Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: BernardLanguillier on April 08, 2013, 08:45:58 PM

Title: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on April 08, 2013, 08:45:58 PM
This lens is simply amazing! I was a bit hesitating because I would have prefer a slightly more compact option to replace my aging Nikkor 35mm f2.0, but I decided to move forward and am glad I did.

The lack of distorsion, quality of the bokeh and detail/contrast at f1.4 makes it an amazing all rounder for casual shooting.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8401/8631683268_c634fe1309_o.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8264/8627970896_f6838da3d6_o.jpg)

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8406/8630650917_b24dcfe7d6_o.jpg)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardlanguillier/sets/72157633193990902/

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on April 09, 2013, 04:27:08 AM
This lens is simply amazing! I was a bit hesitating because I would have prefer a slightly more compact option to replace my aging Nikkor 35mm f2.0, but I decided to move forward and am glad I did.

The lack of distorsion, quality of the bokeh and detail/contrast at f1.4 makes it an amazing all rounder for casual shooting.

Cheers,
Bernard



Which 2/35mm, Bernard? I've just bought myself a used AIS one and have not had much opportunity to try it out beyond a single shot made during dim weather, wide open at f2. I got the impression that it has a fair amount of fall-off, which of itself, doesn't worry me too much since I tend to enjoy the look of vignettes (sometimes, if suited to the shot!) I used to have a 2.8/35mm Nikkor from the 60s that gave me the sharpest images I got from any other lens. Reviews at the time (in the BJP) suggested that the slower lens was the better lens.

I read that the af version of the 2/35mm isn't much good: is that the one which you used to have?

If I can find it, I post the single shot to which I referred above, made with the new/old lens at - I think - f2. The bare metal markings on the green lighthouse structure on the left were the focussed area.

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on April 09, 2013, 05:31:51 AM
Which 2/35mm, Bernard? I've just bought myself a used AIS one and have not had much opportunity to try it out beyond a single shot made during dim weather, wide open at f2. I got the impression that it has a fair amount of fall-off, which of itself, doesn't worry me too much since I tend to enjoy the look of vignettes (sometimes, if suited to the shot!)

Hi Rob,

I was referring to the 35mm f2.0 AFD.

it is not a bad lens, but the Sigma is just in a different class.

Did it rain?

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: wolfbellw. on April 09, 2013, 05:51:36 AM
i absolutely agree with bernhard.
i would say the sigma is the best lens i own for the 800e.
stopped down a bit its sharp to the far edges and here lays the problem
i have with quite a few - much more expensive - nikon lenses (the 24pc for example).
its a bit heavy though but nicely built.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on April 09, 2013, 06:23:13 AM
Rob, apologies, it is I who should reread Bernard's first post.


No problem Keith, I'm apt to wander quite a lot.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on April 09, 2013, 06:24:54 AM
Hi Rob,

I was referring to the 35mm f2.0 AFD.

it is not a bad lens, but the Sigma is just in a different class.

Did it rain?

Cheers,
Bernard



Yes, but a bit later on.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: MarkL on April 09, 2013, 07:57:40 AM
The talk of af issues specific to the D800 worry me a bit, I may pick one up when I can afford it from somewhere with a good returns policy.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on April 09, 2013, 10:05:38 AM
The talk of af issues specific to the D800 worry me a bit, I may pick one up when I can afford it from somewhere with a good returns policy.


That, you should be telling Nikon: they need to understand that a Final Inspection Department is a great idea.

No one should think that the client is that department.

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: TMARK on April 09, 2013, 10:17:28 AM
The talk of af issues specific to the D800 worry me a bit, I may pick one up when I can afford it from somewhere with a good returns policy.

