Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

Started Mar 29, 2012 | Discussions
John Bean (UK)
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Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
Mar 29, 2012

My Sigma 30/2.8 arrived this morning and I have to say it has exceeded all expectations - and then some. I find it hard to get my head around how Sigma can make such a nice little lens to sell for under £150 - and even supply a case with it! - yet Sony seem to be incapable of producing anything that even approaches the price/performance ratio of the Sigma.

Firstly, it looks good and it handles well. But does it work?

Today the light was awful, photographically speaking, but I took the opportunity to take a few unimportant snaps representative of real situations. Close-ups prove nothing unless you only ever shoot close-ups, so charts don't do it for me. All are raw captures (I don't do JPEG, ever) and have no special processing other than CA removal, which is trivially easy because it doesn't significantly change with aperture or focus distance, so a simple preset in Lightroom allows a one-click fix for all images.

Test 1: wide open. I often like to use a wide aperture even in "landscape" compositions to allow a gentle , subtle defocussed background to give emphasis to the main subject without isolating it from its surroundings. The Sigma is only f/2.8, so it had better be usable wide open, like this:

Test 2: low-contrast detail. The scourge of the small-sensor camera and of poor lenses on a large-sensor camera is low-contrast detail, which often just turns to mush:

Test 3: flare resistance and fringing. I combined two tests in one, since bare twigs against an overbright sky (the sun is actually in the frame, but is rather diffused by the smoke) is a nightmare for a dodgy lens:

Passed all tests with flying colours; astonishing for such a cheap lens.

Real pictures when the light permits

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Olympus E-3
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nick_webster
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Good test shots John,
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 29, 2012

You've picked some very good examples of how the lens will be used and shown it works very well indeed.

Sigma have made some very good lenses over the years and some utter dogs, so it's good to see which category this one fits. I think all the posts I've seen have been positive which implies they also got away from another of their bugbears and that is sample consistency.

Big thank you for your efforts,

Nick

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JohnNewman
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 29, 2012

Sounds like the Sigma will be an excellent replacement/substitute for the Nikon 35mm f1.8 which I loved on my D90.

Thanks for the report.

John

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Dennishh
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 29, 2012

Quiet! It's not cheap, we don't want them raising the price. I think Sigma has shown that all the big DSLR manufacturers are putting it to us for lens prices. I haven't taken this lens off the NEX 7 since I got it, great lens.

 Dennishh's gear list:Dennishh's gear list
Nikon D800E Sony Alpha 7R Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D +3 more
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andyb949
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 29, 2012

Where did you buy in the UK?

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golfpan
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 29, 2012

The new Sigmas seem to be real winners. Nice to see other companies coming on board with the E-mount.

 golfpan's gear list:golfpan's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony a6000 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS +12 more
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John Bean (UK)
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to andyb949, Mar 29, 2012

andyb949 wrote:

Where did you buy in the UK?

http://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/Sigma_30_mm_f2.8_EX_DN

Superb customer service too.

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

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John Bean (UK)
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to Dennishh, Mar 29, 2012

Dennishh wrote:

Quiet! It's not cheap, we don't want them raising the price.

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

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ekeroil
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 29, 2012

See, I made a promise to myself not to buy this lens, although you're making it very hard for me.

Amazing quality really, thanks for the good and stressing examples!

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uuronl
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Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)
In reply to golfpan, Mar 30, 2012

golfpan wrote:

The new Sigmas seem to be real winners. Nice to see other companies coming on board with the E-mount.

Yes. Hopefully all the other 3rd party lens companies are watching us snap these up. We're starving for more choices and the fanfare surrounding these Sigma DN lenses is evidence that we're willing to reward makers who dare to make solid offerings for our NEXes.

Loving my Sigma 30/2.8 btw!!!

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Sony Alpha NEX-5N
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RussellInCincinnati
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did you use a lens hood to get such good results?
In reply to John Bean (UK), Mar 30, 2012

Or was this lens riding bareback?

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John Bean (UK)
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No hood
In reply to RussellInCincinnati, Mar 30, 2012

I was trying to disprove Sigma's claims. I failed.

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

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