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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are NO BETTER LENS for $199 - Just Amazing!
"There are NO BETTER LENS for $199". This lens is an absolute winner!
- Edge to Edge Sharpness that match my $1200 Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM for less
- Ultra Fast AF speed even on 2yrs old Panasonic GF2
- AF is completely "SILENT" for video shoot
- Useful Focal Length (19mm = 38mm FF) similar Field-of-View as common point/shoot
- Short (20cm)...
Published on July 4, 2012 by Peter Yang

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lens frequently freezes at out of focus and requires power cycle
This lens frequently freezes at out of focus state and I can hear the crank noise but no matter how I press the shutter button it just stays at out of focus. Every time I end up power down and up the camera to bring the lens back to normal operation.

To reproduce the problem, you can shot at a 20cm distance away object in DMF mode. The lens becomes freezing at...
Published 22 months ago by djs


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are NO BETTER LENS for $199 - Just Amazing!, July 4, 2012
"There are NO BETTER LENS for $199". This lens is an absolute winner!
- Edge to Edge Sharpness that match my $1200 Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM for less
- Ultra Fast AF speed even on 2yrs old Panasonic GF2
- AF is completely "SILENT" for video shoot
- Useful Focal Length (19mm = 38mm FF) similar Field-of-View as common point/shoot
- Short (20cm) Minimum Focus Distance for great close-up
- Amazing Bokeh (see bottom)
- Amazing PRICE (I'm constantly pinching myself this performance for $199?)

>> Beautiful Bokeh <<

While "bokeh" taste maybe subjective, most would agreed upon that (1) Big-Round shaped bokeh highlight is more pleasant than Elliptical-shaped-Cat's-Eyes highlight, and that (2) Smooth + Soft color transition is better than Harsh-Edge lines. Sigma 19mm delivers on both counts.

>> 38mm is Great Focal Length, much like Canon 24-105L on Rebel <<

Sigma 19mm = 38mm on Micro4/3 format, which is the same focal length as your typical POINT/SHOOT: (1) wide enough to cover wide landscape, and (2) tight enough so people in your photograph aren't dwarfed by the surroundings. Coincidentally, Sigma 19mm has the same Field of View as a Canon EF 24-105L on Rebel T1i, T2i, T3i, T4i: [ 24mm x 1.6 CropFactor = 38.4mm ]. If you love 24-105L on canon rebel dslr, you're love Sigma 19mm on Micro43.

>> Process of Elimination <<

- Olympus 17mm - great price and usual focal length, but lens softness, CA, and AF NOISE kills it

- Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 - Compact size, but poor corner softness + severe vignette in the corners. Search cameralabs review, 14-42mm kit lens is actually much sharper, less vignetting, and have image stabilization

- Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 - I WANT ONE, but I didn't want to pay nearly $400 for one. That money would be better spend on an Olympus 45mm or Panny Leica 25mm f/1.4

- Sigma 30mm f/2.8 DN - Weird Focal Length of (60mm) on Micro43. Not wide enough for landscape or walk-about prime, but good for portrait. The problem is that it competes directly against the fabulous Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Great focal length on APS-C Sony NEX, but not so good on Micro4/3

>> 1 second Startup Delay is normal <<

Sigma DN (Digital Nero) lens uses [ stepper motor ] to achieve its ultra-quietness. Stepper motor are famous for its precise motion controlled positioning, but it requires time to INDEXING to generate step pulses (read wikipedia for details). I just want to report that its NORMAL.

My Panasonic GF2 required 2 seconds to index. Faster camera can probably yield faster startup. Older camera will probably take 2-4 seconds indexing. Your satisfactions with Sigma DN lens are highly depended on your camera body.

>> Negatives <<

Flare / Glare control isn't up to my usual Tamron standards. Tamron (Di) lens are "double anti-reflection coated" on both inner and outer lens element. This minimized "internal reflection" when shooting at a light source (lamp lights)

Sigma 19mm isn't double coated, and will produced a [greenish] glare/flare shooting indoor in family room directly in front of a lamp. Switch to my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC Di on my Canon DSLR, and I get no glare. Switch back to my Sigma 19 on GF2, and I can reproduce the glare easily....with or without UV filter.

