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Sigma AF EX DC 30mm f1.4 Lens, Minolta/ Sony Alpha A Mount

by Sigma

Price: £325.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by Geek-Trend and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
2 new from £325.00 1 used from £245.00
  • Filter size 62mm
  • Minimum focus distance 15.7" or 40cm
  • Angle of view 46 Degrees
  • Maximum diameter 3" or 75.5mm
  • Weight 15.1 oz or 430g


Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 149.9 x 195.6 x 7.5 cm ; 431 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 599 g
  • Item model number: 300205
  • ASIN: B000FG6CM4
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 24 April 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 166,755 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Scriven on 14 April 2011
This is an absoloutley fantastic low light lens for indoor or outdoor photography. You can shoot almost anything indoors and providing you've got the white balance right the results are very impressive. It also takes beautiful natural looking pictures outdoors, in frankly ridiculously low light levels. It is amazing for portraits and general short distance photography.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. G. Austin on 26 Dec 2009
I love this lens. Its so compact and fast and gives the traditional perspective view with a 2/3 sensor. It works well in available light without resorting to high ISO values. The only reason it only gets four stars is because it is a bit of an enthusiasts or specialist lens for those who can cope with, or want, a very restricted depth of field. Therefore it won't appeal to everyone.
Just one oddity: the lens comes with a bulky lens case. It's well made but ill fitting and hard to cram into the average kit bag. I suspect most people will never use it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 317 reviews
420 of 434 people found the following review helpful
Sweet Lens 17 Aug 2005
By Band Photographer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a sweet little lens that really has no middle ground. You either love it or hate it. Most of the haters really either expect too much from this lens such as focusing in no light or on objects with no contrast and marginal light. The other reason there are detractors come from focus issues.

This seems to be a user problem in my opinion. When you shoot at f 1.4, the area in focus can be pretty shallow. An example is at f1.4 and at a distance of 5 feet, the areas in focus is just .45 feet. If you have a DSLR with multiple focus points, you might find what you want in focus is not selected by the camera. This gives the impression of a focus issue with the lens which it is not.

If you move into close focusing such as 2 feet using f1.4, the focus area becomes less than ¾ of an inch. Even the slightest movement by you or the subject can blow the focus. Again, this is not a lens problem but a user issue.

However, don't be discouraged by the above comments. This lens has so many possibilities from creative images to group portraits to low light photography. You just need to put in a little effort to learn the lens (and your DSLR). Also remember that stopped down to f4 at 10' gives you 5.45 feet in focus.

The 30mm lens also is about as close to a 50mm lens on a 35mm film SLR as there is. A 50mm lens was considered the de facto standard for an SLR in the old days and many people never had anything else. This is a very versatile lens.

The lens itself has an excellent build quality and includes extras such as a lens hood and case. It is sharp and offers great contrast and compares well against such a well regarded lens as the Canon 35mm f1.4L which is about 3 times the price.

You will not be disappointed in this lens at all and I highly recommend it. It is one of my favorite everyday lenses for my Canon 20D. (My everyday kit includs the Canon 17-40mm f4L, 70-200mm f4L, and a Canon 580ex flash.)
123 of 127 people found the following review helpful
Useful addition to a lens collection 14 Aug 2005
By luv my 20D! - Published on Amazon.com
I've had this lens for a couple of days and have shot in a variety of situations. The image is somewhat soft at f/1.4, but sharpens quickly as you stop it down -- f/1.8 looks much sharper and f/2 is excellent.

From a purely practical standpoint, you can shoot in lower light w/o external lighting, and you can run higher shutter speeds in low light for better action-stopping when shooting people or animals. I was also amazed at the incredibly small depth of field I could attain -- for example, I was able to narrow the focus down to a single stem of a plant and have every other part of the plant far out of focus. Not something I've been able to do with my Canon 17-85mm and 10-22mm zooms.

It's a heavy lens but it balances well on a 20D. Autofocus seems nearly as fast as with my Canon lenses. My one complaint is that the focusing mechanism (in auto or manual) isn't as smooth or quiet as with my Canons -- it sounds a bit rough in auto, and makes a slight "barking seal" sound as you go from close to distant focus manually.

Nice of Sigma to include the lens hood and case, instead of charging exhorbitant amounts for the hood as Canon does.

Overall, this is a very useful addition to my zooms, and it will definitely allow me to get usable natural-light photos in situations where I couldn't before.
131 of 141 people found the following review helpful
the Sig 30 6 July 2008
By E. K. Arnold - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is one of the most controversial lenses ever, it seems. why all the fuss over this little guy? Simple, it cleverly exploits a hole in nikon's product lineup as a wide aperture (f/1.4) prime lens with HSM (hypersonic motor) at a price point just above nikon's older, slower 35/2 prime.

