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Thread: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Well I sold my first Sigma lens and decided to buy it again. The first one just seemed problematic on this body. Now the new one I just bought still has back focusing issues but so does my Nikon 50 1.4 and there both deadly at -20. No room for play but its on the money and BTW the Sigma 35 just smokes the Nikon 50mm 1.4 bt that's not the thrust of this thread though but working with both of them today I noticed something that I think is the issue with the sigma 35mm and why some are having issues. Lets start with the Nikon using the shutter button or the back rear focus button once you hit the focus it stops focusing and there is no hunting . I'm on AF-S single point in the center.

    Now I think I found why reverse engineering is problematic . On the Sigma using the same shutter or rear focus button once you hit the focus immediately if you continue to hold before firing it has a tendency to continue to focus and it should not do that but it does and this is where you get inconsistent results maybe 3 out of 7 shots get nailed but the rest are off. Now thinking back the same issue was there on the first Sigma. I'm directly chalking this up to either a firmware issue or this reverse engineering of AF is wrong.

    Now I did find a solution and you need to be kind of quick and its a two finger operation. Either the rear focus or shutter button in either case if your initial press than at the same time hit the AE/AF lock button immediately without pause it will hold the focus and it does it almost every time. Now its really hard to hit the rear focus button and the AE/AF lock so you really need to use the shutter and AE/AF lock in tandem. So try this just hold down the Shutter button and get focus on something and keep holding it and you'll notice a very slight shift. Why it does not hold is really the issue its like its still hunting but if you start over throw it out of focus than go back to your test image hit it again than immediately hit the lock you will notice your in focus.

    One other trick I found with everything still in AF you want to manual focus hit the AE/AF lock when your on that way it does not hunt while holding down the shutter release.

    Now love to see some others try this and see if it works. This does give me some thoughts as I remember I had some of the same focus errors with my old Sigma 150 2.8 which if I recall had the same issue. This brings up some interesting problems with AF and Sigmas. Am I seeing something that no one else has noticed or is it maybe my body. But this is pretty hidden if your not watching directly for it. Now I don't want to scream foul either but I find this kind of odd. But the Sigma 35mm 1.4 is maybe one of the sharpest lenses I seen wide open. It's certainly no question the best 35mm lens I have had and that's up aganst the Nikon 35 1.4 g and the Zeiss 35mm F2 so it is up against some serious glass .
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Guy, for the moment I'll keep this brief (due to enormous amount of work I have to complete) but I'll mention a few quick things. Many Sigma lenses often "micro" hunt with slight chattering being heard as it attempts to settle in on a focus point. After pressing the shutter release button half way down (or the rear focus button)....if you lift your finger up and quickly repeat this process a number of times in succession, you'll often find the focusing distance the lens selects slightly different. With a slower lens or when stopped down the depth of field will usually cover focusing anomalies. With a f1.4 lens, it's quite a different story as you well know. This micro hunting occurs less with a Nikon lens and even most Tamron's so it may have something with reverse engineering the chip as opposed to Tamron which I believe pays royalties.

    When I do press the shutter button continuously and repeatedly, I eventually find I can fairly quickly determine the focusing point it generally selects the majority of the time, but of course this is no way to work fast.

    The old original Sigma 120-300 f2.8 was notorious for this micro chattering but their 100-300 f4 does exceptionally well. The Sigma 150 f2.8 macro (non OS) also does fairly well, so it appears to be lens dependent and might depend on the spread of the focusing helical/scale.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Guy. I just got my fourth copy today and will take a good look at the behaviours you describe but sadly I think this one has to go back, too: yet again it is smeary on one side (this time the left) and isn't acceptable even at distance til f8 and not perfect even then, bummer because the central performance is best at f4. As a look lens I like it but it also has weird mid field issues, probably a field curvature thing. I'd kill for a good copy but....

    How is yours at the edges? You had a problem with the first copy I remember...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    I'm going to check that this week. Let you know
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Guy. I just got my fourth copy today and will take a good look at the behaviours you describe but sadly I think this one has to go back, too: yet again it is smeary on one side (this time the left) and isn't acceptable even at distance til f8 and not perfect even then, bummer because the central performance is best at f4. As a look lens I like it but it also has weird mid field issues, probably a field curvature thing. I'd kill for a good copy but....

