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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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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