I think the earlier ones had some issues.  My Summer 2012 D800e is FLAWLESS.  No focus issues, AF works as expected.  My only faults with the camera have to do with it not being the size of a Leica M and a VF that is not great.  Not that its terrible, but its not great.  Then there is moire, which can be cleaned up. 
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on April 09, 2013, 12:10:09 PM
Bernard

I agree - and not just for casual shooting.  It's a great tripod lens too, with phenomenal edge to edge sharpness stopped down

(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9806585/Wimpole%20Hall.jpg)

Or handheld at wide aperture

(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/9806585/Wimpole%20Hall%203.jpg)
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: MichaelEzra on April 09, 2013, 12:47:10 PM
I am curious, how does this Sigma compare in sharpness with Nikon 60mm AF-S?
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on April 09, 2013, 02:37:04 PM
The one I tried was brutally sharp at close range where I had corrected the strong back focus with fine tune. At longer ranges it seemed just good. I was not sure if that was normal or out of focus alignment. I returned it.

The bokeh is excellent (similar to Minolta macros or Gs) where it does not draw attention to itself with a style, the focus just blends away like mist. I love that effect. I would recommend the lens for that as a main feature.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: kers on April 09, 2013, 03:56:59 PM
I would like to know if the autofocus is really fast...
I must say that i find the Nikkor fixed focals a bit sluggish. ( when compared to the 70-200 VRII)
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on April 09, 2013, 06:54:31 PM
I have no back or front focus issues at any distance and its resolving power is outstanding on my D800E.  No fine tuning required.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: MarkL on April 10, 2013, 07:51:33 AM

That, you should be telling Nikon: they need to understand that a Final Inspection Department is a great idea.

No one should think that the client is that department.

Rob C

It does sound like there may be (or have been) specific issues with the D800 and this lens from the guys on the fred miranda forum most notably requiring different af fine tune values acorss the frame.

Even aside from the famous left focus issue Nikon's quality control and manufacturing tolerences are very poor. Having to spend your time testing lenses (often with 3d party software to do a good job) and then putting in a crude offset is not very good. My D800 still can't constantly nail focus at 1.4.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: TMARK on April 10, 2013, 10:24:21 AM
It does sound like there may be (or have been) specific issues with the D800 and this lens from the guys on the fred miranda forum most notably requiring different af fine tune values acorss the frame.

Even aside from the famous left focus issue Nikon's quality control and manufacturing tolerences are very poor. Having to spend your time testing lenses (often with 3d party software to do a good job) and then putting in a crude offset is not very good. My D800 still can't constantly nail focus at 1.4.

When was your D800 manufactured?  I ask because it seems the earlier ones had some issues.

About focus at 1.4, I've never had any camera hit focus at 1.4 better that 70% of the time, Canon or Nikon.  I suspect this has more to do with the lenses than anything else. 
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on April 10, 2013, 12:06:01 PM
When was your D800 manufactured?  I ask because it seems the earlier ones had some issues.

About focus at 1.4, I've never had any camera hit focus at 1.4 better that 70% of the time, Canon or Nikon.  I suspect this has more to do with the lenses than anything else. 

Its possible. The lens I tested I focus checked at f2, 2.8 as well as wide open. The only other Sigma lens I own focuses fine at 1.8 but has issues at infinity. At close range it is great.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: swisscheese on April 11, 2013, 12:17:45 PM
I found that my focal plane with this combo is slightly diagonal, e.g. the focal plane on the left side is closer to the camera, than on the right. Kind of like in your second image, judged by the focus on the wooden plate. i did send the lens in, and it is better, but still off a little. I do not see this with my other lenses.
Anybody else noticed this?

Markus
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: NicoChina on April 14, 2013, 11:37:00 PM
Hi Bernard :)

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.

Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on April 15, 2013, 12:18:24 AM
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
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Phender on April 18, 2013, 03:36:40 AM
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.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: jwstl on April 18, 2013, 11:12:23 AM
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
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on April 28, 2013, 04:34:45 PM
A few more, all from Palma de Mallorca in the last week, with the D800E and Sigma 35mm F/1.4

