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Sigma - Is it still a gamble?

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MichaelMelb_AU
13 Feb 2014 - 11:09 AM


Quote: ...

The 70-200 is optically great when it worked. I have had focusing issues with this from day one...I don't know if this is representative but my impression of Sigma is that they can produce optically great lenses, let down by quality issues.

Similar experience with 18-125 zoom. Great optically but let down by focusing issues. Remarkably, the same lens behaves differently on different camera bodies I have - which says of design quality as well. It focuses fine on EOS 10D but front-focuses on EOS 550D. And it's not the camera fault - checked with multiple lenses.

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13 Feb 2014 - 11:09 AM

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Dave_Canon
13 Feb 2014 - 11:10 AM

I have owned two Sigma lenses over the last 20 years. An 18-35mm which was not compatible with my then new DSLR but later failed after continuing to use on a film camera. However, 4 years ago I bought a Sigma 12-24mm which is fine so far. All my other lenses are Canon L lenses and I have not had a Canon lens fail. There are other differences, I can use the Canon lenses in poor weather but the Sigma does not have weather protection. To be fair, the Sigma lens cost half the price of its Canon equivalent. I have the impression that Sigma is probably the best of the third party lenses and offers good value for money. However, if you want the best, you do have to pay more for Canon or Nikon. If it was not for companies like Sigma, perhaps Canon and Nikon would charge even more!

Dave

MichaelMelb_AU
13 Feb 2014 - 11:20 AM


Quote: It's fairly normal for extremely fast lenses to misfocus when stopped down slightly - a phenomenon called 'focus shift'.....

Could you please tell us more on this effect? I never met it with my f1.8 Canon prime, however f4 18-125 Sigma lens seems to suffer from it. But can be focused pin-sharp manually. Maybe it's a cheap third party lens specific effect?

Last Modified By MichaelMelb_AU at 13 Feb 2014 - 11:21 AM
GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2014 - 11:23 AM

Some of these opinions seem outmoded to me. The 35mm Sigma that started this thread is anything but a cheap also-ran, see here. Other recent Sigma lenses seem of a similar ilk.

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2014 - 11:31 AM


Quote: Could you please tell us more on this effect? I never met it with my f1.8 Canon prime, however f4 18-125 Sigma lens seems to suffer from it. But can be focused pin-sharp manually. Maybe it's a cheap third party lens specific effect?

No, it's not a 'third-party effect' Michael, as you'll find out if you click on the links I posted about an hour ago. It tends to manifest itself in faster lenses than an f/1.8, so you'd be unlikely to encounter it.

See here.

FredDee
FredDee  156 forum posts United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 - 11:34 AM

I have the latest version of the Sigma 105mm 2.8 VR Macro, and I find that it gives superb results.
Build quality is also very good, but unlike the Nikon 105 Macro, it is not weather proofed.

Fred

Last Modified By FredDee at 13 Feb 2014 - 11:34 AM
Gaucho
Gaucho e2 Member 122309 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2014 - 11:59 AM

I've had the Sigma 10-20 mm for some years and have never had a problem with it. I've recently taken on board the new 18-35 f1.8 and though it is early days, I can't fault it. The build quality is quite remarkable even compared with my Nikkor 105mm macro.

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62505 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 - 12:36 PM

As has been mentioned, alleged wide angle focs complaints are common with all brands.
Many Nikon wide angle lenses come with a caution that when what is under the AF sensor is small or very fine detail (situations more common with wide angles) the in camera AF may not work well.
Fast aperture lenses project narrow depth of focus (not the same as depth of field) onto the AF sensor. My experience is fast aperture lenses sometimes fail to focus accurate where slower aperture lenses of the same focal length lock on with ease.
It seems rare to see a posted image complaining using a subject where the camera maker says AF should be good, and common for the image to be one where Nikon advise "Autofocus does not perform well".
It is probable complaints arise mainly because some users are reluctant to accept phase detect AF often works less well with fast wide angles than other lenses; and these users, having spent a lot of money, are reluctant to accept when phase detect AF does not focus to a good standard manual focus may be needed to get a sharp result.

lemmy
lemmy  71941 forum posts United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 - 1:01 PM


Quote: It is probable complaints arise mainly because some users are reluctant to accept phase detect AF often works less well with fast wide angles than other lenses; and these users, having spent a lot of money, are reluctant to accept when phase detect AF does not focus to a good standard manual focus may be needed to get a sharp result.

