While Canon’s mirrorless line has been on the market for some time, they haven’t been very quick about making lenses for it; one source quotes only eight proprietary lenses to date. More distressing, other lens manufacturers haven’t produced lenses for the EF-M mount either. But that changed this year, when Sigma added the EF-M mount to it’s existing Companion line of lenses.
So if you’re in the market for a prime lens for your Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera, and don’t want to spend the money on Canon’s 32 mm option, the Sigma 30 mm f1.4 DC DN lens is a perfect choice, with is f1.4 aperture, autofocus and face and eye detection and significantly cheaper than Canon’s 32 mm option.
Prime lenses only cover a single focal length; in other words, they’re the opposite of zoom lenses. Because of their range of focal lengths, it might seem that a zoom lens is a better option (more options for the money) but a prime lens is a great option to keep in every photographic gear bag. Because of their set focal length, prime lenses can allow for a wider maximum aperture, allowing in more light and providing a shallow depth of field. They also tend to create sharper and higher quality images, while also being smaller and lighter.
- Focal Length: 30 mm (35 mm Equivalent Focal Length: 48 mm)
- Minimum Focus Distance: 11.8 inches / 30 centimeters
- Maximum Aperture: f1.4
- Minimum Aperture: f16
- Angle of View: 50.7°
- Length: 2.9 inches / 73 mm
- Diameter: 2.6 inches /65 mm
- Weight: 9.3 ounces /265 grams
- Mount: Canon EF-M
- Maximum Magnification: 1:7 / 0.14x
- Diaphragm Blades: 9 (Rounded)
- Filter size: 52 mm
- Lens Construction: 9 Elements in 7 groups
An Excellent Prime Lens for Your Canon M50 Mirrorless Camera
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens is a fast and versatile prime alternative to Canon’s 32 mm lens, at a much more affordable rate. An f/1.4 maximum aperture aids working in low-light while providing management over depth of field for selective focus techniques. The design features two aspherical elements, and one high-refractive-index element, reducing spherical aberrations and distortion. The addition of a Super Multi-Layer Coating is the cherry on top, leaving no room to wonder why this lens has such an outstanding reputation.
Performance And Functionality
Sigma has been working toward a single goal since 1961: imagining and developing technology that enables the capture of the perfect image. Sigma requires all of their lenses to be quality tested and approved before leaving the factory floor, producing final products built from premium materials making them globally known for performance and quality. Sigma doesn’t advertise or rely on endorsements. They’ve built their excellent reputation solely off reviews of professional and enthusiast photographers, so you know they’re providing a great product.
While the Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN isn’t tiny, it’s still fairly compact, especially considering its fast aperture and portrait-level focal length. It’s a bit heavy for one-handed use, but larger apertures tend to require a steadier hand, so this isn’t an issue as you’ll most likely want to use it two handed anyhow.
The autofocusing power is pretty good—fast enough to track moving subjects at a walking speed—but not as fast as some kit lenses. While it’s capable of focusing in low light, it’s of course substantially faster doing so in well lit compositions, where the contrast is higher.
The auto focus on the 30 mm f/1.4 is rather noisy, meaning it’s not a great choice for shooting video with autofocus or taking photos of subjects that might be spooked by the sound of the motor.
When paired with your Canon M50 Mirrorless, you’ll still be able to use Canon’s Servo Autofocus in addition to the face and eye detection found on the camera, adding heightened accuracy to focal points.
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN does not include an optical stabilization, and the Canon M50 body doesn’t come with sensor stabilization, so you’ll need to use a tripod or hold the camera steady with a sufficiently fast shutter speed to prevent camera shake. Because of this, it’s not a recommended choice for shooting video footage.
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN comes in several mount types including Sony E and Canon EF-M mounts. It can also come in a Micro-FourFour Thirds format. But that’s not all: if you purchase this lens for your Canon M50 Mirrorless and decide to switch camera bodies later down the road, you can have the mount type replaced for a small fee; a far better option than having to buy entirely new lenses.
This lens is a great option for landscape photography. It produces sharp image quality, even at its widest aperture. While the center of the images is of course clearer than the edges, when shooting landscapes, you’ll still receive a crisp image in the corners, when taking an image in low light settings, such as sunrise or sunset. That said, there is a fairly heavy vignette from f/1.4 until about f/4.0.
If we’re talking multi-person or full-body portraiture, this lens is a great option. It produces seriously sharp images, even on the camera’s LCD screen, the clarity of the images produced by this lens beats that of even its highest competitors. This might not be the best choice for solo head shots, as it’s a fairly wide lens and might cause some distortion.
Bokeh is an important element in photography. Plainly speaking, Bokeh is the name given to the quality and feel of the out of focus parts of the background of an image. The easiest way to think about Bokeh is to picture an image of a person attending outdoor activities at night—light a wedding reception or a carnival.
