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Thread: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

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    Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    This is a question for those who either own both lenses or who have had practical experience of them.

    Granted that the Zeiss is fabulous and fabulously expensive and the Sigma is somewhat of a bargain, how do the two compare optically?

    Please don't shoot me down in flames Zeiss lovers, I'm sure that the Zeiss is superb, but I'm just wondering just how much less lovely the Sigma is?

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    The Sigma 30/2.8 DN is a real bargain, price wise.

    Optically, IME, it is better than the Sony/Zeiss E-Sonnar, in terms of CA (different types). The E-Sonnar can drive one mad in certain situations.

    Size is better (Sigma). Physical construction is extremely good. It is quite sharp.

    I would not think twice about buying the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 DN for the NEX.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Thanks for your comments Vivek.

    You say "it is quite sharp", granted from the pictures you've posted, that seems to be the case, however is it sharp wide open? I mean critically sharp? I would be comparing it to the Contax G 35/2 for example.

    Also, are you are saying that if it was the same focal length as the Zeiss, that you would choose the Sigma rather than the Zeiss?

    I'm curious with the comment: "The E-Sonnar can drive one mad in certain situations", can you elaborate? Which circumstances?

    Thanks again for your wisdom!

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    This one:


    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr

    NEX-7, E Sonnar 24/1.8 ~f/2.2

    gave me a lot trouble to make the CA (on the white paper cartoon with black lettering) look minimal. Foliage often show CA but I am not very much in to that kind of snaps.

    Although I do not own the Contax 35/2, I have little doubt that at f/2.8 you will find the Sigma to be sharper.

    I have not bought the Sigma 19/2.8. I am unlikely to buy it in the near future.

    It is the size, performance and the build quality that made the Sigma 30mm very attractive and I am quite happy with it.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Thanks Vivek, sounds like a pretty hearty recommendation for the Sigma 30mm! From my experience of Sigma lenses in the past, I haven't found one I didn't like, so here goes ....

    Out of curiosity, are you not impressed with the Sigma 19mm or is it just that you do not need such a focal length? Certainly, from what I have seen (bearing in mind that other peoples pictures may be flawed because of their technique), the 19mm seems inferior when compared to the 30mm but better than the Sony 16mm for example.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Alphaman, I would very much appreciate a 19mm prime and also a 16mm lens for my NEX.

    FWIW, I showed the picture of the Sigma 30/1.4 in the other thread. The paint just peels off on that one. Luckily, I have not had any focus problems with it that others had experienced.

    The DN appears to be really well made.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Sorry, I assumed it was for another reason, hope you get the funds together soon and can enjoy them! Thanks again for all your input!

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    No, you assumed correctly. I am sorry for being a bit obtuse.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    I also own both but havent shot much with the 30 much yet.

    I have used the 24/1.8 quite a bit and find it a very good lens.
    The few images I took with the 30 look quite good as well.

    In the end I find 24 and 30mm so different so why compare the 2 lenses optically.
    I would choose the focal length which works better for you.
    The Sigma is like a long standard lens, it has a nice compact size, it is "only" f2.8, and has an attractive price.
    The 24 cost 3-4 times as much, it is 1,5 f-stops faster, and with 35mm FOV a nice "street" lens.
    Optically I guess they are both quite good.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    I've used both quite a bit with the NEX-7 over the last week and I think they are both very good. Tom is right that the main consideration probably is which angle of view are you looking for.

    But I have found that although I normally have a slight preference for a 50 EFL over a 35, I am preferring the 24 to the 30 in this case. Although the 30 is sharp across the frame and the 24 can have some CA issues, I prefer the rendering of the 24 enough that it overcomes my normal bias for 50s. Although it is not the same look as using the ZM 35s on an M9, it is still very nice, and to me the color, the transitions from in focus to out of focus, and from light to dark, and the out-of-focus rendering, add up to a nicer look than the 30. I know you can correct color with profiles, and try to address the other issues, but I still prefer the 24.

