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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent low light normal lens for Canon APS-C cameras - but it can have focus issues
This Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC HSM | Art lens has been designed for APS-C or "crop" cameras such as the Canon Rebel series, 60D, and 7D. It is a 30mm lens, which when used on a crop camera gives the same effective field of view as a full frame lens of 48mm - considered a "normal" lens as it is not wide angle or telephoto. So this lens could be considered the crop camera...
Published 15 months ago by JB

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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hope for better luck with lens number two
I loved the sharpness of this lens--even at 1.4 it was much nicer than the Canon 28mm f/1.8. But on my Canon T3i, it front focused something fierce. On relatively close shots (18-72 inches) it front focused as much as 6 inches. And when focused on something 150 feet away, it front focused by a whopping 50-75 feet. I've have no problems at all with any of the other...
Published 14 months ago by roughneck


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent low light normal lens for Canon APS-C cameras - but it can have focus issues, April 10, 2013
By 
JB (New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
This Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC HSM | Art lens has been designed for APS-C or "crop" cameras such as the Canon Rebel series, 60D, and 7D. It is a 30mm lens, which when used on a crop camera gives the same effective field of view as a full frame lens of 48mm - considered a "normal" lens as it is not wide angle or telephoto. So this lens could be considered the crop camera equivalent of the full frame Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens for Canon or Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon . And in my use of it so far I think that it is excellent lens for crop cameras.

I was able to use this lens to take some indoor pictures using a single light bulb as illumination - and I've attempted to post the results here. I try to use a flash indoors when it makes sense, but sometimes you need to turn the flash off and use natural light, and the f1.4 maximum aperture of this lens allows you to do so. The resulting photos were sharp and contrasty. Bohek also looks quite good when shooting at f/1.4 (see example photo).

One advantage of having this lens designed specifically for APS-C is it is much smaller, lighter, and less expensive than full frame lenses of this focal length and aperture such as the Sigma 340101 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Lens for Canon and the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon . Other pluses is the solid metal and plastic construction, and the supplied accessories (lens hood and protective case).

As for negatives - unsurprisingly the focusing is not as fast as many of Canon's USM lenses. It's focus speed is similar to other Sigma HSM lenses like the 50mm EX DG or the old 30mm EX DC; but it is definitely slower than my Canon 10-22, 85 1.8, and 135L. Second, I noticed that the focal length changes slightly while focusing; infinity focus shows a slightly wider angle than when focused close to the MFD. That said, neither of these items is significant enough to downgrade the lens. I'm also a bit worried about focus issues, more due to Sigma's history than anything I've found yet about this lens. There is also noticeable Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations (LoCAs) when shooting with bright highlights at f/1.4; however this is an issue with fast lenses in general, not just this lens.

In sum, I'm very happy with the new Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC | Art lens. It's a great value when judged against comparable full frame offerings from Canon and Sigma, and allows a lot of natural light photographs that might not work with a slower lens.

Note: in some cases the previous Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Lens for Canon is still available at a significant discount to this lens. Is the new Art lens worth the extra money? Published MTF charts from Sigma and early reviews (Lenstip) suggest that the new Art version is noticeably sharper, esp. in the edges and corners of the frame. I look forward to more detailed test results, but so far I have no regrets moving up to the Art version. There is also the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 noted above, which is a world-class full frame lens and has better IQ than the 30mm - but is also twice as big, almost twice as expensive, and not quite as wide as the 30mm.

