Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM review

For the opportunity of the Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM for Nikon lens review many thanks to Ivan Kosarekov and web studio Mcsite

View of the Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM with a lens hood

View of the Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM with a lens hood


The Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM was the first of its kind, but eventually upgraded to Sigma 30 / 1.4 Art.

As a result, there are three similar Sigma lenses:

Separately, it is worth highlighting an alternative for the Sigma 30 / 1.4 Art - a zoom lens with a very high aperture Sigma 18-35 / 1.8 DC Art and full-frame-like lens Sigma 35 / 1.4 Art.

And Sigma has another less light 'thirty' - Sigma 30mm 1: 2.8 DN | A (Art) for mirrorless cameras Micro 4/3 and Sony E.

The Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM is a good fast prime lens for cropped APS-C cameras. Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM is available for different mounts (Canon, Nikon, Sigma). This review presents an option specifically for the Nikon system. Please note that this lens will only work on Nikon DX cameras, and will not work correctly on FX type cameras. Nikon D3, D800 etc.

Bokeh on Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM

Bokeh on Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM. MDF Focus

It's funny, but the company Nikon in the summer of 2012 does not have a single super fast aperture for cropped Nikon DX cameras. At the same time, the Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM not only has amazing aperture, but also positioned as a professional lens, for which EX marking is responsible.

  • AF HSM (Auto Focus, Hyper Sonic Motor) - built-in silent focusing motor.
  • EX (EXcellence) - maximum, excellent quality of performance.
  • DC - for APS-C cameras, in this case for Nikon DX
Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM nice lens design

Photo by Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM. The lens pattern is very nice

Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM very fast focus. The focusing ring is very convenient and rotates in the active mode 90 degrees, in the passive mode the ring travel is not limited. But, unfortunately, the focus does not fully support the Nikon M / A mode on the lens. you cannot make manual corrections focus when autofocus mode and AF-C. When autofocus is on and you turn the focus ring with your hands, a conflict occurs between the manual and automatic focusers.

Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Important: Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM does not have a focus mode switch, with the lens attached, auto focus is always on. This is very inconvenient on the younger line of Nikon cameras (which do not have a focus motor), since in order to switch the camera to manual focus mode M (MF), you need to poke around the menu for a long time. On older Nikon cameras that have a built-in focus motor, you can switch to manual focus mode quite quickly using the special lever near the lens mount.

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM no internal focus, but the focusing method itself makes it possible to use any filters without problems, since the filter is screwed into the lens barrel, and not into the front lens barrel. The front lens in this case moves back and forth in the middle of the frame and does not rotate. The same focusing method can be found with Nikon lenses, for example Nikon 50mm f / 1.8G AF-S Nikkor и Nikon 50mm f / 1.4G AF-S Nikkor.

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM for Nikon Designed for Nikon DX cameras only. This means that when used on APS-C NIKON DX cameras, the viewing angle will be narrower than on a classic 35mm film, and EGF will fit 45mm. This is a rather convenient field of vision for a fixed lens, since the lens becomes almost universal on crop. On the APS-C Canon 1.6X, the lens almost turns into a fifty dollars with 48 millimeters of focal length. How much such a focal length will be convenient, you need to decide for the photographer himself.

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Sample photo

Fans of shooting different trifles Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM is not very suitable, since the lens has a minimum focusing distance of as much as 40 cm, and the lens simply can not focus on objects that are closer than this distance. Given the viewing angle at 30mm focal length, even photographing a flower close-up will be quite difficult.

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Photo on open aperture

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Photo on open aperture

The lens is very heavy. Yes, I was very surprised that such a small 30mm fix weighs as much as 430g. On my little camera Nikon D40 the weight balance is rather unusually distributed. The lens itself is made really to the highest level. The lens boasts the inscription “Lens Made in Japan”, the same is written on the front cover.

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Photo on open aperture

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Photo on open aperture

Lens hood

The Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM comes with a hood included. The hood can be worn backwards to the front of the lens and always carried with you. With your back on in front of the hood, access to the focusing ring is completely blocked.

Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM compared to Nikon 35mm f / 1.8G AF-S DX Nikkor

Nikon has a similar lens - Nikon 35mm f / 1.8G AF-S DX Nikkorwith a slightly larger focal length and a little smaller aperture. Nikon 35mm f / 1.8G AF-S DX Nikkor weighs two and a half times less, costs two and a half times cheaper and gives excellent quality. The Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM outperforms its native counterpart in aperture, focusing speed and distortion. If there is a choice between these two lenses, I would take my own 35-lens.

Size difference

Size difference

Sample Photos

All sample photos were taken on camera. Nikon D40. I specifically used the old non-motorized camera to show that all functions work fine even on the simplest camera. All photos without processing, reduced size 1600 * 1200 and imprinted data from EXIF.

