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Sigma - Is it still a gamble?

ChrisJD 8 100 Scotland
13 Feb 2014 8:09AM
Some of Sigma's new lenses look really nice and seem to be getting good reviews. But I still keep reading about Quality issues - the user reviews of their 35 f1.4 on WEX has a few examples saying that they had to return the lens due to focusing issues. This is a real shame, if I didn't feel that it was a gamble buying these lenses I may well have bought a couple. I don't doubt that they are excellent when they produce a good example. What does everyone think?

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JohnParminter 11 1.3k 14 England
13 Feb 2014 8:32AM
I have mixed opinions of Sigma lenses.

I have the 10-20mm, 17-70mm and 70-200mm lenses.

The 10-20 is solid, well built and performs OK for it limitations.

The 17-70 is just brilliant, light, sharp and dependable.

The 70-200 is optically great when it worked. I have had focusing issues with this from day one, sent back twice for various repairs even a new focus motor but it has now packed in all together.

So, 2 out of 3 have been great quality-wise. 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.
ChrisJD 8 100 Scotland
13 Feb 2014 8:45AM
I borrowed a 105 macro a few years back and it was a superb lens. Later on the guy whom I borrowed it from bought the 150 macro and it was awful. It rattled and wouldn't focus. He sent it back and it came back supposedly fixed but still rattled. I guess you only hear the bad news stories but if they got their QC right then they'd be first choice for many.
timbo 15 596 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 9:14AM
I had the 10-20 but sold it, it was a great lens. The 70-200 is ok but i find i need to stop it down to at least f4 to be happy with the sharpness which is annoying as i like to shoot wide open. I think i will pay the extra for a nikkor next time.
As far as independants go I like Tokina, a bit clunky looking (and feeling) but pin sharp.
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
13 Feb 2014 9:42AM
You'll find that very fast marque lenses cause focusing issues amongst users, too. They're a riskier buy, generally, so personally I wouldn't be too perturbed by a modest proportion of duff reviews. Sigma are much changed, so I'd have more faith in them now than before (and I was never particularly biased against them).
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 10:12AM
I purchased a Sigma 18-125, 70-300APO and a 28-300 in 2008, they still work perfectly.

bobhp 5 22
13 Feb 2014 10:15AM
Sigma have always had quality control issues, I have had three of their lenses in the past and have been very disappointed with them on the other hand I have friends who own them and are very happy,
I have seriously considered the 35mm 1.4 but there is too much doubt in my mind to take the plunge. Sad
peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 10:20AM
In the past I had a very disappointing Sigma 24/70 f/2.8; it put me right off the brand.
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
13 Feb 2014 10:32AM
You can quickly find problems with fast lenses across the board - here , here , here , and here , for instance. Sometimes it's an inherent problem with the lens, other times it might change or disappear between camera bodies.

I've used multiple Sigma lenses, and the 50mm f/1.4 was 'quirky', but usable once I'd got used to it. Telephotos are usually of excellent quality - slightly bettered by the Canons for optical quality if you pixel peep. I tried the 35mm Sigma briefly, and it seemed to focus okay at max aperture (which is where I previously had a problem with the 50mm).
mohikan22 14 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 10:37AM
ive had my sigma 12-125 os hsm for about 3 years.. flawless and sharp. light and dependable.
Willpower 7 462 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 10:37AM
It's such a shame that the majority of the posts above seem to be tending towards the negative. I have a 10-20 mm an 18-200mm and a 50-500mm and they are all solid in construction, behave faultlessly and (in my opinion) produce images of great quality.
I think like any manufacturer you will get the odd "bad un", but I have had extremely good service from Sigma's repair department. When I dropped my 18-200. It was repaired within 1 week for a fixed price and included marvellous customer service.
richmowil Plus
9 352 2 England
13 Feb 2014 10:41AM
I have the following Ex Dg Lenses from Sigma and they have been and are performing very well, no issues whatsoever!

I wouldn't swap them, 17-35, 24- 70 F2.8, Macro.100-300 F4, 50 - 500 F4-F6.3 plus 1.4x apo multiplier.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
13 Feb 2014 10:49AM
Sigma has a proud history of introducing lens designs to the market before the big marques. One example that I bought about 15 years ago was the 15-30 zoom. Sigma lenses are also considerably cheaper than the famous marques.

If you're used to the performance and durability of the big names such as Nikon or Leica, you may well find that your Sigma lens is less sharp, doesn't last as long and loses its value quicker.

In this world, you get what you pay for and Sigma offers excellent performance and value for money at their price point.
bigpete 4 59 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2014 10:53AM
I bought 2 sigma lenses after purchasing a canon dslr the ex dg 50mm macro (95) lovely lens hunts, a bit on af but great on manual,, also the dc 18-125mm (140) both purchased 2nd hand both work very well ,, the canon equivalents would have cost vastly more I couldn't be happier...

GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
13 Feb 2014 11:00AM
It's fairly normal for extremely fast lenses to misfocus when stopped down slightly - a phenomenon called 'focus shift'. You can do various things to mitigate this, but inevitably a proportion of people just return the lens and report quality control issues. Perhaps Sigma do/did have QC issues, but a lot of 'reviews' on the internet are knee-jerk reactions based on a lack of knowledge.

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