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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good budget 1:1 Macro lens for Alpha users
This is the last of the "budget Sony primes" I've tested, and overall it's a good lens that offers "real" 1:1 macro for shooters on a budget.
As with the other budget primes, they have fairly basic build quality. Bang per buck though you can't really argue with the price v performance of this lens.

My quick summary so far of the lens

Pros:...
Published 8 months ago by Mr Baz

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good lens but you have to get to close.
I wanted a macro lens for taking pictures of insects on my Sony Alpha A58 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera with 18-55mm Lens (20MP) without having to get too close.

I knew it would not produce the fantastically sharp pictures that the professionals get with their £1000+ lenses, but to be honest it is a very good lens for the price...
Published 4 months ago by Traffic


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good budget 1:1 Macro lens for Alpha users, 4 April 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
This is the last of the "budget Sony primes" I've tested, and overall it's a good lens that offers "real" 1:1 macro for shooters on a budget.
As with the other budget primes, they have fairly basic build quality. Bang per buck though you can't really argue with the price v performance of this lens.

My quick summary so far of the lens

Pros:
+ Offers a genuine 1:1 macro at a very good price level
+ Opitcally good performance, off the bat at f2.8 the lens is good in the central region and most of the frame, stopping down to f5.6 it's tack sharp
+ Filter ring does not rotate on focus
+ Excellent colour rendition, contrast and flare control
+ Small, compact and lightweight, the front element is quite tiny and the lack of hood isn't really a problem in my view
+ 7 rounded aperture blade does a nice job in most cases with rendering/bokeh of the out of focus areas. There is some outlining at f2.8 (it's not as smooth as the 35mm f1.8 SAM though)
+ 49mm filter thread is common for Sony/Minolta lenses (and fairly cheap to buy too)
+ AF was reasonable speed wise (for a macro lens - they are always slower), accuracy was good too with no signs of "focus shift" which some prime lenses can have issues with

Cons:
- Some minor distortion, and there is some vignetting at f2.8 (seems to clear up at f4 onwards)
- Build is basic, with fairly budget plastics and a plastic lens mount
- SAM motor isn't very quiet
- Focus ring turns with AF (make sure you don't touch it)
- No hood, nor any provision for one (no bayonet to attach one) you could screw one into the filter thread
- DMF (direct manual focus) is not available even if you have a body that supports this (you should use the lens AF/MF switch not the body one)
- Some CA, it's not excessive by any means (it can show up in high contrast/brighter light), stopping down doesn't seem to clear it all up
- No focus limiter (which is useful for macro lenses)

Optically I'm quite impressed with the lens, it's sharp and has very nice image quality that lives up to my expectations for a prime lens. This is a "DT" lens which means it's designed to work on APS-C/Cropped bodies, it's not a full frame lens

There are some drawbacks, being a 30mm macro at the 1:1 focus distance you are very close to your subject (just a few cm) This won't be an issue for still life or non moving subjects, it might be a consideration for insects though. As is normal for many macro lenses the front extends somwhat at closer focus distances, and the actual real speed won't be f2.8 at 1:1 (again this is normal for any macro lens)

Any reservations? Not many at this price point (you can't really buy a real macro lens for less, most cost quite a lot more)
If you already own the 35mm f1.8 you might want to avoid the similar focal length. Speed wise clearly the 35mm f1.8 is quite a lot faster by over a stop which might be significant in lower light levels (the AF is quicker too)

Other options are the 50mm and 100mm Sony macro lenses (and s/h Minolta versions) both have better build and the longer focal lengths put you further away from the subject. Also look at the Tamorn 90mm f2.8 another excellent lens, whilst it costs more than the 30mm macro it's quite a bit less than the 100mm equivalent (all of these lenses are very strong optically)

