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Leica-esque moments from a stroll with the Sigma 30mm

Jefenator

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I know - true Leicaphiles might be mortally offended by the very idea of a $200 lens on a $1200 body being likened to a M9 with a Summarit lens. But if we ignore that final 1% of nuance all those extra thousands upon thousands of dollars will get you, I feel this pairing does give me most of what I used to yearn for: a monster IQ platform, small enough to tuck under my jacket for a casual stroll. IMHO the Sigma 30mm taps the NEX system's great potential for portability and detail rendering as well as anything out there.

I'd be the first to point out that the Sigma doesn't handle like a nice old manual lens. But what it lacks in tactile handling qualities, it makes up for in good optical behavior. Focus peaking is strong and reliable and I can focus & recompose without any nasty surprises (like I often get from lenses with more field curvature). For landscape-type shots I find it to be exceptionally easy to get a frame full of immaculate detail.

sigma-stroll-1.jpg
   ---            


My favorite shot of the day came from an impromptu visit to a friend's house. I busted out my camera, reflexively set manual exposure and focus and got this frame off before he had time to start hamming it up. Much as one might do with a proper rangefinder camera.

sigma-stroll-2.jpg
   ---            


So being somewhat in practice and having my good rig on my person helped net me one of my favorite images of the year - a definite large print candidate. How valuable is that! When I bought my NEX, the compactness was more of a bonus, an afterthought. But sometimes it can prove to be a huge asset, one I hope to exploit a lot more in the new year.
 

Rich

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Jefenator wrote "IMHO the Sigma 30mm taps the NEX system's great potential for portability and detail rendering as well as anything out there."

Couldn't have put it better my friend :D
 

Bimjo

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I know - true Leicaphiles might be mortally offended by the very idea of a $200 lens on a $1200 body being likened to a M9 with a Summarit lens. But if we ignore that final 1% of nuance all those extra thousands upon thousands of dollars will get you, I feel this pairing does give me most of what I used to yearn for: a monster IQ platform, small enough to tuck under my jacket for a casual stroll. IMHO the Sigma 30mm taps the NEX system's great potential for portability and detail rendering as well as anything out there.

I'd be the first to point out that the Sigma doesn't handle like a nice old manual lens. But what it lacks in tactile handling qualities, it makes up for in good optical behavior. Focus peaking is strong and reliable and I can focus & recompose without any nasty surprises (like I often get from lenses with more field curvature). For landscape-type shots I find it to be exceptionally easy to get a frame full of immaculate detail.

My favorite shot of the day came from an impromptu visit to a friend's house. I busted out my camera, reflexively set manual exposure and focus and got this frame off before he had time to start hamming it up. Much as one might do with a proper rangefinder camera.

So being somewhat in practice and having my good rig on my person helped net me one of my favorite images of the year - a definite large print candidate. How valuable is that! When I bought my NEX, the compactness was more of a bonus, an afterthought. But sometimes it can prove to be a huge asset, one I hope to exploit a lot more in the new year.

It's a good friend who will stand there while you take his pic and not "ham it up". :) And I'm picturing that hill with snow and sleds all over it. ;)
 

kevistopheles

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I hear ya...I look at my NEX with one of my Rokkors (like the 24/2.8 that ended up being sold as a Leica R lens as well) and see it as my version of a Leica M8. The lens is bigger but the body is smaller so it evens out and the images are terrific. I think the Sigma 30 is a terrific pairing with the NEX.
 

nianys

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Aye aye, good folks, I have one up for sale right now ;) (Sigma, that is)
 

RalllyFan

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Great pics. Sigma really hit a home run with their two lenses. Great price, great quality. I wonder if they have anything else in the pipeline?

There's no denying that the NEX is in some ways a 'poor mans' Leica. (while the cliche works, 'poor' probably isn't the best word to use since most of us seem to have more lenses than we need, but not as many as we want :p)
 

Grisu_HDH

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Thinking about ordering the Sigma 30mm today at Amazon for 156 EUR at Amazon.de...
I own right now:
- Nex-5N
- Sony 1855
- Sony 55210
- Sony 16f28
Do you guys think that worth to have it or isn't it a good lens to include in my equipment list???
 

Jefenator

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It's hard to go wrong for that price, IMO.

Reasons to NOT get the Sigma 30mm would be:
- not liking that focal length (not the case with me - I often prefer 30mm over 24 & 35)
- wanting more speed & better BOKEH (that can be a tough one at this length - if you truly require these things you're likely to pay for them in at least a couple different ways...)
- preferring the durable, tactile feel of a manual lens
- being satisfied with the performance of the kit zoom
 

Rich

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Thinking about ordering the Sigma 30mm today at Amazon for 156 EUR at Amazon.de...
I own right now:
- Nex-5N
- Sony 1855
- Sony 55210
- Sony 16f28
Do you guys think that worth to have it or isn't it a good lens to include in my equipment list???

Well worth having.

Don't think about it, do it!!!!!!!

Rich.
 

RT_Panther

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Great images aside :)
I'll ask the stupid question here.....

What's a "Leica-esque moment" ?
 

Jefenator

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Great images aside :)
I'll ask the stupid question here.....

What's a "Leica-esque moment" ?

Oh, just an occasion where a Leica would have been well-suited but the NEX steps up to the plate instead! :)

IME many SLR lenses + adapters take the whole package more into the old film SLR realm of size and weight, which doesn't bother me at all at home or on a road trip. But for casual, candid use it sure is cool to be able to trim down to rangefinder form (bit beyond, actually...)
 

RalllyFan

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Oh, just an occasion where a Leica would have been well-suited but the NEX steps up to the plate instead! :)

Or: I just took a really great picture and saved approximately $10,000 ;)

Obviously there's no replacing a Leica, but I wonder what the cost:quality ratio is?
 

Grisu_HDH

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Thanks for your thoughts...
Still thinking about the Sigma but first I bought new Lowepro Slingshot 102 today to have nice small backpack for my Nex :rolleyes:.
I hear so mjch great things about the Sigma... but I also like my Kitlens I have to say...
I bought the 16f28 some weeks ago to have a minimum size camera to take with me perhaps in my wifes handbag...And now another new lens to have one more to decide??
Unfortunately no shop around seems to have the Sigma on stock to take a look at and test it... :(
 

Jefenator

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Or: I just took a really great picture and saved approximately $10,000 ;)

Obviously there's no replacing a Leica, but I wonder what the cost:quality ratio is?

Hard to quantify such things, I suppose. I do appreciate their uncompromising approach (especially after using a couple of their old SLR lenses). I doubt I'll ever own a Leica digital body, but I could see myself investing in one or two of their rangefinder lenses after the full-frame NEX finally comes out.
 

RT_Panther

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Oh, just an occasion where a Leica would have been well-suited but the NEX steps up to the plate instead! :)

IME many SLR lenses + adapters take the whole package more into the old film SLR realm of size and weight, which doesn't bother me at all at home or on a road trip. But for casual, candid use it sure is cool to be able to trim down to rangefinder form (bit beyond, actually...)

Alright then - thanks for the explanation...
 

Grisu_HDH

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Bought the 30mm yesterday during a spontaneaous trip to a nearby city where the lens was available and testable in a shop.
First test during New Years party, cant wait to check the pics at the PC screen...
 

Bimjo

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Bought the 30mm yesterday during a spontaneaous trip to a nearby city where the lens was available and testable in a shop.
First test during New Years party, cant wait to check the pics at the PC screen...

Congrats on the new lens. It's always nice to start the new year with a new piece of gear. :)
 

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