Sigma 30mm review and 19mm test (cute pic on the E-M5)


Looking at the picture on top made by DSLRmagazine the new Sigma 30mm f/2.8 lens doesn’t look bad at all. But the naked truth is that the lens specifications aren’t appealing at the first look. But we are ready to get over this if the lens performance is top notch. So let’s read the latest review from Valentin at DSLRmagazine (Click here to read the translation). In short, the lens has no flaws. It performs well in every aspect with just a slightly Chromatic Aberration you can easily correct in post production. Overall this is not a bad lens you get for $200 at Hphoto.

Laoburi (Click here) posted a set of image samples taken with the other new Sigma 19mm f/2.8 lens. I haven’t yet found any preorder option of that lens.

Rankings: Silver E-M5 kits are still selling more than the black ones and than more than the Fuji X PRO 1 according to Amazon US rankings (Click here).

E-M5 preorders (Click on the names of the stores to see the product page):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Warehouse UK, and Amazon Japan.
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto , Digitalrev and J&R.
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland , Digitalrev and Amazon Japan.
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, J&R, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Deutschland and Amazon Japan.


  • GH1 Owner

    The lens looks cheap…oh forgot, it is cheap!

    • JimD

      Do you take pix? Or just walk around with a trophy round your neck? Read the report, you need some information in case you actualy get to use your trophy.

  • A

    Sigma- 12 or 14mm 2.8, please!!

    • Really? Panasonic already makes a pretty cheap (REALLY cheap if you get it on Ebay) 14mm 2.5. Why would you want a slower lens from Sigma for probably nearly the same price?
      I could see the 12mm, but only if it was a lot cheaper than the Oly version.

      • JimD

        If such a Sigma 14mm 2.8 (comment A) was as sharp across the range as the 30mm then it would be superior to the pany 14mm due to the 2.8 being fully usable and having maximum sharpness.

        • Lily

          The Panny 14 also has RIDICULOUS ghosting problems.

          • Brod1er

            Totally disagree. It’s pretty reasonable. Either:
            -Get a lens hood
            -take off your UV filter
            – stop going on seances!

  • tmrgrs

    This a PDAF lens adapted to m4/3 and will AF verrry slowwwly.

    • Does this lens have AF?! I thought it was a manual one…

    • bilgy_no1

      Not a PDAF lens at all. It’s specifically made for the new mirrorless mounts. Sigma also does large sensor CDAF in the DP-models.

      • Agent00soul

        The lenses are actually made for the DP models.

      • tmrgrs

        My bad. I have a friend who uses the Sigma 30/1.4 on his Canon 7D and I got confused about which Sigma 30mm was which. Sorry.

    • Napilopez

      According to the DLRMagazine review, it focuses extremely fast, so it would seem that is not the case.

    • Fan

      They have EXTREMELY FAST AF!!!

      Much faster than Pana 20mm 1.7, and quiet!

      • Vivek

        +1 on the AF speed. It is an IF design unlike the noisy 20/1.7.

        I am not buying any (for the m4/3rds) though the build quality and the optical performance are simply top notch! The focal lengths offered are already covered by other, faster lenses. Sigma’s claim about the telecentricity design is true.

        I have the 30/2.8 for my NEX-7 (“normal” focal length on the APS-C) and it is not coming off of the camera. :)

        Sigma and not Zeiss should be making more lenses for the NEX.

    • JimD

      Read the report.
      CDAF with linear motor, no mechanics involved. I bit ahead of most. Also very fast, also very silent.

    • samshootsall

      You should check out this video then! >

      Seems to be REALLY FAST TO ME :) when using with the new OLY PENS.

  • Olympast

    I’d rather get a cheap MF 28 2.8 and adapt it.

    • Fan

      But that will be much worse optically.

      • Balthier Bunansa

        not at all, there are many MF lenses that are really good optically , starting with zuikos in om mount

        • I have a tokina 28mm f/2.8….its not the greatest lens, in fact, I hardly use it due to the fact I have to stop it down to f/4 for the pictures to be usable

    • JRK

      Most 28 2.8 lenses I find on EBay are about 100-150 so this lens is barely more expensive and definitely smaller.

  • bonzoo

    My guess is that his lens was developed for the NEX System and thus should have AF.