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9806585/Resting.jpg)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9806585/Street%20Musicians%20in%20Palma%20Majorca.jpg)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9806585/Street%20performer%20in%20Palma.jpg)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9806585/Villa.jpg)
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Ray on May 01, 2013, 12:22:54 AM
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.  ;)
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: HarperPhotos on May 01, 2013, 01:02:48 AM
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
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: MrSmith on May 01, 2013, 06:17:14 AM
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.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Ray on May 01, 2013, 10:57:13 AM
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.
Title: Quentin, what is that African man in the blue tunic doing?
Post by: NancyP on May 01, 2013, 11:11:08 AM
Great colors and an interesting photo, but the subject does seem to be 'floating in air'. What gives?
Title: Re: Quentin, what is that African man in the blue tunic doing?
Post by: Ray on May 01, 2013, 11:25:40 AM
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.
Title: Re: Quentin, what is that African man in the blue tunic doing?
Post by: Quentin on May 01, 2013, 02:36:53 PM
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  ;) - 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!
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on May 01, 2013, 02:50:24 PM
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.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: MrSmith on May 01, 2013, 05:19:49 PM
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.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Ray on May 02, 2013, 09:21:34 AM
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.

Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: spotmeter on May 02, 2013, 10:00:40 PM
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.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on May 02, 2013, 10:58:48 PM
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
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: spotmeter on May 02, 2013, 11:33:44 PM
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.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: kers on May 03, 2013, 03:01:26 AM
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
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on May 03, 2013, 05:26:52 AM
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.

What data is "appalling" based on?

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on May 03, 2013, 07:46:36 AM
No worse?   Give me a break, what evidence is there that Nikon or Canon do any better? ;D
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on May 03, 2013, 08:06:08 AM
Tim either has had a run of bad luck or otherwise is more sensitive to this issue than others.

Fact is, the numbers complaining are miniscule.  No lens is perfect, but the Sigma is better than most others.  

Anyway, I'm off out now to snap away for a bit in the spring sunshine.  :D
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on May 03, 2013, 02:27:57 PM
Otherwise known as poor quality control.

Good for him and more power to his elbow.




And it would be nice to see a 'movement' take hold that would make all of these lazy manufacturers sit up and take notice that they are peddling quite a lot of unsustainable crap these days. To many people, buying much of this gear is a big investment, a leap of faith in the integrity of such large companies. Not all of the buyers have the experience to know whether they do or do not find themselves in possession of a lemon; that they are unaware isn't any excuse behind which the makers should be able to hide.

I suspect that part of the problem is too wide a gamut of objectives: too many models diluting the TLC that should be available within the factories. Let true professional equipment be expensive if it must - it's usually deductible to the pro and the rich am. can buy it easily - do we really need so many in-between models cluttering a range? I think not. It would make more sense for there to be three basic types: top, mid-range and beginner, with the lesser family members offering a useable range of functions, not a war chest of probably unused fantasies few need or probably even know they have bought. Manuals are far too big already!

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: kencameron on May 03, 2013, 04:54:58 PM
--- a useable range of functions, not a war chest of probably unused fantasies few need or probably even know they have bought. Manuals are far too big already!
Rob C
True in relation to a wide range of technology, not just cameras. The reviewers bear some responsibility for this in that new models are panned for not containing all the latest functions.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: kencameron on May 03, 2013, 05:09:28 PM
The number of people complaining of poor copies with decentering, smearing etc.
I guess there is a possibility that this particular lens has been checked out particularly rigorously, given the very high expectations generated by the reviews. I am not defending poor quality control here, just wondering whether the lens is actually exceptionally bad.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: AFairley on May 03, 2013, 05:12:18 PM
Modern lenses are hella complicated, so maintaining QC becomes problematic.  Not to mention that modern sensors demand much more and reveal flaws more than film did (at least in 35mm film).  Question is, do you want to have to pay Leica prices for your Canikon glass?  QC ain't free.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on May 03, 2013, 05:28:17 PM
Modern lenses are hella complicated, so maintaining QC becomes problematic.  Not to mention that modern sensors demand much more and reveal flaws more than film did (at least in 35mm film).  Question is, do you want to have to pay Leica prices for your Canikon glass?  QC ain't free.


This is in line with my suggested policy for these companies: streamline the line, and so yes, when I was working, a resounding Yes!

Hassy lenses were always premium priced, and there were no substitutes; didn't hold them back in the day, and I was happy to use them too!

