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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

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31 81,083 Tue June 11, 2013
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90% of reviewers $380.07 8.71
Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM
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Description:
Very fast 30mm prime, Pentax version doesn't have HSM. Photo shows it mounted on a *ist-D.

Focal Length: 30 mm
Aperture: Maximum: f/1.4; Minimum: f/16
Camera Mount Type: Pentax KAF2
Angle of View: 45°
Minimum Focus Distance: 1.31ft (40 cm)
Maximunm: Magnification: 0.09x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:10.4
Groups/Elements: 7/7
Diaphragm Blades: 8
Filter Thread: 62mm
Weight: 430g
Buy Lens: Buy the Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM
Price: $489
Mount Type:
Price History:



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Inactive Account

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Toulouse
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: sharp up to F2.4
Cons: not HSM, soft at F1.4, front focus

Not so good. May be the Sigma 50mm F1.4 is sharper and HSM
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2011
Posts: 32

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 26, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality, speed, build quality
Cons: size, no HSM

I am a very happy owner of this lens. It is amazingly sharp at f/1.4 - search the net for 100% crops and you will see what I mean. Colors, contrast, speed, image quality by the truckload. It is perfect.
It is a little big and heavy, but the build quality is awesome.

I've read that the sharpness is concentrated at the center through all apertures, but at f/1.4 I'm guessing you'd have to be shooting brick walls to detect that sort of thing.

The newer version I have does not have the matte finish all over the barrel and is smooth plastic on the back half. My copy seems to be good and I have no focus issues (and I am pretty obsessive about that kind of thing).
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: February 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, useful focal length, well made
Cons: tiny bit of CA

An excellent piece of kit and a good replacement for my old PK-A 50mm f1.4. Slightly heavy but not a big problem and (of course) equivalent to a full frame 45 or 46mm - a very useful length. It has the biggest rear element of any DSLR lens I've seen so far.

I can produce CAs but not easily. Even at f1.4 it's sharp and clean with good contrast and colors.

Someone else called it a perfect 'Pub' lens; for those casual intimate portraits. This sums it up well but really it's a great multi-purpose lens. I sold a 43mm Limited to finance this and a Sigma 70mm Macro and I don't regret it (tho I may do when Pentax finally bring out a full frame DSLR!)

It was bought from Panamoz (Hong Kong based) and came well packed in about four days.

Definitely one of Sigma's better offerings!
   
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2009
Posts: 1,291

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $340.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast, price, size and weight, sharp centre from wide open
Cons: Corner performance, chromatic aberration, no DOF scale

If you want a fast (say, f/2 or faster) standard auto-focus lens on a Pentax camera, you options are limited to the renowned FA 31mm f/1.8, this Sigma 30mm f/1.4, or the FA 35mm f/2. (edit: also Sigma 28mm f/1.8)

I find 35mm too long, the 31mm too expensive for my budget (unfortunately), and read it has relatively slow and noisy AF.

The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 gets mixed reviews. I've had it for a few months and have taken thousand of shots in many conditions with it on a K-7. I bought it for street photography and low-light photography. Here are my thoughts:

The build is typical Sigma EX, very good without being metal or sealed. Size and weight are actually very good for a f/1.4 lens. Still keeps a pretty compact set up with the K-7. At 62mm the filter size is very good for a fast lens as well.

IQ is very high in the centre right from wide open. This is great and one reason I bought a f/1.4 lens is to be able to use it at f/1.4. By f/2 to f/2.8 centre IQ is about as high as anyone could want. The extreme corners are never great, poor wide open (although hardly ever in the field of focus), and only get to a moderate level stopping down. It's certainly geared towards performing well in the centre wide open, and this is a trade off. Bokeh and contrast seem very good, although I don't study it and compare to other lenses.

IQ issues include a small amount of barrel distortion, and red/green CA at all f-stops. This is pretty easily dealt with. There can be a small amount of purple fringing around highlights, pretty much gone by f/2. Can flare a little bit sometimes, but is quite resistant to this. Note I never use the hood, to keep size down for street work. Bokeh can get some purple/green fringing, like many fast lenses, but is controlled.

AF speed is good, unfortunately the Pentax version of this lens is not currently HSM, but this also means the lens is a bit smaller (although it's the same price). I'm not sure why there is also an HSM version listed in the lens review section for Pentax. Low light focus can be iffy at times - probably more the K-7's issue.

Why there is no DOF scale is beyond me, I would love one and am considering painting it on myself. There is no quick-shift manual focusing like many Pentax lenses.

I think the price is very good new or second hand. Especially good if you need the speed, the performance to price at fast apertures is very good.

Overall: 8/10, great purchase, hardly ever comes off the camera. Great for my needs.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Salford, Manchester UK
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: October 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wide and fast. Sharp. EX.
Cons: Soft at the edges. Bent lines.

