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Author Topic: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800  (Read 15799 times)
NicoChina
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« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2013, 10:37:00 PM »
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Hi Bernard Smiley

How is the autofocus?
I replaced my 35 F2.0 by the nikkor AFG 1.4 a few month before the release of the Sigma and while I do like the images that i get, i keep struggling with the super slow AF. Since it's a lens that I do use a lot for reportage / social events I do need to "catch the moment" quite often. A fellow photographer sold his own 35 AFG 1.4 for the Zeiss one and I feel he might beat my Nikkor's AF by manual focusing.

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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2013, 11:18:24 PM »
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How is the autofocus?
I replaced my 35 F2.0 by the nikkor AFG 1.4 a few month before the release of the Sigma and while I do like the images that i get, i keep struggling with the super slow AF. Since it's a lens that I do use a lot for reportage / social events I do need to "catch the moment" quite often. A fellow photographer sold his own 35 AFG 1.4 for the Zeiss one and I feel he might beat my Nikkor's AF by manual focusing.

Hi Nico,

AF worked very well when I had to shoot the after wedding party of a friend a few weeks ago. That was just before Nikon upgraded the Firmware of the d800, it may be even better now, but I had no chance to try in a challenging environment.

My experience is only with AF-S though, i have not tried AF-C.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Phender
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 02:36:40 AM »
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It took a while for Sigma (or perhaps their Australian distributor) to get any of the 35mm f1.4 down here but, it was worth the wait. Simply stunning on my 800e and so well made. Everything just clicks. Is this one of the greatest value for money bits of camera gear currently around along with the DP2 Merril? I must say Sigma really seem to have got their act together.
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jwstl
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 10:12:23 AM »
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I must say Sigma really seem to have got their act together.

They are really doing some interesting things...Take a look at this just announced 18-35 1.8 zoom for smaller sensor cameras:

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/product/18-35mm-f18-dc-hsm-art?link=april_m_1_new
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Quentin
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2013, 03:34:45 PM »
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A few more, all from Palma de Mallorca in the last week, with the D800E and Sigma 35mm F/1.4







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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
Ray
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« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2013, 11:22:54 PM »
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It's a pity that threads like this, that are in praise of a particular lens, do not show images comparing the lens with another lens, such as a popular zoom lens used at the same focal length, so the potential buyer can get an idea of the practical significance of any improvements that the prime lens may have in relation to lenses already owned.

As we all should know by now, it's the photographer who counts, more than the equipment, and any good photographer, such as Bernard or Quentin, can take interesting and impressive photos using virtually any lens.

The reason I raise this issue is because my copy of the Sigma F1.4 does not appear to be sharper in the centre, than my Nikkor 24-120/F4 zoom at 35mm (or more precisely 33-34mm which is a more exact match).

Initially, I considered returning the lens, but it does have some good points, and I think it's now too late to return it.

Comparing the lenses on my D7100, I would say the good points are:

(1) The Sigma seems as sharp in the centre at F1.4 as the Nikkor zoom is at F4.

(2) At F8, the Sigma is clearly sharper in all corners than the Nikkor at F8, but not noticeably sharper in the centre, and only marginally sharper at the borders, as opposed to the corners.

The puzzling aspects, which make me wonder if I've got a lens (or camera) at the lower end of the quality control spectrum, is corner performance at F4. In the lower left corner, the Sigma is clearly very much better. However, in the upper right corner, the Nikkor zoom is clearly much better.

Resolution at the middle of the lower edge, and middle of the upper edge, camera held horizontal, is about the same in both shots, implying that misfocussing is not the cause.

Being aware of such characteristics and flaws is going to be useful. If I'decide to use the Sigma for stitching a landscape, in place of the Nikkor zoom, focussing at or near infinity, I'll know that little purpose will be served by using the lens at apertures wider than F8.

The main use of this lens will be merely to get a shallower DoF than my Nikkor zoom can provide, and doing so without loss of resolution in the plane of focus, compared with the Nikkor zoom.

