First Impressions: Sigma’s 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Lens

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

You may have seen my previous posts on using Sigma’s 30mm f/2.8 lens for travel photography and studio portraiture. (If not, please bounce back and take a read.) When I was making these shots, I was really impressed with the quality and value of this lens. Now along comes their 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens ($339) that’s designed for Micro Four-thirds cameras as well as Sony’s E mount.

sigma.30mmFor Micro Four-thirds cameras, like my Olympus or Panasonic bodies, the lens produces a 60mm equivalent field-of-view. That price is ten bucks cheaper than the least expensive 50mm f/1.4 lenses available for flippy mirror cameras (Canon’s 50mm f/1.4 for example) and half the price (or more) than others. The lens is compact (2.89-inches long, 9.35 oz.) and doesn’t seem out of place even on a small camera like my Lumix GX85 that I used to make the below Fall image along Cherry Creek.

It uses a stepping AF motor for smooth, quiet autofocus and the fast f/1.4 maximum aperture looks useful for working in low-light conditions offering control over focus placement for selective focus. To reduce spherical aberrations, the optics use one aspherical element and one double-sided aspherical element pair for clarity and definition. A high-refractive index element is used to minimize color fringing and chromatic aberrations.

fall-sigma-60

A Super Multi-Layer Coating has been applied to lens elements to minimize lens flare and ghosting and produce color-neutral imagery, even in backlit conditions. Sigma even includes a nice lens hood at no additional cost. A rounded nine-blade diaphragm should produce pleasing bokeh. Filter size is 52mm.

The lens is made from Thermally Stable Composite (TSC) material, OK, it’s plastic but it’s really nice plastic and some metal is used, including a brass bayonet mount for durability. For collectors, the outside of the lens barrel is engraved with the year of production—my test lens says “016”—which is just a cool thing to do.

Look for an hands-on test of the lens on this blog and, if I am able to borrow the lens for a long enough time, there will be follow-up post on using the 30mm f/1.4 to photograph cars on my automobile photography website/blog.