Sigma 30mm F2.8 – a classic lens for peanuts?

Some NEX-7 pictures today… At the weekend a new lens for my NEX-7 arrived, the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens. I picked this up cheap through an offer on Amazon.

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I was in two minds about this lens. Surely something not far north of £120  new couldn’t be any good. All I would say is that Sigma must be using this lens as a loss leader or something.

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It may look and feel pants, but optically, it’s great.

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What isn’t so great is the audible clonk when the lens is shaken and the slightly cheap feel of the plastics. However, it’s the perfect size for a NEX-7 lens and doesn’t over balance the camera with size or weight.

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Optically, this is very sharp wide open and gets sharper stopped down until about F8ish. It isn’t so fast, and I hadn’t expected much of the bokeh when I saw the maximum aperture. However, it’s far from terrible and isn’t distracting.

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The key here is the sharpness of the subject. I’ve been really impressed with the results from this lens in this regard. Just how can Sigma create a lens this sharp for peanuts? In addition to sharpness the lens is contrasty and has a great colour rendering.

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There are some optical weaknesses, notably chromatic aberation (coloured fringing). In fact the images from this lens must be the first time I’ve seen green fringing in a while. Nothing a quick click in Lightroom won’t fix.

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I do really like the fact Lightroom has a profile for this lens to allow for distortion correction.

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I’ll be honest, I think I’ve found the lens that will live on my NEX-7 for a bit. It probably isn’t as good as the Zeiss 24mm but frankly I’m not sure I care because I much prefer the FF 50mm focal length, which this is close to on the APS-C NEX-7, and I love very sharp lenses. This is a really excellent lens that deserves a place in any self respecting NEX owners collection.

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