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John Mitchell

Sigma 30mm Vs. Sony 35mm for NEX

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I'm looking for a good "standard lens" for my NEX cameras and am considering both the Sony 35mm f/1.8 and Sigma 30mm f/2.8. The Sony is faster and has OSS plus better build quality, but it costs more than twice as much as the Sigma. I would prefer to get the Sony; but being on a limited budget, I'm leaning towards the Sigma. Any thoughts on this? Is the Sigma a viable alternative? Both lenses get very good reviews, and DXOMark gives them even scores.

Edited by John Mitchell

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I would say the 30mm Sigma is definitely a viable alternative.

 

When I had my Nex, I had the 19mm and 30mm from Sigma, they were selling the first versions off at a discount. I also had the 30mm from Sony, I sold that one as I didn't need the extra speed/IS.

 

The sigma's are simple but very good optically and while simple design (1st version), they had a nice solid feel to them. To be honest, I would like to see Sigma start to produce lenses for Fuji X as I've always found them to be good. the 150mm Macro I had for the canon was stellar!!

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I would say the 30mm Sigma is definitely a viable alternative.

 

When I had my Nex, I had the 19mm and 30mm from Sigma, they were selling the first versions off at a discount. I also had the 30mm from Sony, I sold that one as I didn't need the extra speed/IS.

 

The sigma's are simple but very good optically and while simple design (1st version), they had a nice solid feel to them. To be honest, I would like to see Sigma start to produce lenses for Fuji X as I've always found them to be good. the 150mm Macro I had for the canon was stellar!!

Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately I missed the two Sigmas sweet deal. I too wish that Sigma would come out with more lenses for mirrorless. The Zeiss e-mount offerings, while excellent lenses by the sounds of it, are overpriced IMO. 

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There are two thoughts as to what is a normal focal length in the 35mm format: 35 or 50. The Sony 35 gives us a view of 52.5. In Vietnam a lot of the togs used the early 50s and 52s because at the time they were the fastest lenses available, and since we couldn't use flash or a tripod a fast lens was needed. I (and others) used the Summacron 35 f/2 on a Leica M camera, wide normal. These days I just dial up to a higher ISO for more speed. I also developed my Tri-X in Acufine, which gave me a normal speed (not pushed) of 1,000.

 

You, John, as a frugal Vacouvernista (what do you call the natives out there?), are going to go for the Sigma, which is a true bargain and a good sharp lens. I still own the earlier Sony 30mm, a macro. I also own the earlier Sigma 30mm. I think I paid $100 for that lens. It's just as sharp as the Sony . . . just not a macro.

 

If you decided to splurge on the Sony 35, don't! Instead buy the equally costly Sony Zeiss 24mm f/1.8. It gives you a view of 36mm and focuses to 6.5" . . and is the sharpest prime I've ever own

 

Edo

Edited by Ed Rooney

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There are two thoughts as to what is a normal focal length in the 35mm format: 35 or 50. The Sony 35 gives us a view of 52.5. In Vietnam a lot of the togs used the early 50s and 52s because at the time they were the fastest lenses available, and since we couldn't use flash or a tripod a fast lens was needed. I (and others) used the Summacron 35 f/2 on a Leica M camera, wide normal. These days I just dial up to a higher ISO for more speed. I also developed my Tri-X in Acufine, which gave me a normal speed (not pushed) of 1,000.

 

You, John, as a frugal Vacouvernista (what do you call the natives out there?), are going to go for the Sigma, which is a true bargain and a good sharp lens. I still own the earlier Sony 30mm, a macro. I also own the earlier Sigma 30mm. I think I paid $100 for that lens. It's just as sharp as the Sony . . . just not a macro.

 

If you decided to splurge on the Sony 35, don't! Instead buy the equally costly Sony Zeiss 24mm f/1.8. It gives you a view of 36mm and focuses to 6.5" . . and is the sharpest prime I've ever own

 

Edo

 

Yup, Ed, I'm a frugal Vancouverite alright. With images now leasing (if you're lucky) for a song, I don't really see any choice in the matter -- i.e. current image prices don't warrant big equipment expenditures (and subsequently getting into more debt).

 

Unfortunately, there is a whopping price difference between the Sony 35mm and lovely Zeiss 24mm -- $450 Vs. $1150 in Canada.

 

In comparison, the latest version of the Sigma 30mm is $170 (about $200 US with shipping and customs). That seems to be the best deal around. I'm currently looking for a used one, and will probably go with B&H if I fail to find anything. 

 

The Sony 30mm macro might be an option as well. However, it doesn't test as well as the other two lenses on DXOmark (if that means anything).

