'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
hewitt
hewitt Regular Member • Posts: 201
'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

That's the question sonyalpharumours poses after reading Lensrentals result after measuring the resolution of all currently available NEX lenses including a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux with Fotodiox adapter. At f2.8 and f4.0 the Sigma 30mm is the winner. To quote Lensrentals: “The Sigma is really amazing. Obviously it’s not really a wide aperture prime, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but it gives world-class resolution. The Sony 24mm f/1.8 is not the bargain the Sigma is, but from f/2.2 on it has amazing center resolution, although it lags behind the other two in the corners.”

verybiglebowski
verybiglebowski Veteran Member • Posts: 3,880
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

hewitt wrote:

That's the question sonyalpharumours poses after reading Lensrentals result after measuring the resolution of all currently available NEX lenses including a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux with Fotodiox adapter. At f2.8 and f4.0 the Sigma 30mm is the winner. To quote Lensrentals: “The Sigma is really amazing. Obviously it’s not really a wide aperture prime, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but it gives world-class resolution. The Sony 24mm f/1.8 is not the bargain the Sigma is, but from f/2.2 on it has amazing center resolution, although it lags behind the other two in the corners.”

I am a bit afraid, that there are some sample variations around.

I don't want to blame Sigma 30, I have it, so why should I :-), but in my very fast short comparison test, center resolution stays noticeably behind 30 or more year old Canon FD 35 f2 S.S.C.
http://verybiglobo.blogspot.com/2012/04/sigma-ex-30-f28-ex-dn-e-review.html

I will have to make much more tests to make my own opinion, but am a little bit afraid that my sample is not the best one, according to all those raving reviews around.

It is also good to note, that precise MF with Sigma is very hard and uncomfortable due to rather harsh focus ring dumping.

On the other hand Sigma 19 is giving me some surprisingly good results (at f stops 8 and above, didn't shot with it bellow).
Sigma 19 with NEX 7 at f11

blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,299
Re: In context, yes ...

The Sigma is a surprisingly well performing and affordable gem.

But the test is only concerned with lens sharpness. All lenses produced use-able sharpness when stopped down, whereas the Sigma produces impressive, best, sharpness even wide open.

It is impressive to see a 30mm low cost prime outperforming a Leica 50mm.

But not all lenses are 30mm FL, some lenses are faster than f/2.8, some lenses need OSS (video?) and then, the zoom lenses fall into a different category alltogether.

I agree, especially on a Nex-7, the Sigma produces impressive pixel level sharpness.

But if your need is monitor size images, modest print size images, many lenses work quite well on the Nex/Nex-7.

I think that both Sigmas represent an additional lens that everyone should seriously consider adding to their lensbag.

I don't think that it should be the only lens. I am traveling with (only) the two Sigma's right now, and, with (family) people shots, I actually miss f/2.0, zoom, and OSS. There are certain shots (and videos) that do come out better with the other lenses.

But I appreciate the compactness. A two-lens sigma 21/30 bag is smaller than a two-lens Sony 24/50 bag, and the difference is enough for me to sway my decision.

hewitt wrote:

That's the question sonyalpharumours poses after reading Lensrentals result after measuring the resolution of all currently available NEX lenses including a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux with Fotodiox adapter. At f2.8 and f4.0 the Sigma 30mm is the winner. To quote Lensrentals: “The Sigma is really amazing. Obviously it’s not really a wide aperture prime, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but it gives world-class resolution. The Sony 24mm f/1.8 is not the bargain the Sigma is, but from f/2.2 on it has amazing center resolution, although it lags behind the other two in the corners.”

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Cheers,
Henry

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creeker Senior Member • Posts: 1,450
Re: In context, yes ...

I also will be carrying only the 19mm and 30mm Sigmas with my Nex-7. I don't miss OSS with these two lens.
Ed

headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: In context, yes ...

blue_skies wrote:
The Sigma is a surprisingly well performing and affordable gem.

But the test is only concerned with lens sharpness. All lenses produced use-able sharpness when stopped down, whereas the Sigma produces impressive, best, sharpness even wide open.

It is impressive to see a 30mm low cost prime outperforming a Leica 50mm.

But not all lenses are 30mm FL, some lenses are faster than f/2.8, some lenses need OSS (video?) and then, the zoom lenses fall into a different category alltogether.

I agree, especially on a Nex-7, the Sigma produces impressive pixel level sharpness.

But if your need is monitor size images, modest print size images, many lenses work quite well on the Nex/Nex-7.

I think that both Sigmas represent an additional lens that everyone should seriously consider adding to their lensbag.

I don't think that it should be the only lens. I am traveling with (only) the two Sigma's right now, and, with (family) people shots, I actually miss f/2.0, zoom, and OSS. There are certain shots (and videos) that do come out better with the other lenses.