    How is yours at the edges? You had a problem with the first copy I remember...
    1- Would you keep the lens if it was not for landscape photography.

    2- I just looks that this lens is not for long shots but more medium and close photography.

    Do you concur?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Alon View Post
    1- Would you keep the lens if it was not for landscape photography.

    2- I just looks that this lens is not for long shots but more medium and close photography.

    Do you concur?
    honestly, until I get a copy that is not suffering obvious asymmetry, I can't tell what its real curvature is so I can't say what it would be good for. I love the look of the bits of the frame that are sharp and of the bits that are OOF, but they are not always where they should be....

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Alon View Post
    1- Would you keep the lens if it was not for landscape photography.

    2- I just looks that this lens is not for long shots but more medium and close photography.

    Do you concur?
    Well, no, I would not concur at all. My copy is my sharpest lens tripod mounted and used for landscapes. It's far better at the edges than, say, the Nikon 24mm PC tilt shift lens, and as good or better than my very good Zeiss 21mm f2.8 the biggest issue I have is avoiding loss of resolution due to camera shake or vibration but that of course is not the fault of the lens but an issue with the design of the D800E.

    Of course I guess it all depends on your own copy of the lens, so your mileage may vary, as they say.

    On the other hand, I agree with Guy that this lens does not always hit the right focus spot every time. I sometimes see the same focus anomalies that Guy refers to. That howver does not impact upon landscape work, and only sometimes does it affect other work, but it is less consistent than, say, the Sigma 85mm f1.4
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quentin, I was about to post some sample images for you that I took in London yesterday but Doh I have left my memory card in the reader of my computer there and won't be back for a week. So I can describe them: a roof top view with highly detailed subject matter from about forty feet away to several miles, focussed on a spot about a half mile away once, wide open, then shot at all apertures. The centre is gorgeous, the right hand side is quite good even wide open, the left is a mess and doesn't get close to tidy until f5.6 and not even totally convincing at F8 even when viewed at 50% on screen. Some mid-field weaknesses on both sides until F8 too.

    Now on the one hand there are respectable Leica lenses that don't tighten to the edges until F8 so one might accept this behaviour. On the other, I hate the look of asymmetrical lenses. Not just when you want the edges sharp, but for the strange variations in OOF areas which I think are subliminally weird.

    I shot another two series and one of them was just about OK at F5.6 so it does imply to me that this is about placement of field of focus to some extent: this copy, like the previous three, requires a strong + AFFT of +20.

    It sounds as if you have the only copy that isn't thusly afflicted that I have heard of. But it also strikes me that you might not have shot the sort of subject matter on which it shows - so I thought I'd just check with you and ask that question so I can ex-out the hypothesis that there is something truly endemic going on...

    Thanks!
    Tim

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Hi Tim

    I admit I am probably not as thorough as you in testing lenses, I tend to just use them and if they work for me, then I'm happy. I think my copy has a very slight right side issue but I'm not sure and I don't see it on landscapes or most other shots. I may check again, but if its there, it is very slight.

    I have had some dodgy lenses in my time. The first copy of a Sony Alpha Zeiss 24-70mm has serious asymmetry; I sent it back. The second copy was more or less perfect and I still have it. I have variations is accuracy from my Hasselblad lenses.

    Maybe we are reaching the limits of currently achievable precision on very high resolution sensors on the 35mm format using old film-based legacy camera mounts and optical engineering. Sigma claim to test each lens and the "Art" series are intended to be high end performers, which mine appears to be.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    I hear you Quentin - and I might well just keep the lens because as you say, it won't show in most shots. But I have really noticed in re-testing all my Leica lenses on the new M240 that there are just never any issues with asymmetry. I have become so used to this problem after a year with the D800, where about half the lenses I have purchased have had the problem to some degree!

    BTW my definition of it 'mattering' is if it is still clearly visible when downsized to a 25mp resolution: in other words, it would show on a D600 class camera.

