DX standard prime for available light

the solitaire

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Sep 5, 2008
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germany
Hi, does anyone have experience with the Sigma 30mm f1.4?
I´looking for a lens that gives me passable results in low light.

I´m trying to scale down my gear to what I really need to take great pictures.

For sharp I own a 55mm AiS micro Nikkor and a 105mm micro Nikkor G AF-S.
For wide I own my 14-24 f2,8 wide angle zoom.
For tele I either pic up the 105 micro Nikkor or my 85mm f1,8 AF-D nikkor.

I own a bunch of other lenses but I´m trying to get rid of those because I never carry them so obviously I don´t need them. (I rather buy flashes and a set of studio tripods from the money I can get for those lenses)

The only thing I feel lacks in my kit is a fast (near standard) prime

My current considerations limit themselves to the 35mm f1,4 AiS Nikkor and the 30mm f1,4 Sigma

All opinions and suggestions are welcome.
 

greenterra

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
I couldn't help you from experience as I am not a Nikon guy or have any Sigma lenses. It is funny how one can get caught up in the hype of having to own so many lenses. The simple truth is we only use a limited few in our daily shootings so I can fully understand where you are coming from to simplify your arsenal. Hopefully someone with experience with the particular lenses can chime in and give you some better insight?
 

the solitaire

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Sep 5, 2008
107
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0
41
germany
Thnx Brent.

I managed to run into a camera shop yesterday and compared a few of the lenses they had in this particular segment (fast glass that has a field of view close to that of a 50mm on smallfilm) and decided to pick up a Sigma lens.

I really prefer staying within the Nikon range of lenses because they retain value better in case I ever want to sell them but the sigma 28mm f1,8 was pretty good and a lot cheaper then anything Nikon offered in this range (apart from the 35mm f1,8 DX which costs $200 new)

I would have taken the 30mm f1,4 if it was better in the corners Same as my other lenses that one has a 62mm filter thread. The 28mm has 77mm thread which means I´ll need an extra set of ND gradient filters. Might upgrade to a nice LEE set to fix that though :D

The Sigma has an aperture ring so I can use it on my FM2 as well.
 

the solitaire

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Sep 5, 2008
107
0
0
41
germany
Figured I might provide a small update (sorry, no pictures yet)

I have used the Sigma 28mm f1,8 EX-DG for a bit now.
The verdict, at f1,8 the corners are not really sharp. To me the edges are acceptable though and the center is pretty good. Not as sharp as a micro Nikkor but as sharp as or even sharper then the Nikon 50mm f2,0 Ai I own.

What´s more, I like the contrast this lens provides and I love the close focus. This really is all I was looking for in this lens range.

Autofocus is quite fast as well. All in all I´m convinced that for my intended use this lens suites my needs better then the Nikon 35mm f1,8 would have done (filter issue aside).

My camera bag now contains (leaving the miscellaneous bits out of the equation):
D300 body
Nikon 14-24 f2,8 AF-S
Sigma 28 f1,8 EX-DG
Nikon 85 f1,8 AF-D
Nikon 105 f2,8 AF-S VR
SB600 (and SB800 when photographing fish)

So far I have not come into a situation where I missed owning anything wider, longer or in between 28mm and 85mm.

That means my want list only contains the 180 f2,8 AF-D. After that last purchase I´ll be perfectly happy and complete for all assignments :D
 

the solitaire

Feeder Fish
Original poster
Sep 5, 2008
107
0
0
41
germany
Here´s a picture made with the 28mm Sigma lens:



I have a good lead on a Nikon AF 180mm f2.8 (The first plastic barrel version, non-D)

Another lens somehow secretively found a way into my bag, after a visit to the zoo where I found out that 105mm is nice, but sometimes a bit short.

Another old timer however. A Nikon AF 70-210 f4-5.6D push/pull zoom.
My first impression is that image quality is pretty impressive, even wide open. Focus is quite fast but hunts sometimes on my D300.

It´s compact and light as well.

All in all a good lens to take with me on trips where I don´t feel like taking 3 primes (85, 105 and 180).

The filter issue is sorted as well, for now. On APS-C the Sigma works fine with a 77-62mm step down ring with no vignetting at all. Now I only need to find out whether or not the 180mm lens will vignette with a 72-62mm step down ring. If all is well I will have 62m filter thread on all but the wide angle lens.
 
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