Saturday, January 6, 2007

Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC HSM review

This time the reviewed lens is a fast, so called standard lens. The word standard means that its field of view is the same (or very similar) as when we are looking through our own eyes. It's focal lenght 30 mm resembles classic standard lenses (50mm) on full frame camera (I've tested it on Canon 350D). Optically this lens is a great performer, regarding center sharpness, even wide open. Border sharpness is not that good, as you'll be able to see from samples posted below the text. Vignetting is visible at large aperture setting (up to about f2), CA is below average for a prime of this focal lenght, it's visible at all aperture settings. AF is pretty fast, but I expected it to be faster (it has HSM). Full time manual focusing is possible. It's almost near silent, but has some weird accuracy issues. It doesn't have classical front/back focus issues, but the focus sometimes misses although the subject appears in focus (it's hard to explain and yes I'm sure it was in focus since I have a lot of practise of min dof portraits, where superb accuracy is needed). It kind of jumps into frontfocusing. I thought that this copy had some kind of AF defect (it also makes weird noises, when focal point is changed from min focus distance to infinity), but I've read, that issues like this (and exactly like this) are common. But quality is up to the EX class, feels very good and solid.


This sample is taken at f4, 1/100, ISO 200. Below you can see samples from f1.4-f4.


f1.4


f2


f2.8


f4


f2, 1/250, ISO 100


AF issue, which I mentioned. Happens at cca 10-20% of the shots.
f1.6, 1/125, ISO 400 (+2 stops in Rawshooter)


CA at f1.4


CA at f8


f2.8, 1/2, ISO 200, flash, boosted contrast, decreased saturation


Can u say retarded? Re-tar-ded...f2, 1/250, ISO - a bit of contrast added


f1.8, 1/125,ISO 400, boosted contrast



Pros:
-center sharpness
-fast&silent AF
-built quality
Cons:
-border sharpness
-AF issues
-CA

Conclusion: I'm not sure if I'd recommend this lens. Without the AF issues, I probably would. So if you get your hands on a good copy and need a fast normal lens, then yes, I'd recommend it. I guess I'm so used to my wide open, border to border sharp Canon EF 85 1.8, which focuses bang on and has nicer, more saturated colours. I know that you can't compare tele lenses with wide angle lenses ragarding sharpness, but there is no reason for the AF issues or "unattractive" colours. But a prime lens should still deliver better border sharpness. The biggest plus of this lens is the big aperture and built quality. The price is ok, but I couldn't say it's a bargain.

4 comments:

lenyn said...

lep test:)
mal off-topic:
ka un model, ki se je retarda delu je un tabolš-frizer iz enega izmed prejšnih postov?

tale sigma je mene zanimala dokler sm mislo na olyju ostat...

Peter Bernik said...

Ja to je ta odfukan tabolš frizer...car, to se mu zmer narežiš:).

OLKI said...

Peter živjo.

Omenjaš AF problem in to podkrepiš s primerjavo objektiva Canon 85/1.8. Namreč, sam nisem zaznal teh težav, ker sem pričakoval fokusiranje kakršno je na "klasičnih" 50/1.8 objektivih, ki so ponavadi bolj OMG.Tako da z moje strani objektiv paše v skupino priporočljivih, jasno tistim, ki vedo zakaj ga uporabit.

Peter Bernik said...

Zdravo Jure,

Se mi zdi da je tukaj bolj stvar primerka. Veliko ljudem AF deluje kot je treba, veliko pa tudi ne...Nekje 50/50 je dejansko. Probleme, ki sem jih imel sam, imajo tudi drugi, o tem se bral na raznih forumih (torej je pogost pojav). In kot pravim, priporočam nakup, vkolikor dobiš v roke dober primerek. Kar se pa tiče primerjave s 85 1.8, sem pa napisal da ne primerjam ostrine, ki ne more biti enaka, pač konstantnost ostrine od roba do roba (ok 30ka je crop objektiv, tako da je v tem primeru na slabšem), razloga za slabše barve ni iskati v goriščnici, pravtako ne za čudno delovanje AF.