Customer Reviews: Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN Art (Silver) for Sony SE
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*: Silver|Style: Sony NEX E-Mount|Change
Price:$169.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on October 5, 2015
It has a relatively fast aperture to take pictures at lower ISO at night. The 30mm is a ~50mm FF equivalent, so the focal distance is pretty similar to the human eye, which means it feels pretty natural to use it. The blades are shaped outward instead of inward, but this is an irrelevant aesthetic choice: bokeh is smooth; not class-leading but you won't find much better out-of-focus performance at this price - or even higher, judging from reviews I saw online before purchasing this Sigma.

Doesn't weight much and is compact. The lens is very sharp starting from f/2.8. By F/4 it is super sharp, so much so that I've set mine to f/4 and never change it when using it during the day. If you want greater subject/background separation, then use f/2.8, while not as sharp you will be happy about the results, it's already much sharper than any kit-lens. Going to f/5.6 yields no benefit in sharpness and by f/8 it starts getting softer.

If you want to use f/2.8, f/4 or f/5.6, this Sigma will make you happy. I'm adding a couple pictures: my dog at f/2.8 and a wine glass at the same aperture at night with heavy bokeh (muddiness of the picture is due to post-process noise reduction, as my 5N is old and created lots of noise in this hand-held picture. A newer mirrorless would yield much better results on this Sigma.
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0Comment| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 7, 2014
This lens is an excellent value. Compact and light, it makes an ideal "walkabout" lens. I really appreciate the "normal" focal length, and find it more usable than say a 50mm. It's arguably better than the 20mm for this purpose. 30mm just seems right for many situations - useful for landscapes and street, and yet it can capture photos of people without too much distortion.


*Sharpness - this is why you buy a prime, right? The lens is quite sharp.

*Size & weight - it's just small & light enough to maintain easy portability on an NEX. It's bigger than the Sony 20mm, but about the same size as the 16-50 kit zoom.

*Cost - I bought it for less than $200. It's easily the best deal on a sharp primes in this focal length range. In fact, the cost make it a no brainer purchase.

*Aperture - Sure I wish it was f1.8, but f2.8 gets the job done.

*Build quality - it's made in Japan with a metal mount.

*Extras included - nice case, lens caps, and even a hood.

*Bonus - it's said to work well on the full frame A7 series (with the rear baffle removed).


*No image stabilization - this is really a factor for video. If you plan to shoot handheld video in this focal length, you'll probably want a different lens. Personally I find the kit lenses adequate for most handheld video. I use something like this lens for stills.

*Startup lag - it extends the startup time of my NEX-6 by a couple of seconds. This is annoying (and it's probably the result of Sony programming, so I don't really blame Sigma).

*Focus lag - it's a little slow to focus, but nothing worth worrying about.

*Shiny lens barrel - the smooth lens barrel surface works fine, but is not really my cup of tea.


At the going price, this one's a no brainer. Kudos to Sigma for delivering high quality at a bargain price. They deserve to sell a lot of these.
33 comments| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 9, 2013
I haven't had much time with this lens, came just last week and I've used it twice. For all NEX users familiar with the older, plastic model of this lens the clunking noise is still present...mine even makes a little noise while attached to the camera. The lens appears well built and I have no complaints with it's quality. I had the older plastic lens and returned it because I wanted the metal. I see no difference in performance, same excellent photos I had with the original. The metal color is somewhat peculiar though. The metal lens housing is a flat black but the focus ring is almost a polished black...definitely noticeable. I'd give the lens 5 stars if it fixed the clunking noise. Overall if you can deal with the plastic lens, it's a fantastic deal but for $200 and the metal construction both are exceptional lens values for the NEX.
66 comments| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 29, 2015
A far superior lens compared to the stock Sony 16-50mm. One should note that this lens is capable for auto focusing on the A6000. However it is marginally slower than the stock lens at auto-focusing. You will have to manually adjust the focus, shutter speed, and ISO to get the best results for Macro photography. The aperture is caps out at f2.8. The colors and sharpness is phenomenal for a $200 prime lens. I would recommend this lens over the stock Sony lens if you're starting out because the images come out much better IMHO. Here's a sample photo that was shot in RAW, and adjusted to my liking in CS6. I'm pretty new to photography so one can get accustomed to this type of lens quite quickly.
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33 comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 26, 2014
I am really impressed with this inexpensive lens. For only $200, this lens is tough to beat. Sharp pictures, fantastic Bokeh. This lens mounted on my Nex 6 makes a wonderful family outing lens. Most of my family pictures are environmental portraits. This lens, wide open at F2.8 produces sharp photos of the the subject with just right amount of blurred background to let you know where you took the photo but makes the viewer focus on the subject. Other normal lenses I've used, mostly on DSLR's, produce similar results, but this lens produces a certain depth to my photos very similar to my SIgma 35mm F1.4 ART lens (my favorite lens!).

