While Olympus and Panasonic are the big players in the Micro Four-Thirds space, Sigma has recently released a few lenses that are on par with their full-frame counterparts. I had the chance to try out the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, and there’s nothing “third party” about this lens — it stands its own in the increasingly competitive Micro Four-Thirds world.
With a quick look at the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, you’ll see a very familiar style to Sigma’s DSLR art lenses. Providing a 60mm frame of view, the image quality is superb, providing a creative and artistic view of the world surrounding.
Performance and Specs
I used the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 on a few different assignments, and it is definitely a great portrait lens. The autofocus was fast and near-silent in my testing, and at $339, you can’t go wrong. While not as sharp as the costlier Olympus 45mm f/1.2 Pro or Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2, the Sigma provided more than satisfactory in terms of sharpness, perfect for everyday shooting.
The depth of field was superb, providing a very blurred background wide open with a f/1.4 aperture. I did see a little distortion of the corners, but nothing that couldn’t be easily adjusted during post-processing. With vignetting and chromatic aberration, there was absolutely no issue that I could see.
In terms of specs, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 does not provide image stabilization (standard for these types of lenses). It features a high number of diaphragm blades (9), which lead to some pretty impressive bokeh results. It features a minimum aperture of f/16 and has no weather sealing.
As I mentioned above, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 feels very much like the “Art” lenses that Sigma has quickly become known for on DSLR bodies. The styling is very similar — a black lens casing with small, white text elements. I appreciated the white dot for mounting the lens — perfect for low-light situations where it’s tougher to see the standard red color (camera companies take note!).
The lens was pretty light (0.58 pounds); certainly much lighter than the Olympus 45mm and Panasonic 42.5mm I mentioned above. The size is towards the larger size in terms of micro four-thirds primes, but not uncomfortably so.
Overall I was very satisfied with the results. I took the lens out for a photowalk with fellow Photofocus author Cathy Seaver, and I snapped a few portraits and everyday objects in both the high sun and shade. In these photos, with no editing, you’ll see a very deep depth of field and great results overall. The sharpness of Cathy’s eyes was a tad soft, but again, those could be sharpened very easily through post-processing. I’d feel very comfortable using this lens for my portraiture or everyday field work.
If you’re looking for a great portrait lens for micro four-thirds on a tight budget, you can’t get much better than this Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN, which retails for $339.
Learn more about Bryan at bryanesler.com.