What can I say about this lens? Well lets break down the different subjects that will tackled:
1. Size and comparison
2. image quality
4. Auto-focusing / manual focusing
5. Astro photography
1. Well it’s safe to say that this lens is huge, much bigger than the Sigma 30mm 1.4 and so much bigger than the 16mm sony pancake or even the kit lens. Also regarding the weight, it’s no slouch either. Coming in at a hefty 405 grams, I’d say it’s not a light lens but does it make up for that in terms of quality? we’ll see. Build quality is also really good, high quality plastics, metal camera mount and all glass. Sigma also claims that it’s design is dust a splash proof, I wouldn’t test that myself but it has been stated by them. As for low light, well it’s safe to say this lens is a beast at 1.4 as it’s sharp as a nail wide open. I did notice some tiny slight focus hunting in lower light situations, but this is with all lenses.
2. I was blown away by the image quality of the Sigma 30mm 1.4, it is by far the sharpest lens i’ve ever tested on the Sony A6000, but what about this one? Well i’ll just use 1 word, FANTASTIC!
I’ve never seen such image quality on a lens for an APS-C sensor before in my life, I think it’s safe to say this lens is even sharper than the Sigma 30mm 1.4 (I really would love to see DXO Mark review this one). I’d say this lens is even sharper edge to edge than my all time favorite, the Samyang 12mm F2, and that’s putting the Samyang on a pedestal. I also notice no purple fringing wide open, which is difficult to see on a lens with this price range.
3. Regarding colors, well you get your typical Sigma colors, a bit on the colder side but nothing that can’t be fixed in post.
4. for those of you who saw my review of the Sigma 30mm 1.4, you will remember that I mentioned that the autofocus was not really up to par as the native Sony lenses. Well it seems that it has changed this time and we can clearly see that the Auto focus is super snappy and really fast as it uses the Sony fast hybrid AF that the Sony A6000 has. it’s easily as fast as a native lens and there seems to be no missed focus shots like the Sigma 30mm 1.4 had. Regarding manual focus :
5. If you want a lens that will give you the best astrophotography experience on your A6000, get this lens. The king before this was the Samyang 12mm F2 but now the Sigma has trumped it for the sole purpose of it being 1.4. By setting the Fstop so low means that you can reduce the ISO on your camera, creating less digital noise in your shots while still obtaining the same amount of light. Another great thing is that you can set your camera shutter speed to 21 seconds instead of 30 seconds, creating less star trails. Also the fact that the image quality is better than the Samyang takes this to a whole new level.
6. And now for the conclusions, is this lens for you? Yes! If you want to take wonderful landscape, astrophotography shots or even use this lens as normal everyday shots or even if you are a street photographer, it can be used for all your needs. The one thing this lens is not for is portrait photography as it needs to start at 30mm and up to get the perfect shape of the human face. While this lens is not the cheapest option, the quality of this lens makes up for the price 10 times over. I really suggest you buy this lens as it’s a no brainer and gives outstanding results on the sony Emount APS-C system.