2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions
QuakeO
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2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
May 23, 2013

The Sigma lenses are now on sale in Canada for $130 each. The 20mm is $449 (or can be ordered from the US for $350 or so.

Go for pancake and 1.7? For two focal lengths?

Opinions welcome!

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FredB
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Re: 2 Sigma, or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 23, 2013

For 130$ I don't think you can go wrong. I haven't been able to find them less than 200$ so I got the 45mm and the 14mm

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Corkcampbell
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Rather difficult to answer your question without knowing your shooting preferences.
In reply to QuakeO, May 23, 2013

I have had all three and the Sigmas, with a newer focusing design, are much better for video. I sold my 20mm over a year ago due to lack of use, especially after I picked up 14mm and 45mm lenses, among others.

I will be getting the new Sigma 60mm also, when I can find one. I have the Oly 75mm, so I will have good coverage with primes (although I have some zoom lenses as well).

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Elemental Photography
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Do you need the aperture or smaller size?
In reply to QuakeO, May 23, 2013

I own both the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. I tend to use the Panasonic more because it is smaller and brighter, but from f/2.8 onward the optical performance is very close between the two lenses.  If you don't need the larger aperture opening and/or size of the pancake, go for the Sigma option.  If you do need the aperture and/or size, it's up to you to judge how much those features are worth.

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grumpyolderman
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 23, 2013

The sigmas are really big, the pancake lest you slip you camera in a )large..) pocket, so it is really handy, and second hand should be no problem at all.

JL

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jquagga
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 23, 2013

You're going to get half the folks voting for the 20 and half for the Sigma's.  Which camera and what are you shooting?  Are you doing video or not?

Since you haven't specified I've decided that you're shooting in lower light on an older generation body (read: anything that isn't the GH3 or current generation PEN/OM-D).  As such, the 20 is the natural choice since it's a bit over a stop faster.  Inside that makes the difference between ISO 800 (very usable on an older generation camera) and ISO 1600 grainy / a little icky on the previous gen.

Of course even if you had a current generation camera, that stop is a big difference.  Although, the $300 difference between the two options is also a big difference.  I love my 20 though.  It's hard not to vote for the "classic".  Pancakes have their own advantages too.

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Najib
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

I tried the 19mm Sigma on a GX1 and wasn't too impressed. It's a decent value, but IMO, too much distortion and a bit bulky. I'd rather get one great lens than 2 good lenses. The 20/1.7 is a great lens. Plus, f1.7 is a whole stop faster, and on a smalller sensor it makes for a big difference in DOF and bokeh. Also, it's much better optically, and about half the size of the Sigmas. The only thing better on the Sigmas is the AF speed. Other than that, the 20/1.7 has always been a stellar and highly reputable lens.

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bryanbrun
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to Najib, May 24, 2013

Najib wrote:

I tried the 19mm Sigma on a GX1 and wasn't too impressed. It's a decent value, but IMO, too much distortion and a bit bulky. I'd rather get one great lens than 2 good lenses. The 20/1.7 is a great lens. Plus, f1.7 is a whole stop faster, and on a smalller sensor it makes for a big difference in DOF and bokeh. Also, it's much better optically, and about half the size of the Sigmas. The only thing better on the Sigmas is the AF speed. Other than that, the 20/1.7 has always been a stellar and highly reputable lens.

Not only the speed, but the sound.  The 20mm 1.7 is very noisy lense, making AF during video inadvisable.

The Sigmas AF very quietly.

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Iskender
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to grumpyolderman, May 24, 2013

grumpyolderman wrote:

The sigmas are really big, the pancake lest you slip you camera in a )large..) pocket, so it is really handy, and second hand should be no problem at all.

JL

The Sigmas are *not* "really big". They're very small lenses, they're just not tiny. The 20mm is admirably small but it's no reason to throw away any sense of proportion.

