- Solidly constructed lens
- Fast and quiet autofocus
- Excellent sharpness at all apertures when shot close up
- Nice bokeh
- Natural color and contrast
- Focuses close up
- Reasonably priced
- Dramatic field curvature at infinity limits edge sharpness
- Chromatic aberration is quite visible in many situations
- High native distortion that must be digitally corrected
- Flare performance is somewhat weak
The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 is a lens that generally performs well for its price point, but it falls short of the outstanding performance of the Art series Sigma mirrorless primes. If you’re shooting closer up, the lens is very sharp with good bokeh and a nice rendering. It’s also a well-built lens that feels notably better than its $339 price would suggest. If you plan on using this lens mostly for shooting people or for street work, I think you’ll be very pleased with the 30mm f/1.4. It does a very nice job in these situations, producing images with a really nice look.
Unfortunately, it’s less useful as a landscape lens, as field curvature becomes very strong at far focus distances, limiting edge sharpness near infinity. There’s also some chromatic aberration and flare that can show in images.
I think that for a lot of people, the more even performing Sony 35mm f/1.8 will probably be a bit more useful, but if you know you’ll be using that f/1.4 aperture and can live with only average performance at a distance, then you’ll be quite pleased with the 30mm f/1.4. It’s a quality lens for the price, it’s just not the hidden gem that has become almost standard practice for Sigma in recent years.
Click on an image to enlarge.
28 thoughts on “Review: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN (Sony E-Mount)”
Nice review that you wrote here. However as a newbie to photography, i am struggling to find my first prime lens for Sony a6000. Personally would you recommend the Sony 35mm f1.8 or the sigma 30mm f1.4 since their price doesnt differ that much?
It’s in his last paragraph. Do you like landscapes and shoot a lot at infinity? The Sony. Do you value image stabilization or have you gotten used to M since the camera will stay at 1/60 otherwise? I use M with every unstabilized lens and A with the stabilized ones.
Thanks for the nice review Jordan.
It doesn’t have the “planar” bokeh of the Touit 32 for whole-body portraits I think?
Sorry what i forgot to ask is the difference between the bokeh pictures for both lenses. Would the f1.4 be significantly better than f1.8 to compensate for the lack of OSS?
Will you review mft version? Thamks
A few more f1.4 samples would have been nice, but great review as always.
“High native distortion that must be digitally corrected”
Why is this a con and not for the several Fujfilm lenses that need optical correction? You DO know that Fujifilm’s f/2.8 zoom has THE highest measured distortion out of any of its peers, right?
I do tend to mention it in more recent Fuji reviews, but also, Fuji bakes the corrections directly into the RAW file, so most shooters will never see it. With Sony you need to manually apply a profile in RAW. Still, the effect is the same, and in my recent Fuji reviews, I do disable the profile to examine the native optical distortion. See my Fuji 35/2 review for an example.
So, do we get full pdaf support with this lens or only center support?
Did you by any chance try it on A7 class camera to see how much of a full frame circle would it cover?
I did. It covers around a 1.2x crop area. (APS-H) It’s a bit weak on the edges of the circle, though, and the distortion becomes more evident. I did cover this in the review, BTW.
I am a little confused about your review.
Not sure you are reviewing the lens in your title.
You mentioned the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN has 7 blades.
It actually has 9 blades and very smooth Bo-Keh.
lenstip.com gave this lens its editor’s choice award and measured it as the highest resolution lens they have every tested.
So this makes me think you are testing a different Sigma lens.
The blades were a typo, and has been corrected. As to the rest, what you’re seeing is the difference between lens charts and actually using the lens. The 30/1.4 is outstanding at close and moderate distances: something I note in my review. However, what sites that use lens charts miss is how it performs in other circumstances. This lens is great for environmental portraiture, but it’s not quite as good when focused near infinity. Bokeh is great up close, but suffers a bit at further distances.
It’s always a good idea to read multiple reviews to get a more well rounded view of the capabilities of a lens.
