Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM "Art"

Bokeh

One of the key advantages of having a F1.4 aperture is the ability to create beautiful backgrounds by turning distracting details into pleasing blurs.  After using the Sigma 30mm F1.4 for close-ups, we found its bokeh to be very pleasing at just about every aperture setting.  The wider the aperture, the more dramatic the blur, of course.  Even strong edges and highlights are suppressed in the background, and the lens's rounded aperture blades contribute to a nicer overall effect.

Sigma 30mm Bokeh ExampleBokeh Sample at F1.4

We find the quality of the 30mm's bokeh to the comparable to that produced by the Sigma 35mm.  However, since the 30mm is even wider and has noticeably more geometric distortion, we do not see it as a portrait lens on APS-C, unlike the 35mm.

Since bokeh is a highly-subjective matter, we present 3 sets of sample photos below so that you can evaluate it on your own.  Click on any thumbnail for a larger image:

Set 1
Set 2
F1.4
F2
F2.8
F4
F5.6
F8
F11
F16
Set 3
F1.4
F2
F2.8
F4
F5.6
F8
F11
F16

Verdict

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 "Art" produces very pleasing bokeh, which when combined with its great sharpness wide-open, makes it a good choice for close-up photography.  We slightly preferred the rendering of the 35mm F1.4 "Art", but both lenses are superb overall in this area.


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