BTW - I agree with others that this lens is a little slow to focus. But focus has been very accurate.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 16, 2015
I wanted a sharp prime lens for my Sony A6000 and this one fits the bill. I just returned from a trip to a farmer's market today in sunny August and the color rendition was the best I've ever seen my A6000 do, beautiful flowers, nice rich vegetables, etc. I do think the kit lens focuses a bit faster, though not much, but if you want a prime lens then at this price, it's a no-brainer. This lens has replaced the kit lens for my A6000 which was a hard thing to do since the kit zoom is actually pretty good. See my farmer's market photos of flowers, vegetables and paintings for sale.
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0Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 5, 2013
Great prime lens for the price. Purchased for a Sony NEX-7. Solid construction, good fit. I have used it on a few occasions and I am surprised at the clarity and detail fora sub-$200 lens. Great for street photography. Highly recommended.
0Comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 14, 2015
Let me start by saying I own all three of Sigma's f/2.8 Art lenses for my Sony e-mount camera (19mm, 30mm, and 60mm), and this is the only one that regularly disappoints.

I don't know what it is about this lens. Manual focus (with focus peaking ON) always yields a softer-than desired image. At first, I blamed shutter speed, so I raised the ISO and let her rip. Then I blamed diffraction, so I stayed away from anything above f/8.

But now I realize, it's the lens.

The 19mm and the 60mm are always spot-on; manual mode, aperture priority, mode manual focus- it's all good. The 30mm, however, is good with auto mode- and that's about it. I bought it because the reviews were all so positive, and I wanted a 50mm or so equivalent (my camera has a crop factor of 1.5) for walking around Chicago or whatever. I have found this lens to be finicky to the point of madness, and so have essentially stopped using it. At this point, I would rather use the 19mm (28mm equivalent) and crop the image, but at some point I'm just going to break down and get the Sony lens.

Is it worth it for the price? Sure. The closest comparable lens is $200+ more than this (Sony 35mm). It's a decent "auto" lens. Let the camera choose with this one, or it will probably fail to perform to expectations. But if I could go back, I would skip this lens altogether in favor of Sony's offering.

Update 6/21/2015

I decided to give this lens one more shot, and took a somewhat more methodical approach to it's use. What i've found is that the lens is indeed sharp- up to about f/5 or so. Perhaps it's a combination of factors, including the size of the a6000's sensor, but diffraction sets in at fairly wide apertures, so "f/8 and be there" does not apply to this lens, at least on a crop-sensor. Perhaps results would be better on a full-frame camera, but let's be honest- anyone who buys a Sony a7r ii or something is probably going to spring for a Zeiss or a Sony lens.

After revisiting this lens, I have opted to keep it rather than spring for the Sony or Zeiss equivalents, mostly because both of those are backordered for up to 6 weeks at this time, and both cost almost as much (or more) than the camera body I would be attaching them to. I just have to remind myself, "f/4 and be there."
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22 comments| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 20, 2014
The first one I ordered did not work out of the box. My Sony a6000 (with updated firmware) could not recognize the lens, thus could not autofocus or handle the manual focus (by wire). Upon turning the camera on, it would clunk the lens' AF function about every two seconds, over and over, in vain. I assumed I bought a lemon, didn't write a review, and set up the replacement order with Amazon.

I received the second unit today and immediately tried it on my a6000. For the first 2-3 minutes, the camera recognized the lens and successfully autofocused. Then it stopped working and exhibited the same behavior I noted above on the first unit. I also have a Sony a7 with the Sony/Zeiss 35/2.8 prime. So I swapped the Sigma and the Sony/Zeiss lenses back and forth between bodies. Whichever camera had the Sony/Zeiss lens worked fine. Whichever camera had the Sigma lens didn't work at all, per the description above.

I'm pretty sure there's no special menu setting for mounting a third party Sony E-mount compatible lens. After all, that's why Sigma builds the lens with all the standard Sony electrodes to signal between lens and camera. At least, I assumed no special programming would be required. I'm going to sit on this lens for a week or so in case I hear from anybody who tells me I'm making a mistake. And I'm all ears if this lens actually would work, if only I knew how to make it work. But I assume I'll be returning it for a full refund in about a week's time. Wish it wasn't so because most folks clearly enjoy this lens and I assumed my experience would be similar...
55 comments| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 16, 2015
Excellent lens for my a6000. I have both this one and the Sony 35, I prefer 30mm for most stuff, 2.8 combined with the a6000 is a great combo. It's sharp, looks good and produces great color. Can't got wrong. It's a great 1st prime when upgrading with the 16-50pz kit lens. You won't want to use the kit lens at all anymore
11 comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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