***EDIT 04-22-13: After more testing I was able to confirm that the lens was front focusing on distant objects. I took a picture of a neighboring roof using LiveView, and the result shows the roof peak in focus as expected. But taking the same shot from the same spot with standard autofocus shows the roof slightly out of focus; the lens focus scale also shows the lens front focusing compared to when using LiveView. After a short trip to Sigma to get the lens calibrated, it now appears that the lens is focusing accurately. I'll now reconfirm that this is a great lens for crop sensor cameras, but I'm still disappointed that Sigma QC seems to allow these slightly miscalibrated lenses to ship.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hope for better luck with lens number two, May 14, 2013
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
I loved the sharpness of this lens--even at 1.4 it was much nicer than the Canon 28mm f/1.8. But on my Canon T3i, it front focused something fierce. On relatively close shots (18-72 inches) it front focused as much as 6 inches. And when focused on something 150 feet away, it front focused by a whopping 50-75 feet. I've have no problems at all with any of the other lenses used (Canon 18-55mm kit lens, Canon 28mm f/1.8, Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8). I was going to just ask for an exchange, but that option was grayed out when requesting an RA, so the first lens is on its way back. When it's been received, I'll try another copy of the lens

LENS #2
Got my second copy of the lens--sadly, this one is front focusing also. I should note that the front focusing only occurs when the view-finder is used to frame and shoot--it's pretty much spot-on when the LCD screen is used to frame and shoot.

This can happen because Canon cameras use two different focusing methods. It uses the "phase detection" focusing method when the view-finder is being used to frame and shoot. It uses the "contrast detection" focusing method when the LCD screen is being used to frame and shoot. We use the view-finder most of the time, and this is the method the lens is having trouble with.

I did email Sigma while in possession of the first lens as I was considering the purchase of a USB dock they sell that can be used to correct some focusing problems with this lens but I didn't want to buy the dock without knowing if the dock could handle it. But... Sigma never responded, so I returned the lens and tried another copy.

After encountering the problem again with lens #2, I called Sigma and spoke to someone in Tech Support. Based on a 15 minute discussion, Tech Support does think the USB dock ($80.00) could be used to correct the problem if I want to purchase it, or... they will calibrate lens at no charge if I'm willing to send it in and pay the shipping.

I don't know yet what I'll do. My other lenses (including a Sigma 17-50mm f/1.8) focus fine regardless of which focusing method is used. At $500, I feel the lens should just work, and not require an additional 80 bucks for a calibration device or even 10 bucks (or whatever) for shipping to have it calibrated, and "hope" it focuses right when I get it back.

LENS #2 (Continued)
Well, the Sigma Tech Support person I spoke with on the phone was so helpful, I started thinking about sending the lens to Sigma for calibration while still on the phone with Support. I was about to buckle and do just that when the person apologized and said "...but you can't send it in now, because the servers that handle the return processing are down." So I held off returning the lens to Amazon and attempted to access Sigma's return web site multiple times over the next few days. But the servers never did become available for processing returns, so today the lens went back to Amazon. :-(
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adds Great Depth to Photographs, January 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
First off, I will say I am an armature photograph and see photography as a hobby rather than a career. For my purposes, this lens is fantastic.

To start, the build quality of this lens is amazing. I upgrade to this lens from a 40mm Canon pancake lens with a max aperture of 2.8. Compared to that lens, it's weightier and larger, however I love that about this 30mm. The 40mm felt toyish to me and was constructed of plastic; this Sigma is made mainly from metal. To me, that's not a huge deal because like many of you reading this review, we take good care of our equipment, however the Art lens feels more professional and if you were to take it out on the trail, it could withstand a bump or two. Compared to other Sigma lenses I own, this is by far the best constructed; I also own the 10-20mm and the 18-250mm. The 10-20 feels well built and hefty, but 18-250 is frankly cheap feeling, however you should have no concerns about this 30mm.

What I love the most about this lens is the fantastic depth of field it provides. The bokeh of the lens is smooth as silk and allows the subject of the image to be captured brilliantly. It isolates the subject and forces the viewer to examine it, rather than what might be behind it. Also, if there is light behind the subject, the bokeh of it is spherical and not at all angular. The 1.4 max aperture is a great feature and the low light performance is incredible. It makes taking photos with friends and family at gatherings much more enjoyable and less frustrating. Since the lens lets in more light, you can capture your photos with a shorter shutter speed making your images less shaky and crisper when their on screen. However, there are other lenses out there that are cheaper and also shoot at f/1.4, (even the Canon f/1.4 50mm is cheaper than this), so why look at this lens?

