Sigma Trinity: First the 16, now the 56. Do I need the 30? Nah.

bargainguy

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A little while back, I picked up the Sigma 16/1.4 and posted a few pix here. I was so impressed with the 16 that I ordered the 56/1.4 Sigma.

The 56 arrived today, and it is a lovely lens. More jewel-like than the 16, maybe half the size. Balances nicely on both my GX85 (shown below) and my E-M1. Sample pic at f/1.4 on the GX85 below.

So that got me thinking: Do I need the last lens in this Sigma trinity set, the 30/1.4?

Not when I already have the PL25 and O25 Pro! Really, other than the bump in focal length, I would be way overstocked there. Size comparison of all four lenses below. L-R: 56, PL25, O25, 16.

I can see bringing either 25 as a substitute for the 30/1.4. The PL when I need more portability, the Pro when I need the extra speed and slightly better corners wide open.

One tiny niggle with these lenses: You can't turn the lens in the camera mount by grabbing the focusing ring, as it's fly-by-wire and not physically connected. You have to grab inward of the focus ring toward the lens mount or near the filter ring. I don't always remember that until I see the lens spinning and not getting anywhere.

Small price to pay for both the 16 and 56's outstanding performance, though. I can see making my own trinity with the 16 & 56, and either 25. That would cover 90% of my shooting needs, with my 7-14/4 Panny for super WA or something longer than 56 if I needed it.

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If you didn’t already have the two 25s it would be a no brainer. With them, it’s a little more complex.

What you would get with the 30 is slightly faster, longer and a little bigger than the PL 25. Longer with equal background separation and lighter than the 25Pro.

With the 30 you would get a matched set of lenses that behave similarly, and render similarly. If you do video, that could be important.

Personally, I would love to have the three. I think they would fit my type of shooting very well. Currently I can’t justify it having the Panny 14 and Oly 60. Although that 56 is on my list of lenses to consider next.
 

bargainguy

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Yeah, not shooting video, so don't need the matched set for that.

What matters most to me: corner resolution at full aperture, smooth bokeh, overall flare resistance and good infrared performance (no hotspots, flare or contrast loss). Lack of geometric distortion is also nice, as I do a fair amount of shooting in urban settings and prefer to avoid corrections in post.
 
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I can't comment on corner resolution wide open. I tend to not shoot lenses wide open very often. The 30 does have nice smooth bokeh.

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As for flare: I think it is somewhat resistant to flare, but when conditions are right, the flare is pretty big and red/pink in hue.

If I am shooting architecture, I think 30mm is a bit too narrow, so I can't comment on distortion much. I don't feel like I have ever had an issue with the 30. I have had that issue with my Panny 14, though.
 
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