This is actually a fairly simple decision to make.

Do you want to shoot at f/2 and above most of the time? Choose the FA 35mm f/2.

Do you want to shoot at f/2 and below most of the time?
Choose the 30mm f/1.4.

Test sigma 30_Da35

Here is a comparison between the Sigma 30mm and the DA 35mm f/2.8. The article is in French, but the pictures are self explanatory. The Sigma is kind of an interesting lens. Even at f/1.4 it's as sharp as the venerable FA31 at f/1.8, and is even sharper than the LTD stopped down. The border performance, however, is terrible and never really improves regardless of the f-stop.

The more you stop down the Sigma, the more you seem to expose the weaknesses that would otherwise be hidden by the rather good bokeh. Other than the poor edge resolution figures, the Sigma produces some weird geometry distortion in the corners.

I actually ran across this lens while browsing pictures on PhotoHito trying to find motivation to pull the trigger on a FA31 I was looking to buy. Here are a couple random shots:

IMGP8572 - ???????:photohito
??????? - ???????:photohito
??? - ???????:photohito
?????? - ???????:photohito

However, the FA35 is better in nearly every major category. It's smaller, lighter, has comparable center sharpness, far superior corner sharpness, supports full-frame, has less barrel distortion, less vignetting, less chromatic aberrations, and less focusing problems.

Nevertheless, simply by nature of its design specs(30mm f/1.4), the Sigma provides something the FA35 cannot. The Sigma is closer to being a true normal on a APS frame, and the large max aperture gives it a very film/full frame DoF look. So for low light shooting, candid portraits, abstract shots, and food/product shots the Sigma would be preferable. For all around usage, landscape, and architecture shots the FA35 would be better suited.

The FA35 would function as an all-purpose walk around, whereas the Sigma 30mm would be more of a specialist lens for when you want extreme separation subject and background. IMO, the Sigma would serve better as a specialist lens to supplement something in the same focal range, i.e. the DA 16-45 f/4, where as the FA35 would be better if you're planning on going the all prime route.
I agree with this post. FA35 is a good/great all rounder prime that stands up well to it's more expensive siblings (FA31, DA35), whereas the Sigma is a specialized function lens.

Myself...I have the Tamron 28-75mm for all around usage and have augmented it with specialized primes and a FE. The change to the Sigma makes sense for how I work.

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09-13-2009, 06:08 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Wow. Not a single post on why the FA 31mm ltd is better than both of them. (and costs as much as BOTH of them)
I guess it's too obvious to point out!
10-11-2009, 03:15 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
I guess it's too obvious to point out!
maybe i'll play devil's advocate,
For the price of the 31mm 1.8 I can get both the sigma and pentax FA f2 with money left over and a lens that opens at 1.4 for those low light situations etc........

So can someone say why the 31mm is better in almost every respect ?


Honestly this thread is really making me think of getting a k35mm f3.5 for those outdoor/landscape/architecture shots instead of the FA35mm, and I don't recall shooting portraits with anything under 50mm excluded so the sigma isnt all that tempting either.

"current missing primes between ]21mm and 40mm[ and the 43mm"
10-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #23
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I think I can tell my experience, since I own the 30 1.4 (old non hsm version) and the DA 35 ltd, and my friends have plenty of FA35 and 31 LTDs.

The 30 is one of my favorite, it renders people in a beautiful way, it has a smooth bokeh, and it separates focal planes in a unique and very precise way. I think it's job is to shoot at people in interior, mainly in the evening, and this is exactly what I bought him for. Is it perfect? No. It is a tool suited for a job, and it does it VERY well (and for a good price also).

The 35 ltd actually is all of this, plus pentax colors, smaller, better construction, sharp as hell and even from border to border. I use it as my normal lense in every situation except what I described above, when I use the 30. Don't let the word "macro" fool you, this is a perfect all around lens with terrific close-focus capabilities... oh it's a real 1:1 macro but I don't need it.

The FA35 is THE choice if you don't need macro OR close-focus, small, light, FF, cheap, wonderful, even.... back in film era (back? I shoot on film also this week-end so it's not past for me) we walked around with a 50 prime mainly, now this is "a wonderful normal fifty-like prime for aps-c".

What about the 31ltd? If you have the money take it and forget every othe discussion. Period.


I am not a pixel peeper (well, I am but I don't buy lens for pixel peeping), I prefer the "wow" factor and the global look of the image, so consider carefully for what are you buying a 30-35 for and make your choice.

10-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #24
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I put my new Sigma 30 through it's paces on the last couple of shoots I did (moreso on the last one, as I'm now more comfortable using it). I posted these shots in the "post your shots" part of the forum also.

I love this lens.











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06-25-2011, 11:24 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
I put my new Sigma 30 through it's paces on the last couple of shoots I did (moreso on the last one, as I'm now more comfortable using it). I posted these shots in the "post your shots" part of the forum also.

I love this lens.











c[_]
First and last photos are simply awesome...they clearly illustrate the capabilities of sigma you've tried to explain.
06-26-2011, 09:36 AM   #26
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yep nice pictures. I have FA35 and it's an awesome lens. Compared to Sigma, it's sharp across the frame and small MFD. Having said that, I haven't tried Sigma personally, so can't comment how they compare in real life.
02-28-2014, 07:39 AM   #27
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Sorry to revive an old thread buy considering buying either FA35 or Sigma 30/1.4. @Yusuf, I see from your signature that you now own both these lenses. What´s your experience with them? The Sigma copy Photozone got was weak in resolution compared to FA35 copy.

I intend to use either of these lenses wide open most of the time as I am missing a wide fast lens right now and starting to see I could benefit from one.
02-28-2014, 08:45 AM   #28
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It should be noted that the new Sigma 30mm 1.4 art has a totally redesigned optical formula from the previous Sigma. What was true will no longer be that way.
02-28-2014, 04:58 PM   #29
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I have both the fa35 and sigma 30, for general purpose, I would choose the fa35.

The sigma 30 is like the fa43, they are great lenses, but they have a mind of their own...in certain specific situations, they make great "pixie dust" images, but as a walkaround lens, they are not impressive.

Perhaps this has to do with the (lack of) corner sharpness or vignette. For a walkaround jack of all trades lens, the DA35 macro is even better if focusing speed is not your priority.
02-28-2014, 06:46 PM   #30
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IMO: Get the FA31

QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
It should be noted that the new Sigma 30mm 1.4 art has a totally redesigned optical formula from the previous Sigma

They have altered the design, but from what I have heard about the new lens - it isn't any better than the old one:

The original:


to this:



To my eyes it looks like Sigma cheaped out and replaced the expensive glass types with regular glass and simply used more elements to compensate for the lack of optical correction. The problem with this approach is the increased amount of elements means that flare will be more problematic, and we all know sigma lens coatings leave a lot to be desired.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-28-2014 at 06:56 PM.
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