    So please don't test your lens. You love it and I don't want to come between you!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    I just got done testing a bunch of glass will post as I get them done. Sigma included on two tests actually.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Thanks Guy, will be very interested to see your results...

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Okay I have a good copy. Edges are very good on both sides and F4 is as good as F8. Lots of processing but every prime Zeiss 25 F2, Sigma 35, Nikon 50 1.4 and Nikon 85 1.8 all smoke my 24-70 Nikon. I have a good zoom too.. feeling pretty good about this
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Damn you Mancuso

    I did speak to Sigma tech today and said, look this is my fourth copy and they've all had a weak edge and needed too much + AFFT and the second one, which I sent to you to get fixed so I knew I had a good one, you just replaced with another not quite right copy so can I please ask you to actually look at this one which I am now going to send you, please? And they said, for sure - and they were really nice about it too.

    So I am going to send it in: this lens is one of the very best I have ever used, I think it quite possibly outclasses the Leica 35 Lux, and I am not going to stop til I have a great copy....

    Thanks a lot for the info Guy. Much appreciated.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Interesting Guy, I just picked my D800e up on friday and should have my Sigma 35mm 1.4 early next week... hoping I get a good copy! I have bought locally though from the guy who is my Hasselblad Dealer and he said if its bad he will swap it till I get a good one.
    www.williamophuis.com

    Hassy H4D-40.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Yes as you can see get one that you can return. This is my second and feel I got lucky on it. It's maybe my sharpest lens.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    I bought the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG lens last week here in the UK and realised straight away that when using the central focus point on my D800 the lens was front focusing badly. Note that the AF on my D800 works flawlessly with all of my Nikon lenses.

    I fine-tuned the autofocus by shooting two different types of high-contrast flat targets at various distances (mainly between 40 x focal length and 60 x focal length). The targets were positioned on a well-lit vertical wall and I used a tripod and a remote release shutter.

    The outcome was that the fine tune needed to be set to +15 to achieve excellent results for the central focus points. However, with this setting images taken using the side focus points (either left or right) were out of focus. After a few additional tests, I realised that the extreme left and right focus points required no AF fine tune adjustments.

    Once I get the focus right, the lens is incredibly sharp, even at f/1.4. But I bought this fast lens to be able to use it wide open in low light, and achieving accurate focus is essential for me. I would not mind correcting the AF with fine tune, but the problem is that I cannot find a “global” correction that would work across the frame. In other words, if I calibrate the central focus points, I get out of focus images when shooting with the far right/left focus points, and vice versa.

    Judging from the conversations on a number of forums on the internet, this seems to be a widespread problem with the Sigma 35mm / D800 combination.

    I really like this amazing lens and wish I could keep it but I think I will return it to Amazon. Do you think I should try and get it exchanged or should I go for a refund and wait for Sigma to resolve this known issue before purchasing a new copy?

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    There is a firmware coming to address the side AF points on the D800 series. It's a matter of when Sigma gets it out the door. This came from a Sigma repair shop . Myself I only use the center point and recompose . But that is something I always have done for years is focus recompose so I am used to doing that.
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    I just spoke with the technical department of Sigma UK.
    Their comments are as follows:

    *) They recently received a couple of 35mm f/1.4 lenses to be checked for AF issues.

    *) They did not comment on the actual volume of lenses being returned / sent it for calibration

    *) They confirmed that this is NOT a firmware issue. The lens needs to be calibrated

    *) Customers can send the lens in by itself for calibration, but they recommend to send it together with the camera

    *) They are very busy and understaffed. They will keep the lens for 2 to 3 weeks

    The fact that they confirmed this is not a firmware issue leads me to think that purchasing their USB dock would not allow customers with AF issues to fix their lenses. These are to be calibrated in a lab.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Mine is off with them at the moment to have its asymmetry fixed, but I have not noticed the 'chattering' focus issue, just excessive +compensation needed and a slanted field of focus.

    My fourth copy!

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Tashley,

    I'm surprised that you've not found a good copy yet. I had these issues with a particular model of MFD camera and I think some thought I was too finicky or delusional, so my apologies if my criticism have put me in that category.

