Sigma 30mm f1.4 or Sigma 28mm f1.8 macro - thoughts and experiences please

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judderman62

Link Posted 19/04/2012 - 22:58
Hi Guys

So have decided I'd like something fast and wider than 50 mm and wider than 35mm to pair with my K5.

My desire is for something that will let me take handheld shots (I dont have the steadiest of hands) in low light.

Image quality is everything for me so looking for the best optical performer.

I do a variety of photography , though saying that approx 90-95% is of and in derelict/abandoned.disused buildings - hence low light capability being useful.

Having done some reading up already both appeal and seem to have some nice benefits but also some very mixed reviews.

I'd really appreciate thoughts and opinions from you guys , especially from anyone owning either of the lenses as to which would be the better one to go for.

So some thoughts of my own and influence from what I've read.

Both seem to suffer from quality control issues.

The 30mm is smaller and lighter which would be good and the extra stop would be handy (and I believe centre performance is already good at f1.4) though is 1 stop going to make that much of a difference.

The 30mm seems to not be the sharpest at the edges at any setting but especially so wide open and other end of the spectrum.

The 28mm has the handy added benefit of macro but I already have the sigma 50mm macro so that's not that important, but still handy to have.

I suspect being a macro it will probably be more evenly sharp right across the frame - is it reasonable to tink this ?

Will I miss that extra stop compared to the 30mm ?

Is one likely to suffer anymore from distortions - thinking if I'm shooting inside a building/down a corridor - will a door frame or similar be any more distorted with one than the other ? I suspect 2mm difference probably not.

The extra 2mm on the 28 will be useful with squeezing more in on interior shots.


price difference seems to be fairly negligible.

I'll do more reading up myself too but would appreciate thoughts n comments please guys

many thanks in advance

Oh yes is there any others I should also consider ? the pentax 31 f1.8 limited is out of the question ...at half the price It would still be more than I'd want to pay.

Mike
- -
Mike

Pentax K5 / Pentax K5 11/ Pentax K200D / Canon Rebel T1 i / Canon 650D / Pentax MX-1 / Fuji XF1 /Fuji X 10 / Canon EOS-M / Canon G10/ Pentax Mz-7 x 2

sterretje

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 06:30
The 28mm is not a macro; its maximum magnification is 1:3 and not 1:1!

I think that the difference in focal length is not really remarkable when it comes to field of view; yes, you will squeeze a little more in, but just a little (at 10 meters distance, horizontal FOV is 8 meters versus 8.6 meters).

The half / one stop can make a difference; it depends on how far you currently have to push your K5, but I would not make it the deciding factor. And for some shots you probably still want deeper DOF and in that case it does not matter at all. I would seriously consider a monopod / tripod.

I find the choice of the given focal length a bit surprising for the given purpose. I would think that a wider lens would better suite your needs; but you know your needs better than I do. For the given purpose, I would / I am considering an UWA zoom (Pentax DA12-24, Sigma 10-20); but they are indeed not fast.

Lastly about the IQ; I don't have experience with the given lenses so I can't say which one to get.

Good luck in the decision.
Pentax K10D + Vivitar 55/2.8 macro + Super Takumar 55/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 85/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 135/3.5 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 200/4 + Super Takumar 300/4
Pentax K100D + DA18-55ALII + DA55-300
Pentax K5 + FA31Ltd + M50/1.7 + DFA100WR + M120/2.8 (+ DA18-55WR at occasion)

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johnriley

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 08:53
You won't squeeze in much more using a 28mm - effectively it's similar to using the 43mm f1.9 on film, a wide standard lens.

To be really wide angle the 21mm or less is the way to go on APS-C format.
Best regards, John

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DrOrloff

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 09:11
I think not using a tripod (or at least a beanbag) introduces a lot of issues to overcome in those situations. If you want to shoot wide open then I would go for the 1.4, I think the extra light gives you more adcvantage than an extra 2mm. You can always stitch photos for wider. I would use the 12-24 in those situations (on a tripod) with a fast prime in the pocket for limited dof shots.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined

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fritzthedog

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 09:31
I can not comment on the 30 as I have never used one however I bought the 28 for exactly the same sort of situation you describe - the only difference being my intention was to use it in poorly lit buildings - churches - NT properties etc.

After using it for 6 months I had to conclude that although the IQ was very good, it was not wide enough and was ridiculously large and heavy for a 28 prime.

I found that I was much happier sticking to using my 10-20 even though it is a much slower lens. I find that I can very often manage hand held low light shots with the 10-20 on the K5 and when I can't - I just stick it on the gorillapod or a beanbag or any suitable support I can find on site

From my personal experience - I think you will find that the 28 or 30 will be a disappointment to you for the specific use you intend

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

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sterretje

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 09:59
fritzthedog wrote:

After using it for 6 months I had to conclude that although the IQ was very good, it was not wide enough and was ridiculously large and heavy for a 28 prime.


I've often found that 28mm on film was already at the limit for the given indoor purpose; so on APSc it can only be worse.

