Sigma 30mm vs Sony 18-55 vs Canon LTM

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by dbmiller, May 26, 2012.

  1. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I had a little time today to take a few pictures with the following lenses for comparison...
    • Sigma 30mm f/2.8
    • Sony 18-55 Kit Lens
    • Canon LTM 28mm f/3.5
    • Canon LTM 35mm f/2.8
    I didn't have lots of time, but I managed to get two different setups. First up is all the lenses at f/8, 1/400th, ISO 100. The kit lens was set to 27mm (I thought it was on 28mm to match the Canon). As f8 is the sweet spot for the kit lens, this should be the best showing for it.

    Here is the kit lens at 27mm

    Next is the Sigma 30mm

    Now the Canon LTM 28mm

    And finally the Canon LTM 35mm

    To me, both the Sigma and the kit lens outshine the 60 year old Canons, both of which lack a bit in contrast - Especially the 28mm, which also seems a little off. The lack of modern coatings for the Canon LTM's probably has a lot to do with it. These were all shot in Aperture preferred mode, and all ended up with the same shutter speed. Yet the 28mm almost looks over exposed, even though the histogram shows the other lenses exposed more to the right than the 28mm did.

    The kit lens compared to the Sigma are both very good, and I am hard pressed to find something bad to say about the kit lens.

    In my next reply, I'll compare the lenses wide open
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
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  2. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    Wide open tests

    As the lenses vary in max aperture, this may not be a valid comparison, but I thought it might be useful to see. Since the camera was on the tripod for the previous set, I turned it on yours truly to have something in the foreground to focus on. I put a pencil on the ground, and manually focused on it for each shot. Even though I was using the EVF and 9.5x magnification, the Canon 28mm was the hardest to get focused right - It just never looked sharp to me. Once focused, I framed the shot with the horizon on the top 3rd line, and the light pole on the left third line as a point of reference. Once set, I took my mark next to the pencil and used the remote on 2-second delay.

    Canon LTM 28mm @ 3.5, 1/2000, ISO 100

    Sony 18-55 kit lens set to 28mm @ 4.0, 1/1600, ISO 100

    Sigma 30mm @ 2.8, 1/3200, ISO 100

    Back to the Sony 18-55 kit lens set to 35mm @ 4.5, 1/1250, ISO 100

    And finally, the Canon LTM 35mm @2.8, 1/3200, ISO 100

    Here, all the colors and contrast look much better. So the 28mm in the previous set may be a little more prone to flare as that shot was more towards the sun. The Canon LTM's still don't look as sharp as the modern lenses.

    Hard to tell much with this shot, I didn't think much about how I set it up and how it would work for a comparison. I tried looking at the lower left corner to see the detail in the floor boards. The Canon LTM lenses are way out of focus, as is the kit lens @ 35mm - Which points out that the area in the lower left is out of the depth of field. The Sigma comes close to getting the board in focus, but I think they are just out - And considering it was shot @ f2.8, not surprising. The kit lens @ f28mm is best in the lower left, but since it was shot @ f4, the DoF extends back a little further.

    While the kit lens and the Sigma both perform well again, the Sigma is much sharper and the obvious DoF difference makes it a clear winner.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
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  3. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the comparisons db... and yes, the Sigma prime takes the prize.

    The Sony SEL18-55 kit lens once again proved itself an outstanding contender considering it isn't a prime lens.

    I still appreciate the low contrast vintage Canons though... they retain a lot of detail in the shadow areas. This vintage characteristic has merit for compositions where shadow detail is important.
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Thanks db, that's a great comparison in real world conditions.
  5. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    The Sigmas are remarkable lenses. So much so that I will probably leave the 28 & 35 LTM's out of my limited bag space for now. I was thinking carrying both the 50mm 1.8 and 85mm 1.9, but now that the IVsb has been repaired, I may end up having only the 50mm 1.8 on the IVsb and leaving the 85mm out. Film and processing is so expensive, though. I'll probably put the 85mm back and take the camera out after a couple of rolls remind my wallet for the reason to go digital.
  6. Bolampau

    Bolampau TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 22, 2012
    Lincolnshire, England
    Real Name:
    Dioptrick - Yep, agree entirely and I remain impressed with the kit lens. i was surprised how well the Sigma 30mm did!

    Much appreciated DB!

  7. JTM_CR

    JTM_CR TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    everything look great on the sigma, but look at the rocks look real color in the cannon. interesting.
  8. BigMike

    BigMike TalkEmount Rookie

    Aug 28, 2012
    Just got the Sigma 30 today and fired a few test shots. Really liking what I'm seeing, tack sharp and great colours, makes the how combo nice and compact too.
  9. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    While responding to another thread, I remembered this comparison I had done between the 18-55 kit, Sigma 30mm, and my two Canon LTM's 28/3.5 and 35/2.8.

    But the embedded pictures were broken. They were still in the library, but the links got broken when the forum moved long ago. I have edited the original posts and the gallery links are now working.
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  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Real Name:
    Thanks for updating the comparison. I wasn't able to see the results when I came across this thread back then. Informative!