the Sigma DN-Arts are 'mostly' perfect

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jimr.pdx, May 5, 2016.

  1. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    I've now owned the 30 and 60mm DN Art lenses. Prices are silly-good, image quality as good as I'll ever need. It seems like I've found the answer for budget primes..

    Their stylish design has turned the entire barrel into a focus ring. My preferred settings include AF+MF shooting, and especially with the 60mm resting my left hand under the barrel has induced MF override more than once. In mid-composition I am suddenly looking at a zoomed-in, nicely-focused image instead of the whole picture (ePM2). Nearly every other lens has a spot on the lens where I can support the camera/lens but these Arts are made more for one-handers or AF-only shooters. Bummer.

    I can heartily recommend the Sigmas for image quality and price, but it seems the EX DN design was much better for the way I prefer to shoot. With all other lenses I really like my setup so it's disappointing that I will need to swap to other primes.

    I just thought I would pass this along for others who are seeking great primes at a nice price.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    You should try the new Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC DN. Same Sigma goodness, but with a 1.4 aperture!
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    The focus ring/barrel is indeed odd, but I love my 60mm. I would hesitate to switch to MF with that lens though, it really is too easy to move. If it were stiffer it would perhaps be better.
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I just can't fall in love with f2.8 lenses for m4/3.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. bbarnett51

    bbarnett51 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2015
    I agree with the focus ring. However, the Sigma Arts are FABULOUS in my opinion. Everyone says the 60 is optically superior to the 30 but I don't see it. I own both.
    The 30 is my go to street lens. It does beautiful portraits. However, I agree that 2.8 is a bother on M43 sometimes. I find myself adding lens blur in PS.
    I'm looking at the new 30 for sure.
  6. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Zooms - yes
    Primes - no
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. srhphoto

    srhphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 26, 2012
    I have the 60mm f2.8 and absolutely love it as a portrait lens. It's sharp from wide open, the f2.8 aperture ensures I get enough DoF to get the whole head in sharp focus for a head and shoulders type portrait while still allowing excellent background blur and subject separation. At its price point it offers ridiculous performance and value for money.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Tenpenny

    Tenpenny Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Nampa, Idaho
    Brent Watkins
    My wife has the 19mm f/2.8 and I can understand the 2.8 being a bit limiting with that lens. I own the 60mm f/2.8 and it is a fantastic lens. The photos I take with it appear to have a unique contrast and color rendering. For the 60mm, I've never felt limited by the 2.8 aperture. For me, at that focal length this lens has more than enough bokehtude (it's a word, trust me).
    • Like Like x 1
  9. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    if you've got the lens hood for the 60, just hold the hood, I used to do that
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  10. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I think it all depends on the focal length. I don't use it for the job very often, but the out-of-focus rendering on my Vivitar 55/2.8 macro is really nice and smooth for portraits. More so, I feel, than my faster 50s.
  11. Great thought - thanks!
    I agree with all the IQ posts from Sigma, it's just the focus ergonomics that don't agree with me. Holding the nose with the hood attached is a simple answer. :doh:
  12. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Agreed. For longer lenses like the 60mm I don't find f2.8 to be limiting from a DOF control perspective.
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Maybe not, but I just don't find it exciting. I merely said "I can't fall in love" with the lenses, not that they are bad or unusable. I just love them as a friend. It's not them, it's me. We are just at different places in our lives right now.
    • Funny Funny x 3
  14. Tenpenny

    Tenpenny Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Nampa, Idaho
    Brent Watkins
    I tend to think of my lenses in terms of relationships. That made me chuckle. Out loud even. a legitimate LOL
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Dolphinjon

    Dolphinjon Mu-43 Regular

    May 9, 2016
    This thread is making me think these lenses might be the answer to my search for one or two primes to use for interior shots when we move. Is there one y'all would recommend for trying to photograph groups inside people houses? I'm hoping I can find one or two used once I sell my Rebel XTi.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    To be perfectly honest, neither would really beat a kit zoom for that purpose. 19mm and 30mm are not particularly wide on m4/3. And you'll probably want to be at least at f4 for a group portrait. I think a kit zoom at 14-17mm and f4-ish would be as good as anything. For shots of the actual interior (i.e. real estate photos) you'll want to go as wide as possible, so maybe the 12-32mm kit lens would be your best bet on a budget.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    For me it is just so much easier on any m43 lens to assign the MF to a function button if I want to use it that way. I've had issues bumping the focus ring on all the lenses when I used to run in AF+MF mode.

    That or I just use the MF clutch on the 12-40 and 401-50 f/2.8 lenses.
  18. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    Stupid question, and slightly off-topic (sorry): What does the "Art" in "Sigma Art Lenses" mean? Anything? Nothing? Just a marketing add-on to make them sound special?
  19. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    ART is their top-of-the-line branding. Like Canon L lenses, or Olympus PRO, or Sony G.

    It's kind of goofy, since the Sigma ART-branded stuff for DSLRs really is market-leading quality, competitive with the very best lenses on the market. But the ART primes for M4/3 and E-mount were previously called "EX DN," so it's just a rebrand. They're decent lenses, and the 60mm seems to be downright good, but they're not particularly exciting. Most of the ART lenses for DSLRs are very high end f1.4 primes.
  20. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    I have the older versions of the Sigma 30mm and 19mm, with the nice grip on the barrel. I use the 30 to shoot my wife's vintage clothing under studio lighting for her ETSY shop and absolutely love the lens. I shoot the lens in MF mode and the images are always nice and sharp. To me the 2.8 is a non issue. For anything faster I have my Panasonic 1.7 or any number of 28mm fast legacy glass. Plus I got both lenses for $199 bucks when they did the promo prices a couple years back. What's not to love