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Thread: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

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    Senior Member Malina DZ's Avatar
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    Question 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    I've been shooting with Sigma 28/1.8 EX DG on a850 for several months and find it quite a bargain lens for the performance it shows. It's not the lens everyone would call a SHARP one at any aperture, but very good in other respects like distortion, vignetting, CA, flare control, bokeh. It's hard to fully evaluate performance of a prime lens without comparing it to another equivalent prime. So I chose Zeiss 2/28 ZE, mounted it on Canon 6D and shot some comparison frames that you can find in this short review and download those DNGs for free.



    I would like to hear opinions of those who have had experience with other fast (f/1.4-2.0) full frame 28mm lens and find them producing a better IQ in terms of sharpness, distortion, CA & bokeh at f/2.0 than aforementioned Sigma & Zeiss.
    I know that Sony FE 28/2 comes out pretty soon and will give it a try before committing to a substitution decision.
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    Senior Member f 1,0's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    I play sometimes with a 1.4 / 24mm L II from Canon.
    This is not 28mm, but can crop.
    Pretty sharp and great bokeh.
    For me the most amazing lens from Canon.

    I still hope that Voigtländer will bring such a lens for Leica.

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    Senior Member Malina DZ's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    My primary reason for not shooting wider than 28mm is the tolerance to distortion level that ends at this wide angle when shooting portraits. I do my best to frame the shot without cropping it later in post. Until there's a fast 24mm with distortion lower than 1%, it's not going to be in my wish list.
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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    I have the sigma 28mm 1.8 high speed. I consider it to be much better than the EX DG when it comes to sharpness and distortion. It´s also a lot smaller.

    Sigma for Sony Minolta AF 28mm F1 8 Hight Speed Aspherical Japan EXC A65 A99 | eBay

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    Senior Member Malina DZ's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Rawfa, is your opinion based on the shots you've got with FF sensor camera? Did you shoot with 28/1.8 EX DG as well? Do you mind sharing raws or full size samples?

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    I'll be shooting with Sigma 28/1.8 in the near future until someone makes a better 28/1.x replacement for Alpha mount. Unfortunately, Sony FE 28/2 distorts too much for my shooting style.


    a850+28/1.8 EX DG @ f/1.8
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    I found it interesting how the newest 28mm prime from Sony compares against a 10-year old design from Sigma: http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compar...1_963_1516_917
    The disappointing part is in 7 times distortion & 3 times CA difference. No optical improvement, but reliance on processing corrections. What a shame.

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    I found it interesting how the newest 28mm prime from Sony compares against a 10-year old design from Sigma: Sigma 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASP Macro Nikon on Nikon D810 versus Sony FE 28mm F2 on Sony A7R - Side by side lens comparison - DxOMark
    The disappointing part is in 7 times distortion & 3 times CA difference. No optical improvement, but reliance on processing corrections. What a shame.
    But the Sigma weight 480gr, while the Sony only 200gr.! That is more than twice as much. I found it more interesting to compare it to the other Sony FE primes. There it is clearly not in the class of the 55mm F1.8 and only slightly better than the 35mm F2.8. But it costs only half the price of the 35mm. I think that I will wait to know how the Batis will perform. Still it makes a nice small and light lens.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    The disappointing part is in 7 times distortion & 3 times CA difference. No optical improvement, but reliance on processing corrections. What a shame.
    I agree optical performance is relying on post production to "fix" several aberrations. On the other hand I think it's great to have options, since the Sony 28/2 vs. the Sigma 28/1.8 is 65% of the diameter, 75% of the length and only 42% of the weight.
    So if you want aberration free raw files you'll have to lug around a lot more weight and volume vs. the FE28/2 (and then I'm not even counting the adapter you would need to use the Sigma on an E-mount body). Everybody will have to make that choice for himself.
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    [QUOTE=pegelli;639185]
    So if you want aberration free raw files.. /QUOTE]

    I just find that amusing- "aberration free" and Sigma mentioned together.

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    Senior Member pegelli's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    So if you want aberration free raw files..
    I just find that amusing- "aberration free" and Sigma mentioned together.
    Sometimes yes, Sigma made more than its fair share of weird performing lenses, but in this case (the 28/1.8 EX DG) it seems to be pretty good. They also produced some very good glass (like for instance the 180/3.5 APO macro I have) and people are also raving about their new ART series, but I have never used them myself so can't really speak for them.

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    Sometimes yes, Sigma made more than its fair share of weird performing lenses, but in this case (the 28/1.8 EX DG) it seems to be pretty good. They also produced some very good glass (like for instance the 180/3.5 APO macro I have) and people are also raving about their new ART series, but I have never used them myself so can't really speak for them.
    Sigma is also rumored to have designed the best MFT lens to date, the Olympus 75mm F1.8. At least they have a patent showing exactly the same design as the Olympus 75mm famed lens.

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    Sometimes yes, Sigma made more than its fair share of weird performing lenses, but in this case (the 28/1.8 EX DG) it seems to be pretty good. They also produced some very good glass (like for instance the 180/3.5 APO macro I have) and people are also raving about their new ART series, but I have never used them myself so can't really speak for them.
    Didn't you post some pictures with icon because the AF gears have fallen off that lens?