I do a lot of indoor shooting, some with flash some without.
What I want is something wide and fast.
I would like THE LENS (31mm f1.8) but that is over budget.
Other contendors ?
DA 35 f2.4 - only f2.4. A soft but usable f2 would have been OK for me.
FA 35 f2 - difficult to find.
Sigma 20/24/28 f1.8 - not universally liked

My choice - Siggy 30 f1.4.
This is a lovely lens, 30 is a super length on the cropped sensor, the lens is very sharp round the centre, f1.4 goes where none of the competition goes, colour rendition and contrast is pleasing.
The edges are soft and mushy, but I just make sure the subject is centralish.
If you are taking a picture of a brick wall, it will look like it needs rebuilding ! lines are not perfect.
The images pop and rock. This EX is a lovely lens, produces magical images.
   
Senior Member

Registered: August, 2010
Posts: 209
Lens Review Date: August 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great night time, indoor with poor lighting lens
Cons: heavy

I love this lens, it does what I like very well, and that's night time or lowlight photography.

This was the first lens I ever had and came with my k10d

Here's a photo from a rainy night, long exposure on a tripod.


and another in a really dark bar.


My non-photography friends always ask how I can take photo's indoors without a flash.

Just for fun, here is the lens mounted on my program plus film camera if you're curious about using it on a film body.

   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 509
Lens Review Date: July 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: F1.4, build quality
Cons: heavy, soft corners, long min. focus distance

An OK lens if you don't mind the weight and 62mm filter size. I'm spoiled by Pentax's use of 49mm in many of their lenses. Minimum focus distance is quite long. I replaced this lens with a DA35 and FA50/1.4 and am much happier!
   
Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 57
Lens Review Date: May 6, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small F-stop, cost (compared to 31mm LTD)
Cons: Filter size

Right now it's my most used lens. You can take this to a dance / bar / night out and snap some unreal shots. Would make a perfect wedding lens / glued onto the camera lens for walking about.

Some reviews say it's 'extreme' corner sharpness isn't great. What that means is that in the four corners, there is a hint of reduced IQ, and I'm talking the extreme corners, and only maybe 40 pixels in from the top right, top left, bottom right and bottom left corners. It's perfectly fine on the top, bottom, left and right edges. However the beautiful bokeh hides any extreme corner sharpness 'issues', and I've yet to find a printed image where you can actually see them. Even pixel peeping I don't notice them in real life tests.

If you're buying a lens to shoot at a resolution target, you may be disappointed with the extreme edges, but who buys a 30mm f1.4 for superior edge resolution. To give you an idea of where the 'edges' I'm talking about are, take a look at the link below. The lack of sharpness is at the furtherest away from the centre grid, and only the one farthest away. http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/sigma_50_1p4_c16/page4.asp (not for the 30mm, but you get the point)

On my camera more often tham my DA* 50-135mm, so that's saying something!

Below is a shot with no flash, shot in a basement bar which had only very poor lighting in it. Shot was handheld - this is why I got this lens!

   
New Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Taipei
Posts: 18
Lens Review Date: February 28, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: value for money, fast, build quality, sharp
Cons: heavy, funny bokeh at the edges

This is my first fast normal lens. I bought it second-hand and recently sold it. For the price it has a lot to offer: really fast, solid build quality, and a nice manual focusing feel much better than my DA 16-45. I'm satisfied with its sharpness too. Focusing at f/1.4 is sometimes inconsistent but I think it has more to do with my DS than the lens. Like many modern Sigmas, it is also quite heavy, but it does balance well with the body. My only complaint is that point lights at the edges of the frame tend to result in V-shaped bokeh at larger apertures. Overall a very good value for money, but one has to take care of its limitations.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Oslo
Posts: 309

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 21, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good center sharpness, reliable AF, Sigmas service system
Cons: Curved plane of focus, size, soft corners, Sigmas (still) sketchy quality

Bought this lens as other options were slower, as well as more expensive or not available. I quickly got the impression of a very nice lens, with properties suited very good for indoor photography in semi-tight locations.

The PK version of the 30/1.4 does not have HSM, and relies on the screw drive. No problem by itself, but the AF got stuck on my sample during operation. Sigmas service solution is top-notch, though, so it only took four work days to fix, postage included. AF accuracy is good, especially for such thin DOF.
An HSM version would have been nice, especially as the AF ring rotates during focusing, and there is no QS.
I would also appreciate closer focusing, mag. ratio is worse than the classic 50s. Stick to Sigmas 28/1.8 if you want semi-macro.

The corners are somewhat soft, especially at f-stops smaller than f/2.8. No landscape lens, but allright for some kinds of scenery, e.g. street shots.