>> LensRental Imatest Results <<

LensRental just published a IMA Test result on short medium prime for micro43 here(//bit.ly/KEfLqE). Let me summarized for you: (Center/Corner)
- 900 center / 790 corner - Olympus 45mm at f/2.8
- 850 center / 745 corner - Sigma 19mm @f/2.8
- 825 center / 690 corner - Sigma 30mm @f/2.8
- 720 center / 615 corner - Olympus 45mm at f/1.8
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pro Level, but not for everyone, July 4, 2012
By 
Eric T "ejt" (Marion, IA United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN-Sony E 440965 (Electronics)
Bottom Line:
If you need across the frame sharpness stopped down on the NEX, this is the lens to get for this focal length. However, it doesn't really offer a lot over the kit zoom if you aren't concerned with corner quality.

Pros:
Very Good overall image quality

Cons:
A bit large for the aperture size/focal length compared to similar lenses
Can produce some ghosts from bright point lights in a frame (might be an issue for night shooters)

Review:
This lens is a little bigger than the 30 mm f/2.8 sibling, it has a hood attachement point and a bit of extra length in the barrel as well. It is still roughly the same size and both are smaller than the kit zoom, but not if you combine them.

The one major problem on the NEX system right now are lenses that are sharp corner to corner, but this one does a fairly good job at the extreme edges when you stop it down to f/5.6, definitely better than the kit zoom.

Lens distortion is visible, but not bad for the class at about 1.5% barrel distortion. CA isn't bad, but I did notice some purple fringing towards the edges of the frame. Lateral CA is visible, but not bad. Pretty average.

The focus elements clunk if you tip the lens end-to-end with the camera turned off, this is because they are free floating and use a linear motor (electromagnetic motor) that requires power to position the elements. The drawback here is the lens will drain the battery a bit faster, but when Sony improves their NEX focusing system, this lens should be able to focus faster.

So I recommend this lens, but only for those that know what they are getting. Most people will be just fine with the kit zoom, and if you want a large aperture prime pick up the Sony 50 mm f/1.8 as it is very different than the kit lens as it is 3 f/stops larger aperture at 50 mm, which is something anyone can notice. Get this if you really need the corner performance improvements for large prints, etc.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp. Good illumination across frame. Quick, accurate AF that is very quiet. A bargain wide/normal lens., March 29, 2012
Good sharpness across the frame. Fast and accurate AF with very quiet operation. A very good bargain 38mm equivalent for your MFT. The focusing ring is easy to use in MF assist/focusing by wire when filming. A good buy. Not as sharp as a Leica or Zeiss lens but it is quite good especially for the money. Also not alot of distortion or flare or internal reflection from what I could see in the files I have made thus far. I personally really like this focal length for MFT. A good cheaper option to the 20 1.7 by Panasonic or Leica 25mm DG 1.4. Both are however a tad sharper and certainly faster. But they are 2X to 3x more $$$ too. Lastly bokeh is quite good for a 19mm. It is still 19mm afterall folks;-)! It is a nice small lens. I will use this and the anticipated 17mm 0.95 Voigtlander (once I get it in May) for probably 80% or more of my filming.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good buy if you need this focal length., June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN-Sony E 440965 (Electronics)
I rate this lens 4 stars.

This review is based on my use of this lens on an NEX-7. The test was conducted with the NEX-7 mounted on a tripod. Shutter was released by timer or by wireless infrared remote.

This lens performs quite well on the NEX-7. It is very sharp at the center even wide-open and the borders improves visibly at f/4.0, becoming better at f/5.0 but does not really improve after that and never does come close to the superb sharpness in the center . Unlike the kit lens, one can shoot wide-open with this lens on an NEX-7 with good results. Contrast is average at f/2.8 but is very good by f/4.0. Distortion is a bit more than what I would have wanted but is easily corrected in post-processing.

Compared to the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8, color is a bit muted and less saturated but is not at all objectionable and is typical of most Sigma lenses. Flaring resistance is average though it could have been better due to its design of having fewer elements and grouping. Chromatic aberration (CA) is there regardless of aperture setting but not to the extent to be overly objectionable and can be removed in post-processing.