But I appreciate the compactness. A two-lens sigma 21/30 bag is smaller than a two-lens Sony 24/50 bag, and the difference is enough for me to sway my decision.

hewitt wrote:

That's the question sonyalpharumours poses after reading Lensrentals result after measuring the resolution of all currently available NEX lenses including a Leica 50mm f/1.4 Summilux with Fotodiox adapter. At f2.8 and f4.0 the Sigma 30mm is the winner. To quote Lensrentals: “The Sigma is really amazing. Obviously it’s not really a wide aperture prime, with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but it gives world-class resolution. The Sony 24mm f/1.8 is not the bargain the Sigma is, but from f/2.2 on it has amazing center resolution, although it lags behind the other two in the corners.”

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Cheers,
Henry

Agreed. Much of it depends on your shooting style. Right now, I either shoot one lens on the NEX-7, the Sigmarit 30, or a 3 lens setup consisting of the 19, 30 and 50, which gives me just about anything I'd need.

Henry, you may want to look into the Billingham Compact Stowaway bag. It is very thin and small, and it holds the NEX-7 and all three of the above lenses (with any of them attached to the camera.) Granted, you have to put the two extra lenses under the camera in the bag, and the bag doesn't have dividers, so you need to put your lenses in something so they don't rub each other, but I'm finding that it's the ultimate minimalist bag. The padding is minimal, too. It's expensive, but worth it IMO.

jack scholl
jack scholl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,864
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

Right after seeing that link, we ordered the 30 Sigma. Having had it for some tests, it will be returned Monday.

Just proves everyone is different. We tested it against a SEL18200 at f.5.6. Lest I get crucified, IT WAS SHARPER, in most cases, but not all. The stabilization of the Sony at 45mm made a difference in more cases than I would have imagined. And the sharpness difference can be "treated" in LR 4 with very little effort in many cases.

The sharpness tradeoff is mitigated by the flexibility of not having to change lenses. And f2.8 is not fast enough to make a significant factor from the 18200. Our DSLR kit (D7000) had a UWA option (Nikon 10-24) and a fast (35f1.8). Both were valuable and used for "special" occasions. We have the Nikon D7000/18-200 covered in spades with the NEX 7/18-200 - very happy with the tradeoff (Almost have the weight and IQ is fine). So we will wait to fill out the NEX kit. And we have a Nikon V1/30-110/FT1/55-300 kit for any BIF/action stuff we enjoy doing.
Hopefully this will get simple some day . . . but I doubt it!
Jack

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DtEW Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

jack scholl wrote:

We tested it against a SEL18200 at f.5.6. Lest I get crucified, IT WAS SHARPER, in most cases, but not all. The stabilization of the Sony at 45mm made a difference in more cases than I would have imagined.

Why are you testing the SEL18200 at 45mm against the Sigma 30mm?

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edwardaneal
edwardaneal Veteran Member • Posts: 9,101
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'
1

yea - from what I have seen the Sigma is the sharpest AF e-mount lens and its a great "normal' lens, fact is it is the only lens I plan on using on my NEX-7, but that is me, if you are a wide angle shooter or you need a telephoto it doesnt really matter how sharp the 30 is - - its not the right focal length for you

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NEX-7 & Sigma 30mm f/2.8
NEX-5 & 18-55 OSS
And a spare black 18-55

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jack scholl
jack scholl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,864
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

30mm times 1.5 equals 45mm.

Sorry if it was confusing . . .
Jack

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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,299
Re: In context, yes ...

Thanks, this looks impressive, but is the 2" width a misprint? 2" seems too narrow.

Adding just one more lens is attractive though. I have several bags that can hold three or four lenses, but they are not minimalists bag, just fairly small bags.

I use the LCS-EMF, which is virtually the same size as the Billingham, but horizontally, as my small bag reference, with a 3" width, more practical.

It holds the Nex-7 bounce flash, a cleaning pen, the charger with spare battery, cleaning cloths, the Nex-7 in Gariz case and the two Sigmas, 19 & 30mm, remote, and a few other small things, with ease.

Another bag I really like is the LowePro photo traveler

This is for when I want to carry a few extra lenses, including E24, 18200, E16, UWA, E50, both Sigmas.

It is kind of the small brother of the AW200:

This last one holds two Nex cameras, and an assortment of A and E mount lenses, yet is still light enough to take on a city-hike.

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Cheers,
Henry

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cptrios Senior Member • Posts: 1,352
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'
1

Having now used the 30 in the real world for a while, I've found my initial enthusiasm a bit dampened. Yes, it's quite sharp - but it's really got no character . There's little in the way of microcontrast, for example. And I quite often found myself wishing for f/2, unsurprisingly.

Then, of course, I remember that it cost $200 and most is forgiven!

headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,226
Re: In context, yes ...

blue_skies wrote:

Thanks, this looks impressive, but is the 2" width a misprint? 2" seems too narrow.

Adding just one more lens is attractive though. I have several bags that can hold three or four lenses, but they are not minimalists bag, just fairly small bags.

I use the LCS-EMF, which is virtually the same size as the Billingham, but horizontally, as my small bag reference, with a 3" width, more practical.

