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Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM

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31 80,944 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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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.
   
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.



and



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.

   
Veteran Member

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

4 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
Cons:

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!)-
http://translate.google.com.au/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie...d.html&act=url

A few of my samples-
f/1.4


f/1.4


f/1.4


f/1.4


f/1.4










   
Inactive Account

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Warragul
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $447.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f1.4, Sharp and clear, light weight.
Cons: Auto focus is slow

I bought this lens as a secondary to my 17-70, but has quickly become my favorite.

The only bug I have with it is the slow and sometime in-accurate auto focus especially for fast moving subjects and in lower light.
I have learnt to work around this however and the lens is on my K20D 90% of the time.

Image quality is great as is depth of field at 1.4 and sharpness. Also works well with cameras built in flash.
   
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).
   
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!

   
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: 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.
   
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 ).

   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2,312

1 user 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!

Isolation:

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: 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.
   
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

F5.6


F1.4 using centre focus point.


F4
   
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.
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