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

Started Mar 29, 2012 | Discussions
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John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

Olympus E-3
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nick_webster
nick_webster Veteran Member • Posts: 5,778
Good test shots John,

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

JohnNewman Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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

 JohnNewman's gear list:JohnNewman's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Dennishh Contributing Member • Posts: 545
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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
Sony Alpha 7R Sony Alpha 7R II Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Sony FE 70-200 F4 Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS +2 more
andyb949 Forum Member • Posts: 93
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

Where did you buy in the UK?

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golfpan Regular Member • Posts: 258
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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
John Bean (UK) OP Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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)]

John Bean (UK) OP Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

Dennishh wrote:

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

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

ekeroil Regular Member • Posts: 272
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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!

uuronl Senior Member • Posts: 1,667
Re: Sigma E30/2.8 - love at first snap (test images)

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!!!

 uuronl's gear list:uuronl's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Nikon D800
RussellInCincinnati Veteran Member • Posts: 3,201
did you use a lens hood to get such good results?

Or was this lens riding bareback?

John Bean (UK) OP Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
No hood

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

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John Bean [BST (GMT+1)]

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