Faster lenses are not always better 

Sigma have released a beautiful new lens. Or at least from my web research it looks beautiful. It’s a 30mm f1.4 micro four thirds mount. It’s fast, relatively inexpensive and has received positive reviews. Normally I’d be knee deep in gear acquisition syndrome. But I’m not entirely.  

Perhaps it’s a sign of maturity, but I’m clear in my mind that this is not a lens I ‘need’.  Firstly, I don’t need such a fast lens because I seldom shoot wide open. In fact,  I rarely shoot wider than f4 in the street.  Occasionally for an artsy look I may aim for a little bokeh, but generally I want the greatest a depth of field light will allow.  Because depth of field covers a multitude of sins; in particular increasing the chance of your subject being in focus.   

Secondly, as with many fast primes, this looks like a large, heavy lens.  It’s nearly twice as long, twice as heavy, and twice as expensive as the slower sigma 30mm f2.8 (I own an early version of this lens and I’m very happy with it).  

If you are shooting in low light or shooting portraits, or weddings etc then this lens is definitely worth considering. But for street photography the slower, smaller and cheaper lens seems a better choice.  One of my favourite things about street photography is the way it turns the norms of photography upside down. Normal I’d want big expensive gear but on the street smaller, cheaper, more inconspicuous gear is often preferable, even when this means slower lenses. 

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