Edited by John Mitchell

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I understand and identify with all your restrictions and reservations, John. I took some good, sharp snaps with my Sony 30mm macro, but I always had to be careful and baby it. See: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/blues-guitar-ed-rooney.html

 

A single prime view of 35mm is very versatile but the 52mm view is limited. Sigma really makes great lenses for attractive prices. I don't know anyone else that competes with them on this.  (Smuggling is a venial sin, isn't it? We are your neighbor down here, after all.)

Edited by Ed Rooney

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I understand and identify with all your restrictions and reservations, John. I took some good, sharp snaps with my Sony 30mm macro, but I always had to be careful and baby it. See: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/blues-guitar-ed-rooney.html

 

A single prime view of 35mm is very versatile but the 52mm view is limited. Sigma really makes great lenses for attractive prices. I don't know anyone else that competes with them on this.  (Smuggling is a venial sin, isn't it? We are your neighbor down here, after all.)

 

Inspiring -- and sharp-looking -- guitar shot, Ed. The Sony 30mm macro gets some very good "real world" reviews, which are what really count IMO.

 

Which begs the question -- Is Alamy the real world?

Edited by John Mitchell

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Yes, what's real?

 

I was doing some test searches this morning on All of Alamy, and I came across two guys who have rather large collections of NYC. They might both be agencies.  One surely is. The first dude hadn't a clue.  Everything was underexposed and seemingly untouched in Post.  Mud. Nothing popped and everything looked just terrible. The other guy had an good eye and was too "good" at Post; everything ended up looking like a cartoon, probably a lot of HD going on.  (HD?)  It caused me to wonder if these people had to go through QC like the rest of us.  Does an agency's stuff have to go through QC? I do not see how much of this stuff could have passed QC. 

 

And I speak to you from the sin bin, where I find myself staying for the second time. 

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Yes, what's real?

 

I was doing some test searches this morning on All of Alamy, and I came across two guys who have rather large collections of NYC. They might both be agencies.  One surely is. The first dude hadn't a clue.  Everything was underexposed and seemingly untouched in Post.  Mud. Nothing popped and everything looked just terrible. The other guy had an good eye and was too "good" at Post; everything ended up looking like a cartoon, probably a lot of HD going on.  (HD?)  It caused me to wonder if these people had to go through QC like the rest of us.  Does an agency's stuff have to go through QC? I do not see how much of this stuff could have passed QC. 

 

And I speak to you from the sin bin, where I find myself staying for the second time. 

 

Think it's HDR -- High Dynamic Range. Not a fan of the cartoon look either.

 

I doubt that agencies have to submit all their stuff to QC. It would be too time-consuming for the inspectors, especially when you consider the number of regular submissions that they already have to eyeball every day. But who knows?

 

Sorry to hear that you are still chillin' in the bin. It can actually be quite a relaxing place away from the cruel and hyperactive world. Gee, I'm almost sounding nostalgic. B)

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I rely on Klaus Schroiff's site, photozone.de for lens reviews.

 

He — or rather 'they', as there are others who contribute — compare the two lenses here:

 

http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/787-sigma30f28nex

 

http://www.photozone.de/sony_nex/849-sony35f18nex

 

Thanks for the links. I quite like the photozone reviews as well. Their test results are well presented and easy to understand, even for non-techies. 

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When I first started serious photography with a Nikon film N90 (s?) I bought a Sigma 105 macro. It had the extension that came out, and was rather slow to focus.  Great for flowers, and usually fine for butterflies, but hard with bees since they don't stay in one place more than a second or two.  Even so, I chased bees 'round and 'round the mulberry bush, oh, I guess it was the Crepe Myrtle.

 

I did get a few good shots, but many more once I went digital with the D70.  If I wanted to take 100 shots to actually get 10 in focus, it didn't cost me anything.  To this day, the best bee image I've ever taken was with the Sigma.  Sharp and beautiful. In flight heading straight for a lavender Crepe Myrtle blossom.

 

 I gave that lens to my grandson when I bought the Nikon 105 macro with the inner focus thing...what's it called?  LOL.  The Nikon does have beautiful color and is so much quicker to focus, but I can't say it is a bit sharper than the Sigma was.

 

Ed, come on over to the north end of the sin bin and have a piece of fresh apple pie.  I'll only be here another week or so, so you'd better hurry.

 

Betty

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Ed, come on over to the north end of the sin bin and have a piece of fresh apple pie.  I'll only be here another week or so, so you'd better hurry.

 

Betty

 

Now I'm really feeling left out.

