Site Sponsors
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 193

Thread: Sigma 35mm F1.4

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Just a heads up to those thinking of getting this lens, you might want to wait a little.

    Most of the reviews I have read have been done on cameras of lower resolution than the D800/E and the only exception has only so far looked at close range usage. I have been using a brand new copy extensively for a few days now, intending to review it, and I have found that it is less impressive at the edges than early reviews and MTF charts had led me to hope. This finding is clouded by the fact that mine appears to have a mild decentering, making the right hand side slightly softer, but neither edge qualifies as great on this copy. I have sent samples to Sigma to see if they regard it as within spec but I suspect that, for those awaiting a really good landscape lens in this focal length, this might not be it. I suspect that field curvature is to blame but not until I have a certified good copy can I be sure.

    It is remarkably sharp on centre, even wide open. But to give you an example, I was so surprised at the edge performance at far-mid and landscape distances that I made a comparison shot at F4 on a Sony RX1, which I regard as the gold standard for edge and corner sharpness in full frame mid wides, and then I down-resed the Siggy/D800 file to the same pixel dimensions and it was, literally, no contest: sure there was still a touch more detail on centre from the Nikon rig but the Sony easily took the edge trophy.

    I have repeated my tests of the Sigma at closer range and it seems somewhat better there (excluding the right hand edge weakness) but still not what I would call critically sharp like the Sony is.

    One snowfall does not a winter make, and I will report back on what Sigma have to say, but despite the fact that this lens is very nice on centre, has fairly low distortion and aberrations, good flare resistance and is very sharp indeed wide open on centre, it is not currently looking like the answer to 'sharp across the field' needs. For me, that's still the Sony...

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Just got one yesterday and its coming in at -22 which I can only go to -20 but I have a Sigma repair here in town so next week ill go get it tuned better. I still brought it with me for this trip but its really sharp. On AF I have to tweak the focus a touch to make up for it which is no big deal till I get it fixed up. Built like a Zeiss and really sharp. See how it does this long weekend.

    Anyone know when users can get the USB device and where. I want it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Posts
    1,809
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Mine seems very sharp to me. It focuses accurately at close range (within 20 feet or so), which is where I use it most. With very far subjects, it seems to often but not always frontfocus, but I haven't shot enough far subject stuff to be sure of that or care very much.

    Here's a processed f/1.4 test shot with distant point of focus. Click through for the full res version (D600):




    Here's f/5.6 from a different spot (again click through for full res):




    Those were both handheld and focused on the buildings in the distance.

  4. #4
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Amin, that scene will suit the field curvature of the lens: use it on a scene with buildings like the central one but all parallel to the sensor and stretching the full width of the frame (a typical requirement of a landscape photographer) and you might hate me....

  5. #5
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Guy, mine's a +18 and so I decided to make my tests by using a bracketed series, some focussed with AF-S, some AF in Live View and some manually focussed in LV and then just chose the best series. But even so, it is not a patch on the Zeiss lens that comes with the RX-1. Or at least mine isn't!

    What's the USB thingie?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Amin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Posts
    1,809
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Amin, that scene will suit the field curvature of the lens: use it on a scene with buildings like the central one but all parallel to the sensor and stretching the full width of the frame (a typical requirement of a landscape photographer) and you might hate me....
    Gotcha. I won't hate you either way, because I didn't buy this lens for landscape photography ,

    I did shoot one flat distant scene where the edges were disappointing, but it was one of the frontfocused ones, so any field curvature issue would have been exaggerated.

    I always thought a little field curvature was helpful for landscapes by making the proximal corners sharper.

  7. #7
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    It certainly can be for certain shapes of subject , but on this as with so many wider lenses on the D800, the nearer sharpness is gained at the expense of the far edges :-(

  8. #8
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Guy, mine's a +18 and so I decided to make my tests by using a bracketed series, some focussed with AF-S, some AF in Live View and some manually focussed in LV and then just chose the best series. But even so, it is not a patch on the Zeiss lens that comes with the RX-1. Or at least mine isn't!

    What's the USB thingie?
    If Guy doesn't mind, I'll respond briefly to the question regarding that "USB thingie" (hmm, maybe that's what Sigma should call it...LOL! Quick trademark that name! )

    It's a USB dock where the lens mounts onto the dock and it's cord plugs into a CPU's USB. I guess with supplied software, one is not only supposed to be able to update firmware of the lens, but also change or re-set the Af fine tune. I presume a lens that say needs -18...could be "nulled" and re-set to zero. I'm not exactly sure if that how it works or not, as Sigma hasn't apparently said much about it.