If the Sigma boasted VR, I could also claim its wider aperture would be useful for hand-held photography in low light. Unfortunately, the difference of three stops between F1.4 and F4 is hardly better than the advantage of the VR of the Nikkor 24-120 zoom. It will be useful to freeze subject movement, though.

If anyone feels convinced that my copy of this Sigma lens is below standard, please post some comparison shots, preferably taken with a D7100. It might be the case that my camera rather than the lens is flawed. I did have to make a substantial 'AF Fine Tuning' adjustment of +15 to get the Sigma lens to focus accurately.

PS. I should clarify things before anyone picks up my mistake. The attached images have been mislabeled. The camera is the D800E, not the D7100. It would be very surprising if such big differences existed in the corners of the cropped format.  Wink
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 01:54:02 AM by Ray » Logged
HarperPhotos
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2013, 12:02:48 AM »
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Hello,

When I received my version of the Sigma 35mm F1.4 I did a comparative test with my Nikon 35mm F1.4 G lens and unfortunately the Sigma was soft in the corners at F5.6 and F8.0 compared to the Nikon so I sent it back. I will try again another version of this lens in the future when time permits.

Lloyd Chambers on his pay to view website also mentions the problem of Lens Skew he has experienced with the Sigma 35mm F1.4 lens on his Nikon D800E so yes there seems to be a problem with this lens in some instances.

I hope that next time I try one it will be a keeper as the centre part on the image was shaper than the Nikon 35mm F1.4 G I have but the corners where soft.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2013, 05:17:14 AM »
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Could it not be a different focus plane curvature between the Nikon and sigma?
I'm looking at the telegraph pole and distant trees. Maybe focus with live view on the pole if you haven't already.
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2013, 09:57:13 AM »
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Could it not be a different focus plane curvature between the Nikon and sigma?
I'm looking at the telegraph pole and distant trees. Maybe focus with live view on the pole if you haven't already.

I don't know what it is, but it's a bit weird. I've delegated the AF-On button on the D800E for focussing, which locks focussing with a single press of the button whilst all focussing with the shutter button is deactivated. For these shots I've used a single focussing square in the centre of the viewfinder and have focussed on the same spot in the centre of the frame in each image compared.

If the top right corner of the image taken with the zoom at F4 is noticeably sharper, one wouldn't expect that same corner at F8 to be noticeably sharper with the Sigma prime . Yet it is.

Following is the same scene from a slightly different perspective showing the superiority of the Sigma in both corners at F8. The other two corners, not shown, are also about equally sharper in the Sigma shot at F8.
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NancyP
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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2013, 10:11:08 AM »
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Great colors and an interesting photo, but the subject does seem to be 'floating in air'. What gives?
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Ray
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« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2013, 10:25:40 AM »
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Great colors and an interesting photo, but the subject does seem to be 'floating in air'. What gives?

What do you mean? The subject is resolution testing, from a practical perspective. These are just shots from my back yard.
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Quentin
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« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2013, 01:36:53 PM »
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Great colors and an interesting photo, but the subject does seem to be 'floating in air'. What gives?

Yes it's fun - sadly not my back yard, Ray  Wink - but it's a trick, the guy is supported (I assume) through a pole running up his sleeve down through his blue coat to a seat concealed beneath his coat so he appears to be hovvering.  But it really was quite odd...and he attracted a lot of attention on a fairly cold but bright day with some people sitting underneath him.  I gave him a couple of euros tip, hence the smile!
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2013, 01:50:24 PM »
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Could it not be a different focus plane curvature between the Nikon and sigma?
I'm looking at the telegraph pole and distant trees. Maybe focus with live view on the pole if you haven't already.


