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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

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31 83,724 Tue June 11, 2013
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
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

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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Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 3,561

5 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 3, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: SHARP from Wide open, fast, bokeh

Ive had this lens for over 6 months now.
This lens is sharp from wide open. There is something about this lens that gives a "3D" look to the images it produces, it renders subjects with great isolation making it perfect for portraits and shallow DOF photography. The extreme borders to lack abit but shooting at wide apertures they probably wont be in focus anyway!
It also has excellent flare control, prehaps even better than the Pentax DA15.

I choose this lens over the FA31 because I liked the way this lens renders images over the FA31 (which lacks the 3D isolation pop IMO)

Good review here comparing them both (Sigma beats it even in bokeh!)-

A few of my samples-





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.

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2,849

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp (center)
Cons: Not Sharp (corners)

Got this lens to have a big aperture in a normal lens. It doesn't disappoint. Sure, the corners are soft, but at 1.4, who cares? This is THE indoor lens for me, and my go-to for subject isolation.

My copy backfocused by a mile on my K-X. Images were garbage. Sent it in to Sigma for calibration (free service, just pay shipping there!) and it came back stunning. I could go on, but on to the pictures!


Oriental Garden by Kozlok1, on Flickr

Indoors at the Air Force Museum (it is almost completely dark in there!)

B-24 by Kozlok1, on Flickr

And stopped down to f4, the sharpness is off the chart

Leo B by Kozlok1, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 242

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: f/1.4; Sharp; Bokeh; Focal Length
Cons: Wish Sigma made an HSM version; Corner sharpness (read below)

The Sigma 30mm is a great lens. There was no reservation in my mind how much this lens deserves credit for what it accomplishes. It is very sharp right from f/1.4. This is an often overlooked quality when people discuss fast glass. You need a fast lens to be sharp and useable at it's fastest aperture otherwise it defeats the purpose of the lens to a large degree. The Sigma 30 delivers in this regard. It is so often criticized for it's border sharpness (or lack thereof) but in practice this is often not an issue. This appears to be due to field curvature, but I am no optical expert. As many have mentioned, this lens productes a great "3D" look, which I believe is largely in part to the field curvature. So it can be a bit of a double edged sword. Without the field curvature the corners would be sharper but you would lose the 3D look. In the end, I am of the opinion that if the corner sharpness is extremely important on a picture or two, one could easily crop the 30mm image to a 35mm image and end up with sharper corners on a 35mm f/1.4 image.

I enjoy the handling of the lens. It is build like a tank; with a short stubby but heavy build. There is clearly a lot of glass inside this lens. It is surprisingly short at 5.9cm which is a little less than the FA31 at 6.85cm. The FA31 is of course slimmer and made of beautiful metal. I would probably be writing this review for the FA31 if it just wasn't so expensive as I prefer metal primes for their vintage/superior quality feel. If Pentax made a DA30 "Limited" at f/1.4, it would be unbelievable. Unfortunately they haven't, and while the Sigma feels very well made, it still has the feel of a modern plastic lens. In Canada here, the Sigma comes with an amazing 10 year warranty which goes to show that Sigma feels it can stand behind this lens.

The lens has a nice wide rubbery focus ring, which I have found is a pleasure to use. It can be very hard to nail focus at f/1.4 due to the very narrow DOF, but I attribute this largely to the viewfinder and not having some sort of split prism as they had in the classic SLR's. One gripe I do have is with Sigma's decision to have their focus rings rotate in the opposite direction as the Pentax primes. This takes some getting used to because you have to remember to turn the ring in the opposite direction to focus closer/further than what you are probably used to.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I love the 30mm focal length on APS-C DSLRs. It gives you a 45mm equivalent on a full frame. This FF equivalent puts it very close to the much endeared 43mm focal length of the FA43. It's just wide enough without being too wide for a normal walk around lens. If you want to crop it in to the 50mm FF equivalent, it's not too much work. Aside from the very usable f/1.4 aperture, it was the 30mm focal length that made me choose this lens over the DA or FA35s. You can't crop backwards from a 35 to a 30mm image.

I think I may have gotten a little carried away with this review, but I hope I got across how well this lens performs and can fill anyone's need for a fast normal prime. It rarely leaves my camera.

For a couple samples, I dug up two of the first 10 photos I took with this lens. Both at f/1.4.


For good measure, here is another at f/1.4 that shows the sharpness and usability at the wide open aperture. These photos are straight from the camera shot on "Bright" mode and with just exposure/white balance adjustments.

Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 49

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: focal lenght , fast aperture , colours ,
Cons: hi distortion

Hi Guys,

I bought this lens second hand with the camera, seeing the reviews on pixel peepers I thought I would not keep it. but I just fell in love with it , such a good value for money .
I loved the colours and the bokeh . The focal length is perfect on a crop sensor . You can use it for portraits if you get closer and street photography . I could keep it always on my camera .