    I heard two things about pricing. One was that it's reasonable enough that some will consider purchasing it. I then heard that the price is exhorbitant and that it's really only meant for dealers or service stations that will charge customers for servicing their lenses as I just described.

    Soon enough I'm sure we'll learn and hear more about it.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 15th February 2013 at 04:55.

  9. #9
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Dave, I am in contact with Sigma UK to try to answer these questions and will post when and if I get the answers! They have also confirmed that they expect the edges to be sharper on the lens than the samples from mine I sent them so I am getting a replacement.

    EDIT
    I got news from Sigma: the dock will be available to end-users but price and date not confirmed...
    Last edited by tashley; 15th February 2013 at 05:10.

  10. #10
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Shot this lens all weekend and just on the LCD screen things look really good. I do need to download and process so hope to have stuff in a couple days but it sure is sweet at 1.4. Glad I bought it now just need to get the Focusing fine tuned. My guess is I need a -21 which I don't have .LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  11. #11
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Hey Guy, would love to see any shots you make of mid distance flat facades at F4 - Sigma have agreed that mine is too soft at the edges and it'll be replaced but I am keen to see what a good copy does... so far mine is not as good across the frame as my 28mm F1.8G, and is about as sharp on centre... and from what I read it should be better.

  12. #12
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I did this in LA actually . Now these are handheld at 2.8, 5.6,8 and F11. Actually corners and boarders look very good at F11 for sure but even 5.6 is what I would expect. Now I did not use live view here either so certainly with focusing issues at the moment with AF its a toss up if i nailed it . Looks like I did but here are 4 raws to check out . Here is a link. Let me know what your thoughts are I'm in all day meetings the next two days so hard to get working on this until Thursday. So far from other shots this thing looks very promising.

    https://www.yousendit.com/dl?phi_act...YSs0b0MwYjhUQw
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  13. #13
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Okay some real quickies first one at F9 and second at 1.4. Nothing done to these



    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Thanks Guy, am downloading now. The lens is certainly killer across most of the frame!

  15. #15
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I had a good look Guy, really useful. It looks to me as if yours is similar to mine but not as noticeable: slightly softer on the right. Mine cleans up at all distances by F8 which seems to be the last aperture before diffraction sets in, though F11 is still pretty good. Next time you'r about 150 feet from a flat facade it would be interesting if you get the same result. Thanks again. Crowd sourcing works!

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Varese Italy
    Posts
    226
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I apologize for the OT, as I don't have a Sigma 35 1,4.
    I have the same impression as Tim, Guy's sample shows a slight but visible
    softness on the right side.
    Just out of curiosity, I tested my venerable (1973) summicron r 35 (9 lenses)
    Here the result at 5,6. Take a look at the branches on the extreme right side..
    Full size image available on Flickr.
    The bokč in the 1,4 shot of the Sigma seems very good, and an example with
    defocused highlights could confirm this impression.


    _DSC1855 by sergio lovisolo, on Flickr

    Sergio
    Last edited by sergio lovisolo; 18th February 2013 at 13:03.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    476
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Well I think the f/11 sample is so good..!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eads, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,033
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Guy,

    Thanks for posting the files. Your copy of this lens would be a definite reject for me. It would be one thing if there was even curvature showing both left and right edges soft, but the left edge is crisp at f5.6 and the right is definitely out. The right edge is even slightly soft at f8.....

    Victor

  19. #19
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Thanks Victor I'm going to test it one more time on a tripod to be sure I am lined up okay and see what happens. This could be my whole AF issue too. Regardless of this copy I want this lens though. I have a Sigma repair shop in my area so I will bring it down there this week and see what they can do.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  20. #20
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Just so's you know Guy, Lloyd Chambers' copy has a slight decentering too... It may be that the design is prone to it.

  21. #21
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Thanks Tim good to know. Ill bring her to the repair shop and see if they can fix it up. Thanks guys for looking at the files still in heavy meetings so have not had a chance to really look at this stuff
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eads, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,033
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Thanks Victor I'm going to test it one more time on a tripod to be sure I am lined up okay and see what happens. This could be my whole AF issue too. Regardless of this copy I want this lens though. I have a Sigma repair shop in my area so I will bring it down there this week and see what they can do.
    Guy,

    The last thing I want is to go to school on you for something that has gone wrong on your end..... but this is very valuable information. I won't try a copy unless I am confident I can return it, which is fairly easy from the big vendors. Even so, equipment can't be sent back indiscriminately - next thing you know you're on some 'do not sell list'.