I doubt that. The auto-focus is adjustable on modern cameras and can adjusted to be spot on quite simply. I have had a variety of Sigma lenses, none of which gave me any problem except a 50mm f1.4. The focus was inconsistent and any adjustment to focus was pointless because of that inconsistency. I adjusted it for forward focus for one shot, the next frame would be even further forward, then back,

I took the lens back to the dealer, we put the camera on a tripod and focused. My lens was out when judged against the live view (which is always accurate, of course, since you are viewing the sensors direct output as on MFT cameras. Open a box, put on a new example of the lens and....focus was perfect.

I used manual focus cameras day in and day out for 40 years. The idea that manual focus is more accurate than properly set up auto-focus is simply wrong.

ChrisJD
ChrisJD  496 forum posts Scotland
13 Feb 2014 - 1:34 PM

I've owned several Nikon lenses from fast primes to 70-300 zooms and never had any issues with any of them. I want to feel confident enough to buy Sigma but I'm just not.

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62505 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 - 1:58 PM


Quote: It is probable complaints arise mainly because some users are reluctant to accept phase detect AF often works less well with fast wide angles than other lenses; and these users, having spent a lot of money, are reluctant to accept when phase detect AF does not focus to a good standard manual focus may be needed to get a sharp result.


Quote: I doubt that.(Snipped),
My lens was out when judged against the live view (which is always accurate ---)
(Snipped)
The idea that manual focus is more accurate than properly set up auto-focus is simply wrong.


You are entitled to your opinion.
My opinion is based part on looking at 166 images of alleged D800 focus issues posted on one forum where every test seemed to ignore guidance on getting good results using auto focus.
It is also based on looking at 2,004 images on a number of forums over a number of years - usually when I or my wife are housebound. Of the 2004 only 2 seemed to test to a good standard, and one of the 2 was replaced by the retailer.
I can find no evidence other than a focus fault is usually down the way the equipment is used and not an equipment fault.
Nikon and Canon camera instructions contradict your assertion Live View is always accurate and go on to give example of subjects where Live View focus may not be accurate.
Nowhere have I said manual focus is more accurate than autofocus though
1/ camera instructions include examples of some subjects where manual focus may be more accurate than autofocus
2/ Nikon suggest with the D800 when making very large images at very wide apertures Live View zoomed in may sometimes provide the most accurate focus.

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2014 - 2:05 PM

Live view (especially zoomed) is deadly accurate when manual focusing, of course, which would seem to me to be reasonably transferable to manual focusing with a precision screen. Personally I find AF to be problematic when trying to achieve critical focusing in some scenarios (e.g. close-up subjects with a wide aperture).

Willpower
Willpower  3196 forum posts United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 - 3:13 PM

Just come across this, which is pretty topical here From PetaPixel

Mike_Smith
13 Feb 2014 - 7:54 PM

I have a 120 - 400, a 17 - 70, and a 10 - 20 all work great, only one thats given me trouble is the 120 - 400 it had to have a new focus motor. Also the last on i bought was the 17 - 70 came with a 3 year guarantee, i am not sure you will have to check to see if they are still offering this

AnneB50
AnneB50 e2 Member 2114 forum postsAnneB50 vcard Scotland18 Constructive Critique Points
13 Feb 2014 - 10:15 PM

I have 2 Nikon fit Sigma lenses. The 10 20 is great but I have been disappointed with the 18 200 from day 1. It is ok mid range but at either end of the focal length it is not at all sharp regardless of the aperture. I bought this one initially as it was cheaper than the nikon equivalent and got pretty good reviews but as thewilliam says above, I guess you get what you pay for.

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