I’ve already compared the DP2M to the 30mm f/1.4 EX (Part 1,Part 2) and discovered that DP’s lens is much sharper. I’ve also compared the two 30mm lenses, the EX and the new ART (Part 1,Part 2). The only thing left to do is to compare the DP2M with the new ART on the SD1M. Can DP2M‘s tiny 30mm f/2.8 win once more?
Although performance-wise it is much closer to the 30mm f/2.8 than the EX, not even the ART manages to dethrone DP2M’s standard prime. One interesting aspect of the 30/1.4 ART is the difference between short range and long range performance. At short range (wooden boards) even at wide open aperture of f/1.4 it is sharp in the centre. Stopped down to f/2.8 its centre performance is on the same level with 30mm f/2.8 on the DP2M. If you compare the edges however, you immediately see why the 30/2.8 respectively the DP2M has such a great reputation. It‘s sharper across the entire aperture range. At long range the 30/2.8 even manages to expand its lead. While the ART takes a performance (sharpness) hit, the 30/2.8 retains its exceptional resolving power regardless of the subject distance. It is this combination of excellent performance, regardless of the distance to the subject, and even sharpness across the entire frame what I like about the DP2M the most. It is mind-boggling how Sigma has managed to pack such high optical performance into a lens this small. If it offered f/1.4 maximum aperture, which would be physically impossible, I wouldn’t have bought the 30mm f/1.4 ART. As matters stand, the ART remains a necessary evil. 😉
And now let’s get to the photos, so that everyone can form their own opinion. (click on the photos to view them on flickr in full resolution)
Sigma DP2 Merrill
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