    Is your package arriving intact? Does it look like it's been damaged in transit? Sometimes lens elements can be slightly askew from jarring motions.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Tashley,

    I'm surprised that you've not found a good copy yet. I had these issues with a particular model of MFD camera and I think some thought I was too finicky or delusional, so my apologies if my criticism have put me in that category.

    Is your package arriving intact? Does it look like it's been damaged in transit? Sometimes lens elements can be slightly askew from jarring motions.
    I purchased two from my usual retailer and they looked pretty good packaging wise. The third was a replacement of the second, which I sent for repair and which they simply replaced so that one did arrive through the post. The fourth I purchased from another retailer and it also looked pretty good and un-damaged in its packaging. Generally I get a good lens on the first or second attempt, apart from the problems I had with the 24-120VRII but this Sigma appears to me to have some endemic issues either of design that stretches the manufacturing, or of QC, or possibly of Sigma's new method of testing using their Foveon based MTF. But in any event what is interesting is that I've had the soft side switch from left to right depending on which lens. This current version has an interesting addition of a notable mid-field weakness on the right, which I suspect is the way the decentering is combining with the natural curvature of the lens.

    But as for whether I am concerned about being called too finicky - no! I test a lot of lenses and I am pretty confident that I know when something's not right. I often keep a lens because the problem is within what I consider an acceptable tolerance but when I consistently hear of other people with problems with this particular model that they also consider outside of the acceptable zone, I know I am not alone!

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    After following a few threads on this topic and seeing people here having contact with sigma UK I'd like to add my experience to the discussion. I bought the lens in January. I've always used centre focus and recomposed but thought I would try using the outer focus points and liked the experience. However, this did make me realise my d800 was having issues with the lens. I did some interior tests and found that targets 3.5-6 metres away were back focusing 1.5-2 feet on the outer left and right focus points. I also saw that the centre point was about a foot in front in these conditions(up to this point I'd been shooting outside and with liveView where I hadn't noticed the problem). To me this meant any fine tuning would not be worth while.
    I also found that taking a picture of an object when tripod mounted, the camera would shift focus with each picture taken.
    I'd seen that some customers in the US had sent their d800s and 35mm in to be fine tuned so contacted Sigma UK. They told me to send in the camera and lens, which I did, and they would calibrate, but it would take up to 3 weeks. I didn't hear anything from them after that time so called them up. They told me that Sigma Japan weren't aware of the problem, which, after reading a lot of boards seemed a bit disingenuous. The person I spoke to said they expected a solution with a month and guaranteed that he would be in touch with me soon and would send a courier around to pick up the equipment. Needless to say the lens was not calibrated. This was a couple of weeks ago. I hope that the issue gets sorted soon.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by knocker View Post
    After following a few threads on this topic and seeing people here having contact with sigma UK I'd like to add my experience to the discussion. I bought the lens in January. I've always used centre focus and recomposed but thought I would try using the outer focus points and liked the experience. However, this did make me realise my d800 was having issues with the lens. I did some interior tests and found that targets 3.5-6 metres away were back focusing 1.5-2 feet on the outer left and right focus points. I also saw that the centre point was about a foot in front in these conditions(up to this point I'd been shooting outside and with liveView where I hadn't noticed the problem). To me this meant any fine tuning would not be worth while.
    I also found that taking a picture of an object when tripod mounted, the camera would shift focus with each picture taken.
    I'd seen that some customers in the US had sent their d800s and 35mm in to be fine tuned so contacted Sigma UK. They told me to send in the camera and lens, which I did, and they would calibrate, but it would take up to 3 weeks. I didn't hear anything from them after that time so called them up. They told me that Sigma Japan weren't aware of the problem, which, after reading a lot of boards seemed a bit disingenuous. The person I spoke to said they expected a solution with a month and guaranteed that he would be in touch with me soon and would send a courier around to pick up the equipment. Needless to say the lens was not calibrated. This was a couple of weeks ago. I hope that the issue gets sorted soon.
    Same thing I was told when I brought my first one in on the. outside points. Mine was backfocusing beyond minus 20 and they got most of that sorted out. There are few issues with the lens. My latest fresh copy is much much better but I may have a issue with my sensor being left side soft. My latest tests with 5 lenses I was seeing some softness. So I need to send my body in but right now its not a critical problem.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Oh boy, do we got another flawed genius type lens on our hands?

