First lens, Sigma 19mm or 30mm f/2.8?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by flextone, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. flextone

    flextone Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 11, 2013
    Hi guys, great forum.

    I'm generally new to photography, mostly used point and shoot cameras up until now, and I want to start getting deeper into it with the micro four thirds format. Anyway, please be gentle with me :wink:

    My camera will be an Oly E-PL3, and as budget is tight I'm trying to decide between one of the Sigma offerings as my first lens. I understand the difference in terms of focal length and what this means, but would like to get some advice:

    Is the 30mm f2.8 just too narrow as an allrounder? Or is the other way around and it is actually more versatile than the 19mm version? matter of taste I know, but what's your take? is the 30mm as your only lens a PITA?

    The answer to this is of course "depends on what you photograph", so let's just say that I need a solid allrounder...

    At the moment it seems like the logical choice is to get a 19mm and later on add a second hand 40-50mm manual focus lens, but I really want to know what you guys think!

  2. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    it really "depends on what you photograph." If you don't know what you like to do yet, I say get the 19mm, since I find that it's generally easier to move closer to an subject if you need to, than to move away to get a wider shot.
  3. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    For me, it would be the 19mm, no question.
  4. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    Get 19mm, It's almost like classic 35mm fov so it will be usable in interiors as well.
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    ^^ This. IMHO the 30mm would be too limiting for a single lens kit. I think you'll find it difficult to use that focal length (60mm equivalent on a "full frame" or 35mm film) indoors. Obviously it really depends on what you are trying to shoot, but between those two options I would go with the 19mm.

    Actually, if I were going to be limited to a single lens kit, I would probably choose a kit 14-42 zoom over the Sigma 19, but that might be just me.
  6. PatrickVA

    PatrickVA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 31, 2012
    Central Virginia
    19mm for me, too. I think most people on this board would list the Panasonic 20mm or 25mm as a "must have", and the Sigma falls right in there just a little slower.
  7. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    cheat solution?

    If it must be just one, then the 19mm. But perhaps you could stretch to a 30mm plus the Olympus 15mm bodycap? Especially if you live in the US, where the latter's less than $50 (double the price here in the UK... :mad:)
  8. keko

    keko Mu-43 Rookie

    May 19, 2013
    I agree with the rest, the 19mm will be more versatile, since it's a focal length that is generally used for landscapes, group-shots, street photography, etc.
    The only case where the 30mm may make sense is for portraiture, where it's a better choice than the 19mm.
  9. flextone

    flextone Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 11, 2013
    wow... so many replies in such a short time, wisdom of the crowd

    seems like it's the 19mm by knock-out...

    thanks everyone!
  10. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    Yes, the Sigma 19 is a fabulous lens, can't go wrong - plus a nice zippered case and a hood. If only it would wash my car.
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I seriously considered the Sigma 19mm, but I ended up getting the Panasonic 20mm instead, even though it was twice the price. My main reason was, that it's 1.5 stops faster, which makes it both a better available light choice, and it will be much better at blurring the background. A 19mm f2.8 simply has too much depth of field to really be effective at throwing the background out of focus - and since it's not even a full stop faster than the kit lens, I'm just not sure I'd give it much use.

    As for the 30mm f2.8 - I'm personally just not too enamored with a long-normal focal length.
  12. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    The 19 would be the clear choice based on my experience.

    You mentioned a longer lens too. It would probably be fun to play with a 50mm f1.4 lens for the occassional portrait or low light situation. If you buy a used one at a fair price with a $15 adapter from Amazon you can play with it for a while and see if you like it. If you ultimately decide manual focus it not for you, sell it for a fair price and you would have paid nearly nothing for the experience. A manual 50/1.4 can make an excellent portrait and specialty lens without braking the bank.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. flextone

    flextone Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 11, 2013
    I'm also kind of worried about the 19mm ability to isolate subjects and blur the background, but I guess that's not really what wide angle lenses are for... am I wrong?

    it seems like a really fun market to be in as well... so many choices
  14. flipmack

    flipmack Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 23, 2012
    irvine, CA
    I was one of the first people to get the Sigma 30/2.8 and now I also have the Sigma 19/2.8 and the BCL-15.

    I would highly recommend all of the above because they each have their own specific use.

    The Sigma 30/2.8 is a great all-around lens if you want tighter composition. The 30-35 in m4/3 (60-70 EFV) is my favorite focal length.

    The Sigma 19/2.8 is a great all-around lens for general use. You can easily get groups of people with the 19 whereas you can't do it as easily with the 30. I traded the Panny 14/2.5 for the Sigma 19/2.8 and it was a good trade for me - the 14 was just too wide for general use.

    Both lenses are sharp, though I'd have to say that the Sigma 30/2.8 has sharpness that is more evident due to the ease of subject isolation that isn't possible with the Sigma 19/2.8.

    The BCL-15 - well, I can't recommend it as a 'first' lens, but it's a wonderful lens and very fun to use. Right now, it's my favorite lens. I think it's a lens that you 'graduate' to once you've covered the basics.

    Here's what I would do - take all of your pictures and run them through software that determines focal length for the picture (I know there are lots of software that can do this). This way, you can see if you lean towards the wide end or the tele end of your kit lens. If most of your pictures are wide, get the 19/2.8, otherwise, get the 30/2.8.
  15. psknapp

    psknapp Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    I bought both the 19mm and the 30mm when I got my e-pl2. I use the 30mm a lot for practicing portraits, but generally the 19mm lives on my camera. I do want to move up to a P20 1.7, but the 19mm takes great pictures.
  16. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    I have both but I find myself using the 19mm most of all.
  17. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I consider the 19mm and 20mm to be more normal lenses than wides, and I will be using the 20mm that way.
  18. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    As I said before, I would buy 19 first and then save money for really cheap but absolutely fantastic and sharp 45, for the times when you need to isolate subjects and get nice bokeh. I actually see the bigger dof of 19 as advantage because for the "thin dof times" you will someday have 45 and the 19 will serve as nice all-around documentary/street/architecture/etc lens ;)

    I was going to buy 17 1.8 now, but in comparison with sigma 19 it's sooo overpriced, and doesn't look good on my black omd, so I bought 19mm and it's a lovely lens for unbelievable price. Now, I can shoot my with my favourite FOV and wait for black 17 or better alternative. Don't pixel peep, just enjoy your camera and lens, share pictures and have fun in first place :smile:
  19. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I reckon you need more lenses, or what is the point of getting m4/3rds?
    Doesn't make any sense.
  20. flextone

    flextone Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 11, 2013
    I plan to.. but

    1) I need to start with one and see how it goes.
    2) for around 250€ for body + lens, I doubt I can get a better deal.
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