Now, retired? The truth? Were there no alternative, then I would still be buying at what I thought to be top grade. But since there are so many 'cheaper' options around, I cut corners and buy a D700 instead. Having said which, it is all the camera I seriously require for anything I'm likely to do. But it doesn't make me feel fantastically good about myself; there's no F or 500C/M buzz there. Not a whiff of it.

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: kencameron on May 03, 2013, 05:50:01 PM
I'm not questioning the quality of the lens, merely the quality control.
Understood. What I meant and should have said was that I wonder if the quality control is actually exceptionally bad, or whether it only looks that way because of an exceptional degree of scrutiny.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on May 03, 2013, 07:15:50 PM
Hell, if the image quality and quality control were of the highest order I'd pay Hasselblad prices.

Maybe you would, but it is highly doubtful that most Sigma/Nikon/Canon customers would be willing to pay the hefty price associated with the kind of tighter tolerances required to ensure that any sample has a 99.99% chance of being tested as perfect by the most demanding tester.

Think times 5.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: DaveCurtis on May 03, 2013, 08:24:35 PM
... think Leica
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Ray on May 03, 2013, 11:32:14 PM
There is also the problem of camera-body quality control. What I find curious is that my Sigma 35/F1.4 doesn't require any autofocus fine tuning at all on my D800E, yet it requires the maximum adjustment of +20 on my D7100.

On the other hand, my Nikkor 24-120/F4 zoom doesn't require any autofocus fine tuning  at all on my D7100, yet requires a modest amount of adjustment on the D800E.

I'm thankful that the maximum adjustment appears to be sufficient to allow me to get sharp results using autofocus with the D7100 because it's too late to return the lens. You can see from my very elaborate test procedures in attached images that the +20 adjustment appears to have done the trick. The images are at F1.4.

Unfortunately, this terribly sophisticated test target is not for sale.  ;)
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Jim Pascoe on May 04, 2013, 02:27:00 AM
There is also the problem of camera-body quality control. What I find curious is that my Sigma 35/F1.4 doesn't require any autofocus fine tuning at all on my D800E, yet it requires the maximum adjustment of +20 on my D7100.

On the other hand, my Nikkor 24-120/F4 zoom doesn't require any autofocus fine tuning  at all on my D7100, yet requires a modest amount of adjustment on the D800E.

I'm thankful that the maximum adjustment appears to be sufficient to allow me to get sharp results using autofocus with the D7100 because it's too late to return the lens. You can see from my very elaborate test procedures in attached images that the +20 adjustment appears to have done the trick. The images are at F1.4.

Unfortunately, this terribly sophisticated test target is not for sale.  ;)

I don't own the Sigma lens but have been interested in buying it.  Two years ago I bought the Zeiss 35mm f2 in Canon fit.  It is an exceptional lens in every way except one.  It's manual focus, and as I like using it wide open quite often, I do have trouble focussing the damn thing.  In live view mode on a tripod it is great - but hand-held I do struggle. Hence considering the Sigma.

Ray, I did read an interesting article a while back on the subject of manufacturing tolerances.  Your problems are just to be expected in regard to different lenses on different cameras - It's just a matter of tolerances, and how they interact with each other - some you win, some you loose.

And to some of the other comments here regarding problems with the Sigma lens - you just have to realise that it is built to a budget and will not compare to say, a Leica lens.  Not that the lens is low-quality, just that there will be a greater range of tolerance accepted by quality control.  And curvature of field affecting a lens at different focussing distances, de-centred lens elements, and focus-shift when using very wide aperture lenses are all problems for most lenses - not just the Sigma.

Jim
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Codger on May 04, 2013, 03:13:49 AM
Makes sense to me.  Look at what we've seen transpire in the American automobile industry.  The Ford Motor Company phased out the Mercury line and in the process created better identities for its Ford and Lincoln products: General Motors shucked off the largely duplicative and overlapping Pontiac and Oldsmobile lines.  Coming out of the recent American recession, both companies are stronger than they were five years ago.  I like the idea of reducing the range of models and doing a better job of refining how they work and defining what/who they're for.  These days there's a lot of too-similar products, and that could be distracting and inefficient to make and manage, as well as to choose between for the consumers.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Quentin on May 04, 2013, 05:05:51 AM
Hell, if the image quality and quality control were of the highest order I'd pay Hasselblad prices.