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    For me its the body , is just a wee bit off. All lenses

    Maybe I should smack it upside the head on the right side to fix it. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    "Dear Mr Ashley,

    Unfortunately our technician has not been successful in adjusting your lens. As a result of this it is being sent back to the factory in Japan for the correction.

    I have marked the job as urgent but these can take between 6-8 weeks to return.

    Any problems please contact me.

    Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

    Kind Regards"

    Oh dear....

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    OK, I think I have a good one: the one I sent for repair, and which has been sent to Japan because they couldn't fix it in the UK, has been replaced by Sigma UK. It isn't clear whether or not they intend me to keep this copy or whether it is a loaner until the Japan-bound copy gets fixed but the one in my sweaty hand now is the first one I have had with no asymmetry that I can find in an hour of shooting.

    It does, however, produce shots that are soft on both sides rather than just on one: but that is a good thing I think and pretty much what I would expect.

    Let me clarify: the lens clearly has a field of focus that curves forward towards the edges. That is not unusual, and the copies I had that were sharp on one side were only so at the expense of extra softness on the other side because the asymmetry was skewing this field of focus. So what I have clearly demonstrated to my satisfaction is that the copy I have now, at F5.6 CAN get sharp edges too, but only when focussed a little further back than my +20 AFFT can allow.

    I think that my body, when it went for the left side focus fix, has ended up with a general plus requirement - my other lenses pretty much all need a plus of some amount but none as much as 20, whereas every copy (now five!) of the siggy I have had has needed 18 to 20, usually 20.

    So as soon as the USB dock is available for Nikon fit, I will adjust the lens so that it needs less plus fine tune, and then jig it so that it focusses as far back as possible without losing the plot at F1.4... I suspect that with my current setup, a +23 to +25 might achieve that, were it possible.

    The good news is that I really do like this lens. Wide open, it's like a well-behaved F1 Noctilux in some ways, in terms of its look, but has a less complex field curvature (albeit being a stop slower) and better control of aberrations. Then, when focussed correctly and stopped down a bit, it gets to be a much more technical lens.

    I am feeling good about this one!
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Just a quick note to say that I have been following this discussion, and also the one on fredmiranda. See Blurred edges, need some help - what's causing this??? - FM Forums.
    This relates to a different lens, but there is an interesting conversation about how AF works on a recent Nikon body. FYI pls.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    I just got this lens with my D800e and was amazed that for every 10 shots, I get about 2 that are good. I get better result using the Zeiss 35mm ZF.2 f1.4 manual focusing than this one. The 2 that are good are really excellent. Too bad.

    I bought it off a person from FM and it is has not been registered with an Amazon receipt. I am wondering if it is worth going thru Sigma to have this repair/replace or just return to seller.

    Vince

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by VINCET View Post
    I just got this lens with my D800e and was amazed that for every 10 shots, I get about 2 that are good. I get better result using the Zeiss 35mm ZF.2 f1.4 manual focusing than this one. The 2 that are good are really excellent. Too bad.

    I bought it off a person from FM and it is has not been registered with an Amazon receipt. I am wondering if it is worth going thru Sigma to have this repair/replace or just return to seller.

    Vince

    Vincent, if you can, you may need to return it or failing that send it to Sigma.

    But before you do either make sure it is fine tuned properly. The lens has a forward field curvature such that some placements of the field of focus in combination with some distances and apertures will make the edges soft when they could be sharp if the image was focussed slightly further 'into' the field - even if the central subject is sharp.

    However if there is any sign of asymmetry, which seems almost endemic, then send it back without hesitation because no amount of tweaking will help it. The other thing to do is to try tripod and live view and see if you can get shots that are to your satisfaction.

    I finally have a good one, took five copies to get there but it was worth it however I would always counsel that with lenses known for significant proportions of inadequately adjusted copies you should NEVER buy used unless you can test thoroughly before purchase: lenses like this flood the used market as people slowly realise, often after their return window has closed, that they have a lemon. And then you are stuck with something you can't return and which, frankly, Sigma to have a poor chance of fixing without sending to Japan...