    But the 30 is very good too and pretty clearly worth the price. And the size and convenience are hard to argue with. I prefer slightly the rendering of the 35 Summarit on NEX-7 to this 30, but not enough to want to use the heavier Summarit and rely entirely on the legacy manual focus approach very often.

    Probably the bottom line is if you are not bothered by paying for the Zeiss, then you should also pay for the Sigma. Either way, both are very good. The 50 seems pretty good too. The 19 seems fine.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Quote Originally Posted by MPK2010 View Post
    I've used both quite a bit with the NEX-7 over the last week and I think they are both very good. Tom is right that the main consideration probably is which angle of view are you looking for.

    But I have found that although I normally have a slight preference for a 50 EFL over a 35, I am preferring the 24 to the 30 in this case. Although the 30 is sharp across the frame and the 24 can have some CA issues, I prefer the rendering of the 24 enough that it overcomes my normal bias for 50s. Although it is not the same look as using the ZM 35s on an M9, it is still very nice, and to me the color, the transitions from in focus to out of focus, and from light to dark, and the out-of-focus rendering, add up to a nicer look than the 30. I know you can correct color with profiles, and try to address the other issues, but I still prefer the 24.

    But the 30 is very good too and pretty clearly worth the price. And the size and convenience are hard to argue with. I prefer slightly the rendering of the 35 Summarit on NEX-7 to this 30, but not enough to want to use the heavier Summarit and rely entirely on the legacy manual focus approach very often.

    Probably the bottom line is if you are not bothered by paying for the Zeiss, then you should also pay for the Sigma. Either way, both are very good. The 50 seems pretty good too. The 19 seems fine.
    I'm sorry, I didn't get much out of this post.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Based on my unscientific pixel-peeping and no real direct comparisons to the 24/1.8 Zeiss under controlled conditions, I have to say that I like the Sigma a lot!

    For my shooting style, the f/2.8 max aperture and longer 30mm focal length are most agreeable to me, and I really really like the compact dimensions. And a lot of my shooting is in the f/5.6 range anyhow.

    Agree with Vivek re the 24/1.8's chromatic aberration: I shoot foliage against sky and see copious amounts of CA which Aperture 3 can't cope with (but Aperture 4 should be arriving this summer per info leaked by Barnes & Noble) In the meantime, Lightroom 4 or (cough) Sony's Digital Image Converter 4 produce better-looking results with the Zeiss.

    What's not to like about the Sigma? The focus ring is pretty bad: Close tolerances combined with a material that flexes too much mean that even lightly squeezing the focus ring causes it to bind. And if I'm going to be nitpicky, the index dot is too small.

    Overall? You won't regret buying the Sigma.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBuchanan View Post
    I'm sorry, I didn't get much out of this post.
    Never mind that comment. I was distracted. I do suspect the effective focal length of the Sigma 30/2.8 may be greater than 45mm, because the FOV is described as 50.7 degrees, which would give greater than 47mm in full frame.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    I (as the OP) find myself in a bit of a quandary; in as much as I generally prefer the 24mm focal length to the 30mm but have some misgivings about the Zeiss. I will be able to afford the Zeiss, but am wondering if it offers sufficient value for money?

    There seem to be some flaws that perhaps shouldn't be there (ie CA). On the contrary, it has some very pleasing optical qualities as MPK2010 pointed out; "the transitions from in focus to out of focus, and from light to dark, and the out-of-focus rendering". Kurt Munger's and the Luminous Landscape's review certainly give approval to this lens.

    The little Sigma is very affordable and certainly gets a lot of support and is perhaps cheap enough to buy as well. I'm kind of inclined to get the Sigma but then to also get the Zeiss at a future date and see which one gets more use.