Compared to other f/1.4 lenses on the market, the 30mm obviously lets you capture more in the frame. On a crop sensor, this is huge. Almost every crop sensor Canon makes has a multiplier of 1.6, so really this 30mm lens is the equivalent of a 48mm on a full frame camera. I love this focal length. Even with aforementioned 40mm pancake lens I had, I found myself clearing a path as I constantly had to back further away from my subjects to capture the entirety of what I wanted. At times I was roughly 12 feet away from a group of four people if I wanted to fit them all in... and that was on a 40mm... I'd be even further away from subjects on a 50mm, which really led me to this lens.

What if I wanted to shoot a small subject and wanted to fill the frame? The 30mm would be disadvantageous in this scenario right? Well... not really. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of only roughly a foot. If I did want to get an isolated image of a still, I could shoot it closer with this lens, filling the frame to a distance which is close to that of what a 50mm lens would achieve with a minimum focusing distance of 1.5 feet.

There have been complaints about front focusing / back focusing with this lens... I have had no problems with this. Even so, Sigma does make a USB mount for Art lenses where you can adjust them on your computer. I do understand though that when you spend close to 500 dollars on a lens, you should not have to buy another accessory to perfect it; luckily I don't have this issue, but it's nice to know that 5 years from now if I am noticing discrepancies, I could correct for it.

The video quality seems fine - I rarely shoot video - however the main issue that I have is that its noisy when auto focusing. The mic does pick it up and it is off putting when viewing videos. For me, not a big issue as I mainly shoot stills.

As an armature photographer, I am very happy with this purchase and upgrade from my 40mm pancake. At the end of the day, this lens takes super sharp images, is extremely versatile (more so than a 50mm), adds great DOF to images, performs fantastically in low light, and is built strongly enough to serve you well into the future. There is really not much more a hobbyist could ask for.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Majorly Sharp lens. Hoping my autofocus issues are solved., July 2, 2013
By 
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
This lens is amazingly sharp. And I mean amazingly sharp. Especially for the price. It blows my Canon 50mm 1.8 out of the water with its sharpness.

I too have had the dreaded front-focus issue. I sent mine back to the seller for a new version which seemed to front-focus not quite as bad as my first copy. Regardless, I went ahead and ordered the Sigma Dock. I haven't done a ton of test shots, but my calibration appears to have fixed the autofocus issues.

I can't stress enough how sharp this lens is. With all the "focus" issues of this lens I decided to go back and look at some photos I took with my Canon 50mm. To my surprise, my Canon lens seems to have autofocus issues as well! I never noticed how bad it was, though, because the photos just weren't sharp enough to realize.

I've gotten to the point with this lens that I feel like most, if not all, of any focus issues are user-error. If I'm nice and still (or using a tripod) all of my photos are in great focus and look beautiful.

For the price, it's really really hard to beat this lens. But if you want it to work as good as it could, just tack $60 to your purchase price for the Sigma Dock (which is why the lens gets 4 stars from me instead of 5). It's worth the purchase and I plan on buying Sigma again in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for crop sensor cameras!, October 30, 2013
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This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
I had used both the Canon 50mm 1.8f as well as the 1.4f in the past and while both were great lenses, the shots I was getting on my crop sensor DSLR was just too much. This 30mm solves that problem and even gives a better overall picture in my opinion. Haven't noticed any of the focusing issues others have mentioned.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's On My Camera Every Day, May 29, 2013
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This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
I'm not a pro, just an enthusiast. And professional photographer standards are much higher than mine, but I am pretty sensitive to image quality, clarity, and color rendition. This lens rarely leaves my camera. When I get my photos into Lightroom, those taken with this lens rarely need processing, and are usually my favorite shots. Those areas I want to be tack sharp are, and those areas I want to be out of focus have incredible creamy smooth bokeh. It has the perfect focal length, speed, and depth of field for people shots. I'm rarely disappointed by what I get from this lens.