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Tashley

    The problem with my lens is that the area where the image is soft is not even in the edge but very close to center. And this is with the camera mounted on a tripod.

    DSC_7482.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    That shot were on a tripod and I used a AF-S with the spot actually pointed at the Sigma box on the number 35. Aperture was at 1.4.

    DSC_7483.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    2nd shot, AF-S still and was focus on the red/orange book below. This time, the picture looks better but still a bit soft I think.

    DSC_7484.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Final shot is again pointed at the sigma box, on the number 35. This time, it is off again. I also did several shot of my daughter and it seems like a hit or miss.

    Not sure if that is the same issue as you guys were having. As you can see, it is not even the edges here.

    Vince

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Sent the lens out to Sigma today. keeping fingers crossed

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Tim,

    since you say you finally got a good copy of this lens now, I would really love to see a landscape/cityscape shot , or one of this amazing castle you often shoot for tests. At sth. between f8 or f11 would be great.

    Your words „ Then, when focussed correctly and stopped down a bit, it gets to be a much more technical lens.“ really gave me hope.. currently on the fence to buy a wide angle for the d800e and since the 28mm/1.8g seems not the right tool for the job I am aiming towards the sigma 35 again... so this would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Harald

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by VINCET View Post
    Tashley

    The problem with my lens is that the area where the image is soft is not even in the edge but very close to center. And this is with the camera mounted on a tripod.

    DSC_7482.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    That shot were on a tripod and I used a AF-S with the spot actually pointed at the Sigma box on the number 35. Aperture was at 1.4.

    DSC_7483.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    2nd shot, AF-S still and was focus on the red/orange book below. This time, the picture looks better but still a bit soft I think.

    DSC_7484.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Final shot is again pointed at the sigma box, on the number 35. This time, it is off again. I also did several shot of my daughter and it seems like a hit or miss.

    Not sure if that is the same issue as you guys were having. As you can see, it is not even the edges here.

    Vince
    Vince, I am sorry I wasn't online in this forum for a few days. To be honest that looks to me like an Autofocus Fine Tune issue, it is tending to front focus. But it is also focussing quite variably. See what Sigma say but when it returns, you really need to perform an AF fine tune or you will never get good results through anything other than pure luck...

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightleak View Post
    Tim,

    since you say you finally got a good copy of this lens now, I would really love to see a landscape/cityscape shot , or one of this amazing castle you often shoot for tests. At sth. between f8 or f11 would be great.

    Your words „ Then, when focussed correctly and stopped down a bit, it gets to be a much more technical lens.“ really gave me hope.. currently on the fence to buy a wide angle for the d800e and since the 28mm/1.8g seems not the right tool for the job I am aiming towards the sigma 35 again... so this would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Harald
    Harald, I will see what I can do!

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    Senior Member Quentin_Bargate's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Harald,

    I have posted quite a few varied shots taken with the Sigma 35 F/1.4 on a D800E in the "Fun with Nikon" images thread - see e.g. messages #8426 or #8690.

    They are not massively high resolution posts but trust me the originals are sharp, edge to edge. If you get the Sigma on a tripod, you are in serious quality territory in my opinion.

    Quentin

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightleak View Post
    Tim,

    since you say you finally got a good copy of this lens now, I would really love to see a landscape/cityscape shot , or one of this amazing castle you often shoot for tests. At sth. between f8 or f11 would be great.

    Your words „ Then, when focussed correctly and stopped down a bit, it gets to be a much more technical lens.“ really gave me hope.. currently on the fence to buy a wide angle for the d800e and since the 28mm/1.8g seems not the right tool for the job I am aiming towards the sigma 35 again... so this would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,

    Harald
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Right Harald, here are a few I just took including your favourite building... they are all available in full resolution 92% quality JPEG. Shot in RAW and converted in LR5 with my usual default sharpening for this sensor of 60/0.7/70/20... each one is shot at f5.6, F8 and F11 handheld no tripod, using phase detect AF. In other words, how it would be used in the real world most of the time - which is useful in some ways and not in others: for example, one downs. know by how much the lens changed its focus between shots because it refocussed for every shot. But what this does show me is pretty much what I know already: the best micro contrast is at F5.6, the best sharpness across the frame is at F8 and the best DOF is at F16 but there is too much diffraction for some subjects at F16.

