Sigma 19mm vs Kit Lenses for landscape (read, @f8)

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by yusuf, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. yusuf

    yusuf TalkEmount Rookie

    Jul 10, 2013
    I have been reading excellent reviews of Sigma 19mm and was wondering how better it is compared to kit lens (18-55) at f8.

    I really don't care about wide aperture as I plan to use it only for shooting landscape and hence will be using it at smaller aperture (f5.6, f8 or f11). I assume both the lenses are pretty close in size and weight (correct me??).

  2. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Sigma 19mm is pretty small, much smaller than the old kit lens (18-55). I think that it is optically much better but that isn't so important for me as I carry it as it weights so little and is much nicer to work with. Sigma 19mm&30mm and 50mm (Minolta macro or Porst 1.4 ) and Vivitar 75-150/3.8 makes pretty useful set.
  3. yusuf

    yusuf TalkEmount Rookie

    Jul 10, 2013
    Not sure if it answers my question. I know it's a nice lens but looking for IQ comparison at smaller apertures between both the lenses. I wasn't very impressed with Sigma 30mm, but it's a different story.
  4. shaolin95

    shaolin95 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    If you were not impressed with the Sigma 30mm then I dont see the 19mm doing it for you either. The 30mm is supposed to be one of the sharpest lenses for the NEX. At smaller apertures though the kit will be as its peak so it will be a closer "fight" but that is the beauty of the fast primes, for when you need a fast lens so I guess it depends on what you want the lenses for.
  5. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I did a comparison of the Sigma 30 with the kit as part of another thread. and I agree with others that the 19mm and 30mm perform pretty much the same. And f/8 is where the kit lens is best.

    So if you weren't happy with the 30 vs kit @ f/8, I don't think you'll be happy with the 19mm either.

    I haven't made shooting plans for the holiday weekend coming up. If I manage to remember, maybe I'll pack the 18-55, which hasn't seen the light of day in a loooong while - and do some comparisons with both the Sigma 19, and CZ24.
  6. yusuf

    yusuf TalkEmount Rookie

    Jul 10, 2013
    That would be great, thanks a lot in advance.

    The reason I said I don't like 30mm is very different. I mostly shoot people/street (some of my pics here ) & used it for portraits/streets @f2.8. Too be honest, I didn't find any character in that lens, pictures even though sharp, turned out a bit flat lacking that 3D quality I get out of my 31/f1.8 and 30/1.4. Again, this very personal & subjective observation and clinically there is nothing wrong in that lens.

    However, 19mm is a different story which I plan to use it at smaller apertures only. To give you a little background, I never used kit lens. When I got my NEX5 & NEX3, I sold the kit lenses immediately and was using nex exclusively with MF lenses+lensturbo. I then got 5n and kept the kit lens thinking that I will sell it along with one of those older bodies. But then when I was looking at Sigma 19mm, suddenly realized that I have a kit lens too which covers needed range/aperture and also offers OSS which Sigma doesn't. Hence, was wondering if it was really worth buying Sigma 19mm when focal length/aperture (f8) I plan to use is very much covered by the kit lens.

  7. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
  8. Rich

    Rich TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Salisbury UK
    Real Name:
    Yusuf, I have the 19 and although I don't use it much these days, I found it to be very much better at f8/f5.6 than the 18-55.

    Before you ask, the reason I don't use it so much now is because I bought the CZ24 which has a field of view that suits my work much better than the wider 19. I have all three Sigmas, and like most, I find them to be extremely good and excellent value for money.

    The 18-55 was just too soft for me and I couldn't make it work at any setting. The Sigmas and the Zeiss have really brought the NEX alive for me. For your landscape work, I don't think you would be disappointed with the 19.

    Maybe you could go to your local shop and try one.
  9. Hin Man

    Hin Man TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 18, 2013

    DSC05171-2 by hin_man, on Flickr
    Sigma 19mm f/2.8 old version and NEX 5N

    I love the Sigma series. I got the Sigma 19 after the 30mm positive experience. It is smaller in size than the Kit lens. I can't recall if AF is better or about the same with the kit's lens. I will love to think that it is a touch faster. At least, I don't recall it hunting in AF like the SEL 50mm f/1.8. For me, it serves better in landscape shots than the kit lens. I recall a bit of distortion in the 18mm in the Kit lens, you need to research on the distortion to be sure but I tend to think Sigma works better than the kit's lens on distortion. I have the older version of the Sigma 19 and the default lens hood is a bit bulky but the hood works out well with ability to mount it the front in reversed position. A great prime overall for its cost, I hesitate to get this prime as I love the kit lens in doing many things above average but the Sigma give you that extra bit of confidence and quality for the landscape and the consistence performance and with a smaller size than the kit's lens.

    DSC04674 by hin_man, on Flickr


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  10. Ken

    Ken New to TalkEmount

    Aug 1, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Real Name:

    The photo of the woman and child on the ride is outstanding. Just looking at it gets me dizzy.

  11. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    Really two totally different lenses. The 18-55 was never intended for landscape, wide angle shots, where as the 19mm is ideal for these.
  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Real Name:
    I'm not sure I understand that comment, Dave. The 18-55 is, of course, wider than the 19. And for most landscapes, I stop down to around f/8, where the two lenses would be virtually indistinguishable. So... I'm confused. :hmmm:
  13. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    SEL1855 vs Sigma19

    Sorry it took so long to do this, but I finally got around to taking some comparison shots between the 18-55 kit lens and the Sigma 19mm...

    The pictures. (SEL1855 @ 18mm on left, Sigma19 on right)


    (Near-)Center crops - Focus point was on the rocks at the top of the fall - A little to the right of center:


    These all looks pretty good to me. The Sigma images appear to have a little more contrast.

    Left edge, center frame:


    Pretty obvious that the kit lens is bad. Worst wide open, and marginally better at f/8 and f/11. The Sigma is much better in all cases.

    Lower left corner:


    Same as the left center. The Sigma is a clear winner.

    I took some with the CZ24 and Sigma30 as well. I'll post them when I get a chance.
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  14. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I've looked at the 30mm shots from that day, and I can't find any difference between the Sigma and Kit lenses at that focal length. The lower left and right corners in my shots are moving water, so I can't check for the decentering that could be occurring with my kit lens.

    There might be just the slightest edge to the Sigma 30 @ f/5.6, but f/8 and f/11 don't show it.

    If you have a good copy of the kit lens, and can zoom in just a tad, I think it makes a fine landscape lens. If you really need to go 18/19mm, or need f/2.8, or intend to use it is for closer ranges, then the Sigma definitely makes sense.
  15. justaguy93

    justaguy93 TalkEmount Rookie

    Oct 1, 2013
    I have run a few basic tests with my 18-55 and it seems really weak at 18mm, pretty much the same as your tests show. But by 24mm it does very well. At 35mm it was toe to toe with my 35mm DX Nikkor. So I get the feeling a lot of the bashing of this lens is it's performance at the extremes.

    Sent from my SCH-R950 using TalkNEX mobile app
  16. Electric Shepherd

    Electric Shepherd TalkEmount Regular

    May 12, 2012
    Leicestershire, U.K.
    Real Name:
    Certainly corner to corner, the Sigma is superior. I see more CA with kit lens too that could be improved in post production. However, the kit lens really isn't that bad a performer.