It's built like a tank, a very beautiful stealth black tank - solid, slightly front heavy, but well balanced. As an object alone, it's worthy of design appreciation. The finishes are a mixture of smooth, slick, matte, and ribbed - unlike any other lens I've seen. All details have a clean modern pure aesthetic. The included caps and hood have all been designed to work together. It's a gorgeous overall package, even when it's not on the camera.

The AF seems reasonably fast, but I don't take a lot of action shots, so AF speed is not high on my priority list. Therefore, I can't speak to whether it's fast enough. It's fine for me. I've only recently started testing manual focus. The focus ring is pretty large, feels nice, has decent resistance, and is one quarter rotation for the entire range. Recently I've been using live view for manual focus and that's been a little difficult hand held due to the lens weight. But I'm just now getting used to it.

I was nervous about a third party product, but I like it better than any of my Canon lenses. It has totally won me over. I would recommend it to anyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must have for close-quarter shooting, April 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
This lens is incredibly sharp... IF you don't use the single center point on the Canon 70D. I contacted Canon support about this and they told me they can't give me much information on a non-Canon lens. At first I had a lot of problems with AF with this lens as I almost always use single point center focus. After hours of trying the micro adjustments and other solutions I decided to try a different single point in the focus area... like the one just above center. All of a sudden all my shots are crystal clear. There's some odd configuration between the 70D and this lens where the center point focus does not quite jive, but now that I know I can use another point I am completely fine with the lens. I compared this lens to my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 by putting this lens in f/2.8, and this lens kicks butt. Auto ISO on the Sigma lens is more often allowing a lower value which results in a better looking image. I'm about to put the Tamron on ebay. Between this lens and the new Sigma 18-200mm contemporary I'm all set for my average needs. I also have the Sigma 150-500mm to round out my collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful images, be prepared for it not to be perfect immediately, June 8, 2013
By 
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This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
I had a Canon 28mm f/1.8 lens, which worked beautifully for me, but I couldn't resist the temptation to upgrade to the Sigma when the new version came out. Unfortunately my first copy of the lens was front-focusing pretty severely on my camera (a T2i), so I had to return it and buy another copy. The new copy focuses much better. It's sharper at 1.8 than the Canon, and does a great job with bokeh. Recommend, but only if you're either able to try out your copy on your camera first, or not in a rush.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Autofocus not usable, sending it back., November 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
Continued autofocus issues. The optics on this lens are superb. It's a very good lens when it can focus. It however suffers from front/rear focusing to differing degrees at different ranges. I tried to calibrate it with the USB Dock, which works to a degree, but micro adjusting in millimeters, the distance of focal points at 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2 feet, 3 feet, 6 feet and infinity and not being able to get it to be perfect, and it's completely manual to do this, there's zero automation involved, is beyond frustrating for a $500+ lens. The Sigma gamble strikes again. I should have trusted a few reviews that claimed the autofocus issues and just looked away. Don't be tempted by the sharpness and f1.4. It's not usable if you can't focus. Do not buy.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In love, July 16, 2013
By 
Maria Fernanda (Austin, TX / Venezuela) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Black) (Camera)
I've had the lens for about a month now. Before this one I already had the Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras (Model A16E) and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens. The Tamron is great, but I wanted brighter lens, and the Canon 50mm was an awesome first bright lens, but it was too narrow on my cropped sensor camera and not sharp enough. I'm so happy I got the Sigma, 30mm (or about 48mm in my Canon) is just right for me, and it's pretty sharp in my humble opinion, much better than my Canon 50mm f/1.8, which is still a great lens for the price. I haven't had any focusing issues, there was one day in which I took some portraits from far away in a cloudy day and some came out soft or out of focus, but I'm pretty sure it was my fault, conditions were not great. All in all, I love this lens, it's become my favorite already.
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