    • JimD

      The designation of the lens is ‘EX DN’ for theM43 version the designation for the NEX is ‘EX DN E’ The lens is specifically made to cover both formats. As the m43 is slightly smaller than theNEX it should be in the sweet spot all the time. Looking at the chart from DSLRMagazine it would seem to have a very good cover of ‘sweet zone’

  • Meinhard Ragner

    Those lenses rock for nex, i m buying both,
    The small ft sensor kills them with the 2x crop,

    • Andrew

      Eh, I think people are overstating the awkward focal lengths. Despite being sort of non standard, they’re perfectly functional. I like my Helios 58mm perfectly well on full-frame, and I like the 20mm pancake, too.

      • JimD

        Yes Andrew. Some of the worlds best lenses have been odd focal lengths. It would seem that if 25, 50, 90, 135 (and so on) are not in the specification many users here would not know what to use them for, let alone understand them.
        What is a standard lens focal length? Some say 50mm on FF is about right but what are acceptable figures for wider and longer? I don’t think it matters as long as it does what one wants.

    • JimD

      M43 does not have a 2x crop factor when compared to NEX. You need to ‘get edified’. This Sigma lens is made to cover both sensors and systems with different mounts. The M43 gets the sweet spot what does NEX get?

      • Compared to NEX , yes , the m4/3 sensor is not 2 x from NEX. But i believe we are all talking about 35mm equivalent as the benchmark. NEX is 1.5, and m4/3 is 2x in 35mm regards. Isnt that so ?

        And why doesnt the NEX gets the sweet spot ? Technically, you can argue that m4/3 gets the better of the sweet spot, that is precisely why you get more DOF as a result of the smaller sensor.

        But in any case, a pointless comparison. If its a good lens on each system, theres nothing to rant about.

        • Anentropic

          They mean that any problems at the edges of the frame will be cropped off on m43, so you literally only get the ‘sweet spot’ of the lens performance

          if you don’t mind unusual focal lengths of 38mm and 60mm (and hey, why not…) then it’s all win

          shame they’re not a bit faster aperture though

          • JimD

            As many lenses need to be stopped down more than 2.8 to offer maximum sharpness, these Sigma lenses (assuming 19mm is, as the 30mm shows) stack up well, they work from 2.8 straight off so they seem to be very cost effective.
            I am not sure I follow the ‘unusual focal length’ bit as lenses have been all over the place since they were first made, the advent of the 135 film did nothing to change that other than establish 50mm as a good general purpose focal length.
            If you search on ebay you can find lenses of all sorts of focal ranges. Don’t forget that 38mm was a standard size for half frame, and that is fundamentally what m43 is.

  • Geoff

    Reports on the new range of Sigma lense was that they are designed for Sony E and u4/3rd so they are going to be optimised for the Sony system. Looking at the photograph it looks a very big lens for what it is, for it’s given speed, with a diameter that body has it should at least be a 1.8. Won’t be looking at it myself.

  • Fan

    I’ve got both 19mm and 30mm already from fotomundus in Germany. I like them.

  • andy

    Theyre both available at digitalrev both in emount and m43 ;-)

  • 43shot

    This lens has no appeal to me at all. Longer than standard, not small, not fast. Why? I would rather have a 20MM 1.7 or Something wider or longer.

    • Henrik


    • Chad

      or the panasonic 25mm f1.4

    • JRK

      If I had a NEX though, I would be all over it.

  • DeZ

    Shitty lenses, slow aperture, uglyest design and useless focal lengths.
    How dare you to say cute to them?
    They are a ripoff.

    • I have to agree, sadly. What a waste. But hey, they’re cheap!

    • KK

      Given the price point, I think “ripoff” is a bit much.

    • Fan

      a) they are fantastic,
      b) 2.8 is not slow
      c) the focal lengths are useful

      With the 30mm, F2.8 is fast enough for shallow depth of field shooting. You can shoot portraits with only one eye sharp quite easily.

    • Napilopez

      A bit harsh I think. They’re 200 dollars only, are quiet, autofocus super fast, and are apparently very good optically. Theyre slow, but if you shoot mostly daytime and aren’t looking for big DOF, who cares? Lenses all have their purposes. And yea, they’re only 200 dollars. It’s not like you havveee to buy them. Would I love to see sigma come out with something faster though? Certainly.

      No such thing as a useless focal length.

    • JimD

      Opinion on the looks, looks functional, no dust collecting ridges and rings, easy to handle.
      Rip off where? the lens seems to be a very good quality for the price with excellent sharpness from f2.8 to 8. Why spend more on a faster lens that in all probability will need to be at f4 before it is reasonably sharp. That makes the Sigma a good choice for many. A linear drive motor makes AF fast and silent, no mechanical parts. Very advanced.