The lens is priced reasonably at less than $200 but I would not consider it as an exceptional value given its built and performance. While it is true that this lens is priced considerably much less than the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8, there are several factors that explains why I consider this lens as of average value. This is why I rate this lens at 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars.

First is the aperture of f/2.8. This is better than the kit lens but a one-stop difference would have been ideal.

Second is the built quality. This lens rattle when the camera is off and there is a very audible click when the lens is engaged to auto-focus when the shutter is half-pressed. In a quiet room, this is very noticeable and can get annoying.

Third is price. While most would see $200 as a reasonable price, one should compare this against other lenses such as the Nikkor 35mm DX and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G AF-S which sells for about the same price. These Nikkor lenses are much faster, has better optics, and are small and compact. The Nikkor does not rattle and is extremely quiet in operation. Thankfully, this Sigma 19mm f/2.8 lens comes with a hood (unlike the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 which does not come with a hood). This Sigma lens does come with a nicer pouch than the pouch for the Nikkor lens.

Unlike the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 where there are more lens options available, it is considerably more difficult to find an alternative at this focal length. This Sigma 19mm f/2.8 does not break any good ground when it comes to value for money but I think it is a better value for money than the 30mm f/2.8 for which there are considerably more options.

Given the limited selection of good native E-mount lenses for the Sony NEX, this Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is a good buy for anyone looking for a good prime lens to use with an NEX camera system. This is most specially so at this focal length where there is no alternative other than the kit zoom lens. Hopefully, the lens choice will improve over the years so that a better performing lens will be available. Until then, this Sigma 19mm f/2.8 is a good buy.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sigma 19mm M4/3, May 20, 2012
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I was torn, but I went with the 19mm. Here's what I've experienced so far. The lens a sharp, AF is fast. I like the colors. The lens is light and the balance is very good. I like the hood too.

What I don't like. Boot to first picture is slow, but not a deal breaker. Occasionally I get a lens error, but that can be fixed with a reboot. Focus motor makes ugly noises, but better than nice sounds and ugly pictures. UPDATE: I sent the lens back, got a new one that is not noisy. I still get an occasional lens error, but no big thing.

Neither here or there: tight fit on my EPL-1. Better than loose, I guess.

For the price I believe this is an excellent value. My next lens will be the 30mm.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice and sharp, January 16, 2013
By 
Rico (College Park, Maryland) - See all my reviews
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My first good camera, a Minolta Hi-Matic F 35mm rangefinder, had a 38mm/2.7 lens, and I was very fond of its perspective. This 19mm/2.8 lens gives a similar perspective on a Micro Four Thirds camera. It has a wide normal view, natural and undistorted looking but with good separation between a near subject and its background. The wide normal perspective also helps when shooting groups of people, when including the scenery in a landscape or an environmental portrait, and when working in close quarters indoors.

I'd like to address some complaints I've heard about this lens:

- There's a loose element in the lens mechanism when the camera is turned off. It's not loud and it's not a problem; it's the design, which, by the way, produces fast and accurate auto-focus. I don't shake the camera like a maraca, and if I did I would get more noise from my strap than from the lens.

- I don't notice that my camera (Olympus E-PL2) starts up any slower when this lens is attached. It's ready to fire within about a second. Anyway, do people really keep their cameras turned off until it's time to press the shutter?

- The f/2.8 aperture is slower than some lenses that cost 2 or 3 times as much, but it's fast enough for me. It takes good sharp images, even in low light, especially on Olympus cameras with their in-body image stabilization. This lens will not give as blurry a background as a lens with a wider aperture (or a longer focal length), but blurry backgrounds are rather overrated by people who should care more about composition. A lot of fanatics for blur (bokeh is the popular euphemism) would do well to stop down their lenses so at least their subjects are completely in focus.

