Sigmas vs kit lens

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Amamba, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well, my double-barrel Sigma deal from B&H arrived three days earlier than promised. :eek: 

    So, I immediately went to test them against the kit lens... and I am sort of stumped.

    I think kit definitely holds its own. The Sigmas are somewhat sharper - in the extremes - but I don't see the "wow" difference like I had with SEL50F18. And there's quite a bit more CA with these primes.

    Perhaps I just didn't use them enough...

    (I won't insult anyone here by posting the photos of my stapler, newspaper, and lens boxes).

    I guess I am trying to justify keeping them... in low light, the lack of stabilization on Sigmas would kind of negate the faster aperture, and the slight improvement in sharpness doesn't replace the convenience of a zoom. So I can see myself still bringing the zoom to trips for convenience... I guess I need to use them & see if there's a definite edge.

    Just venting...
  2. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    The big trouble with Sigma is that they have always had very variable quality control. at best their products offer excellent image quality for price,...the difficulty has always been to sort out the good lenses from the indifferent or downright bad.......

    ....This is not just me saying this as you can look around on the web and find the same issue time and time again.

    When there were good photo shops in every town you could get to know them well and then test their entire stock of a particular sigma making a note of the serial numbers and pick out a good example. I remember trying to buy a medium range zoom lens a few years back and went thru the entire stock at a local dealer,..some 8 separate lenses as I recall, and there was not one that was good. I know that the dealer was grateful to eventually get rid of them to buyers who did not test before buying.

    Nowadays with buying online/mailorder you usually have the option to return the item but it gets difficult if you need to do it several times to get a good one.

    I would be surprised if things were much different now with these Sigma primes......
  3. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I don't think the two lenses I got are bad. They seem sharp. AFAIK - from my Canon experience - the problem with Sigma's QC had to do with AF being extremely unreliable on some models, and lenses constantly front or back focusing. However when manually focused, even the bad copies were very good optically.
  4. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    It's not just 'sharpness'.....if theres a lot of CA that can be a sign of poor optical centrering of the components, of the big pitfalls for indifferent quality control, and a frequent Sigma 'trademark'....
  5. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    There's not a lot of CA. There was some in one of many photos. Now however I question if the kit lens' CA was merely removed by in-camera processing (I was comparing JPEGs).

    My issue is, the Sigmas seem not to be significantly better than the kit. But I haven't used them yet, really. I sort of expected the major difference, like what I see with SEL50F18.
  6. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    The NEX doesn't have profiles for the Sigma lenses, so the camera isn't getting rid of CA.
  7. -et-

    -et- TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 26, 2013
    Southern California
    You are correct in stating that in low light the stabilization of the kit lens will offset the faster aperture of the Sigma when it comes to camera shake. However, this is only part of the comparison - at least for SOME images.

    If your subject matter has no motion, then the faster aperture of the Sigma lens and the stabilization of the Sony lens are essentially a push, and the convenience of the zoom would win as long as the basic image quality of that lens is acceptable - which I find is true. Where the faster aperture of the Sigma would win is when you are dealing with a subject that is not essentially stationary. For THOSE images, the faster shutter speed that the Sigma's larger aperture enables MAY save an image that would not be achievable with the slower shutter speeds you would be forced to use with the zoom.

    Personally, for my own uses I would not spend several hundred dollars to get a faster Sigma lens when I already have the stabilized Sony zoom. However, I jumped at the chance to buy the Sigma 30mm f:2.8 at a price of $100, and have not regretted that decision. On a couple of occasions, I have already used the Sigma's two stops of improvement in shutter speed when compared to the zoom - although I use the zoom much more frequently.

    - Tom -
  8. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Yes, getting both lenses for $200 was too good to miss - I know a year or two from now I should be able to sell them for basically what I paid.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  9. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    After a thorough review of the Sigma 30 made ​​by some friends here in the forum, and presenting some extraordinary photos taken with this lens, offering a great quality, very sharp, good contrast and color, even without OSS, I do not care, usually use MF, despite the price of 100 bucks for each lens could not let go, this is a good competitor to Sel35mm.

    While the 19mm I can not say much since I've only used for a few shots, but it works better than the Sony 16mm.
  10. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    In general I like primes rather than zooms. And the Sigma deal seem a good one. I didn't go for the Sigmas becasue I have the Sony 35mm. I think you made a smart choice.
  11. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Thanks. The Sigmas are very sharp, and light. The 19 seems especially sharp . The 30 may be a bit redundant considering I already have 50 mm which is a very close FL and a better lens overall. I will see if I will find use for 30 or sell it eventually. It's very light, small - not enough to be pocketable unfortunately - and sharp, so it would make a great walk around lens, but so would the 50.

    Anyway, get them while they last :) 

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  12. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    With crop factor of 1.5, 30mm is about normal slightly wide, and 50mm is short tele. They're quite different FLs.
  13. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    It all depends on what you shoot. I find that I use 50 and 19 more than 30.

    I hate changing lenses. It's great to have a choice of lenses but in my opinion a good system is the one that lets you pick a lens suitable for the task and stick with it for the shoot. Which means zooms over primes, with primes being reserved for specific tasks. Using only primes - what you have to do with Nex if doing lots of low light shots - is severely limiting. I hope someone somewhere is working on a fast zoom.
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