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Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E Review

Looking to find more information regarding the Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E? Read our latest review to learn more about the Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E, its specifications, and if it’s a good camera lens for you. 

Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E Overview

The Sony NEX system’s weakest point is the paucity of lenses available. The Sony E 30mm f/3.5 macro was the fourth lens (type) for the system, which was released in most recent 2011. At the time, many members of the community were shocked by the specifications – a slow speed and rather “wide” macro lens.

The Sony lens has an excellent build quality, with a metal body and focus ring. The physical length of the front element does not change regardless of the focus setting, and it does not rotate. A tiny yet efficient lens hood is included – in terms of size and design, it can be left attached to the lens in all situations, including storage.

The contrast detection technology is capable of delivering good results (albeit highly reliant on the camera’s base). AF operations are virtually silent. Manual focusing uses “by wire” technology, so the focus ring isn’t immediately connected to the focus gears. DMF (“Direct Manual Focusing”) is feasible in Single Shot AF mode.

Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E Specifications

The Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E was first announced on 02/23/2016 with a Sony E mount type. Below is a summary of this lens’s specifications: 

Indicative Price: $340

Focal Range: 30

Aperture: F/ 1.4

Filter Diameter (millimeters): 52

Maximum Diameter (millimeters): 64.8

Number Of Lenses: 9

Length (millimeters): 73.3

AF Motor: DC Motor

Stabilization: None

Zoom Type: N/A

Tripod Mount: None Available

Colors Available: Black Only

Manual Focus: None

Weight (grams): 265

How Does Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E Score? 

Below are the lens metric scores we’ve measured for this specific lens: 

Sharpness: 2.4/10

Macro lenses, on the other hand, tend to be exceptional right out of the box. The Sony lens, though, bucks this trend. The center quality is unquestionably excellent if not outstanding; however , the border and corner qualities fall apart severely at greater aperture settings. Stopping down improves the edges into acceptable territory while leaving the corners soft.

The finest quality is at f/8, with a still excellent center and acceptable borders and corners. Diffraction has a more significant (negative) impact at f/11 and beyond. f/16 and especially f/22 should be avoided since they have a negative impact on performance. Unfortunately, for a macro lens, the overall performance is poor.

Vignetting: 4.3/10

At f/3.5, there is a lot of light fall-off (about 1.6 stops), which will be apparent in most field photographs. Although stopping down to f/4.5 helps somewhat, it takes f/8 to completely eliminate the problem.

Chromatic Aberration: 6.5/10

The Sony lens has a high amount of lateral CAs (color shadows at harsh contrast changes), which is a disadvantage. The average width across the image borders, which measures 2.4 pixels on average, is very obvious, particularly for a prime lens.

Distortion: 0.5/10

The Sony lens has a minor barrel distortion of approximately 1% (which is usually not seen in field situations).

Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E Performance

The focus is  very fast on this lens, taking less than a second to go from infinity to the minimum focus distance. The AF remains accurate during video recording, which is not always the case for other lenses due to their back/front focusing nature. However , there is some hunting before locking onto the subject in low light conditions.

Something to keep in mind is the bokeh quality of this lens. 

Macro lenses are often used in shallow depth-of-field situations so the quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus rendering) is a priority. The Sony lens delivers acceptable results here.

Another area to note is the ergonomics of the lens. It’s  an average lens in this regard, but it’s not really bigger or smaller than other lenses in its class.

Noise levels are very appropriate for a lens of this type, being barely noticeable even during the most extreme circumstances.

Sony a5100 sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN C Sony E Pros and Cons

Below are some of the pros and cons regarding this lens. 

Pros: 

  • Excellent build quality – Metal body with good heft
  • “By wire” manual focusing – No need to move gears when turning focus ring
  • DMF possible in S mode

Cons: 

  • Unacceptable border and corner quality at wider aperture settings
  • Noticeable lateral CAs for a prime lens
  • Manual focusing is “by wire”

Our Verdict

The Sony E 30mm f/3.5 macro lens on the Sony NEX 7 didn’t perform up to expectations. The center image quality is fantastic, but the border and especially corner quality are poor. The high degree of lateral CA’s isn’t beneficial either.

Some people would like to use this as a general-purpose lens, and it has some significant drawbacks. Around f/8, the picture quality is usually good, but don’t use large aperture settings. This is generally a good idea to avoid the rather heavy amount of vignetting at f/3.5 anyhow. Image distortions shouldn’t be an issue, but we’ve seen better macro lenses in the past.

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