Summed up, I consider this the best semi-budget lens for low-light, at least after the FA35/2 production shut down. The drawbacks are limited to max. magnification and size, and the corners could have been sharper for the price.
An ideal companion to the DA35 Ltd, as it covers the Sigmas weaknesses, and vice versa.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2007
Location: La Crescenta, CA
Posts: 7,454
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent center sharpness from wide open, very nice build, fun bokeh, looks pretty on the K-7
Cons: Some will dislike the bokeh and edge softness wide open

I bought this as a general-purpose people/low light lens and so far it hasn't disappointed. It's the perfect "pub lens." The center sharpness is amazing from wide open, while the edges are pretty soft. In combination with the very shallow depth of field this produces a very pleasing effect for portraiture. It wouldn't be my go-to for landscapes, but for people/pets/even some bugs/flowers it can't be beat, I don't think. The build quality is typical Sigma EX series, which is to say excellent. AF is reasonably fast, even though it lacks the HSM.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 42
Lens Review Date: September 6, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fastest lens at 30mm
Cons: None

Excellent all around lens. It's probably my most used lens. Great for full body portrait, fantastic bokeh and excellent in low light condition.

Very very sharp lens (or only my copy), good built and has no competition at the focal length. There is no other lens af 30mm that I know of that has f1.4.

I would highly recommend to anyone. This lens and a 50mm f1.4 would make a great combination.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Posts: 1,076

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2009 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: F1.4ast, well built, good colours, contrast, center sharpness
Cons: Weight, edge sharpness, distortions, AF reliability, no HSM for same price.

First impressions:

First i got it for my k100d but had some focussing issues (With camera), making the lens always focus on background. Very annoying. Had to wait 6 weeks.
After getting k200d the lens worked as supposed: EDIT: Not - apparently it has some serious flaws, not only me but another 30/1.4 user has reported similar issues (with both k100d and k10d). Now on k200d i'm unable to get lock at infinity. I can try as hard as i want but it wont go further than 4m mark. At close distances it is OK unless you get too far away from subject, then you get horrible random Front Focus errors.
I guess SIGMA did not adopted this HSM lens to screw drive very well.

What made this even worse was complete lack of support. The "official" dealer refuses to look at anything they have'nt sold. No after warranty service either (even if the lens actually had still valid world wide warranty).

Only option offered was sending to Japan and the shipping cost was half of the lens price.

Optically:

I'd describe it as a compromise lens. Many of aspects are well balanced to make it a perfect lens for certain applications. In my opinion those are general, low light photos. Otherwise this lens is pretty weak for a prime.

It produces perfect pictures of everyday scenes collecting all the available light and comes at reasonable (not cheap) cost. Featuring rich colours, good overall contrast and detail. As a result making a very enjoyable image of the scene. And combined with the Pentax shake reduction feature, sometimes you can shoot when there is next to no light. (Unfortunately the AF fails much faster).

But don't expect it to behave like some high grade macro lens, even if its a prime lens. It curves straight lines, but is not noticeable without "guides" (straight lines in scene).
You will also get some purple outlines around backlit stuff and highlights (more pronounced, but not as ugly looking as from FA35). When viewing at 100% you will find much less detail at edges even at F5.6, but there will be no signs of unsharpness at viewing or medium print sizes. AF is fast(-er than kit..maybe, but not as snappy as FA35), but not very reliable.
For a fixed focal lens with reduced imaging circle, one could wish for any of the downsides - distortions, CA's, corners, AF speed/reliability or Price being better. But they are well weighted not to be disturbing, and provide a good competition to lenses several times more expensive (like FA31/1.8, canon 3x/1.x) which are near perfect.

Possibly a Sigma 28mm/F1.8 is a better choice. It offers better price, macro capabilities, it is native screw/motor driven, has full frame coverage and is better in overall optical quality.
   
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 85
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $305.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast. Sharp. Fast
Cons: it's a little big

This lens is extremely fast, and despite the concerns that I've read regarding focusing issues, my copy focuses great.
I've read some reviews that claim this lens is soft wide open, but I have found quite the contrary. When used in extremely low light situations, some of the pictures are a little soft, but when the light is mediocre to good...this thing is razor sharp.
If you want a "normal" length lens for a DSLR Pentax (1.5x crop factor makes this a 45mm lens), and you don't want to cough up the cash for the 31mm Limited...well, you could make a lot worse choice.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Borås, Sweden
Posts: 3,168
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $240.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast, sharp, well built
Cons: For the money, none

Incredible bang for the buck. It's wicked sharp in the center area at 1.4 and while the borders are never perfect they are more than sufficient for most shots short of landscapes and architectural. Yeah, it's a big piece of glass, but it looks just at home on a K10D or K20D. It's this one or the 31/1.8 if you want a "normal" fast walk-around lens.
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