The bag is technically 2" wide from seam to seam, but, after reading about several M users using the bag, I took a chance and ordered it. Once I received it, I realized that the NEX-7 does fit in there, because the bag bulges a bit past 2". It may be too tight with a Gariz grip attached, though. This bag is a very minimalist option with the NEX-7 and a few lenses, because of this narrow width. It hugs close to the body, as opposed to my other, more square small bag options.

DtEW Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

jack scholl wrote:

30mm times 1.5 equals 45mm.

Sorry if it was confusing . . .

I'm pretty sure it's not me that is confused.

I think this puts a bit of doubt on your ability to assess.

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jack scholl
jack scholl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,864
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

DtEW wrote:

jack scholl wrote:

30mm times 1.5 equals 45mm.

Sorry if it was confusing . . .

I'm pretty sure it's not me that is confused.

I think this puts a bit of doubt on your ability to assess.

Lets try this again . .slowly.

I took several shots with the 30mm Sigma and the Sony 18-200mm lenses at 30mm (the 35mm equivalent of 45mm).

"We tested it against a SEL18200 at f.5.6. Lest I get crucified, IT WAS SHARPER, in most cases, but not all. The stabilization of the Sony at 45mm made a difference in more cases than I would have imagined. "

Both lenses were shot at 30mm (45mm equivalent). I am sorry, but it shouldn't be this tough. If I have confused you on this issue, I am sorry, but my "ability to assess" comment seems a bit condescending at best.

If you disagree with the conclusions, that is fine. Just don't send the arrogance along in the message.

Jack
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DtEW Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

jack scholl wrote:

DtEW wrote:

jack scholl wrote:

30mm times 1.5 equals 45mm.

Sorry if it was confusing . . .

I'm pretty sure it's not me that is confused.

I think this puts a bit of doubt on your ability to assess.

Lets try this again . .slowly.

I took several shots with the 30mm Sigma and the Sony 18-200mm lenses at 30mm (the 35mm equivalent of 45mm).

Admirable attempt at a save!

"We tested it against a SEL18200 at f.5.6. Lest I get crucified, IT WAS SHARPER, in most cases, but not all. The stabilization of the Sony at 45mm made a difference in more cases than I would have imagined. "

Both lenses were shot at 30mm (45mm equivalent). I am sorry, but it shouldn't be this tough. If I have confused you on this issue, I am sorry, but my "ability to assess" comment seems a bit condescending at best.

If you disagree with the conclusions, that is fine. Just don't send the arrogance along in the message.

Bravo for the hutzpah at accusing others of condescension. Perhaps I... should... say... that... slower... for... you... as... well... so... I... don't... confuse... you...

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 23,700
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

"On the other hand Sigma 19 is giving me some surprisingly good results "
I agree completely.

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StephanSwiss New Member • Posts: 22
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

jack scholl wrote:

Lets try this again . .slowly.

I took several shots with the 30mm Sigma and the Sony 18-200mm lenses at 30mm (the 35mm equivalent of 45mm).

Jack
--
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...now you have me confused....What is the '35mm' equivalent of 45mm? Could be the language, I'm not a native English speaker....

......figured it out: 35mm means FX. Sorry for asking in the first place.

Stephan
http://www.stephan-sulser.ch

MikeStern
MikeStern Junior Member • Posts: 29
Sigma 30mm vs. Sony 35mm

Apertures: f/2.8 for sigma, f/1.8 for Sony. OSS on Sony lets me take down my shutter speed to 1/8. And now the firmware update for the hybrid auto focus on Sony 35mm.

Makes Sony 35mm the clear winner.
Sigma may have better MTF resolution. But comes with a cheap plastic look, rattle sound. And hearing many people having malfunctioning issues. Many.
Not a well build lens.

But I will give a try to the new Art Sigma 19mm lens.

M

martindesu
martindesu Senior Member • Posts: 1,245
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'
1

It may technically be the "best" from whatever benchmarks are used, but if we need to take a macro, shoot something 500m away, or shoot at 1/6... it's useless

All these comparisons are apples and oranges. It's a bit like flogging a dead horse. The lens is great. It's cheap. Buy it if you want it

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GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,541
Re: 'The Sigma 30mm the best of all available E-mount lenses?'

cptrios wrote:

Having now used the 30 in the real world for a while, I've found my initial enthusiasm a bit dampened. Yes, it's quite sharp - but it's really got no character . There's little in the way of microcontrast, for example. And I quite often found myself wishing for f/2, unsurprisingly.

The impressive thing is how sharp it is wide-open.  This means you really do have a stop advantage over the kit lens, unless your scene is static and can use OSS.  When light is low and you're trying to capture casual shots of people, they're not really that static; even at 1/20, head movements can turn into blurs.

Then, of course, I remember that it cost $200 and most is forgiven!

We caught it when it was on sale for less than that!  For $150, it's really, really hard to complain.

If I must find something negative about it,the bokeh is not that great.  Not "bad" but not really "good" either, at least for a prime.  The bokeh of the kit lens looks better, I think!  Oh well.  Can't have it all, I guess.

I'm going to give the lens a chance and see how it goes.

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Gary W.

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