    Victor

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eads, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,033
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Just so's you know Guy, Lloyd Chambers' copy has a slight decentering too... It may be that the design is prone to it.
    Tim,

    I also saw that on his latest post..... if we're talking about the same thing. Regardless it doesn't make me feel good about this lens..... if its prone to that design then I'm staying away until I see more positive results.

    Victor

  24. #24
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Victor, I have a replacement due soon and will report back. For many, this would still be a great lens, it has very nice rendering of certain sorts of bokeh (as long as there aren't lots of defocussed bright hard edges) and it is reasonably flat field (better than a 35Lux I think but can't currently test until new M arrives). It is also gorgeously sharp wide open and even an 'off' copy like mine does clean up at the edges acceptably before diffraction robs the centre badly.

    What I want is a wide-ish lens that does for the D800 what that sweet Zeiss does for teh Sony RX-1. My sword will not rest in my hand!

  25. #25
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I think some manufacturers are pushing the design and performance of a given lens to it's limit with regards to price....or conversely sometimes pushing the optical design such as in marketing a unique fast wide ranging focal length zoom lens.

    Prototypes in the factory, when hand built and everything is precisely aligned, just barely make top performance specs. When it's religated to the assembly line, most of these lenses in general fall short. Sometimes it's minor differences, sometimes it's major anaomolies like bad decentering. It all depends on the lens design and how much it took to get those hand built smaples to ideal specs.

    Sometimes it's simply a matter of a manufacturer to get a lens to perform at a level where none has gone before in a particular format and price range. Something has to give. That doesn't mean we should just accept it...but maybe be aware that it will take a lot to simply buy one off the shelf and it perform as we expect it oo. Sometimes it does and often times not. How much we're silling to live with it, is hard to say.

    As a side note, Tim, the Leica 35mm Lux asph (pre FLE) suffered from bad field curvature...but the current 35mm Lux asph FLE, has corrected for a great deal of this. Just some general info with regards to that lens.

    Dave (D&A)

  26. #26
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Called Sigma repair today here in Phoenix and I can walk in with it, so its going in the morning . Keep everyone updated but once fixed this thing just may rock.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  27. #27
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Called Sigma repair today here in Phoenix and I can walk in with it, so its going in the morning . Keep everyone updated but once fixed this thing just may rock.
    Guy,

    Just out of curiosity, is this C.R.I.S. camera repair?

    Dave (D&A)

  28. #28
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Yes it is. Have you used them for service.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  29. #29
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yes it is. Have you used them for service.
    Almost did but after a few phone conversations with them, I opted out. I've know quite a few personally who have used their service for both camera and lenses (though not a Sigma). There is another recent thread here on Getdpi that briefly mentions experiences some had with them on the phone and getting specific answers. I don't know which is worse, dealing with automated call centers using a computer for interaction or speaking directly with C.R.I.S phone receptionsits and not getting beyond standard talking points.

    In person, I'm sure they're very nice and maybe quite different. As for their work, I know almost first hand its been a mixed bag.

    The experience including adjustment/alignment of your lens may work out splendly but if it was me personally, I would send it back to Sigma on L.I. (in NY). regarless of the convienience of C.R.I.S.walk-in service....although up until a few years ago, Sigma's on premise repair left a lot to be desired too It's definitely gotten better these past few years.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 20th February 2013 at 08:03.

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eads, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,033
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Diglloyd has another post regarding skewing with his copy of the Sigma 35mm. Its pretty severe and only shows that all of the hype for this lens was somewhat unfounded. My Zeiss 35mm F2 has no skewing issues. I am convinced that if anyone can make a premium 35mm lens it will probably be Zeiss.

    Victor

  31. #31
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Once I get mine straightened out it maybe better than my Zeiss 35mm F2. I like this Sigma and its look so far . Just get it straightened out and I will be a happy camper. If not Ill go back to the Zeiss
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  32. #32
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Once I get mine straightened out it maybe better than my Zeiss 35mm F2. I like this Sigma and its look so far . Just get it straightened out and I will be a happy camper. If not Ill go back to the Zeiss
    Guy, with the potential of the Sigma 35mm f1.4, I too hope you get it all straightened out.