Outdoor, it was always fine for me.
Pentax K10D + Vivitar 55/2.8 macro + Super Takumar 55/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 85/1.8 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 135/3.5 + SuperMultiCoated Takumar 200/4 + Super Takumar 300/4
Pentax K100D + DA18-55ALII + DA55-300
Pentax K5 + FA31Ltd + M50/1.7 + DFA100WR + M120/2.8 (+ DA18-55WR at occasion)

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Pentaxophile

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 10:25
The 30mm is a nice fast lens, but it might be a bit long on APSC for use inside buildings. Buy it for its narrow dof by all means. For building interiors, try something like the 12-24 which is OK at f4 and remember the wider the lens, the less problems from camera shake you'll run into. With care and a bit of bracing, my Sigma 10-20 was usable down to 1/8s.

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LennyBloke

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 13:05
The 28mm f1.8 is one of the few non-pentax lenses that I have kept hold of due to its excellent image quality. The Macro feature is probably better described as close-focus, it can be slightly soft at maximum aperture (but only slightly, and how many lenses aren't?) - so if IQ is prime importance then it is excellent and I would recommend it. But (there's always a but) it is big and the front section does have a little "play" in it (I have seen this on 3 copies, so suspect it is a "feature" ) - this doesn't inspire confidence but I never noticed a problem due to it. I'll keep hold of mine until I'm ready to get a 31mm Ltd !
LennyBloke

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Offertonhatter

Link Posted 20/04/2012 - 18:40
Hi mate,
Although I don't have one, the 30mm seems a good lens. A mate of mine has one and loves it. Great shots from it too. Plus compared to the 28mm it is a lot smaller and has nice bokeh as well.
Some Cameras

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Frogfish

Link Posted 21/04/2012 - 08:55
Pentaxophile wrote:
The 30mm is a nice fast lens, but it might be a bit long on APSC for use inside buildings. Buy it for its narrow dof by all means. For building interiors, try something like the 12-24 which is OK at f4 and remember the wider the lens, the less problems from camera shake you'll run into. With care and a bit of bracing, my Sigma 10-20 was usable down to 1/8s.

+1 to the above. With a little bracing you can use UWA such as a 10-20 or the 15 Ltd down to stupidly slow shutter speeds.

I have the 30/1.4 and think it's a wonderful lens ... but not for your intended purposes, imagine what your interiors will look like at f1.4 !

Best solution is of course a tripod or other form of mechanical stabilisation.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

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judderman62

Link Posted 21/04/2012 - 11:12
Hi all

thanks for the replies, and so many of them.

OK few replies, thoughts n change of direction.

First off I should have mentioned I already have two tripods, and a sigma 10-20, the idea for this lens was for days where I really am feeling lazy/want to travel extra light - body, attached lens and maybe one more.

Monopod ...hmm now then I have never understood the concept of monopods (motor racing aside) - you pop your camera on the end of a stick which can then move in every single direction and every plane bar the vertical one. What am I missing in my belief that this makes them less than useless ? Clearly they're not else they would not sell but my pea sized intellect doesn't understand why.

The more I have thought about it after some of the replies I do agree that going 30 or even 28mm isn't that big a move from 35mm, so maybe I need to consider wider. However if I go too wide will I get distortion/softness at edges bearing in mind I'm shooting buildings, inside buildings that will include door frames , corridors etc. How wide can I go before this becomes too big an issue - I'm also too lazy to change any such distortion in lightroom (no idea what/how much work is involved to be honest).

so bottom line not sure where to go or even if to just stick with what I have and crank the iso up real high.

I also have a fully manual sigma 24mm f2.8 that has not seen action that I may play with a little to see how that goes for me.

thanks again to all.

Frogfish

Link Posted 21/04/2012 - 12:51
Monopods - think of them as a mid-way point between tripods and hand-held. Of some assistance but not perfect. They are especially useful with long lenses because they support the weight - something most people can not do for any length of time.

28mm is considered the cut-off point for distortion. I use a Zeiss 28/2.8 for landscapes and stitch where necessary. Pentax's 21 Ltd has even more distortion than the 15 Ltd so is not the best lens for situations where distortion is critical.

Do note however that there are some software programs that can correct the distortion - though you will need to shoot extra wide because the correction reduces the FoV - so you could be better off with a 28mm, that does not need correcting, in the first place !

IMHO you have little choice as there is no perfect or cheap solution for what you want. A tripod and stitching where/if required solves most of your problems (except the hand-held one). The expensive solution is a FF DSLR and a 24/28mm lens (but for those $$$ you might as well use a K5 with the 15 Ltd and correct in software) !
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

johnriley

Link Posted 21/04/2012 - 14:22
Quote:
Monopod ...hmm now then I have never understood the concept of monopods (motor racing aside) - you pop your camera on the end of a stick which can then move in every single direction and every plane bar the vertical one. What am I missing in my belief that this makes them less than useless ?

Personally I find them less than zero efficiency (worse than useless) for this very reason.
Best regards, John

JohnX

Link Posted 21/04/2012 - 14:53
Monopod use; look here for best practice suggestions> http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo5.php3

Frogfish

Link Posted 21/04/2012 - 17:17
johnriley wrote:
Quote:
Monopod ...hmm now then I have never understood the concept of monopods (motor racing aside) - you pop your camera on the end of a stick which can then move in every single direction and every plane bar the vertical one. What am I missing in my belief that this makes them less than useless ?

Personally I find them less than zero efficiency (worse than useless) for this very reason.

Like to see you hand hold a DA*300 or longer / heavier lens for a long period of time then ! You'd soon see the value.

BTW I have also tested on a monopod with SR on and SR off. Very little difference (again proving the effectiveness of a monopod) but the SR shades it.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0
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