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The 30/1.4 vs. 35/2 dilemma....

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Holmes, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    Well, I've really been hitting the light with both these fine lenses recently in an effort to determine which one was going to earn the final place in my current kit.

    The Sigma 30mm is an incredible drinker of light and I love the instant AF override. Mine has been tuned by the Sigma folks and its sharp as a steak knife with no AF accuracy issues. I love the 30mm perspective on a DX sensor.

    The Nikon 35mm is a joy to pack given its diminutive size and weight. The close focus makes for incredible versatility. And there's just something about its rendition that I can't help but be attracted to.

    They both shoot well wide open and just get better stopped down a couple o' bumps.

    But decisions have to be made sometimes even if painful, so.... the winner is....

    ....ah, hell, I think I'll just get a new bag that's a smidge bigger.... :biggrin:
  2. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I appreciate the 35mm f/2 for it's close focusing and lightness, but at the end of the day I prefer the image quality of the Sigma, and having instant AF override on a low light lens is very useful.
  3. Tosh


    May 6, 2005
    While I found the Nikon 35 2 to be an extremely good performer, for me the Sigma was superior to the Nikon in everything but size. If Sigma could learn to produce sharp copies straight from the factory, they'd have a lot more sales of this fine lens. The Sigma 30 I recently purchased for my Canon system also had to be calibrated by Sigma Service. Fortunately, Sigma Service again placed a razor sharp lens back in my hands within 8 days.
  4. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    Pretty tough to argue your points, Weiran, and I also find myself using the Sigma more and more as a walkabout lens instead of just a low light optic.

    I've two copies of the Nikon 35 AF, a nice pretty D version and an older non-D. I'm probably going to sell the D and keep my old well worn pal around.
  5. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    Agreed, Glenn. If they could get that lens shooting off the shelf like it does after their re-calibration service, the lines of eager buyers would be long indeed.

    I had some issues earlier with the Sigma and metering in direct sunlight but it appears that problem was... ahem.... operator incompetance :redface:
  6. slappomatt


    May 13, 2006
    San Diego CA
    question reguarding the calibration from sigma. when you send in a lens to have it calibrated, do you have to send the camera along as well? or do they just calibrate the lens itself? thanks. sorry to hijack.
  7. I'd love to have a 30/1.4, but I'm not going to spend over $400 for a new lens, only to turn around and send it back to the factory for readjustment... and then maybe have to do it over again. And it would be too risky to buy a used copy, because it might be up for sale because it needs adjustment.

    If Sigma wants to put a lens in my camera bag, they need to get it right the first time... like Nikon has done over and over.
  8. bozola


    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
    Just bought a 35 F2.0.. my first Nikon Prime.. Should be here wed.:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
  9. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    I sent only the lens as has everyone else I've talked to.

    Your post is not a hijack, my friend, totally relevant.
  10. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    I'm glad its worked out that way for you, Frank, but not all of us have been so lucky. Remember, years ago, the glut of oily 35/2 Nikons out there? Are all the reports of dissatisfaction regarding the 17-55 simply unskilled or ill informed Nikon supporters? How about premature AF-S failures on pro lenses that cost a heck of a lot more than $400?!

    Nobody's perfect and Sigma is working with reverse engineering whereas Nikon has no such obstacle.

    They're both great companies with their individual pros and cons but its really how they handle the problems that should be of concern to us. In this respect, I find both companies highly responsive and ethical.

    I imagine my bag will ALWAYS offer a mix of glass brands - no dogma here - I prefer reality. But then, what do I know.... I've even owned a Tokina or two :wink:
  11. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    You think you're grinin' now, wait til you twist that little jewel on to your camera.... there'll be no livin' with ya for weeks!
  12. How about the classic Nikon 35mm f/1.4 (AI-S)? It's got the instant manual focus "override" too! :tongue::smile: It's a real nice lens actually. Since I acquired mine, I haven't used my AF-D 35/2...
  13. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I'm not a massive prime lens fan so I don't tend to use the Sigma 30mm during daylight, as when its stopped down to a sane aperture (f/2.8 or slower) the image quality is very similar to my Tamron 17-50mm.

    If you buy the Sigma and it has issues, Sigma will fix it for free with a very quick turn-around. This is in contrast to Nikon who have a very poor reputation for their servicing department. Infact recently my Sigma 70-200 has been knocked out of alignment (very soft wide open) and Sigma will fix (this 5 year old lens) for only £33.99. I wonder what Nikon would've charged! Also like Holmes said, there have been plenty of issues with Nikon equipment so it's unfair to single out Sigma here.

    Philippe: manually focusing a f/1.4 lens on DSLRs would just be too hard! I tried manually focusing the Sigma in poor light and the AF was much more accurate than me. I prefer my old RF for manual focusing :) .
  14. I'm with Philippe: I have the Nikkor Ai-S 35mm f/1.4 and I can assure you that it is an awesome performer - I use it lots!
  15. Not if you use a better focusing screen (like the KatzEye, that both Frits and I have and highly recommend) and/or a magnifying eyepiece. I have both in my D2H and focusing the 35/1.4 is a piece of cake, and even more so if you take pictures of things at some distance... It's much easier to focus a 35 than an 85, which is why I traded my 85/1.4 AI-S for an AF one. But, it can be done as Frits can show you! :smile:
  16. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Nikon makes mistakes too, Frank. You just haven't been bit by them yet.

    I have both and prefer the Sigma.
  17. Well I didn't try the 35, but I have the 30 now. Got it here on the cafe, then sent it off to Sigma. Hopefully it will only take the 8 days. For the few days I had it before I sent it off I really like the weight and handling.
  18. Granted, but from the feedback, it seems a high percentage of the Sigma 30/1.4 lenses need to be sent back for adjustment. I don't like those odds.
  19. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    The extra stop of the 30 seems very useful, but I wonder if that would trump the ability to get as close to the subject as the 35 does.
  20. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    On another forum I know several people who have the lens (well, around 5) and none of them have had any issues with the lens, including me. The internet will tend to emphasise the negatives, especially on a niche lens like the Sigma 30.
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