Despite the budget build, the 30mm f2.8 is a bit of a sleeper lens, the sharpness is above the price paid and it does a very nice job for a macro lens. Recommended as a good lens at a great price
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality, 24 Jun 2013
This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
I purchased this lens a couple of weeks ago for my A57, not from Amazon as their price was more expensive at the time, and I have to say the quality it gives is outstanding. At first I had a problem with the focus missing the target at close quarters but found I needed to put my settings in the Autofocus Mode to "single shot AF" and since then I've had no problem. As an amateur photographer I probably should have known this but you live and learn. Landscape shots are much richer and clearer in colour than the kit lens. You do have to get very close to the subject for a true Macro shot which may be a problem if you are photographing insects etc but for me I haven't found this an issue. I would thoroughly recommend this lens.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyday use, 4 Dec 2012
By 
J. Petunovas "Jurgis" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
Bought these lens for my Sony A57 camera to take pictures or crabs in my fish tank, well they did deliver slightly better performance than the stock lens of 18-55mm, however
I'm completely blown away by saturation of colours and sharpness produced by these lens during landscape photography and taking long exposure pictures during the night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My most used lens, but packaging not good, 24 May 2014
By 
Mrs. S. L. Day "Sequin" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
I bought this lens for my Sony A57. The lens is quite light and compact.
I've been really impressed with the images this produces. From droplets of water on a clematis to the tiny aphids on a rose, the detail has been stunning. I'm really pleased with the performance and the price - I wouldn't have been able to afford anything more.
However, my heart was in my mouth when I opened the box - the lens,thankfully, came well packed in the Sony box because that box was rattling around in a huge box with no packing !!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars F2.8 Macro Lens, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
First let me say the delivery was fast and arrived before the date expected.
I am only an armature photographer, and enjoy taking macro shots. I bought this lens because you can get up really close and having taken several shots with it using my Sony alpha 77. I was very impressed I took a close up of my mint plant and moved in on the smallest leaf (which was about the width of a pencil), the picture filled the screen in Lightroom 5. It was very crisp and the hairs on the leaf were very clear. this lens was a great buy and is a must for macro. the price was very reasonable, and I shall be using this lens more than any of my others, it is also good for portrait to boot
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice lens, with excellent color saturation., 25 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
Nice lens to do photos at a short distance (0.2 m - 2m) from the object, like portraits or macro photos. Very good to accentuate the texture of object surface with true light settings in studio. Excellent for landscapes or macro in sunny day' light conditions.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good lens but you have to get to close., 21 Aug 2014
By 
Traffic (Kiruna, Sweden) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
I wanted a macro lens for taking pictures of insects on my Sony Alpha A58 Translucent Mirror Interchangeable Lens Camera with 18-55mm Lens (20MP) without having to get too close.

I knew it would not produce the fantastically sharp pictures that the professionals get with their £1000+ lenses, but to be honest it is a very good lens for the price.

Though it takes pretty good pictures I found it was impractical as you had to get too close to the insect to take a decent picture, and if you're trying to take pictures of wasps at the entrance to their nest, it's not a comfortable experience.

The auto-focus is quite good and the lens is light so as not to cause discomfort when holding the camera up.

I also tried a photo zoom macro lens that allows you to stand even further back, but I just I didn't get on with that one.

However, this lens wasn't for me as I had to get too close to the insect to take clear pictures (just a few centimetres), and so I have returned it in favour for the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for Sony Alpha Digital SLR Camera SAL100M28, which allows you to stand further back.

Hats off to Amazon who have allowed me to purchase two lenses, including this one and return them with no questions.

All in all this is a good lens for the price and certainly a stepping stone up to the more professional and expensive macro lenses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have purchased this lens instead of the zoom supplied with my camera., 25 April 2014
By 
Mr. Roy W. Nunn (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
I had this lens a present last year, since then it has become the most used lens and is rarely detached from the camera body. I take a great many pictures of plants and gardens and find that this lens is ideal in these situations, but also it performs well as a lens for landscape pictures. For longer range shots of small objects I use a Sony 75-300mm tele lens which works well.

Bothe these lenses are good value for the price.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars macro lens, 8 Dec 2011
This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
great little lens its the best christmas present i have ever bought for myself worth every penny of the £170 i paid for, couldt contain myself and tried it out fantastic photo's
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good buy, 16 May 2013
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This review is from: Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens (Accessory)
excellent quality lens , great pictures. very stable pictures. I would recommend it to other users who need a macro lens
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Sony SAL30M28 Alpha 30mm F2.8 Macro Lens
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