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Sigma 30/2.8 fresh outta da box

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by dixeyk, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I plan to post a more thorough report but my first impression if mixed. First the less than good...the thing is NOT what I would call particularly speedy when it comes to AF. It tends to hunt, and sometimes focus on something completely different than what you are intending. I had mentioned that I hoped it was like the P20/1.7 for m43...and that is pretty much what it is like when it comes to AF performance. After about an hour or so I was really thinking about packing it back up and dropping it on the For Sale section with a killer price. Compared to the AF performance of my PL25 and PL45 on the GX1 it's pretty bad. Then I got a look at the images and realized that it was also very much like the P20 in sharpness (maybe better). Add to that very PL25 like rendering, halfway decent bokeh and a pretty nice build quality the $200 lens that could is starting to win me over.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7750456012/" title="_DSC1293.jpg by dixeyk, on Flickr">7750456012_40c728cb33_b.jpg"1024" height="680" alt="_DSC1293.jpg"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7750455222/" title="The Opening by dixeyk, on Flickr">7750455222_00f0f40f72_b.jpg"1024" height="680" alt="The Opening"></a>

    Closeup details

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  2. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Those samples are pretty sharp... what aperture did you use? If it's wide open, that's impressive...
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    The top two are @ f6.3 and f5.6 respectively...this one is a @ f3.5

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7750743578/" title="Sweepy by dixeyk, on Flickr">7750743578_a38c599bae_b.jpg"680" height="1024" alt="Sweepy"></a>

    [​IMG]
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I'll try and shoot some wide open as well. This lens reminds me a lot of the Konica 50/1.7, really cheap, reasonably well made and REALLY sharp...although the Sigma has better bokeh. I'm still on the fence about keeping it though. I think it is a terrific bargain and if you can put up with the slow AF then well worth having. I am not sure however that I am gaining much with the AF in my case. I rather like MF on the NEX and find it quite enjoyable. I suspect the lens benefits from being designed for the NEX. I have heard that it doesn't perform as well on m43.
     
  5. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Yeah, I was gonna say the bokeh looks really good at f3.5...

    Those close-ups... now that's pretty sharp!
     
  6. snkenai

    snkenai TalkEmount Regular

    53
    Jan 22, 2012
    Campbellsville, Ky
    Stephen Noel
    I have one on my E-p2, and it seems to perform about the same as yours. I too, have mixed emotions with it, but the wife used it for a birthday party at night, under florecent lighting and flash, with great results.
    My greatest complaint is that I like to get close to flowers, leaves etc., and then it tries to focus on something farther back. Manual focus is unusable, the ring is so sticky in movement.
    I like the size and focal length on m4/3. Looks real nice with the E-p2.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I lik to get close as well and for that I'd either go with my PL45 on the GX1 or use my Vivitar 28/2 close focus on the NEX. But, I can see this lens being very useful for just walking around getting casual snaps.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Yep...it's sharp all right. I've taken that shot of the Yucca flowers several times with my various lenses (on the C3 and GX1) and that image above surprised me (in a good way).

    I think if I had known what the Sigma would be like I'm entirely sure I would have bought it to begin with. It's actually a pretty darn good lens and at $200 it's a h*ll of a bargain (especially in terms of IQ) but I bought the NEX for using with MF lenses and to be honest I am not finding the experience of using AF on the NEX anything special. If I want AF I would just grab for my GX1 and one of my Panasonic lenses. The AF performance of the C3 and the Sigma is not unlike the AF on my old E-P1 and P20/1.7. I'm not sure if it's an issue with the camera or the lens but either way I'm not seeing the Sigma 30 as a essential lens for me because I have other options. That said, I don't see any need need to get rid of it either. I'll keep and use it. Maybe I can turn up some tricks at improving AF performance. Also, If I sell the C3 at some point to move up to the NEX 6 or 7 then it'll be simpler to sell the C3 and the Sigma as a package deal.

    I know that doesn't seem like a glowing endorsement but I do think the little Sigma is a worthwhile lens to have.
     
  9. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    When you use AF, are use using the center spot, or zone? Zone will always try to focus on the closest object, and I haven't had much problems with center spot focusing and the Siggy's.

    For MF, I don't even grab the ring, just roll the side of my finger along the side of the lens and have never had it stick. I have heard that if you squeeze it too hard, it sticks. Relaxing your grip might help.
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Good to know. I had already been playing with zone vs spot focusing but hadn't done much with the MF ring...although what little I had done had seemed fine. Then gain I typically have a pretty light touch anyway. I will say that I have been quite impressed with the color and contrast of the Sigma. It has a look that I am finding quite appealing. I think it might be a bit much for a portrait though.
     