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Didn't you post some pictures with icon because the AF gears have fallen off that lens?
    Nope, that was with the Sigma 105/2.8 from my dad. That one and the infamous zooms 50-500 (bigma) and 70-300 ("macro") versions are the most prone to gear stripping.

    My 180/3.5 is (still) fully functional (knock on wood)

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    Sometimes yes, Sigma made more than its fair share of weird performing lenses, but in this case (the 28/1.8 EX DG) it seems to be pretty good. They also produced some very good glass (like for instance the 180/3.5 APO macro I have) and people are also raving about their new ART series, but I have never used them myself so can't really speak for them.
    The Sigma Art and Sport series are the closest thing you'll get to an AF Zeiss Otus (unless you count the "Otus lites" in 55FE/Batis lenses) at a price most can afford. I agree that they seem to have generally turned around their reputation as the bargain brand that holds you over until you can afford OEM/Premium brands. The Sigma APO 150/2.8 and 180/2.8 Macros yield impressive results as well from what I've seen of them. The Sigma 120-300/2.8 offer a sweet spot of range and speed for sports shooters.

    Large optics for sure but impressive results.

    Back on topic I'm not a 28mm guy (hey never quite seem wide enough in most situations I'm in) but I think the 28FE offers a good cost/performance trade off and there has to be some trade offs for the price. I prefer the 21-25 range for my wides (distortion or not) but I usually have a 35 as well so spacing is important for me.
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    I would take Zeiss as a 3rd party lens source over the others.

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    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    BTW, for those that were hoping to use the Sony 28/2 lens wide open for astrophotography, I noticed some shots on flickr that show some pretty strong coma in the corners. Unfortunate. :/

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Annna T View Post
    But the Sigma weight 480gr, while the Sony only 200gr.!
    Some people pick their gear based on performance regardless of weight/size, but I do understand that the opposite can work for and is important to others.

    Quote Originally Posted by pegelli View Post
    I'm not even counting the adapter you would need to use the Sigma on an E-mount body
    There's yet to be a native FE mount lens to convince me to get an E-mount camera. Those who own an NEX camera will definitely appreciate a native 28/2 lens, and so would I if it had a similar to Sigma 28/1.8 distortion control among its other IQ properties.
    I just want the manufacturers to be aware that there are those who still prefer optical aberration corrections to post processing profiles, and I hope to see more 28mm lens options in future.

    I'm not trying to defend Sigma, and hope to see their 28mm Art version soon. Here's an uncorrected sample that shows the issues (coma, spherical aberrations, astigmatism) I'd like to be taken care of in a future incarnation:

    Attachment 87950
    Download full size JPG
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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    Some people pick their gear based on performance regardless of weight/size, but I do understand that the opposite can work for and is important to others.
    Personnally, after comparing the DXO score of the Sony 28mm F2 against both the 55mm F1.8 and the 35mm F2.8, I have decided to wait for their review of the 25mm Batis before deciding which one to get.

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    BTW, for those that were hoping to use the Sony 28/2 lens wide open for astrophotography, I noticed some shots on flickr that show some pretty strong coma in the corners. Unfortunate. :/
    Do you know of a 28mm f/2 (or thereabouts- any mount) ) lens that can be used wide open for astrophotography?

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Do you know of a 28mm f/2 (or thereabouts- any mount) ) lens that can be used wide open for astrophotography?
    Not sure what you mean by "28mm or there about", but astrophotographers seems to rave about the Canon 24mm F1.4 and also about the Samyang/Rokinon 24mm F1.4

    Best Lenses for Milky Way Photography: Canon Astrophotographers – Lonely Speck
    (Review of different lenses, but seems a little biased toward the Rokinon/Samyang.

    Lenses for Astrophotography
    (Canon 28mm F1.8 and 24mm F1.4 are said to be OK at F3.5 and good at F4.5

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    BTW, for those that were hoping to use the Sony 28/2 lens wide open for astrophotography, I noticed some shots on flickr that show some pretty strong coma in the corners. Unfortunate. :/
    The samples I saw on FM looked pretty good for coma at f/2, especially given the cost. Did you have a link?

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    Re: 28mm (f/2 & faster) options

    There's another fast 28mm alternative on the market - Leica Q.
    It's as sharp as 50/1.4 ZA and FE 55/1.8 according to DPreview studio scene samples at f/5.6. With distortion correction embedded into DNG profile, Q shows less distortion than Sony's 50 & 55mm lenses uncorrected. Which is still striking for a "brick wall" scene. IQ overall is amazing right from f/1.7 keeping in mind the image processor corrections (aberrations and distortion).
    What bothers me is poor optical correction for distortion which becomes obvious in portraiture. Embedded profile doesn't help in this scenario. I'm yet to see a half body portrait that won't showcase twisted body parts. I know it's tough for 75° FOV, but it's a priority for me above the acutance.
    In addition, Leica's reluctance to post MTF and distortion graphs make me pause and contemplate over the use of Q for my shooting style. I had high hopes for this camera.


    28mm f/8

    Another gripe I have with Q is iso12500 quality. It's below acceptable level for night time photography. Red channel is falling apart at this level of sensitivity with highly inaccurate color gamut. Canon 6D with 28/2 ZE will do a better job than Q in this regard.

    I'm looking at Sigma now and hope they release 28mm Art lens soon.


    28mm f/1.8
    Last edited by Malina DZ; 14th June 2015 at 11:12.
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