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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

This is the original lens I wanted for the camera, and had kind of forgotten about it for various reasons.

Phillip Bloom, for those that know him, likes the lens, but I'm interested in anyone using it for live event work.

Anyone share their thoughts? I already am aware of the front and back-focus issues with the lens, which are well known, but that aside, anyone using it?
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 04:19 PM   #2
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

I purchased the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Olympus mount today, and I am extremely pleased with it. Quality is superior to the Panasonic 20mm, for my money. Auto focus, etc work flawlessly and is very accurate.

At first blush this is by far my favorite lens. It is an odd focal length at 60mm equivalent, but images look so good I don't care.

I will be posting something at some point.

At $350 used (like new) it is a great value, especially being significantly faster then the 20mm. This is the first lens I had wanted to buy for the camera and got sidetracked for some reason.

The lens is considered a best value lens by many photographers, and is comparable in image quality to much more expensive lenses. I used a Canon mount version of this lens and it shot absolutely amazing photos for the money.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jeff, Is it this lens?
Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Autofocus Lens for Olympus 300107 B&H

What do you need to attach it to the camera? Is it 'plug and play'?
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Yes, that is the one Jim. There was one on Ebay yesterday for $389 buy it now, but the auction ended, no one bought it.

These Sigmas get complaints for front and rear focus issues. Some suggest many of the complaints are because it has a learning curve and people have trouble learning to focus it. My other Sigma absolutely does have front focusing issues, but this one doesn't, and my last one did not either.

I plan on sending my 18-50 to Sigma to have it calibrated.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jim, the lens needs the Panasonic adapter, but with it, it works much the same as the 20mm.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jeff, How is the auto focus in low light. I have found that just about any lens or camera is undependable in low light.
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 11:22 PM   #7
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Very good. I've only played with it in the house, but it autofocused perfectly even in low light. It really shows up the 20mm, which I didn't expect or even think about. But the difference was very noticeable as soon as I put it on the camera and looked at the LCD.

It's making me excited about shooting again. The focus ring is really nice, and it focuses easier and has more latitude than the 20mm, which it shouldn't have. Part of the reason is because it is narrower, I know, so I can see things as if I'm closer than with the 20mm. I just finished playing around with it some more and I just can't wait to shoot with it tomorrow.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #8
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jim, I taped a bit if church today, and got some interesting results regarding the lenses.

Wide shot from back of the church, only significant difference between 20mm and 30mm was the width of the lenses, no significant difference, in image quality.

The Sigma 18-50mm was extremely good also.

The 30mm is best under the right circumstances, not all. I have a lot more testing to do, but I think the 30mm would be good for low light situations like bridal prep, cake cutting, first dance, etc.

If you are using the 20mm and the EX1 or EX3, I would think the 30mm might not be as beneficial as one would hope.

On the other hand if you have $500 to spare, it is a great lens, but not a must have if you have the 20mm.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #9
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
If you are using the 20mm and the EX1 or EX3, I would think the 30mm might not be as beneficial as one would hope.
Are you saying that because the EX1/EX3 is so versatile? I.e., if you're just shooting with DLSRs, then the 30mm becomes another useful focal length option, right?
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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Jim, the lens needs the Panasonic adapter, but with it, it works much the same as the 20mm.
Jeff,

I've been looking at the Sigma -- and a couple of other 4/3 lenses, but these 4/3 to micro 4/3 adapters have been going up in price recently, and are harder and harder to find.

Best price I can find for the Panasonic DMW-MA1 today is $110 at Adorama, but it's on backorder.

Or they're available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001ISKNKK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=din0a-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=B001ISKNKK.

The Olympus adapter is just as good, and somewhat less expensive for http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003BWHGI8/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=din0a-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=B003BWHGI8, but as of today, only 4 of them are available.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Bill
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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:56 AM   #11
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jonathan, everyone has their own shooting style and equipment preferences. I personally find the GH2 and EX1 to be a very complementary pair of cameras.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jonathan, my comment was meant specifically for Jim, as I knew he uses an EX1 but was not sure if he had a 20mm and if he did I don't know how he uses it.

The 30mm does become another useful focal length, but where does it fit in for me as a wedding shooter? Not sure yet, but I'm thinking that due to it's great look when used at close range, it will be very desireable to shoot with. I just have to see where it fits in.

I have a hodgepodge of lenses and I'm seeing that my owning 5 primes is stupid for what I do. Setting 4 cameras with three primes at various lengths trying to cover a ceremony is insane and confusing.

I'm going to investigate this afternoon a longer fast zoom than what I have, and if that doesn't look good, I'm selling off two cameras, three lenses and getting a videocamera!

Jim using an EX1 and GH2 is somewhat ideal, IMO.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 02:01 PM   #13
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Bill, if you need an adapter, the Panasonic is great. I think the Olympus is silver, and it won't look as nice, but if you need it, what else can you do but buy it or spend more on the Panasonic.

I am personally sick of people hoarding this stuff and reselling it at exhorbitant prices. 20mm lenses are now going for $500, and I paid $329 for mine, and I find that disgusting. It is price gouging, pure and simple.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #14
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jim, did you buy the Sigma on Ebay today? I just saw it was relisted and sold pretty quickly.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #15
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Re: Who is using the Sigma 30mm f/1.4?

Jeff, It wasn't me. I have the 20mm pancake. I'm surveying the whole lens scene trying to get smarter. ;-)
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