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I try to stay away from any dish that includes white floor, but I would make an exception for a large slice of fresh apple pie, my favorite of the many great pies.   :P

 

I'll be in my cell well into July. I can still shoot and do Post, of course, and sales are slow anyway. I'm not going to fret much about being tuned out for a time. I'm just getting disappointed with myself at being no longer "perfect."  :mellow:

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I had been making a great effort to upload regularly, because I was told that moves one up in the searches.  So being in the sin bin hurts that endeavor.  I've got lots to upload, so no problem there.  I think it has helped, because my zooms have doubled after uploading something, even 5 images, every week.

 

John, hurry up. You can still get a piece of pie if you make a tiny error. :)

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I had been making a great effort to upload regularly, because I was told that moves one up in the searches.  So being in the sin bin hurts that endeavor.  I've got lots to upload, so no problem there.  I think it has helped, because my zooms have doubled after uploading something, even 5 images, every week.

 

John, hurry up. You can still get a piece of pie if you make a tiny error. :)

 

Thanks for the kind offer, but I've been trying to lose some weight.

 

Since my last release from the bin, I've been uploading small batches as often as possible in hopes of getting kicked out of the "up to 28 working days" club. I have a feeling, though, that the road to redemption is a long one.

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John, to come back to your original question. I have been using the Sigma 30 on a 5N with unequalled results and a CZ24 on a 6 for the last 18 months or so.

 

All 3 Sigma lenses highly recommended!!!!!!!!

 

For the the money, they can't be beat.

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I would say the 30mm Sigma is definitely a viable alternative.

 

When I had my Nex, I had the 19mm and 30mm from Sigma, they were selling the first versions off at a discount. I also had the 30mm from Sony, I sold that one as I didn't need the extra speed/IS.

 

The sigma's are simple but very good optically and while simple design (1st version), they had a nice solid feel to them. To be honest, I would like to see Sigma start to produce lenses for Fuji X as I've always found them to be good. the 150mm Macro I had for the canon was stellar!!

i had the same combo and completely agree. I have several images on Alamy with this combo but couldn't cope with the Nex7 interface so sold it. I still have those Sigmas tho, just in case. not only are they pretty good but cheap  [ ie inexpensive ] Inexpensive can be good too....

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The Sigma seems to give quality results at a bargain basement price, my only reservation is whether it has barrel markings to indicate depth of field.

I was about to go for the alpha 6000 with a Zeiss 16-70, as the two standard zooms from Sony get poor reviews, but the Zeiss seems to suffer from decentering. My alternative choice would be the three Sigma primes which all get good reviews and charts, and have the advantage of all having the same filter thread diameter.

 

As the Alpha would be used as a carry anywhere camera, not a replacement for my slr, a zoom would be a better choice but as nothing seems to exist which gives quality results in a reasonably sized package the purchase has been shelved. If the Alpha were to be my only camera I would go for the three Sigmas and add any primes that I felt were needed later.

 

Of the 2 lenses you are looking at, although it will always be a personal choice and what suits one does not suit all, I would go for the Sigma if speed and OS were not issues.

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I find that decentering problems with the Sony zooms that I'm using are inconsistent, so I'm wondering if this issue doesn't have something to do with lens-based stabilization systems in general. After all, the lens elements do move around, I believe. This could be the reason that Sigma has yet to come out with some e-mount zooms. There certainly seems to be a healthy market for them.

 

Anyway, thanks for all the useful feedback. I've pretty much decided to get the Sigma 30mm. It sounds like a real bargain. 

Edited by John Mitchell

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One review did link decentering with os in general. Not sure if that was only in zooms, hope so as am about to buy the Canon 100mm f2.8 os macro.

Edited by Joe Gaul

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One review did link decentering with os in general. Not sure if that was only in zooms, hope so as am about to buy the Canon 100mm f2.8 os macro.

 

Who knows? I believe that David Kilpatrick, who hasn't been heard from lately, has mentioned this possibility as well.

 

Before switching to the NEX system, I used Sony DSLRs, which have in-camera "sensor shift" stabilization. I found that it worked better, especially with long lenses, than the lens-based OS system. I also don't remember any noticeable problems with decentering, even with kit zooms.

Edited by John Mitchell

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It really is a factor that needs to be addressed by the manufacturers; I really don't understand why people like Zeiss would produce lenses with this problem. I have been looking at the Canon 70-200 zooms recently and the OS does not seem to produce the same problems.

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It really is a factor that needs to be addressed by the manufacturers; I really don't understand why people like Zeiss would produce lenses with this problem. I have been looking at the Canon 70-200 zooms recently and the OS does not seem to produce the same problems.

Yes, especially when you consider the price of the Zeiss lenses. I'm sure that Sigma could produce something equally as good as the Zeiss e-mount 16-70, and it would be half the price.

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Strange old world, just when I post that the canon premium zooms don't seem to suffer from the decentering problem a reviewer finds it in the new 24-70 f4 os.

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