Looks that way to me too.  But it is odd that the problem always seems to be on the right side, which might point to a problem in manufacture or alignment and testing.  If Sigma's test rig is very slightly out, that might account for the problem being consistently on the same side if the lens.    Mine also has the problem very slightly and also on the right side but it only seems to show up now and again and at wide apertures.  I have some shots taken stopped down to F/10 or so that are pin sharp across the whole frame.   In fact the overall performance is remarkable, exceeding the performance of the sensor.
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Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
MrSmith
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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2013, 04:19:49 PM »
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Jumping to conclusions here but could this be something similar to the left side focussing issues on d800's ?
A colleuge of mine had this issue last week but had only noticed it when using a particular lens wide open with an off Center subject, it was back focussing by about 5in on a subject 5ft away. He had been using the camera for 6months shooting jobs but the problem only just became apparent. (Nikon are rectifying the issue this week)

I guess you just have to work trough different tests to see if its lens or body.
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Ray
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« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2013, 08:21:34 AM »
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Jumping to conclusions here but could this be something similar to the left side focussing issues on d800's ?
A colleuge of mine had this issue last week but had only noticed it when using a particular lens wide open with an off Center subject, it was back focussing by about 5in on a subject 5ft away. He had been using the camera for 6months shooting jobs but the problem only just became apparent. (Nikon are rectifying the issue this week)

I guess you just have to work trough different tests to see if its lens or body.

I carried out further tests this morning, this time focusing on a target at a distance of 3 to 4 metres. At this distance the Sigma lens performs as expected, outresolving the Nikkor zoom in all four corners, particularly in the upper right corner where the Sigma lens did so badly when focused near infinity in the previous example.

The impression I'm getting is that a lens, whilst accurately focusing in the centre, can be back-focusing or front-focusing at the edges or corners, and that the degree of such misfocusing at the edges and corners can vary in accordance with the distance to the accurate point of focus.

For example, it's clear from the 100% centre crops in the attached images, that both lenses are accurately focused on Santa Claus in the centre of the frame. However, in the crops of the upper right and upper left corners where the Sigma resolution is clearly much better, the immediate background in the corner crops from the Nikkor zoom are clearly less OoF. In other words, the Nikkor lens is backfocusing in those upper corners, but correctly focusing in the centre of the frame. This is just my interpretation of what I'm seeing.

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spotmeter
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« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2013, 09:00:40 PM »
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I just tested this lens and it was de-centered. Out of focus on the right side. I had to return it.

After I ran my tests, I went on the Internet and found a number of other reviewers who found the same problem.

When you pay a low price for a Sigma lens, you are apparently paying for poor quality control.

There are no bargains in the photo world.

Of course, you can be lucky and get a good copy.  Buy mine was so bad that I opted to go with a Zeiss 35mm f2 and was not disappointed at twice the price.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2013, 09:58:48 PM »
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When you pay a low price for a Sigma lens, you are apparently paying for poor quality control.

There are no bargains in the photo world.

Of course, you can be lucky and get a good copy.  Buy mine was so bad that I opted to go with a Zeiss 35mm f2 and was not disappointed at twice the price.

There are also countless reports of quality control issues at Nikon, Canon,.... with lenses costing a lot more.

I don't believe it makes sense to generalize your experience with one copy.

Cheers,
Bernard
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spotmeter
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2013, 10:33:44 PM »
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If you read my post, you would see I was not generalizing from one copy.

"After I ran my tests, I went on the Internet and found a number of other reviewers who found the same problem."

I was not generalizing from one copy. Rather, a number of reviewers found the same problem with their copies that I found with mine.

No need to generalize when several reviewers independently find the same problem.
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kers
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« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2013, 02:01:26 AM »
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If you read my post, you would see I was not generalizing from one copy.

"After I ran my tests, I went on the Internet and found a number of other reviewers who found the same problem."

I was not generalizing from one copy. Rather, a number of reviewers found the same problem with their copies that I found with mine.

No need to generalize when several reviewers independently find the same problem.

Lensrentals has an unique position to measure various copies of lenses; Roger Cicala just tested some of these lenses and the variation is not greater than Nikon or Canon...
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog
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« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2013, 02:13:07 AM »
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I can't believe folk here are defending what appears to be appalling quality control by stating it's no worse than that of Canon and Nikon.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 03:09:49 AM by KLaban » Logged

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