This lens has a versatile and interesting focal length, and its optical and mechanical qualities are very good. I enjoy using it and viewing the images it captures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Micro 4/3s wide angle on a budget, August 7, 2012
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At $199.00 for a 19 mm f2.8 lens you can't really beat the price. There is a price to pay however, that price is less focus sensitivity in lower light conditions than the new crop of Olympus lens (12mm, 45 mm and 75mm). The build quality is very good especially considering the price point. The focus ring is smooth and dampened a bit as well. Given adequate light the lens is nearly as fast focusing as the current Panasonic lens and maybe just a bit slower than the lens mentioned above. I would recommend this lens to anyone wanting to expand their MFTs lens inventory, but caution them about the low light focusing issues.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could recommend the lens, April 20, 2012
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This review is from: Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN-Sony E 440965 (Electronics)
Introduction: I purchased this lens from Amazon, Adorama sent it well packed and fast. Adorama also extends the warranty by a year, three year total coverage. The lens comes with a lens hood, front and rear caps and padded carrying case. The lens finish is excellent and it is light weight and smaller compared to the 5N kit lens.

Pros: The lens has a faster optics compared to the kit lens. This leads should lead to better AF response in very low light environments compared to the kit lens.

Cons: The lens does not have Optical stabilization [OSS]. The 5N does not provide optical correction for the lens. it is not a pancake lens, as such not considered a pocket camera when combined with the 5N body. Focusing mechanism disengages when dismounted or camera is powered off and floats within the lens giving off a clunk as it rebounds to side to side motion.

Discussion: One could argue that OSS is not needed if you are shooting on a tripod for maximum image quality and your subject is stationary. Also distortion correction by the camera is not needed if the lens has low distortion attributes. Also the human eye has a fixed focal length so there is nothing inherently wrong with a fixed focal length lens.

Comparison to the kit lens: The kit lens OSS compensates for it's slower optics and allows for slower shutter speeds i.e. handheld slow shutter speed river & waterfall images. Image quality [IQ] of the two lenses appears to be about the same [when the kit lens is set to the same focal length] at f/5.6 and above.

Personal observation: The Sigma does edge out the kit lens below f/5.6 in terms of overall sharpness, but you have to look hard to see it. In daylight and window light environments images it difficult for me to tell the two apart. The kit lens offers zoom flexibility in trade for the slower optics, this allows for composition cropping which can result in greater out of the camera satisfaction and less post processing time. The 5N high ISO response almost negates the need for fast optics, but if you need to isolate your subject using shallow depth of field the Sigma lens will do a better job of it than the kit zoom lens.

Recommendation: If you do not own a kit lens and are OK with the Sigma's fixed focal length, lack of OSS and or find the kit lens image quality below your expectations, then by all means buy the Sigma 19mm lens. Given the relatively low price and above average quality, physically and optically, it is a good value. But do not expect it to perform as well as the Zeiss lens. So your kits lens is meeting your expectations, as the expression goes, "why fix it if it is not broken".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lens on my Oly OM-D EM-5, July 10, 2012
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This is a great lens. Close focus is unbelievable, 100% crop is crystal clear. I'll put a rose picture in the pictures above that is 100% crop and you can see for yourself. I am having lots of fun with this lens as it is a perfect prime. Many don't know, but 50mm is not the true representation of the human eye. 40mm is the perfect length if you want to mimic what the eye really sees. If you check in reviews on a span of lenses in this length range, this one has resolution right up with the very expensive ones.

Was using this on my Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G3 16 MP Micro Four-Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Touch Screen LCD (Body Only) and thought it was good. Put it on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 16MP Live MOS Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3.0-Inch Tilting OLED Touchscreen and 12-50mm Lens (Black) and it is GREAT! The IS on the Oly makes this a wonderful low light lens, I haven't had to use the flash once for party pics and for holiday celebrations. Saved me from buying an expensive faster lens. It is the perfect walk around lens as it is small and light. Only thing I am missing is a hood, looks like there is a provision for a click on hood but haven't found it.

Light in weight, fast enough (esp. with the Oly IS), great little prime for my new favorite camera.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The More I Use It, The More I Like it, February 13, 2013
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When I pulled this lens out of the box, I was immediately nervous. It felt like it has a loose part inside of it, wobbling around as I rotated it, end-over-end. I discovered, however, that what felt loose was actually the power focus mechanism that doesn't "pull into position" until the lens is on the camera and the power to the camera is "on."
The results (photographs) are nothing less than stunning. I am a photo-rookie but, I know already that this is going to be one of my favorite lenses. I've read reviews, elsewhere before purchasing, and they were correct- this lens is the "bomb"! Get it!
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Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN-Sony E 440965
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