Can You give me some hint, wchich lens should I choose from three that You reveiwed: sony 35mm f/1.8, sigma 30mm f/1.4 sony zeiss 28mm f/2.
Main purpose is to take still of fast kids in indoor conditions, than I think occasionally some landscapes or kids in landscapes / forrest / playground 🙂 Of course I would like to spend money the best as it’s possible and buy the best performing (bokeh, fast and accurate) and the best optically lens.
oh, and if it have a meaning, I will use it with A6000
It seems that hey are making progress with the path. I haven’t been to columbus in a while but seeing your photos makes me feel quite nostalgic. Thank you for the in depth reviews and beautiful pictures I will continue reading
This review totally contradicts Lenstip’s raves for this Sigma 30 f/1.4 DC DN. They tested the m43 version, which broke resolutions records in the center and showed excellent performance in the borders and corners. Distortion is moderate distortion and CA well controlled.
Don’t know how this reviewer missed the mark so badly but the Sigma 30 f/1.4 DC DN totally crushes the Sony E 35 f/1.8. How he’s recommending a slower, weaker lens is puzzling indeed.
I am torn between this Sigma 30mm 1.4, the Sony 28mm 2.0 and the Sony Zeiss 24mm 1.8 to purchase for my Sony a6300. I know you have reviewed the Sigma 30 and the Sony 28, but not sure if you have reviewed the 24mm. I have found many glowing testimonials about the 24mm as an outstanding truly special lens. It is expensive but if it is really as good as I have heard I would be willing to pay for it. Especially since it is about the only lens that will provide a classic 35mm (full frame equivalent) on the Sony a6300. Any thoughts to help me with this decision? Thanks for your great reviews!!
have u ever used this lens with sony’s clear image zoom? I wonder how s the result with ciz.
I was in a shop and about to buy this lens. But while testing I figured it wont focus anymore by an f-stop greater than 11. Talking to a Sigma representative who happen to be in that shop he confirmed that with my setting being on AF-C for continuous auto focus is not guaranteed -on any Sony Camera, with every Sigma lens. This means not only the contemporary series but also the ART series won’t focus. I had some hit and miss with AF-C below f11. Face detection was working unreliable which the Rep confirmed, too.
(1) The lenstip resolution record you refer to is in regards to the four-thirds system. That is to say, it is the sharpest lens they have tested on the four-thirds system. So, without them also testing the lens on a larger APS-C sensor, we can not conclude that lenstip would have arrived at the same conclusion for APS-C.
(2) The distortion and CA you refer to is once again in regards to the four-thirds system. I know, definitively, that the distortion of this lens is greater on APS-C than it is on four-thirds.
The above comment was intended as a response to Markus A.
(1) How important is the hybrid AF and face detect features of the Sony AF system to you? If these are important to you, then you will definitely want a native Sony, or Zeiss, lens that utilizes 100% of the AF feautures. Conversely, if you shoot mostly static scenes and don’t value face detection highly, then Sigma for E-mount is certainly an option for you.
(2) How much do you care about distortion in uncorrected files? Both the Sony 28mm f2 and Sigma 30mm 1.4 are known for distortion. One caveat, though, is all the distortion figures I have seen were measured on the larger full-frame cameras, so I am not sure about its distortion on the smaller APS-C sensor.
(3) Do you intend on buying a full-frame camera in the future? If so, only one of the lenses you listed is a FE lens.
(4) How important is the wider focal length to you?
(5) How much do you value the benefits of the more expensive lens in relation to the additional cost?
As I can’t edit or delete a previous comment, I should clarify that the second sentence of my second point above was in reference to the Sony 28mm f2, not the Sigma 30mm 1.4.
(6) How much of a concern is the field curvature, which Jordan discusses, to you?
Great review! I will be getting this one today for my Sony a6000. Finally decided to go with this lens instead of the Sony 35mm and 50mm f1.8 because of the price and also I think this is a good all-around lens for street, some portrait, and city/landscape.