Well I agree with that.   Although even my Hassy lenses are slightly "out".
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: RomanN. on June 14, 2013, 04:30:46 PM
simply best optical quality on Nikon d800 at wide open, fantastic at 5,6-8.
AF works only at the center and at close, very close distance. AF simply not usabele, I focus manual, its work. It should be sell as an manual focus lens.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on June 14, 2013, 07:41:37 PM
My take on this lens is that the problem is with the number of elements. In theory it should be a highly corrected masterpiece. The advantage of a prime used to be that the simple design with few elements did not allow too many errors. Fewer surfaces, each with their own errors, fewer reflections, fewer spacing jig errors, etc. This lens is just too complex.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: kers on June 14, 2013, 08:30:50 PM
simply best optical quality on Nikon d800 at wide open, fantastic at 5,6-8.
AF works only at the center and at close, very close distance. AF simply not usabele, I focus manual, its work. It should be sell as an manual focus lens.

did you see this ?:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/06/sigma-optimization-pro-and-usb-dock
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: BernardLanguillier on June 14, 2013, 08:35:43 PM
My take on this lens is that the problem is with the number of elements. In theory it should be a highly corrected masterpiece. The advantage of a prime used to be that the simple design with few elements did not allow too many errors. Fewer surfaces, each with their own errors, fewer reflections, fewer spacing jig errors, etc. This lens is just too complex.

My take is that there is zero problem with this lens. It a masterpiece that will remain as a landmark similar to the Canon 70-200 f2.8 II, Leica 180 f2.8 APO, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-S, Zeiss 55mm f1.4,...

The fact that a few samples had quality control issues doesn't change anything.

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rob C on June 15, 2013, 03:10:45 AM
My take is that there is zero problem with this lens. It a masterpiece that will remain as a landmark similar to the Canon 70-200 f2.8 II, Leica 180 f2.8 APO, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-S, Zeiss 55mm f1.4,...

The fact that a few samples had quality control issues doesn't change anything.Cheers,
Bernard




Other than for the mug that bought one.

Rob C
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on June 15, 2013, 12:13:20 PM
My take is that there is zero problem with this lens. It a masterpiece that will remain as a landmark similar to the Canon 70-200 f2.8 II, Leica 180 f2.8 APO, Nikkor 85mm f1.8 AF-S, Zeiss 55mm f1.4,...

The fact that a few samples had quality control issues doesn't change anything.

Cheers,
Bernard


Maybe. It seems like a lot more people in this thread said they had problems compared to the % that said theirs was great.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: jwstl on June 15, 2013, 12:50:45 PM
Maybe. It seems like a lot more people in this thread said they had problems compared to the % that said theirs was great.

Meaningless as everyone who has ever worked in a service industry knows you always hear about problems but rarely hear from the satisfied.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Telecaster on June 15, 2013, 01:37:20 PM
did you see this?:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/06/sigma-optimization-pro-and-usb-dock

Kudos to Sigma for offering this. But...it's precisely the need for this kind of tweak-o-rama that led me to abandon phase-detect AF systems. How 'bout D-SLR makers offer a PD-AF mode in which focus is actually verified? Is this too much to ask? Must speed always trump accuracy?

-Dave-
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on June 15, 2013, 10:38:16 PM
Meaningless as everyone who has ever worked in a service industry knows you always hear about problems but rarely hear from the satisfied.

You do realize there is a difference between a forum and a customer feedback system for a manufacturer?

If this was a Sigma Customer website you would have a valid point. The same if it was the list of reviews from customers at B&H. That is not how a forum works. Responses here are based on how interesting the subject is to active users.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Mattnord on June 17, 2013, 07:07:18 PM
When buying this lens, it's very hit or miss. I bought one yesterday, and while the optics were amazing, the AF was out of control! Focused about 4 ft too far away at medium distances, and about 3 inches too CLOSE at short distances. I've never seen anything like it before. Went back to my store this morning (which luckily is 5 minutes away) and switched to another copy. This one is MUCH better, I just had to dial in some fine tuning (to be expected with any brand lens), and everything was fine.