Therefore nikon purists hate it with a passion, while 3rd party aficionados tend to have a more open mind.

First off, if you're looking for something razor sharp at f/1.4 try zeiss or get over it. it's no fillet chef wide open, but that's not the point. the point is that you CAN use it at 1.4, which means it can shoot in light a 2.8 would be challenged by. also you can stop it down a few clicks and still be at 2.8, or shoot at f/2 or 2.2 and not be completely wide open.

Second, while i'm sure there are sample variations out there, don't be put off by doomsayers on internet forums. opinions of actual users are one thing, but i dont know how people who have never used the lens can qualify it whatsoever.

(but if you do order this lens, make sure its from a vendor with a good return policy. check for front focus issues when you get it; if you have a problem, sigma will recalibrate the lens. saves them money in the QC department, but at least they have good customer service.)

for the record, i own three sigma lenses, all EX series, all bought online, and they all worked perfectly fine from day one.

There are two categories of folks who will be looking at this lens: d40/d40x/d60 users and everybody else.

for a d40/60 kinda person who wants to take no-flash, low light pics, there are no other options in this focal length and aperture class with an internal motor. period. you'd have to go to the micro-nikkor 60mm or 105VR to get an AF-S prime. sigma is coming out with a 50/1.4 HSM, but the 30's "normal" perspective is better suited for DX camera sensors with their 1.5 crop.

nikon d80/200/300/700 owners can use any of nikon's (or sigma's) primes with full AF capability. unless you absolutely need f/1.4, the nikon 35/2 is cheaper and probably sharper. it doesn't have an internal motor, though, so for low-light action shots, the sigma is better suited for that application. but if you just need something inobtrusive for street shooting, candids, or a lower-profile lens, and arent worried about max aperture or AF speed, go for the 35/2.

okay, how about some pros and cons:

Pros:
--not a small lens but lightweight.
--low profile and normal perspective perfect for street/doc and candids.
-- 1.4 maximum aperture makes this perfect for extreme low-light shooting.
-- shallow dof at wide apertures results in creamy bokeh (out of focus elements)
--HSM ensures fast AF; will work on D-series cameras without internal motors.
-- takes 67mm filters.
--sharp in the center at all apertures.
--contrasty IQ
--using fixed focal length lens forces you to focus on composition.
-- EX build is better than sigma's bottom-barrel lenses, plus EX lenses have add'l 3-year warranty.
--makes a good low-light solution for folks with slow variable-aperture kit lenses (i.e., 18-55, 18-70, 18-135, 18-200)

Cons:
--1.4 aperture gives extremely narrow depth of field. this makes this lens extremely tricky when shooting wide open, as shallow depth of field can be mistaken for focus issues.
-- focal range is not as versatile as a zoom
-- how much are you really gonna shoot at 1.4?
--IQ not as impressive as cheaper nikkor 50/1.8
--soft corners at almost all apertures (this matters less than you might think in low-light situations)
--some known QC issues (which may be somewhat exaggerated)
--more expensive than nikon 50/1.8, 50/1.4, and 35/2 primes.

overall: recommended for d40/d60 users, low-light/available-light fanatics, street/doc shooters, people who will stay with DX for a while. not recommended for nikon nazis, or folks who may eventually migrate to FX.

in practical use, this lens is probably more essential on an entry-level or mid level DSLR than a d300, d700, or D3. those cameras' improved high ISO performance means you can often stop down a 2.8 lens to f/4 in low light, lessening the need for a 1.4 aperture. on a d/40/50/60/80/200, however, you can keep the noise down in low light situations by shooting at wide apertures and not going above ISO 800.

also, this is a DC lens, meaning that it is designed for DX sensors. FX-curious folks should probably get the nikkor 35/2 instead.

while the 30/1.4 lens sees a lot of low-light use, its normal perspective and wide max aperture make it versatile in many conditions. i've stopped it down to f/8-f/11 and found it takes good landscape shots too. you never know when you might run into a situation where 1.4 is needed. it's a good one to have in the bag, just in case.
145 of 158 people found the following review helpful
Quality Materials But DEFECTIVE and UNREPAIRABLE - BEWARE OF SOME OF THE GLOWING REVIEWS 1 Oct 2007
By E - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I did a lot of research prior to buying this lens. Many people reported significant front focusing issues with their copies. Some responded that the front focusing issues were operator error. So I decided to take a chance.