    The first scene: focus was on the mid-level windows of the tower
    The second scene: focus was also on the mid level windows of the tower
    The third scene: focus was on the small wall-cap turret second from right and then recomposed
    The fourth scene: focus was on the central far tree line and then slightly recomposed.

    Hope this helps you!

    Photos here... and you can mouseover to see options for viewing EXIF or to Download Original...

    EDIT: currently uploading is the same distant landscape scene shot on an 80mp Phase One IQ180 with a Rodenstock 40mm HR lens on an Alpa STC technical camera just to show the ultimate benchmark for (roughly) this focal length... The only other lens that gets this scene 100% sharp from edge to edge is the 35mm Zeiss on the RX-1 but then it's only 25mp...
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Quentin and Tim,

    thanks a lot for the examples, they are indeed very helpful.

    Tim, your copy of the Sigma lens is so good you should give it a name. The very slight but even border softness is not disturbing at all and counts as character in my eyes. I envy you a bit since I bought a copy today and mine is out of focus on the right side in most shots (My 50mm 1.4G is always sharp on both sides so it is not a camera problem). Will bring it back on wednesday. But looking at your wonderful photos I decided I will not give up that quickly but ask for a replacement copy. Do you have a good idea on how to quickly test in the shop if the right and left borders are equally sharp?
    I really hope to find a copy like yours!

    Thanks a lot for sharing the images, the quality of the iq180 comparison shot is nothing short of spectacular, as expected. Wow.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Hiya,

    Testing should be fairly simple actually, just a few frames well-squared to a planar target at F8 and around ten metres or more. Best to do an AFFT if you can, quickly. You can get 90% of the way to a good value on that by shooting an appropriate target and reviewing on screen then tweaking. I'll get shot for saying that but it is true-ish.

    I had to go through five copies so prepare for that possibility. And even this one, if I am really picky, has a very very slightly softer right hand side. But it is by far the best I've had and better than most of my other lenses so....

    Good luck. Hope you find one!

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Ok, sounds like a plan. The auto focus on this one actually works very well, I nailed the focus at f1.4 on all shots when I challenged it in the shop. I see the veeeery slightly stronger softness on the right side you are talking about, but I can hardly imagine there is a better one out there. You should keep this one. However if you don't, you have a buyer, haha.

    I will report as soon as I have checked the second copy.

    Best regards!

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Oh I'm keeping it! No one is getting this one! Now I just have to think of a name for it. Just trying to think of something appropriate and non-blasphemous for a miraculous baby
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

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

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Crispoffer.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Tim

    Incidentally, may we assume your new Avatar was taken the moment you first discovered a problem with your original Sigma F/1.4?

    I don't have your patience for testing, unfortunately, but glad you do and that you have found your near-perfect Sigma. The lesson clearly is that Sigma's quality control has yet to catch up with their first-class design capability.
    Quentin Bargate
    Director of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2012 - 2017, ”leading individual”, Chambers HNW guide, 2017, Photographer
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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    Many variables can effect a lens characteristics, but I for one am glad I didn't turn this lens away based on user reports or hype on QC. Simply dropping a box in transit can be the culprit. This is to date, the finest wide lens i've used on the D800, with virtually no lens AF adjustment. I eagerly await the release of the 120-300 f2.8.

    Sigma 35mm 1.4DG HSM
    Last edited by johnnygoesdigital; 18th June 2013 at 05:15.

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    Re: Sigma 35mm 1.4 / D800 e AF issues

    My copy of the lens is great except for the outer focus issue on the D800.

    I just tried it out on my D4 using FoCal 1.9 and the center point is working great giving me a AF micro-adjustment value of +4. With the far left focus point however it is predicting a value of -40. Whether testing with FoCal and a test target or portrait shooting, the outer focus points are not usable.

    What I'm wondering now is this something that a firmware update will be able to correct or will I need to return it and try for another copy.

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