So, I would only buy this from a store with a good returns policy, and be prepared to try a few copies before you find a "hit". For the price and performance compared to Nikon's offering though, I'm happy. It's insane how sharp it is wide open. I also really like the strong vignetting, although this can of course also be seen as a negative.

As a plus, I definitely prefer the build "feel" of the Sigma to the Nikon model.

Best,
Matt
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: leeonmaui on June 17, 2013, 10:09:06 PM
aloha,

Holy drifting focal planes batman!
Some grumpy people here today!
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Torbjörn Tapani on November 15, 2013, 02:56:59 PM
Got one copy this week. Sharpness at infinity fully open is important for me (wide field astro) and it's OK at f/1.4 but mine had some decentering issue. Center and upper edge was fine but lower edge was out of focus so I sent it back for replacement today. Some coma at left and right edges but maybe that's to be expected.

But I had another problem I just noticed last night. I had some form of condensation problem. Showed up as really bad flares around light sources. A dime sized patch of condensation on the inside of the front element. I have never seen this on my Nikon glass so I'm a bit worried right now that this will become a major issue for me. I'm living in a cold climate so maybe I will have to develop some kind of routine before taking the lens out in below freezing conditions.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on November 15, 2013, 05:47:30 PM
Got one copy this week. Sharpness at infinity fully open is important for me (wide field astro) and it's OK at f/1.4 but mine had some decentering issue. Center and upper edge was fine but lower edge was out of focus so I sent it back for replacement today. Some coma at left and right edges but maybe that's to be expected.

But I had another problem I just noticed last night. I had some form of condensation problem. Showed up as really bad flares around light sources. A dime sized patch of condensation on the inside of the front element. I have never seen this on my Nikon glass so I'm a bit worried right now that this will become a major issue for me. I'm living in a cold climate so maybe I will have to develop some kind of routine before taking the lens out in below freezing conditions.

If your camera bag has foam padding the insulation value should let it adjust without condensation when you bring it back in to a warm area. Give it an hour. Wrapping in clothes or a plastic bag also work.

Taking it out into the cold should be ok.

Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Fine_Art on November 15, 2013, 05:49:52 PM
When buying this lens, it's very hit or miss. I bought one yesterday, and while the optics were amazing, the AF was out of control! Focused about 4 ft too far away at medium distances, and about 3 inches too CLOSE at short distances. I've never seen anything like it before. Went back to my store this morning (which luckily is 5 minutes away) and switched to another copy. This one is MUCH better, I just had to dial in some fine tuning (to be expected with any brand lens), and everything was fine.

So, I would only buy this from a store with a good returns policy, and be prepared to try a few copies before you find a "hit". For the price and performance compared to Nikon's offering though, I'm happy. It's insane how sharp it is wide open. I also really like the strong vignetting, although this can of course also be seen as a negative.

As a plus, I definitely prefer the build "feel" of the Sigma to the Nikon model.

Best,
Matt

I agree, the new Sigma build style is very good.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Torbjörn Tapani on November 15, 2013, 06:42:34 PM
If your camera bag has foam padding the insulation value should let it adjust without condensation when you bring it back in to a warm area. Give it an hour. Wrapping in clothes or a plastic bag also work.

Taking it out into the cold should be ok.



Yes I have the habit of taking the card out and leave the camera and lenses in the padded bag to acclimatize when going inside. But this problem occured when going out. I was close to water not yet completely frozen over and temperature -8C so maybe bad conditions for a lens. No problems with the Nikon zoom I used instead.
Title: Re: Sigma 35mm f1.4 on D800
Post by: Rory on November 15, 2013, 09:52:42 PM
Okay, I'll bite.  My copy is very sharp.  Focus requires no adjustment.  I like the lens hood too.

My 85/1.4 has similar resolution but renders a little smoother.  I like the bite from the sigma.  And I swore I'd never buy a sigma.   ;D

Rory