I highly recommend this lens .here some shots from a photoshoot . (I never had to change my lens ).

Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 206

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 27, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $289.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, price and F1.4!
Cons: None

Picked this up at the Adorama sale in late January for $289. I couldn't pass it up for that price, I had almost bought it a month before for $405.
Very sharp with amazing contrast and color. Great for low light. I've been using it mostly on my K5 but performs well on the K-01, also. I am very pleased with this lens and it compares very favorably to FA 31 f1.8 at 1/3 the cost and is a little faster.
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).
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: 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.


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.
New Member

Registered: March, 2012
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: February 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $393.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Cheap and Compact
Cons: Focus ring moves in AF

Purchased the Sigma 30mm f1.4 new with my K-5IIs, my first copy of the lens was very soft @f1.4 to f2, a brick wall test at f8 show the center to be sharp but a quick fall off to the sides, I almost sent it back and ordered the 31mm FA which I had before but figured I'd try another copy first, my second copy was perfect, sharp in the center @ f1.4 and sharp edges @f4.

The lens renders nicely and has smooth-ish bokeh and warm colours, I was going to use this lens as a stop gap while saving for the 31 FA but now I'm not so sure and may well keep this.
New Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: December 20, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, Weight, Build Quality
Cons: Price

Bought this lens in Poland in January 2011. On my K200d it had and horrible back focus making it not usable at all.
But after calibration in Sigma Service in PL (sending + calibration + resending took only 3 days) I got my new favorite lens,
Now it's tack sharp and almost always in use, i must say sometimes it's even to sharp, especially when taking portraits - you can see any scar, pimple, wrinkle, everything!
At F1,4 - 1,8 the picks are a little bit soft
At F2,0 - 2,8 they get sharp
At F3,2 - 8,0 you can shave with the pictures
At higher than 8,0 pics get a little softer do to aberrations but still sharp.
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 20, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $383.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: 30mm, F1.4, image quality, contrast, colours, handling
Cons: Has a learning curve

I bought this lens a few months ago and it has not left my K-5 since. I shoot a lot of alternative fashion and club events and I needed an autofocus lens as my only other option was to use a FA 28mm 2.8 which wasnt doing quite what I wanted or using a 50mm F1.7 manual focus which didn't quite do what I want and the focal length on my K-5 was a bit long. I managed to find an Australian retailer with this on sale for $400 AUD and grabbed it. I love playing with the shallow depth of field at F1.4 and found found it to be sharp from corner to corner so I can only assume I got a great copy, when I stop it down to increase the depth of field the level of detail rendered always amazes me and is great to see.

The learning curve con is more a matter of the fact that at F1.4 your depth of field is less than 2 inches so you need to be smart about what you are focusing on and you need to pick your focus points to get the results you want. A great value lens for anyone who needs a 45mm focal length and wants the ability


F1.4 using centre focus point.

New Member

Registered: December, 2011
Location: Padova
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: August 18, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: razor sharp at center, fast, great AF, bokehlicious
Cons: not HSM, more distortions than other primes

This is one of my favourite lenses.
It shows great contrasted colors and excellent bokeh.
it has fantastic center resolution and very sturdy, short and compact body for these specs.
there aren't other normal fast lenses with AF for APS-C Pentax sensors except the pricey Pentax FA 31mm.

negatives? only aberrations... but in real life is not a big problem
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Strand
Posts: 1,366
Lens Review Date: January 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: low light, very sharp in focus area even at f1.4
Cons: field curvature (curved focus plan) and therefore difficult with group shots or large flat objects

As for AF lenses, you need to AF fine adjust before taken photos.

A very good low light lens at normal focal on crop sensor. Very sharp wide open, far better than the FA50/1.4. Razor sharp and very good contrast at f2.8. Beautiful bokeh. Very good for object isolation.

This lens has definitely field curvature, but when I am aware of this property, it's not a big problem - may be some challenge in group shots or something flat that one need to have sharpness in whole frame. Since AF points are not covered entire frame, I tested the (extreme) edges' sharpness manually. Everything in focus at edges are almost razor sharp with some minor CA - and at f1.4!

Can this lens replace the FA35/2? Yes and no. FA35/2 is lighter, smaller, aperture ring, FF, and no field curvature. This one has f1.4.

I don't have FA31 to compare, but price/performace ratio is hard to beat this lens.

Registered: May, 2011
Location: Earth
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $430.00 | Rating: 3 

Pros: Specs
Cons: Not sharp at wide aperture. Too much plastic for my taste. Low iq

Returned it for a Pentax FA31mm & never looked back. I might of had a bad copy. I would my copy to be the worst lens I have owned in more than 20 years. Certainly the worst lens Ive mounted on the k5. That's based on overall IQ. Unacceptable at 1.4 and not good until much higher. Conclusion stick with Pentax primes.
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