    With regards to my post about C.R.I.S., Could you keep us posted how they did? There are some good stories and not so good ones with their work on adjustment and repair of lenses and cameras. Sort of a mixed bag but hoping your's turns out to be one of the better experiences with them.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 20th February 2013 at 08:02.

  33. #33
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Will do about to walk in there door in about 5 minutes.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  34. #34
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    berlin/germany
    Posts
    32
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    i bought the lens a few weeks ago and there is no complaint so far.
    wide open its quite ok - but i hardly ever use 1.4 - down to f5.6 its pretty sharp all over and at f8 even the far corners look really good. almost all my lenses are a bit mushy at the far corners, this one is good.

  35. #35
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    They have the firmware for canon just checking to see if Nikons out so they can get it. I read that it is out so hopefully I will hear soon.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  36. #36
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,673
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I assume though besides their needing the firmware for Nikon, they will also have to go through some disassembly of the lens in order to adjust?

    Dave (D&A)

  37. #37
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I just got my replacement Siggy 35 1.4 and will head out to shoot it soon in order to see if it's sharper across the frame but the first problem is AFFT: my previous copy required a +18 and this one looks like it needs a +22 to 24 :-(

  38. #38
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I have come to the ultimate conclusion that buying glass for ANY high-resolution camera requires a "shoppers" mentality: try on several to find the one that looks and fits you -- or in this case your camera -- the best...

    I went through 4 50/1.4G's to find a really good one; I took a chance on buying a used 24 PCE that a trusted person told me was better than average, they were right and I am happy; I went through 2 85 PCE's and 2 Sigma 120-300/2.8's and got an exceptional ones both times on the second go; I went through 3 80-200/2.8G's to get the one I have now. I got lucky on my first 24-120, but of course my expectations were moderated; I got lucky on my first Samyang 14, though again my expectations were not stratospheric. The rest I bought used and was able to trial them before buying so knew exactly what I was getting. All of that said, and while I feel I have an exceptional stable, I am equally certain NONE of those lenses are perfect in all ways!

    Short conclusion: my advice is to moderate ones expectations -- and then get back to creating images
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
    Likes 4 Member(s) liked this post

  39. #39
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Shashin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    4,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    141

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Apparently, that RX-1 lens is something special. No. 3 in DxO rankings with only 85mm lenses to keep it company.

    DxOMark - Camera Lens Ratings

    I would keep that RX-1 and think about trading in that D800.

  40. #40
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I just got my replacement Siggy 35 1.4 and will head out to shoot it soon in order to see if it's sharper across the frame but the first problem is AFFT: my previous copy required a +18 and this one looks like it needs a +22 to 24 :-(

  41. #41
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I'm with Jack in half of what he says: shop for good ones yes, but moderate one's expectations, no: define them reasonably and then stick to them, yes!

    I tested the new siggy properly this afternoon and it is overall not quite as sharp on centre as the one I returned (best out of bracketed series) and, though it is sharper on the right, it is softer on the left.

    My definition of reasonable is that the lens should look reasonably sharp on both left and right of frame at 50% on screen at F5.6 on a D800E, and that if you make a virtual copy of that f5.6 file and look at the right edge of it up against the left edge of the original, they should look similarly sharp. I can't think that that is unreasonable - and it's not a requirement I'd have of older, cheaper, or specialist lenses. But for anything from 24mm upwards, a good modern lens costing in the region of £800 upwards should be able to achieve that. It should also be able to be AFFTuned to within the -20 to +20 range.

    I have a standard test scene that I always shoot and over the years I have learned within half a minute to see, when getting a file from a new lens up on screen, if it is acceptable.

    So out of curiosity, do other people agree with my definition of what it is reasonable to expect?
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  42. #42
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Apparently, that RX-1 lens is something special. No. 3 in DxO rankings with only 85mm lenses to keep it company.

