2013 Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART Review

Picture: Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART – A Closer Look.

The new Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART was announced as the 2nd Sigma DC Lens to be re-branded under the Sigma Global Vision under the ART Line of optics. Designed exclusively for APS-C camera bodies, this is also the 2nd lens to be announced under the Art series. First, the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM ART took the world by surprising professional photographers with its excellent optical quality & tank-like solidness, then came the Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC CONTEMPORARY the best all-in-one lens that we had reviewed. Although the new Sigma 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM SPORTS had been announced, we will not get it here until May 2013 – then Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART came.

Picture: 2013 Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM with the Canon APS-C Camera.

Sigma’s DC lenses had always been a favorite choice with photographers, re-branded under the Art category, this large-aperture standard lens is created for APS-C users for creative & artistic photography. the 30mm focal range when converted to 35mm format, the 30mm is equivalent to about 45mm (Nikon, Sony, Pentax) or 48mm (Canon) which is a very useable standard range for a wide variety of uses.

The bright aperture of F1.4 simply open doors to unimaginable photography possibilities. From the 2 earlier relaunch lenses and expected from Sigma, the 30mm F1.4 gets the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) that gives quiet and blazing fast & accurate focusing. Lens is coated with the company’s proven Super Multi-Layer Coating for excellent image quality and as seen as the earlier releases, the lens is built with TSC (Thermally Stable Composite) that completes the “ART package”. The overall handling feels very solid and feels very much like the Carl Zeiss 50mm F1.4. If you had blindfolded me, I’d probably not able to tell them apart.

Picture: The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART is a compact lens but still consider a large lens by APS-C Standards.

According to Sigma, since the incorporation of the “Sigma Global Vision” standard, every Sigma lens will be tested before using the Sigma A1 MTF system before the lens is packed for shipping.

Sigma Singapore passed me the lens last week for review and I happened to be at S.E.A Aquarium at RWS so I had a little fun with the new Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM. Let’s take a look at what this 9-bladder is capable of.

IMG_8426 IMG_8399 IMG_8402
IMG_8499 IMG_8609 IMG_8463 IMG_8579

The Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART performed beyond my expectations in low lights from the photos above.
the aquarium is quite dimly lit and that did not stop the lens, in fact, it shoot as if it is daylight in there and
plus the sharpness is notably sharp. I must add at this point that I almost forgotten I was using the 30mm as
it feels like the bigger brother (35mm F1.4) while in the dark. The same focusing at break neck speed and the
accuracy of the focus really makes this 30mm F1.4 a joy to use.

So how does it perform in normal outdoor condition?

IMG_8375 IMG_8369

The above photos were shot under “normal” conditions and the lens produced excellent
results. I took a step further to test the new 30mm F1.4 for infrared photography to check
if the lens produces “hotspots” which is the biggest enemy of infrared photographers. This
is a phenomenon where a “huge ball of red cloud” appears in the center of the photo which
cannot be removed by digital processing.

IMG_8134 IMG_8145

From the above photos, you can see the new 30mm F1.4 actually produces NO Hotspot! Which means
this lens is suitable for infrared photography too!

Many will ask, so the new Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART performed as well as the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM ART
then why this lens? Let me explain, on the product line, Sigma had always been committed to APS-C users with their
“DC” line of lenses, since the 35mm F1.4 is targeted at full frame users & professionals, the 30mm is really made for
serious enthusiasts and semi-pros. In terms of costs, the 30mm F1.4 is cheaper since the targeted market differs
greatly from the 35mm F1.4’s market. If you have a APS-C body and do not really intend to move up the scale to
a full frame camera body anytime soon, the 30mm F1.4 will save you lots of money.

Picture: The New Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART (left) & the New Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM ART (right)

From the photo above you will notice that the 30mm F1.4 is slightly smaller – just like little brother of the 35mm F1.4
Both lenses are remarkably built. From what I had been observing, Sigma is very serious on their re-branding
on their products and they are enjoying success in their quest to capture the market – by more surprises in the coming months launching high-quality optics at reasonable asking prices.

For the specs of the New Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, please visit

To see more photos taken with this lens, please visit

Special Thanks to Sigma Marketing (Singapore) for the lens!

For other Sigma Related Articles & Reviews click here.

** Sigma had re-organized their whole lens line into 3 category.
They are “C” Lens, “A” Lens & “S” Lens.

C Lens = Contemporary Lens Line
Featuring the very latest technology, and combining optical performance with compactness, Sigma’s high-performance Contemporary line covers a wide range of needs. Lenses in this category are Standard zoom lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, high-magnification zoom lenses.

A Lens = Art Lens Line
Designed with a focus on sophisticated optical performance and abundant expressive power, Sigma’s Art line delivers high-level artistic expression. Lenses in this category are Large-aperture prime lenses, wide-angle lenses, ultra-wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, fisheye lenses.

S Lens – Sports Lens Line
While offering sophisticated optical performance and expressiveness, Sigma Sports line lenses deliver high action-capture performance, enabling photographers to get exactly the shots they want. Lenses in this category are Telephoto lenses, telephoto zoom lenses, super telephoto lenses, super telephoto zoom lenses.

Sigma Marketing Singapore Pte Ltd. is a subsidiary of Sigma Japan Corporation.

For more information, please visit http://www.sigma-global.com

About Editor AL

About The Web Editor: http://about.me/shutterjourney
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17 Responses to 2013 Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM ART Review

  1. v says:

    Thanks for the review, this lens is taking a lots of my interest, I’ve seen a few samples from other website which did not impress me too much, but your’s looks good. I like you said the lens is blazing fast, I hope it is 🙂 do you have more real world samples at 1.4, I could not access you facebook link. Thanks a lot!

  2. Shlomi Cohen says:

    Your Facebook album link is not working… it would be great if you could fix the privacy settings of the album so we could see it 🙂

  3. Cohen, It is working now. Cheers!

  4. Ian says:

    Is the lens available in Singapore yet?

  5. JS says:

    Thanks a lot for this review! I just own this lens. The results are just like you write in your review. It is really a great lens!

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  7. olebuissink says:

    I’m about to get this lens, could you or anybody else come up with any reason why I shouldnt? (i’m not planning on going full frame)

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