Sunday, October 26, 2008

A tonion of onions (Sigma 30/1.4)

(ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/60th)

The Sigma 30/1.4 finally arrived, after making its trek from Canada over the span of a few weeks...
(Honestly, what is the DEAL with buying from Canada? One package took over TWO MONTHS to arrive. You can get something from Japan in three days, but heaven forbid anything has to make it across the northern border...)

This is a pretty interesting piece of glass. While lenses like the Pentax DA 40mm Limited attempt to provide uniform sharpness across the board, the Sigma approach was more or less "to hell with the edges and corners, it's all about the center". Consequently, the center resolution even at f/1.4 is stunning. The edges, well, eventually they start catching up but one would be hard pressed to praise them at any aperture. Bad? Not at all; all lenses are compromises and you just have to pick the ones with the right strengths for your shooting. Take a look at the PhotoZone reviews for the DA 40/2.8 and the Sigma 30/1.4 to see just how radically they differ.

For a good walk-around normal-ish prime lens with excellent low light capabilities, this is a hard one to beat. Sure, there's the Pentax 31/1.8 which is an excellent excellent lens, but vastly more expensive. There's the DA 35mm Limited macro, which is also a very good lens but a full two stops slower than the Sigma. None of these are the "right" or "wrong" lens; as always you have to pick the one that best fits your needs. For me, it's the Sigma.

(ISO 400, f/1.4, 1/125th)

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