Saturday, 3 May 2014

Sigma 60mm with rubberized focus ring

In 2012, Sigma released their first Micro Four Thirds lenses, the 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8. They are not impressively fast, but well performing and relatively inexpensive.

The lenses were updated already one year later, in 2013. However, only the exterior was changed. The lenses lost the ribbed plastic focus rings, replaced with a smooth metal exterior. At the same time, a new lens was released, the 60mm f/2.8. The three lenses are seen below:

I've compared the Sigma 60mm lens against the five times as expensive Lumix X 35-00mm f/2.8, and found that the Sigma lens does almost as good. The 60mm lens is very sharp, and has a nice, smooth bokeh.

I'm not a big fan of the new look of the Sigma lenses. The metal focus ring is smooth and solid, but not very ergonomic. I preferred the ribbed plastic focus ring. Also, the supplied hood is just hideous, being much too short and wide for a long tele lens. The hood would be fine with the 19mm lens, but for the tele lens it is just silly:

With a bit of DIY effort, the focus ring can be improved, though. I cut a part of the bicycle inner tube from a 2.1" MTB wheel:

Putting the rubber segment outside of the focus ring makes it much easier to grip:

The rubber also protects the metal surface. For a replacement of the hood, I used a 46mm to 37mm step down ring:

The step down ring keeps some stray light out of the lens, but more importantly, it avoids accidentally hitting the front lens element into an object. You'll also need a 37mm front lens cap.

By adding the rubberized surface on the focus ring, the lens feels more complete for me.

1 comment:

  1. I have all three Sigma lenses. They represent good value for money. I like the smooth look. If I want a manual focus lens, there are far better options in legacy lenses, which were made for manual focus. The Sigmas live in a world of AF and excel in this area.