As an example, I carry the 19mm with the lens hood on most of the time. It fits in large jacket pockets and bags - without reversing the hood. I use a Rally 2 bag for my Pen, and it fits inside the shortest dimension - meaning camera + lens + hood equals the height of your average SLR. The 30mm is even smaller, indeed it's flatter than even the first Olympus kit lens.

There are situations when the absolutely smallest lens is needed, but I think the differences between the lenses is small here. My P1 won't go in small pockets even as body only.

To the OP: I believe the greatest difference here is the low light ability. The 20/1.7 collects over double the light of the other lenses. If you foresee shooting in bad light (e.g. bars) then it will be the better option. If you plan on shooting outdoors and in well-lit indoors the Sigmas will give you two lenses for the price of one.

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amalric
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to Iskender, May 24, 2013

Iskender wrote:

grumpyolderman wrote:

The sigmas are really big, the pancake lest you slip you camera in a )large..) pocket, so it is really handy, and second hand should be no problem at all.

JL

The Sigmas are *not* "really big". They're very small lenses, they're just not tiny. The 20mm is admirably small but it's no reason to throw away any sense of proportion.

As an example, I carry the 19mm with the lens hood on most of the time. It fits in large jacket pockets and bags - without reversing the hood. I use a Rally 2 bag for my Pen, and it fits inside the shortest dimension - meaning camera + lens + hood equals the height of your average SLR. The 30mm is even smaller, indeed it's flatter than even the first Olympus kit lens.

There are situations when the absolutely smallest lens is needed, but I think the differences between the lenses is small here. My P1 won't go in small pockets even as body only.

To the OP: I believe the greatest difference here is the low light ability. The 20/1.7 collects over double the light of the other lenses. If you foresee shooting in bad light (e.g. bars) then it will be the better option. If you plan on shooting outdoors and in well-lit indoors the Sigmas will give you two lenses for the price of one.

I subscribe to this. The small price of the Sigmas allowed me to procure the 30, the 19, and then the Panny 14/2.5.

On new cameras high sensitivity does away with the need of extreme light gathering. Sizewise the 14mm allows me the smallest, on a PM1, for street. The 19mm lives on the E-M5 for General Ph/phy, and the 30 comes into its own for portraits. Both are v. well balanced on the E-M5.

All three lenses AF instantly which is really a game changer, compared to earlier generation lenses. All three lenses are v. sharp and have a neutral colour signature, so the sensor gives much the same response and generate similar images, which is important to me.

The total expense has been around 400, so it's an absolute steal. They are all Highly Recommended, not to me, but by reviewers.

Am.

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Silvernitrate
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to Najib, May 24, 2013

Najib wrote:

I tried the 19mm Sigma on a GX1 and wasn't too impressed. It's a decent value, but IMO, too much distortion and a bit bulky. I'd rather get one great lens than 2 good lenses. The 20/1.7 is a great lens. Plus, f1.7 is a whole stop faster, and on a smalller sensor it makes for a big difference in DOF and bokeh. Also, it's much better optically, and about half the size of the Sigmas. The only thing better on the Sigmas is the AF speed. Other than that, the 20/1.7 has always been a stellar and highly reputable lens.

If you find distortion, it is easily corrected using LR, there are very few M4/3 lenses profile in my version (3.6) but all the Sigma`s are covered, not that I have ever seen much in the way of distortion with this lens.

Sigma 19 and 30mm LR lens profiles

I find the 19mm surprisingly good optically, sure its a stop slower, but with these new sensors its not going to make a whole load of real world difference.

And the size, yes its bigger than the 20mm pancake, its not really a bad thing, on the very small bodies this lens will give you added support (more to hold on to) and fitted to a GH3 or OMD with grip there are very few real advantages fitting a pancake.

The 19mm also comes with a fitted case and a hood, almost unbelievable considering the low cost of this outfit.

Edit if it was me I would be looking at the new 60mm in place of the 30mm

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QuakeO
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to jquagga, May 24, 2013

jquagga wrote:

You're going to get half the folks voting for the 20 and half for the Sigma's.  Which camera and what are you shooting?  Are you doing video or not?