    • Kyle

      People have different taste. I had a chance to play shortly with 30mm (sample one at the photo show). Its AF is incredibly fast and noiseless. I also like its color rendering too. The ability to collect details in the dark and bright tone is very pleasing . This is a steal at its price.

  • Corey

    “Food has become a bayonet mount only 19mm, 30mm without the bayonet is impossible to install the way.”

    -Google Translate

  • aik

    chromatics are no prob since lightroom4.

  • MA

    omg.. It looks ugly. Not good combination with OM-D.

  • Chad

    It may be a good lens that does the job for the price. But it’s just not appealing giving all the other better faster lens with similar focal ranges that has come out before that.

    If this lens had been released early in the m/43’s introduction, it may be popular, but as this point in time, I don’t see it being a bit sale regardless of the price.

  • Meinhard Ragner

    Can be had new for 110 eur each, whats not to like?

  • physica

    The lens made the e-m5 look like a holga!

  • The Master

    Lets talk about the strap lugs on the EM5. I’ve seen people mention it on other forums and I kind of think it may not be getting enough attention. First of all I’ve used Olympus cameras, off and on, for the past twenty years. The film bodies were fine, for the most part. When the E420 came along I got one and found the strap lugs pretty much made the camera useless, for anything but pulling it in and out of a camera bag and only holding it for a few seconds. Yes it sucked that bad and I finally got rid of it. Now here we are four years later and and Olympus did the exact same thing with the OMD. How F-ing stupid is that. I’m really starting to realize that Olympus just slops cameras together and adds some cool sounding features, for the wow factor, so idiots like us will buy them, but, they are really just going for form over function and that is unforgivable, for a camera. If the camera is uncomfortable to hold, then why would you want to hold it? If you don’t want to hold it, then what good is it, since you pretty much have to hold it to take pictures- unless you want to use a tripod all the time? Olympus has the best image stablization, the fastest AF, the best viewfinder, blah blah blah and they stick it in a camera that you don’t even want to hold.

    I tell you, I lost face with Olympus when they came out with EP1 and the focus wasn’t any faster than the E420 in live view, yet they lied and said it was oh so fast. What a joke. This is not the same innovative, quality based corporation, from the 1970’s. I wish they would just go under, because I’m sick of listening to the BS from people that wouldn’t know a well designed camera, if it bit them on the ass. Ok, rant over. ;)

    • Rachel_A

      Hey, ‘The Master’, my god what a total twit you are. Have you ever heard of the expression; ‘it is better to be thought a fool then to speak and prove that you are’ ? Well you sure proved it with your post. You truly know nothing about cameras. You are a complete moron!

      • The Master

        Rachel_A wrote
        Hey, ‘The Master’, my god what a total twit you are. Have you ever heard of the expression; ‘it is better to be thought a fool then to speak and prove that you are’ ? Well you sure proved it with your post. You truly know nothing about cameras. You are a complete moron!

        By the tone of your writing, I’d say I was making a living with camereas, before you were in diapers, so I know a thing or two about such things.

        As far as the rest of your dribble goes, It’s the fool that eats a shit sandwich and says it’s good, just because everyone else does.

        • JimD

          Master, I believe you keep proving Rachel_A correct. Also you can’t lose face with Olympus they don’t know you from a bar of soap. You have the whole loss of face expression arse about face, as are most other parts of your unedifying speel.

          • The Master

            Yeah, it was supposed to be lost faith in Olympus, not face. I guess we will see how many people don’t like the strap lug in time and maybe this won’t end up sounding so foolish after all. ;)

    • NOone

      Wow. If you don’t like it, there are many other cameras around. I have to disagree with you that the EM-5 and the E-420 handle quite well.

    • agent00soul

      The pen have the strap lugs in the same place. I have never in three years been bothered by the strap on my E-P1. If you have an issue with the strap, you will have it on basically any camera, since they all have the strap lugs in the same place.

    • Robbie

      Have no idea what you were saying actually, which strap lugs? The E-M5 has it by the side like EPen series. The E-400 series arguably is the worst but maybe they designed it for using pancake lenses.

      • Geoff

        Ironicaly the 4xx series probably has the lugs closer to the placement as on the original OM’s, 5xx & 6xx series use a slot arrangement for webbed straps to feed through, good as the strap then lies down the side of the body when shooting, though I do that anyway, with whatever body I use; E-1, E-620, E-P2 even my old C-5060WZ, so the strap never seems to cause a problem.