    DxOMark - Camera Lens Ratings

    I would keep that RX-1 and think about trading in that D800.
    Funny you should say that: in nearly all circumstances, the RX1 gives a better print in terms of perception of sharpness across the frame, especially at F2 thru 4 but also at 5.6, than any lens I own between 21mm and 35mm on a D800 - even if you down-res the D800 file to RX-1 size and even if you up-res the RX-1 file to D800 size. It is the most neutral, well behaved lens in this focal length range I have ever shot.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  43. #43
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Shashin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    4,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    141

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    So out of curiosity, do other people agree with my definition of what it is reasonable to expect?
    Sometimes I agree with you and sometimes not (so I don't think you are entirely crazy). I would say you are probably the most critical person on GetDPI for optics. One thing is for sure, I am glad I am not your sales rep.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  44. #44
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    So out of curiosity, do other people agree with my definition of what it is reasonable to expect?
    Yes. Unfortunately, neither Nikon or apparently Sigma agree, which is at the root of the problem. Nikon should for any 'pro' product give it a critical QC pass, then service or tweak it as needed until it passes. This would include critical inspection of files produced on a real-world, actual live camera like a D800E and focus performance on a D4. 1-3 AF tune clicks is fine (the value should be on the test certificate) on most lenses, 15 is not. A zoom that can only be tuned to one end is not. If this adds $100 to the cost of each lens sold (about two-three hours of bench work for a competent technician, averaged) - so be it. Pass it on. This is not the place to cut product cost.
    Likes 3 Member(s) liked this post

  45. #45
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Sometimes I agree with you and sometimes not (so I don't think you are entirely crazy). I would say you are probably the most critical person on GetDPI for optics. One thing is for sure, I am glad I am not your sales rep.
    Funny thing is, I sold Jack a lens once and it was a good copy of an interesting but imperfect design and I had to describe how good it was before I sent it to him - and I think he agreed when he received it pretty much exactly. So I think that he and I have pretty similar expectations and make pretty similar allowances.

    It's a great irony that about half my work doesn't require great lenses at all

  46. #46
    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of England
    Posts
    3,295
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Yes. Unfortunately, neither Nikon or apparently Sigma agree, which is at the root of the problem. Nikon should for any 'pro' product give it a critical QC pass, then service or tweak it as needed until it passes. This would include critical inspection of files produced on a real-world, actual live camera like a D800E and focus performance on a D4. 1-3 AF tune clicks is fine (the value should be on the test certificate) on most lenses, 15 is not. A zoom that can only be tuned to one end is not. If this adds $100 to the cost of each lens sold (about two-three hours of bench work for a competent technician, averaged) - so be it. Pass it on. This is not the place to cut product cost.
    I could not agree more. This is why Leica are good. Even if a sub-par copy escapes the factory, when you send it back they really pay attention because they really care.

    I am thinking of trying an experiment with Sigma: Guy, Lloyd Chambers and I have all had one (me two) sub-par copies of this lens and that tells me that the chances of getting a really good one from the retail chain are possibly low. So I might just send them my new copy and say, get this to be good. See what happens. Worth a go I think...

  47. #47
    Senior Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,306
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    So I might just send them my new copy and say, get this to be good. See what happens. Worth a go I think...
    Well, this has been my approach with Nikon USA... send in whatever doesn't perform out of the box. It has worked very nicely for me, but then I haven't done battle with the 24-120 VR... yet. Might be worth a shot.

  48. #48
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    Over the years I actually have been pretty lucky with getting good copies considering I must have bought over many many dozens( trying to forget that part) but each system has had its challenges for sure. Phase was really the 35mm D and I tested several 55LS and found the best one. On Zeiss everything okay recently but Nikon 24 1.4 I felt somewhat weak on. I have a very good 85mm and also the new 70-200f4 is kick ***. But this Sigma it's weird I actually have 2 things wrong with it . It back focuses past -20 and the right side is soft. I can accept the skew being off a little but at 5.6 it should be good. I'll see what repair does and if they get it right , great if not ill put it on eBay and try again. Ill try until I get a good one. The specs on it are the best in Nikon mount for a 35mm so I want it but need to have a good one.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  49. #49
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Sigma 35mm F1.4

    I honestly have patience on getting a good copy. I have my Tammy 24-70 to cover me for now.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  50. #50
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denmark, CPH
    Posts
    2,500
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    12

    Sigma 35mm F1.4


    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post

    (...) So out of curiosity, do other people agree with my definition of what it is reasonable to expect?

    + 1 more

    Another firm yes to that question, I actually think you are far too tolerant when you are willing to downsize to 50 % before judging the sharpness at the left and right side and expecting them to be equal. I always judge such matters at 100 % no less.

    I can only judge from the Nikon 4/24-120mm and now the Sigma 1.4/35mm sample pictures you have shown, but I can at least say with certainty that I wouldn't accept such an asymmetry (or I would find myself spending far too much time looking for it).

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •