When I was younger, I used to collect classical music, and I’d buy records based on reviews in publications like the Penguin Guide to Classical Music and Gramophone magazine. When I’d get home and listen to their recommended recordings however, I was often dismayed by what I’d heard, and ended up throwing away a lot of money on mediocre performances. I finally found a critic whose judgement I trusted: my ears were able to hear what he described in the pieces he wrote about. And just like music criticism, lens reviews may lead readers to buy a few good lenses, not buy many lenses that are great value for the money, and end up with a number of lenses that never get used.
Take this for example:
Unlike the APS-C version [of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4] which undoubtedly sits atop the E-mount range as one of the sharpest lenses avaiable, the Micro Four Thirds version falls behind lenses available in that mount’s more diverse lens selection. – DPReview
and compare to this, from the conclusion of a review over at LensTip:
If you look at the Micro 4/3 system’s line-up it [the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN] is actually the best lens in its class available on the market.
To be fair, DPReview did give the Sigma a Silver Award.
Here’s a short clip I made over the weekend. No color correction or sharpening were added in post. A Hoya NDX8 ND filter was used for all shots.
Free background music from JewelBeat.com
Most of the shots above were made at around f/5 or so. Here’s a clip shot at f/2.8. Sorry about the sound: I just dragged and dropped the clip into YouTube.
For comparison, I’m sharing a clip shot with the Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 lens shot at f/2.8, again with a Hoya NDX8 Filter. It’s not really a fair comparison, since in the clip above, the focus was on the subject’s dress, not her face, and I was using a handheld gimbal. For this next clip, I was using the iFootage Wild Bull T7 carbon fiber tripod and was positioned more head-on with the subject. But my first impression of the Leica is that it’s fucking incredible. Build quality is excellent, AF is fast and spot-on. It’s also blisteringly sharp.