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  1. #1
    Dragon206's Avatar
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    Default Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM



    I'm thinking about buying this lens, which I would also use for wide field AP.
    I have two DSLR bodies, both with APS-C size sensor.

    The Sigma 30mm would be a great lens, because it's the closest to 50mm equivalent focal length and it's pretty fast being a f/1.4 lens.

    Reading reviews on the web I found many different opinions, but almost all referred to normal use (not AP).
    The main points, from what I read, are:
    - It's Sigma, not Canon. This means that all algorithms have been reverse-engineered, and this can lead to problems sometimes. With my Sigma 18-125 sometimes I got the Err 99.
    - Lens is sharp in the center, but sharpness degrades a lot in the corners.
    - A couple of people, who tried the lens to photograph the sky, had coma problems in the corners.
    - Autofocus is not very reliable in low light conditions and sometimes there is a front focusing problem as well. This is a minor problem in AP, as focusing is done manually, but for daytime use this may be annoying.

    Has anyone had any experience with this lens?

    I was also considering these two lens:
    - Canon EF 35mm F/2.0;
    - Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM.
    Reviews about the first one are generally positive, the lack of USM and the age of the lens being the only major complaints.
    For the second one many people said that the sharpness is not great in the corners, but some tests showed that it is better than the Sigma.
    Dragon206 - Stefano
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  2. #2
    Canon Pete's Avatar
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    Default

    Sorry can't help with your Q regarding those glass but wanted to point out that the stock 18-55 mm IS lens is also one that you maybe want to consider. Does what it says on the tin and gets a wider FOV with the APS-C sensor. I use one and have been impressed with its overall ability so far. Granted its not f1.4 but tbh you wanna open the lens up a bit anyway in AP, you can alter the ISO to reuce shutter time if needed.

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    Dragon206 (04-11-2011)

  4. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for your reply.
    I don't have the kit lens as I bought only the body for both cameras. I use the Sigma 18-125 for general use, but the sharpness of that lens is not great.
    As I'd like to get a prime I was considering the standard 50mm - or better an equivalent for APS-C. That's why I came up with those 3 lenses.

    I actually tried boosting the ISO of the 60D and I was impressed by the amount of stars I could see, but the noise of the picture is pretty high, even if I subtracted the dark frame.
    I attach the picture to this post: I went out to try to capture the aurora borealis, but it was already disappearing and there was a cloud layer. I like the picture because Cassiopeia and Cepheus are easy to see. I think that the only way to get nice pictures of the aurora is to use a fast lens, as it I don't think it is possible to stack pictures to improve the brightness of the northern lights.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  5. #4
    120ST's Avatar
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    Default

    I heard the Canon 28 f/1.4 is good for AP work. I have the 50 1.4 and have a few great shots from it of wide field of the milky way.
    the Sigma should do well also, while the sigma may have slightly lower image quality Vs. the canon, Sigma's are still nice lenses...

    one thing you should try on images like the one you have, is take about a 30 second exposure just like the final product you want. then tell the camera to use MANUAL white balance and select that photo as the sample image. your darks will come out much nicer

    James

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  7. #5
    Lanithion's Avatar
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    Default

    I would highly advise picking up the 30mm 1.4. Quality on it is very good, and the focusing system (while problematic sometimes) is actually pretty solid in my opinion. It tends to get overhyped online because people who have a working copy tend not to say anything. In the past three years though I've sold approximately three to four dozen of this lens (Canon mounts mostly as Nikon has a cheaper equivalent), and have only had one come back with focusing issues.

    Compared to the Canon 35mm 2.0, which is a decent lens, I would still go with the Sigma. First off, if I'm reading your profile correctly, you're located in Canada, which means if you buy the lens here in Canada, you're going to get a ten year warranty with a 48 hour turnaround time on repairs (the Canadian distributor for Sigma, Gentec, offers this. You can't get it if you buy the lens from the States). Secondly, the Sigma will focus faster (as it actually has a sonic motor). Thirdly, if you compare them both at f/2.0, the Sigma is way sharper throughout its range and has substantially better contrast and CA. If you open the 30mm up to 1.4, its very similar to the 35mm at 2.0, but its a full stop faster, so take from that what you will.

    Anyways, I would caution against buying a Canon 18-55, as that is literally the worst lens in their lineup. When you buy it in a kit for effectively 50$ its an okay value, but please consider that the MSRP on it is 250$ and that would be an unholy ripoff for that lens.

    Anysohow, as I said, the Sigma is a good deal, not just because it has solid optics, but the Canadian warranty on it is amazing. If you decide to pull the trigger on one you'll be very happy with it. Cheers!

    Edit: pm me if you want my sources on where I'm getting the optical quality tests.

  8. #6
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    Default

    Hey mate, got your pm, but unfortunately since I'm 8 posts shy of being able to reply... Well, anyways...

    The 28mm is decent, however I think the 30mm is a better deal. The two are practically identical throughout their range, except for the fact that the 28 has better CA control wide open. Stop them both down to f/2.0 though and they're identical. The 28mm does have the advantage of being full frame though, so if you upgrade down the road to a 5D, then it will won't have to be upgraded.

    That said, the Sigma is better built (as its an EX lens) and has a wicked warranty. And out of the two (that I can remember) of the 28s that I've sold, both of those customers gave me a pretty solid "Meh" in terms of the quality. On the other hand, I've only had the one 30 with an issue. So hey, you could go either way and still get a good lens, but I think the Sigma is better bang for your buck.

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  10. #7
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    Default

    Thank you for your help.
    I wasn't considering the 18-55 because I have a 18-125 from Sigma and I want to get a fast lens.

    I'm not going to upgrade to full frame (maybe in the future, but not soon), so I ordered the Sigma this morning ad it should be here by the end of the week. Yesterday I found a couple more reviews and comparisons about the 30mm f/1.4 and the 28mm f/1.8 and the advantage was for the Sigma, even if the Canon is still a good lens. I also found out that the Sigma has FTM, which may be useful to help the focusing in low light (of course for AP the focus is fully manual).

    The next step will be a cheap UV filter to protect the front element. I think I'll buy it from Amazon (cost is between 10 and 20$).
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  11. #8
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    Don't cheap out on a UV. Trust me on that one. Unless you intend to take the filter off on every use (in which case, it provides as much protection as a lens cap and hood), its a serious waste of money, even if you're only spending 10$ to 20$. If you're looking at using a filter for protection, get either a B+W UV filter or a Nikon NC filter. Either one is going to protect it without degrading the image quality, which believe me, a cheap UV filter will do badly.

  12. #9
    Dragon206's Avatar
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    Default

    On Amazon there is also a Hoya Multicoated UV filter for around 45$. I think Hoya is a pretty good brand. The local shop has the same filter for 60$.

    There is also a package on Amazon including a Cokin UV + CPL (total price is about 50$), but I don't trust packages too much... and I'm not interested in a polarizer for that lens right now (maybe in the future - right now I use a polarizer on the 18-125 and I love it).
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  13. #10
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    Hoya is generally an okay brand. They're not junk, but they're not the best either. Though bang for buck they're pretty good. Cokin can be okay, but they're really really hit or miss. They also try to decided if they're going bankrupt every three years or so, and we're currently in one of those cycles.

 

 
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