Best budget prime?

Started Mar 31, 2014 | Discussions thread
William Porter
William Porter Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
the Sigma 60 isn't just for poor students

Calling the Sigma 60 a "poor student" lens is a disservice to the lens.

I don't know about the other two Sigmas but the Sigma 60 is, in my opinion, a very good lens in an absolute sense. Yes, it's also remarkably affordable, but it wouldn't be a bad choice even if it cost more. As for the fact that it's "only" f2.8, it's good to remember that the f-stop isn't some sort of absolute (except in mathematical terms). Depth of field is a function not just of the aperture but also the focal length — and distance to the focal plane. So at 60mm on a micro four thirds lens, with camera about 8ft from the subject, f2.8 provides depth of field measured in inches.

I can also recommend these lenses:

  • Panasonic 14 f2.5
  • Panasonic 20 f1.7
  • Olympus 45 f1.8
  • Rokinon/Samyang 85 f1.4

They're all quite good. The Rokinon 85 f1.4 is all manual, but results are excellent. On a tripod it's an outstanding portrait lens.

NONE of these lenses cost over $500. Using 36x24 (so-called "full frame") bodies I paid three and four times more for lenses that were no better than any of the above.


 William Porter's gear list:William Porter's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +12 more
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