Sigma 30mm f/2.8 lenses - modern classics?

Sigma know a thing or two about making lenses. They have been making alternative lenses for the major camera systems for years, both for film and digital. They are best known for providing cheaper options of both primes and zooms and have helped many a photographer, including myself, afford a decent lens without having to pay own brand premium prices.

They do however, with the odd exception, have the reputation of offering these alternatives as good value lenses, but not neccessarily quite up to the quality of the marque versions.

Until that is they came up recently with two prime lenses for m4/3 and NEX systems and put similar focal lengths on their two DP Merrill compact cameras. In all cases these 19mm and 30mm f/2.8 lenses have received very positive reviews, and in my opinion I think these are fully justified. I had a 19mm for my NEX cameras and thought it was excellent, rivalling the Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 for quality at a fraction of the price. I think the 30mm is even better, and the version that is on my DP2 Merrill, in combination with the Foveon sensor is simply spectacular. 

All lenses are sharp across the frame, work well wide open and have very little CA and fringing. But the astonishing thing with the interchangeable primes is what good value they are. In my assessment of the 30mm for NEX I wrote that I thought it was the best lens I'd used on my NEX cameras and yet one of the cheapest. So does this combination of quality at a great price mean that these lenses and the 30mm f/2.8's in particular deserve the reputation of modern classics? Well yes I think they do.

 NEX-7 30mm f/2.8

DP2 Merrill 30mm f/2.8

 DP2 Merrill 30mm f/2.8

NEX-7 30mm f/2.8
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