In the background of such images, there will inevitably be lights, blurred out because of the shallow depth of field. Typically, those lights will take on the appearance of soft, blurry circles—at least, they will with a lens that produces good Bokeh. If the Bokeh isn’t very good, those circles might actually be hexagons / octagons / pentagons (you get the drift).
Superb Bokeh is perfectly round and smooth. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN doesn’t provide superb Bokeh, only providing round light circles around f/2.8. When the aperture is open wider than that, background light sources are more of an oval shape. Still I’d rate the Bokeh pretty good, especially considering how cost effective this lens is. It’ll definitely do for portraits.
Although this lens performs very well for the price, there are a few aberrations that show up, particularly when using the larger aperture settings. If taking shots of the night-time sky, you’re likely to get coma aberrations on the bright stars located near the corners of your images.
If you’re unfamiliar: comatic aberrations happen due to mild imperfections in the lens, causing the subject matter to appear a bit off its axis point. When talking stars that means glowing balls of light look a bit more like comets, since they’ll have a subtle tail, rather than appearing as a round dot of white.
Because of this, F/2.0 is probably a better option than using the f/1.4 aperture, as the vignetting disappears almost entirely and the comatic aberrations are significantly reduced for the brightest stars.
There are numerous independent positive reviews for this lens to be found on shopping sites like Amazon and even the Sigma site. There’s also numerous YouTube videos to be found speaking highly of this lens, giving in depth reviews of its functionality.
User Interface And Control System
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN has a fairly uncommon filter thread size of 52 mm, however the included lens hood is designed to allow for a 67 mm filter to easily pop in and out of it, meaning it shouldn’t be too difficult to find front filters for this piece.
The lens works with Canon’s autofocus as well as its face and eye detection
Build Quality And Design
The mount of the Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN is metal, and the body is made from a combination of durable, high quality plastic and metal. The threaded focus ring turns smoothly, easily, and endlessly: there’s no stop when turning in one direction or another. This isn’t a preferred build, but it seems to help keep the costs down and works fine.
If anything, the focus ring could afford a bit more resistance, for slightly more fine tuned focusing power, but it works well as it is. The included lens hood is made from durable, high quality plastic and easily fits tightly onto the lens. Overall, the build quality is very good, feeling extremely sturdy, especially given the price.
Sigma claims the 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN is sealed against dust and moisture, however there is no apparent O-ring on the mounts that would suggest this to be the case, so that still remains undetermined.
Comparing The Competition
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN is a cheaper alternative to the Canon EF-M 32 mm f/1.4. In comparison, the Canon lens shows a slightly tighter field of view. Zooming in on the edges and corners of images taken with the Canon f/1.4 proves it to take slightly crisper images than the Sigma. The Canon also has a bit less field curvature than the Sigma.
On the other hand, the Canon produces Bokeh circles that are much more cat-eye in shape, while the Sigma produces more circular Bokeh. Additionally, the Canon lens autofocuses noticeably slower, and it’s motor is much louder. The Canon is also significantly more expensive.
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN is fairly light and compact alternative to Canon’s own EF-M 32 mm f/1.4 lens. It offers a wide range of aperture sizes from f/1.4 through f/16, made from 9 curved aperture blades. It syncs perfectly with the Canon M50’s Servo Autofocus, even working with the camera’s face- and eye-recognition abilities, more quickly and more accurately than Canon’s own lens. While a bit too noisy for taking shots of easily startled subject matter, like birds or bunnies, the Sigma’s focusing motor is substantially quieter than the Canon lens.
If you decide to switch camera bodies at some point, you can have the durable metal mount replaced, allowing it to work with a Sony E mount or a Micro Four Thirds format. A great general purpose lens, the Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 produces fairly sharp image quality, even at its widest aperture, making it a good choice for landscapes and portraits alike.
The Sigma 30 mm produces better Bokeh than it’s Canon alternative and is a good option for starry sky photography with its production of only minor aberrations and distortion. It’s also significantly cheaper than the equivalent Canon lens.
Compared to the Canon 32 mm, the Sigma 30 mm is a bit larger, and heavier, with slightly less barrel distortion. The Canon lens offers a shorter focal length, making it a bit better for head shots.
The Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 doesn’t provide optical stabilization, and the Canon EOS M50 camera body doesn’t have sensor stabilization, so a tripod is necessary when shooting video or taking shots in low light with a slow shutter speed.
All in all, this is a really good general purpose lens, especially for the price, compared to the alternative option. The lens has only been on the market for Canon mirrorless cameras since the spring of 2020 and it’s already building itself a great reputation deserving of the brand that backs it. Long story short, for general use, the Sigma 30 mm f/1.4 DC DN Companion lens gets our approval for pairing with your Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera.