Should the new Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN standard lens be top of the list for Micro Four Thirds and Sony E-mount users? Richard Sibley finds out.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

80%

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN

Product:

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN review

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Price as reviewed:

£300.00

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Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN – Image quality

Sigma's 30mm f/1.4 produces a very shallow depth of field at minimal focus distance

Sigma’s 30mm f/1.4 produces a very shallow depth of field at minimal focus distance

Any lens with a large aperture is begging to be used wide open. Indeed, while I was interested in seeing how the lens performed at f/5.6-f/11, the larger apertures proved to be the most interesting.

Needless to say, the key is to get the focus absolutely spot on. An f/1.4 lens can be very unforgiving; with such a shallow depth of field, the slightest shift in focus can make a huge difference. The good news with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is that, when you get the focusing right, you are rewarded with fantastic sharpness. Our real-life images shot with the Sony Alpha 6300 looked as sharp in the centre as they would with a proprietary 50mm f/1.4 DSLR lens. It really is excellent.

Stop it down to around f/4 and it’s even sharper, with very fine details wonderfully reproduced. At f/8 in our real-world tests the images look just as sharp, although our tests show a slight drop in sharpness.

The optical coatings of the 30mm f/1.4 work well, and even when shooting backlit images there were no signs of lens flare. Backgrounds are rendered nicely, with pleasing circular specular highlight and smooth gradations between out-of-focus areas. For full-length and mid-length portraits, the lens does a good job of separating the subject from the background, although I found facial features were slightly distorted when shooting head-and-shoulders shots.

There is some slight chromatic aberration on high-contrast edges, but it is very faint and easily removed

There is some slight chromatic aberration on high-contrast edges, but it is very faint and easily removed

There is a slight hint in some of our raw images of chromatic aberration. However, the colour fringing is very thin and not particularly noticeable unless viewed at 100%. Once again, it shouldn’t prove problematic in most situations, and I found it was easily removed after a quick play with the sliders in Camera Raw.

  1. 1. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN - Features
  2. 2. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN - Build and handling
  3. 3. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN - Image quality
  4. 4. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN - Test results
  5. 5. Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN - Verdict
Page 3 of 5 - Show Full List
  • Dave Dee

    I agree with all that’s reported here, except for the matter of CAs. I found that even in a moderately backlit situation where the settings used throw the corners out of focus (think tree branches and leaves framing the main subject, but at a markedly different distance) the CAs were a major problem. I have never owned the PL 24mm 1.4 but from reports about CAs for that lens I think we’re probably talking about something similar. Would I buy the Sigma knowing that? Yes, because in many situations it won’t be a big problem.
    I also found that when the lens hood is stored reversed it is so deep it covers the focus ring to the point where the focus ring is all but impossible to use. It’s a bit of a loose fit, too.
    For the price paid it is remarkably good value and a real gem if you prefer the ‘in-between’ focal lengths.