Budget "do everything" Sigma lens for GF5: 19 or 30mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Belin, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. Belin

    Belin Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2014
    I have just bought a GF5 (body) as a backup of the GX7 and actually I want also to use it as my everywhere camera.
    I need to buy a lens and since I am currently short of money, I am looking at Sigma products which might meet my needs. I basically shot street/city stills and some landscape ones.

    I am torn between the 19mm f/2.8 and the 30mm f/2.8. The GX7 comes with the kit 14-42 but for the moment I do not want to switch lenses, meaning I am looking for something to keep always (so far) on the GF5.

    I think the 30mm should be more versatile for what I need but I am kinda newbie here and I would like to listen to your thoughts...

  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    If you are cataloging the images you take in Lightroom, you can see how many images you shoot at each focal length. I would do an analysis of this versus the images you like the best. Then you can determine which one of the SIgma focal lengths might best fit your need/shooting style/preference.
  3. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Real Name:
    They're both supposed to be great. You might want to look into a used/refurbished Panasonic 20mm too, which you might be able to get for a similar amount of money. It's small and would probably work pretty nice on the GF5.

    I'd imagine that the 19 is a little easier to use in the cities, but of course I'm just guessing here . . .
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Its not possible to answer... Focal length is a personal preference based on one's eye and shooting style.

    For one person the 30mm may be more versatile but for others, including me, the 19mm would be more versatile because I prefer shorter focal lengths. Shoot your kit lens set to 30mm for a little while. Do the same at 19mm. Which feels better more natural? Examine your old photos to determine which focal lengths are most commonly used.

    14mm and 20mm should also be on your short list for considerations. My personal choice would be the 14mm on the GF5 .. again.. I like it wider.
  5. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Real Name:
    Ciaran Reilly
    Would you consider getting the Panasonic 12-32mm pancake zoom for the GX7, it would be much more compact than the 14-42, then relegate the 14-42 to backup duties?

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
  6. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have the 30, I quite like it as it is close to the old Helios 58mm lens in angle of view it is pretty much a narrow normal the 19mm that I have not tried is more or less a wide normal, both will be good focal lengths for a walk about. It is hard to say buy x over y as you will have or develop your own style that makes one lens slightly or majorly more preferable to the other. Alas these lenses were designed for aps where in some ways they make more sense 45 and 28.5.
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    If the Lumix 12-32 pancake was cheap i would also suggest it.

    In the city I like my M.Zuiko 17mmF2.8, you could find a used one, or get the Sigma 19mm.
  8. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    I don't think you can go wrong with either; as others have said, check your picture collection to see which field of view suits you better. Ultimately, the 30mm is a more resolving lens because it has less chromatic aberrations, but the 19mm field of view is quite versatile so it's a wash IMO. Optically, both lenses are fantastically high-end: sharpness, color, contrast, and bokeh (though you need to get close and personal to get it) are just terrific.
  9. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I second this motion and very good advice for a novice on buying any lens. Figure the focal length you tend to use the most.

    I bought both 19 and 30 when they had the two for $199 sale and fell in love with both. These two are my only native primes - I have several legacy lens but they function more for short telephoto. Personally I tend to have the 30mm on my camera (G3) more for day to day - that includes around town shots, day trips on weekends or on a tripod for Ebay and Etsy shots - (it is a fabulous lens). But on my other camera (EPL2) I switch around between my 19mm Sigma(also very nice) and the Oly 14-42 II kit lens which surprises me more and more on how sharp it is.
  10. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Real Name:
    Nobody can answer this question except you. Focal length preference is very personal and also depends on the type of photography you prefer. What works for one person may not work for another.

    If it was me however, I'd choose the 19mm as it's closer to a 35mm equivalent which IMO and for me, is a much more versatile focal length than a 30mm (60mm equivalent). If I had to choose one and only one focal length to shoot with, I'd choose a 35mm lens. YMMV.

    Thankfully, I don't have to choose only one lens to shoot with though. Variety is the spice of life and the opportunity to choose is the gift of life.
  11. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    I'd go the 14mm if you like wide, but the 30mm is so amazing in its image quality. Actually the 14mm with the GWC1 and the Sigma 30mm are my travel prime kit, I only bought the Sigma as it was very cheap used ($100) here and I thought I needed a second prime, it has me thinking about the 60mm now.
  12. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    Like another commenter, I bought these two when there was a sale a couple of years back and you could get the two for $100 each. And, as with the other comment, these are the only two native primes I've purchased, because I've been so happy with them that I can't justify the expense of moving up to snazzier lenses (though I keep daydreaming about a few).

    As for which I prefer, I like to take a lot of pictures of my kids and dog, so probably the 30mm, which I largely use as a portrait lens. That said, when I'm trying to get a wider angle (as you may when walking around town), I prefer the 19mm. Really, I'd recommend having them as a set, because you can then mostly leave the kit zoom at home.
  13. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Real Name:
    14/30/60 sounds like a pretty sweet trio to me. :2thumbs:
  14. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Its the budget trinity in a way, all pretty good as well and if you look around I think you could get all 3 for less than £300
  15. psknapp

    psknapp Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    As a few have mentioned already, I bought both when they were on sale for $200 and it was the best purchase. I really like both of them, but I use the 30mm more because much of what I take pictures of are my kids. But it'd be a bit tight for some things, so it really depends what you like doing. Highly recommend both/either.
  16. Belin

    Belin Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2014
    Thanks much guys for all your inputs!
    Actually I agree with those who said to look at the focal length of my pics, this is the most logical approach.
    Unfortunately I do not use Lightroom and I have no plans to do so in the near future, this means I will find my way....in another way. :biggrin:

    Thanks again.
  17. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Lightroom isn't the only tool that can help you examine the EXIF metadata in your photos. There are a variety of tools (most of them free) that can do the same job. I would take a look at Picasa (my wife uses it and is happy).
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Belin

    Belin Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2014
    Ok, I use Picasa but I was not aware about this feature. I am going to look at that.
  19. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    • Like Like x 1
  20. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    I have the 30mm and use it alongside my 17mm f2.8 (which makes a nice compact street lens as well). Personally I find the occasions for use of the 30mm to be more limited than I'd like, I imagine the 19mm would be an excellent street focal length.