Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Micro Four Thirds Lens Review

Written by Gina Stephens

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DN DC Coetaneous was announced February 2016, and sits atop Sigma’s line of DN mirrorless lenses, with a two-stop advantage over their previous 30mm F2.8 sacrifice.

As a Micro Four Thirds lens, it is one of only several current autofocus F1.4 prime lenses available, with its closest competitor being the Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4. While the Panasonic furnishes a field-of-view equivalent to a ‘classic’ 50mm lens, the Sigma ends up around 60mm. While that makes its focal length possibly a bit long for thoroughfare shooting, it helps a little when it comes to portraiture and close-up work.

Let’s see how the basic specifications between the Panasonic Leica 25 and Sigma 30 be a match for:

 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN | C
Image StabilizationNoNo
Max ApertureF1.4F1.4
Minimum ApertureF16F16
Aperture RingNoNo
Diaphragm Fronds79
Minimum Focus0.30 m (11.81″)0.30 m (11.81″)
Maximum Magnification0.11x0.14x
Motor TypeMicromotorStepper motor
Full Time ManualYesNo
Weight200 g (0.34 lb)265 g (0.58 lb)
Dimensions (DxL)63 mm (2.48″)  X 55 mm (2.15″)65 mm (2.56″) X 73 mm (2.87″)
Filter Thread46mm52mm

Regardless of where it sits in terms of focal length and usability, the Sigma enters the opposite of a crowded marketplace as an autofocus F1.4 Micro Four Thirds prime. It also pursues the advantage of being the cheapest autofocus F1.4 Micro Four Thirds prime available, even undercutting the price of some F1.8 options as accurately. 

Thankfully, the Sigma doesn’t feel entirely cheap. The barrel is well made with a satin black finish and ridges for handle when mounting or removing the lens. Sadly, the plastic hood feels a little inexpensive, and doesn’t feel like it clicks in to position with much courage. Build quality of the lens itself is on par with the Pana-Leica, with both having smooth, sturdy focus rings with rubberized stripped grips.

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The extra bit of diameter and length on the Sigma is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet make it a bit bulky and unbalanced when mounted to some of slimmer Micro Four Thirds cameras, want the Olympus PEN series, or the E-M5 II. When mounted to a larger SLR shaped body, like the GH4, the Sigma fits nicely.

We’re assuming the supernumerary size, relative to the Panasonic stems from it needing to be large enough to cover an APS-C sized sensor, in its E-mount incarnation.

Does the passed price mean the Sigma comes with discount performance? Can it shake off past stigmas about third party lenses and go toe-to-toe with a lens tipster one of the most revered names in the business? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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