After conducting numerous focusing tests on charts, my copy also has significant front focusing issues at all apertures. In real world use, the focus issues became apparent quickly. So I decided to contact Sigma.

Sigma stated that the focusing problem is not with their lenses, but rather with my Nikon D80 and other Nikon cameras. I informed them that my D80 focuses properly with 3 different Nikkor lenses, but they still denied there could be a problem. After inspecting the sample, they also were UNABLE TO FIX any problem (probably because they wouldn't acknowledge a problem existed, even with the test charts showing front focus).

Anyone who dismisses the front focusing issues as operator error ignores the fact that people who buy speciality lenses, such as the Sigma 30mm, generally are experienced photographers. Additionally, the same high number of front focus issues aren't experienced with other similar lenses, such as the Nikon 28 f/1.4. It seems like poor quality control to me.

YOU RUN THE RISK OF BUYING A LENS THAT IS USEFUL ONLY FOR MANUAL FOCUS IF YOU BUY THIS LENS, AND WHERE YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO HAVE IT REPAIRED VIA WARRANTY.

However, the lens is built from quality materials. Using manual focus, photos are sharp, although I am noticing some softness as you move from the center of the frame. Assuming the auto focus issues could be resolved through adjustment, it would have been lot of lens for $369.

A 5 star lens is a lens that is tack-sharp straight from the factory, with a functional design that has no significant problems and rivals the best Nikon lenses made. If the focus issues could be corrected, this is a 3 star lens. It works. It's sharp enough. It's pretty good. I think we as consumers are so hungry for quality in this focal length that we over-rate lenses when something - anything - is available. But let's be honest. If a quality alternative existed that didn't have these focus issues, we'd probably buy the alternative.
152 of 170 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding 50mm-Equivalent Prime Lens! 14 Aug 2006
By Christopher Nielsen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
After researching the various offerings from Nikon and others, I purchased this lens to serve as a Portrait and general-purpose low-light lens. The published reviews have been very positive, which ultimately made my purchasing decision easier. [For those interested, I am utilizing this lens with Nikon's D2X top-of-the-line digital SLR.]

First off, bear in mind that this lens is intended to be a 50mm-equivalent, and is designed exclusively for Nikon DX digital SLRs. (All Nikon digital SLRs have a 1.5x "lens factor," due to the fact that the sensor is smaller than 35mm film.) Sigma states the following in the product specifications, but let me repeat it here: it is NOT designed for full-frame (e.g. 35mm) use!

In terms of comparable offerings from Nikon, they are: Nikon 28mm f/2.8D AF, Nikon 35mm f/2D AF, Nikon 50mm f/1.4D AF and 50mm f/1.8D AF. The two latter lenses are not really in the same category, as they are 75mm-equivalent on Nikon digital SLRs. The two former lenses are close in terms of focal length, so they are reasonable alternatives.

There are several key differences between Sigma's 30mm lens and Nikon's aforementioned 28mm and 35mm lenses. First up, Sigma's lens is equivalent to a Nikon "G-type" lens. Specifically, this means that Sigma's lens does not have a dial to set the aperture; instead, the aperture is set on the camera body. This is incredibly convenient, and allows one to quickly change the aperture while framing the picture in the viewfinder. Nikon's 28mm and 35mm lenses, in contrast, are the older "D-type" lens. Meaning, they both utilize an aperture dial.

The other key difference between Sigma's lens and Nikon's 28mm and 35mm, is that Sigma's utilizes a "Hyper Sonic Motor" for autofocusing. As a result, autofocus action is extremely fast and quiet. Nikon's 28mm and 35mm do not utilize a comparable technology, and instead make do with an older -- and slower/louder -- mechanism.

And finally, a word on optical quality. Because Sigma's lens is so super-fast optics-wise (i.e., the fast f/1.4 maximum aperture), depth-of-field can be extremely shallow. So shallow that, when taking a portrait at, say, 3 feet away, one can focus on the tip of the subject's nose -- with the rest of the subject's face slightly soft! (One might want to generally focus on the subject's eyes, but that is neither here nor there.) The point being, that when fully opened up at f/1.4 or f/1.7, it is easy to confuse the optical quality of the lens (which I have found to be outstanding!) with soft focus due to shallow depth-of-field. [For any newbies: this is a "feature" of fast aperture optics.]

Bottom line, the Sigma 30mm lens provides superb low-light performance (thanks to the fast f/1.4 maximum aperture), along with outstanding optical performance. It is highly recommended for any Nikon digital SLR owner who is looking for a 50mm-equivalent portrait/general-purpose lens. You will not be disappointed!
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