    So, thanks all for your input, much appreciated. I'll certainly welcome any further comments or sample photos as I think this is a very interesting and informative subject and I certainly appreciate your wisdom.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    "the transitions from in focus to out of focus, and from light to dark, and the out-of-focus rendering"

    The Sony E 50/1.8 provides that as well. If I only look at the details and not the FOV or the EXIF, I find it incredibly difficult to distinguish between the Sony/Zeiss E-Sonnar and the Sony E 50 (well, admittedly I am not so fine tuned to pick up the many nuances from a digital file from one camera).

    50/1.8

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr

    24/1.8

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr

    However, as pointed out, 24 is a 24 and 30 is a 30. Two very different focal lengths.
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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Two lovely examples Vivek, this could be a very expensive thread as I'm wanting to buy the 50/1.8 as well, doh!

    Curiously enough, looking at the two pictures I could easily believe that the top one was the wide angle and the bottom one was the tele shot - just because of how the background is rendered. I'm sure you've got it right, it's just an optical illusion.

    As you say the 24mm and 30mm are quite different focal lengths, although similar enough for a semi-wide standard lens. A 26mm lens would be the absolute ideal for me, particularly if it was a pancake, however that's probably just a pipe-dream.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    "the transitions from in focus to out of focus, and from light to dark, and the out-of-focus rendering"

    The Sony E 50/1.8 provides that as well.
    I have only had the 50 for a few days but I agree with your observation. Your pictures are a good example. For me, it is a less-used focal length, but I do like the rendering.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphaman View Post
    I (as the OP) find myself in a bit of a quandary; in as much as I generally prefer the 24mm focal length to the 30mm but have some misgivings about the Zeiss. I will be able to afford the Zeiss, but am wondering if it offers sufficient value for money?

    There seem to be some flaws that perhaps shouldn't be there (ie CA). On the contrary, it has some very pleasing optical qualities as MPK2010 pointed out; "the transitions from in focus to out of focus, and from light to dark, and the out-of-focus rendering". Kurt Munger's and the Luminous Landscape's review certainly give approval to this lens.

    The little Sigma is very affordable and certainly gets a lot of support and is perhaps cheap enough to buy as well. I'm kind of inclined to get the Sigma but then to also get the Zeiss at a future date and see which one gets more use.

    So, thanks all for your input, much appreciated. I'll certainly welcome any further comments or sample photos as I think this is a very interesting and informative subject and I certainly appreciate your wisdom.
    I know the 24/1.8 can exhibit some CA in certain extreme light situations, but overall I dont find this much of a problem. But then again I am also using a 85/2.0 Sonnar and a Noctilux on my M9 which both also can show some CA in certain situations.
    My take is if a lens renders very much to my taste regarding color/sharpnes, Bokeh/contrast etc. than I can accept some "negatives" on the other side if they dont show up to often and if they dont bother me too much.
    Allmost each lens is a "compromise" in a certain way between various factors.
    I stand to my point: if you prefer the 24mm focal length and if you have the money and if you are not totally satisfied what the kit lens gives you at 24mm I wouldnt hesistae to get the 24mm Zeiss lens.
    Regarding low light it also allows you to shoot at lower ISO than the 30 Sigma. 1,5 stops because of the speed of the lens and another half stop because of the different focal length.

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    I bought a Sigma 30 from digitalRev . .. . . it was so cheap that before I knew what had happened I'd popped a Sony 50 f1.8 into the bag as well!
    Basically I got the 30 to make a pocketable kit of the NEX7, I'm not sure why I bought the 50, but 75mm is a real favourite focal length for me, so perhaps I'll enjoy it.

    I notice from the tracking that they were posted from Hong Kong yesterday at 1600 hours, and that my son signed for them in deepest darkest Suffolk at 1400 hours today amazing!

    Maybe I should leave them in their boxes for a day or so to get over the jet lag!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Sigma 30/2.8 vs Zeiss 24/1.8E?

    Jono, if you are worried about your lenses suffering from jet lag, ship them to me in Miami. Sunlight and beach air have a way of making jet lag disappear very quickly.

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