    • Lily

      I have actually held an EM5 and I found it extremely comfortable to handle. Admittedly, my hands are on the small side, but they’re by no means tiny…for those strap lugs to be that much of a problem, then your hands must be unusually large…in which case, why would you want a camera this small anyway?

    • JimD

      So! You are the only one in the world who can design cameras? Wow!
      Where do you suggest camera straps go? Go on, let us all get the benefit of your wondrous expertise, design knowledge and deep understanding of all.

  • bli

    One reviewer complained about the location of the strap lugs; I guess that is what The Master is referring to.

    As others have said: the location is more or less given by the balancing of the body, and is probably exactly where any other manufacturer would have put them. I have zero problems with the straps on the E-P3. The main difference with those on the E-P3 could be the new wheels for adjusting exposure, etc. But I don’t really see the priblem.

    • Robbie

      I don’t see any problem with the strap lugs. The only bad design IMO is the E-400 series. When you mount a bigger lens, the camera will just point downwards because of weight.

  • Meinhard Ragner

    The quantity of brand blind oly fanboys is staggering (the funniest thing of all is the pana vs oly guys) go get a life. fortunately there are some wise posts here too, keeps me coming back. Those lenses are great value primes for nex. For the fourthirds sensor look elsewhere

    • Geoff

      Agree entirely Meinhard, they are not 4/3rd lens at all.

    • JimD

      I disagree. They are ideal for 43 and m43 they cover the sensor using the sweet part of the lens. It looks as if the fall off when stopped down is fine as well.
      Also the sharpness from 2.8 is better than some other primes where this sharpness will not be seen wide open and not be available until about f4.
      AF is cdaf and fast. Colour seems ok on samples, though I would like to see more before making a definitive statement. The price is right.
      What else does one want?

  • Rock Hudsen

    To equal those lenses for m43 to their fov on nex,

    Sigma 19 2.8 on nex you would need a 14 1.8
    Sigma 30 2.8 on nex you would need a 22.5 1.8

    So the sigma 30 is more or less what the 20 is for m43 system

    Not bad at all

  • safaridon

    While I hoped that Oly and Pany would produce a camera much like the small metal SLR OMs or FMs and Oly has now delivered with the E-M5. These preliminary sales rankings are lower than I expected with Nex7 Nex5 and IJ1 with more compact formats well ahead inspite of the E-M5 excellent specs. Both Oly and Pany have done better with their smaller rangefinder style models in recent years compared to DSLR style designs such as 4/3 Oly products and Panys G/GH series so I am surprised they have not produced EVF models more like a smaller L1 ie something more different in shape than what Canon and Nikon are producing?

  • Neither of these Sigma lenses strikes a chord with me. I already have the awesome Lumix 20mm f/1.7, so the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 would just be redundant, at best. It’s also a surprisingly huge lens given it’s focal length and slow aperture: 45mm in length, over twice as long as either the Lumix 20mm or the Olympus 17mm.

    The Sigma 30mm f/2.8 is just plain useless for my needs. It’s a shame they didn’t make a mini 30mm f/1.4 instead, a lens many of us would consider buying in an instant.

    Of the two lenses, the 19mm f/2.8 could be useful as a very low-cost “kit” lens, for someone who’d prefer a prime over the zooms normally bundled with micro 4/3 cameras. As long as the IQ is there, anyway.

    Let’s hope that Sigma realizes that they need to come out with an entirely separate line of lenses for micro 4/3, rather than giving us NEX re-treads. Otherwise they might as well not even bother.

    • Digifan

      Well the 30mm F2.8 is the only lens that makes some sense.
      It’s budget and is a little longer than normal, one could even argue, maybe, about being more or less “normal”, the dof isn’t too wide and it’s faster AF in lower light than any comparable “cheap” solution. For me the 25mm F1.4 is more usefull, so that’s what I have, but it IS expensive and the FOV not too different. The 19mm is the odd one out like the 20mm F1.7, strange FOV. The 20mm onluy has it’s existance due to the F1.7 aperture value, else very few people would have bought it. The 14mm and 17mm lenses are more “sensible” than the 19mm!

  • Rock Hudsen

    Seems like sigma are contax/zeiss fans those lenses are 38 2.8 (contax t2) and 45 2.8 (zeiss pancake) on nex or the new sigma merrils

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The 43rumors website,, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps:
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: Addthis cookies:
Disqus cookies:
Vimeo cookies:
Youtube cookies:

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.