Image quality

Image quality was up to par. The sharpness in the center is high even at F1.4, at the edges the sharpness becomes good with an aperture of F2.8, from F2.8 to F16.0 the sharpness is just wonderful. Even at F16.0, diffraction has little effect on quality, therefore, shooting the landscape will be quite simple. The lens has very small HAmuch less than Nikon 35mm f / 1.8G AF-S DX Nikkor... Slight vignetting is noticeable at open apertures. The Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM delivers a “star effect” from F2.0. Using an 8-blade diaphragm produces nice bokeh that is slightly curled around the edges of the frame. The lens tolerates side and back light well, gives normal contrast and color rendition. The only drawback is the slight barrel distortion. In general, the picture quality is at a very good level.

Photo on Sigma 30 1.4

Photo on Sigma 30 1.4


Personal experience

I personally found it strange such a lot of weight and the lack of a focus switch, and even the focus is not internal with a very large MDF. But with all this, the lens really meets the class of professional top-end lenses. On my copy stands protective filter at 62mm and the focusing is actually internal. The lens has a very large aperture F1.4, but this will not allow normal taking photos with blurry background, since the lens has a very small focal length, and infinity “begins” after 2 meters.

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Distortion

Sigma AF 30 1.4 EX DC HSM. Distortion

Prices for the Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM lens in popular online stores can look at this link.
Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. A wide variety of photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress, The Amazon и B&H Photo.


The Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM is an excellent lens for crop cameras with huge aperture and good image quality.


Take a look at the review of the successor to this lens - Sigma 30mm 1: 1.4 DC Art.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 131, on the topic: Sigma AF 30mm f / 1.4 EX DC HSM review

  • Nicholas

    Thanks for the review, I'm waiting for the Sigma 30 / 1,4 ART review to be released

  • Ilya

    Hello, Arkady. Have you tried shooting with this glass in full frame? Interested in how noticeable the vignette will turn out and how much it can be reduced in LR without cropping. I tried Nikkor 35 1.8 DX on the d600, in this regard it suited me more or less, but I would like a wider angle and a larger aperture.

  • Vdastelin

    Focal inconvenient. 18mm is more versatile. On crop, there is only a limited large heavy 18-35 f1.8 with slow autofocus. The manufacturer cunningly hints - if you want convenience, speed of image quality accuracy and aperture - take FF d5 and zoom 24-70 f2.8. Strangely, there is no zoom aperture of f2, and the 20 megapixel sensor makes almost the same noise as 40 megapixels. We need a gain in noise of 3 ISO stops, one at the expense of the lens, two at the expense of the matrix, then the manufacturer's cunning plan will work. And while the crop is pulling out iso 3200, I don't want to look at ff.

    A marriage with manual focus and the lack of protection and the ability to install on ff, the lack of a stabilizer and an inconvenient focal point kill the desire to watch the lens

  • Gesha Exhale

    Arkady in another article (about 35 mm Sigma Art) You wrote that this lens from the article belongs to the “Art” series. But when I went to review this lens (30 mm), I saw that it was not “Art”, but “EX”. Why is that?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is Sigma 35mm 1: 1.4 DG HSM | A (Art) and Sigma 30mm 1: 1.4 DC HSM | A (Art) and Sigma 30mm 1: 2.8 DN | A (Art), this review shows a non-ART version :)

      • Gesha Exhale

        Well, that’s clear. Thanks for the answers, comrades.

        I would still be very grateful if you would throw at me a link to a review of a specific model of the “art” series - Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Nikon, so I could not find it on your website and I would really like to read one, I am thinking about buying one.

      • Novice

        Hello Arkady! Please tell me whether it is possible to put this lens on Sony a-65 through some kind of adapter, without loss of image quality, including infinity. Thanks.

    • Michael

      EX is an old top line. Now, after rebranding, this is not.

  • Alexander

    Tell the inexperienced!) I recently bought a lens (sigma af 30mm f / 1.4 ex dc hsm) to replace the standard kit lens (Nikon DX 18-55 VR) with a Nikon D5600. The problem is the following - auto-focus does not work, the mode selection button (AF - MF) is not highlighted in the settings, just without selecting (MF) and that's it. I don’t understand what is the reason ?: Settings, incompatibility, product defect, maybe you need to install some kind of adapter? - because the difference in pins was noticed (in the camera 8 and in the lens 10pcs) how so? All other functions work!

    • Michael

      Alexander, good afternoon, something has cleared up on the sigma 1: 1.4 lens 30mm EX DC HSM. I have the same symptoms. I don’t know where to set up the NIKON D 5300

      • Dmitriy

        Perhaps the matter is in the camera firmware version. In my case, I have Nikon D5200 and sigma af 30mm f / 1.4 ex dc hsm. Autofocus works great on firmware version 1.01, but it doesn't work on firmware version 1.02 (I don't remember the exact version numbers). But my camera is older, so maybe your lens is simply not supported in yours.

        • Dmitriy

          That is, on newer versions of the camera firmware, autofocus does not work.

  • Eugene

    I read the comments that sharp at 1.4 is not so. At 2.0 it's sharp. Compare with Nikkor 35mm 1.8 FX. Focusing is fast, but you can't shoot quickly, it starts to miss.

