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Summary

Highly Recommended awardThe Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN is a standard lens for mirrorless cameras with 'cropped' sensors, available in the Sony E and Canon EF-M mounts, as well as for the smaller Micro Four Thirds format. Whichever body you mount it on, the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN delivers crisp results across the frame, with smooth and quiet focusing, while the f1.4 focal ratio provides plenty of opportunities for shallow depth-of-field effects. Better still, it’s more affordable than most lenses with similar coverage and an f1.4 focal ratio, making it an ideal choice for anyone seeking a high quality standard lens that’ll out-perform kit zooms both in terms of subject sharpness and background blur. It’s also a great choice for anyone filming pieces to camera from a tripod. The only real downside is a lack of optical stabilisation. Micro Four Thirds owners also have an arguably more compelling alternative with the Lumix G 25mm f1.7, but the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN becomes seriously tempting for Sony e and especially Canon EOS M owners, for whom it comes Highly Recommended.

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Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN review

Intro

The Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN is a standard lens designed for mirrorless cameras with ‘cropped’ APSC sensors. Sigma offers it in Sony E and Canon EF-M mounts, as well as for the smaller Micro Four Thirds format and can convert the mount at a later date for a fee if desired. The 30mm is part of a triplet of f1.4 DC DN native mirrorless lenses: check out my Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN review and Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN review for more details. I have also filmed a video about the triplet in their most recent Canon EF-M versions below, but most of the results also apply to the other versions.

EOS M owners looking for standard coverage now have an alternative to Canon’s own 32mm f1.4 with the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN that at around $340 or 250 pounds is roughly two thirds of the price too. The Sigma 30mm is a compact lens: 65mm in diameter, 73mm long, weighs 270g, has a 52mm filter thread and a closest focusing distance of 30cm. Canon’s EF-M 32mm f1.4 is a little smaller still at 61mm in diameter, 57mm in length, weighs 235g, has a narrower 43mm filter thread and noticeably closer focusing of 23cm. But again it’s pricier than the Sigma.

The three new Sigma EF-M primes share several things in common: they all sport a bright f1.4 focal ratio that’s ideal in low light for for creating shallow depth-of-field effects. They claim to be sealed against dust and moisture, something that’s so far eluded all of Canon’s EF-M lenses, although I couldn’t see a rubber O-ring on the mounts. They all come supplied with lens hoods, an accessory that Canon charges for on non-L lenses. They all work with Canon’s Servo AF as well as face and eye detection, while additionally including built-in profiles to work with in-camera correction and provide full EXIF information. They’re all members of Sigma’s Contemporary series, and if you get bored of EF-M, you can have the mount converted – for a fee – to Sony E or Micro Four Thirds if you prefer.

Sadly none of them feature optical stabilisation which means – in the absence of sensor-stabilisation in Canon’s bodies so far – you’ll need to hold steady with a sufficiently fast shutter speed, or employ digital stabilisation for movies.

For a full analysis of my optical tests and results, see my video review above, but just briefly here: Zooming-into the corners of images taken with the 30mm at f1.4 reveals a respectable degree of sharpness with the aperture wide-open, although if you close the lens to between f2 and f4, you’ll enjoy a boost in crispness and contrast. Like the 16mm though, it’s a very usable lens wide-open. In comparison the Canon EF-M 32mm f1.4 shows a slightly tighter field of view. Zooming-into the corners of the Canon at f1.4 shows it to be a little crisper than the Sigma from the outset and while the contrast can be boosted by stopping down, this lens is delivering excellent sharpness even wide open; in terms of my test samples, the Canon also exhibited less field curvature than the Sigma.

Check prices on the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, or Wex. Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!


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