Since you haven't specified I've decided that you're shooting in lower light on an older generation body (read: anything that isn't the GH3 or current generation PEN/OM-D).  As such, the 20 is the natural choice since it's a bit over a stop faster.  Inside that makes the difference between ISO 800 (very usable on an older generation camera) and ISO 1600 grainy / a little icky on the previous gen.

Of course even if you had a current generation camera, that stop is a big difference.  Although, the $300 difference between the two options is also a big difference.  I love my 20 though.  It's hard not to vote for the "classic".  Pancakes have their own advantages too .

My setup is an e-pl5 with the kit lens plus the 40-150 (a bargain lens imo). I shoot stills mostly, family stuff with the kit,  and sports with the 40-150. Generally in decent to bright light.

I want to add a prime or two for travel, daily stuff, and to improve my limited skills. I debated the 14 vs 20mm, but this looks like a good deal on the Sigma.  I will be at the store tomorrow to see them on the camera. How would you prioritize them?

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Silvernitrate
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

With the Price of the Sigma 19mm being so low why not add the 14mm at the same time, there both superb lenses.

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QuakeO
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to Silvernitrate, May 24, 2013

Silvernitrate wrote:

With the Price of the Sigma 19mm being so low why not add the 14mm at the same time, there both superb lenses.

So with the 14 and 20 Pannys and the 19 and 30 Sigma lenses all on the table,  you'd go with the 14 and 19?

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Silvernitrate
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

Yes, well I already have the Olympus 45mm, for me the 30mm would be pointless.

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Ulric
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

I had this debate with myself a while ago and eventually came to the same conclusion as several others in this thread: I would rather have one faster, smaller lens than two slower, larger ones. I already had the 14 and 45, so 20 fits nicely in between.

If I thought I would never want faster than 2.8, I would take a serious look at the 12-35. But I do.

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Fredrik Glckner
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

I think the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 lens is better than the Sigma 19mm in all aspects, except for the AF speed and noise, and the price.

I have made some comparisons between them here:

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-19mm-f28-ex-dn.html

I've found the Sigma 30mm lens to be better than the Sigma 19mm lens in terms of image quality. This is not very surprising: A longer lens is easier to design than a wide lens:

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2012/07/sigma-30mm-f28.html

If AF speed and noise is important for you, you can consider then Sigma lenses. Otherwise, I think the Lumix G 20mm lens is better.

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Moti
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Re: 2 Sigmas (19&30), or 20mm 1.7
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

QuakeO wrote:

I want to add a prime or two for travel, daily stuff, and to improve my limited skills.

If you don't shoot in low light and really need fast lenses, don't buy any of them it will be a waste of money at this stage as these focal lengthes are covered with what you already have.

If you really want to improve your photography skills, the only way to do it is to steady photography basics and to practice.  My advise to you is to take a photography class. It is less expansive and ill contribute to your photography much more than any lens can do.  Then, when you knoledge and skills are good, you'll know better what you need.

Moti

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Franka T.L.
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the two Sigma
In reply to QuakeO, May 24, 2013

For the price, one can hardly beat it ... other than the speed, the 19 can pretty much do all what the 20 deliver and unless you absolutely need that speed, otherwise I see no point not to pay less and adopt the 2 Sigma

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amalric
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Re: the two Sigma
In reply to Franka T.L., May 24, 2013

Franka T.L. wrote:

For the price, one can hardly beat it ... other than the speed, the 19 can pretty much do all what the 20 deliver and unless you absolutely need that speed, otherwise I see no point not to pay less and adopt the 2 Sigma

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Exactly so. If you have to buy now, why be stuck in old AF technology? The 14/2.5 is much better than the 20, and so the 19 and the 30. They make an almost magic sequence with ultrafast AF and good optics.

In comparison the 20mm is like a stranded fish, peddled only by those who are stuck with it.

Am.

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