  11. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Ah man, I may have to get one of these one of these days.

    Very nice examples of what the lens is capable of, thanks for sharing these.
     
  12. snkenai

    snkenai TalkEmount Regular

    53
    Jan 22, 2012
    Campbellsville, Ky
    Stephen Noel
    I'm using the center spot for focus, but I think it too large. I will have to try to find the info in menu on size change. I tried using light touch, for manual focus, as I had heard of this issue. It depends on where you tale hold of the ring, as to how sticky it is. It probably would get better with use, but I'm just not willing to go to that much trouble, to use a new lens. When I want to do manual focus, I have several.
     
  13. BigMike

    BigMike TalkEmount Rookie

    17
    Aug 28, 2012
    I'm finding the sigma 30mm quite slow indoors under lights, I come from an EPM1 + P20 and find it considerably slower than that combo. Any suggestions on how to speed the AF up? I've already turned off AF illuminator.
     
  14. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    You guys are scaring me... Well, I'll just have to get it from Amazon so it can go right back if I can't live with it. Panny 20/1.7 is pretty pedestrian at focusing, acceptable, but just so. I guess having used the PL25 for 6 months now, I might have trouble going back to that kind of performance..
     
  15. BigMike

    BigMike TalkEmount Rookie

    17
    Aug 28, 2012
    I like the lens a lot and the size is perfect for the nex in terms of balance, but the AF speed is a tad frustrating. In normal light the AF speed is fine, it's just it hunts quite a bit in lower light when shooting people.
     
  16. simonclivehughes

    simonclivehughes TalkEmount Rookie

    15
    Aug 8, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    I just picked this lens up for my NEX 7... very nice! Shot in Vancouver's Chinatown.

    _DSC0125.jpg

    _DSC0136.jpg

    Cheers,
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    If you're used to the PL25 you'll find the Sigma 30 frustrating. The IQ is terrific and the lens can be a lot of fun. I have mine or sale because I just don't find that the experience of AF on the NEX even close the level of my GX1 so I just use MF lenses. Of course the MF experience on the NEX is REEAAALLLLLY nice so it more than makeup for it.
     
  18. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Hmmm, the problem is, I don't think, ultimately, I'll carry both systems, as you do. I read a lot of good things about the 18-55, and got one, to assess the 5N in the same conditions as the GX-1, meaning, as a carry around body, on vacation for example. IF the IQ of the NEX surpasses that of the GX-1 (I believe that's likely) and unless the NEX operation is atrocious (like both Olympus bodies I tried, and hated, let's say it, with a passion !), I'm totally likely to stop picking up the GX-1 altogether, ain't I ?
    So, if as a vacation cam, the NEX gets preferred, and since, as manual lens cam, it will be better, what's left for the GX-1 ? As a portrait camera I would think the NEX will have the edge as well. That doesn't let a lot of areas for the m4/3 to shine in ? Or am I missing something ? I don't shoot "street" (actually it's a genre I dislike, both doing and viewing, and we've just been litterally flooded with it those past years), so the only quick grabs I'm gonna do in all purpose situations would be on vacation, and for that the 18-55 should do ? I have to admit while on a trip, and unless I have something very specific in mind, I use the 14-45 (a terrific lens, by the way). I think IQ is a given winner for the NEX, the big question remaining the User Interface and operation, because that can definitely keep me away from a great camera, if it's bad enough (E-M5 comes to mind).
     
  19. BigMike

    BigMike TalkEmount Rookie

    17
    Aug 28, 2012
    Well aside from the AF speed which is about on par, the NEX 5N + sigma 30 provides noticeably better IQ than my EPM1 + P20mm. Having said that, I know the GX1 has a much newer sensor than the EPM1 and the PL25 is also a better lens. Also coming from the EPM1, I don't find the Sony UI/operation that bad, yes it took a small learning curve, but there's button customisation and making changes are second nature to me now and I've only had it for a little over a week.

    Also if you are into manual lenses, the NEX is a no brainer, I'm a noob and I can focus manually fairly quickly using focus peaking, would have never attempted that with my EPM1.
     
  20. BigMike

    BigMike TalkEmount Rookie

    17
    Aug 28, 2012
    double post