  • kvs33

    Nikon d5500 autofocus worked on the first firmware, but without live view. After updating to a fresh firmware, it stopped focusing. I upgraded sigma to online trade for 1tyr - everything works fine including and with live view

    • kvs33

      Sorry! It was for Dmitry

    • Dmitriy

      Thank you!

  • Elena

    Hello, thanks for your reviews! I always go to your site when I choose a lens :) I bought this sigma and am very happy! Focusing fast (keeps up with the petty fidget) and 1.4 working, which is sooo happy! 0 :) Of course, bokeh can not be compared with portrait 85mm 1.8, but also happy :)

  • Still

    Today I acquired a subject on the occasion. I did not have much time to test, but! Which for me personally is very important in Live View, AF works and is pretty good. Also, there were questions on manual adjustment of the focus with AF in the following, but it does not work, but why is it needed there. The AF-S works. Oh yes, the D5100 camera, firmware 1.02

  • Ivan

    Pentax also has such a lens.

  • Alexey Shangin

    My copy does not work with Live View on Nikon d7000, otherwise the lens is really gorgeous, reliable, gives a pleasant picture. I exchanged my Tamron 17-50 VC for it, which I remember as a bad dream.

  • wantoch

    Now this particular version of Sigma is a purely night lens, as they say must have. Because there are no more lenses that give real gorgeous stars on the lanterns already from 2.0, that is, you get a night report from your hands, a living city with people and cars, moreover. It is completely unnatural to install filters with "spokes".
    It is posed and focused on full frame Nikon cameras - just dark edges, clipping to taste, plenty of pixels.
    He is greatly mistaken and does not focus in LV on carcasses after D3100 (maybe in service, firmware, I don’t know), you can manually.
    True, everything works fine on DF, with its ISO a natural eagle owl turned out)).

  • Oleg

    Inflation and the dollar, gentlemen, are eating up interest in good optics. I took this lens for portraits. It was 2008. The price in the store on Sokol was 16000. He justified it there.

  • Denis

    ABOUT! Vyshgorod!))

  • anonym


  • Svetlana

    Hello Arkady! I recently bought this lens for a Nikon d5100 carcass. There is no problem with the focusing viewfinder. And in Live view, it focuses incorrectly. Tell me, please, what are the options for solving this problem?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Good day. Most likely none. These are the features of third-party optics.

  • Still

    A glass would have been wonderful if it weren’t for the autofocus blemishes. The picture is significantly livelier than that of Nikor. However, perhaps this is a subjective sensation.

  • Still

    In terms of characteristics and picture, it surpasses Nikkor analogs close in parameters. But! Autofocus smears more often than in "native" glasses. In general, if the priority is on the picture and aperture, then I highly recommend it. If% of shots in focus is more important, then it is better to pay attention to the original models. Personally, I made a choice in favor of the picture))

    • Michael

      Here in terms of performance does not exceed at all, as well as a newer modification of art. Nikkor plastic is better, although it’s not as fast as the nuts in the image.

  • Nicholas

    reducing the image, pixels are recalculated using several interpolation methods. With this option, it’s generally difficult to judge anything about the capabilities of the lens. or watch test short clips on YouTube. it’s better then to sprinkle the whole truth out.

  • Alexander

    Tell me, did you come across such a lens under the canon? And do you think it will be suitable for shooting portraits, or will it be an eternal struggle with distortion?

  • Vlad

    Good evening, Arkady. I use the Nikon d5600 camera. I decided to purchase a high-speed universal fix, the choice fell on Sigma 30 / 1.4 Art. I found this lens in a large retail network with a significant discount, the last one was left. When checking, I found a noticeable front focus at focusing distances greater than 1 meter. Question: is it possible to align the lens under my camera? How complicated / expensive is it? Thanks)

  • Fedor

    I have a D5200 camera
    With this lens, good photos are obtained on the street, when working without a flash.
    Focuses perfectly.
    But in a room with a flash, my lens is washing. The impression
    that autofocus stops working. I tried both with a standard flash and with the SB900. I don’t know what to do with it.
    Advice please.

    • Michael

      Excerpt watch

    • Dmitriy

      As Michael wrote it is necessary to watch the excerpt. The D5200 has 1 / 200s synchronization. It does not know how to sync at high speed. Everything is sharp for me with the D5200 + Sigma 30 + SB600.

  • Aiman

    Hi, Please review the Art version of this lens.

  • Still

    The net is wonderful, of course. The only thing is that autofocus does not always work exactly. Smears. But when he took it, he knew about it and decided to forgive him for the quality of the picture.)

    • Alex

      Try to focus at a greater distance first (without taking a picture), and then on the subject. On my copy, this technique significantly increases the number of accurate hits. And yes, the lens is excellent - a comfortable focal point, a good picture and a fully working open aperture.

  • Я

    Tell me the instructions for assembling this lens. I dropped it, took it apart, I can’t put it back together properly.

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