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Lenses / Another thread about AF problems with Sigma 35A
« on: September 21, 2014, 02:39:48 PM »
I posted this in a thread about the 50A, but figured I'd start a new thread in case others are experiencing this particular issue. My first two copies of the Sigma 35A were so far off that I had to return them; I used both FoCal and the dock to calibrate them, but they couldn't even focus properly with center point and a focus target with camera mounted on a tripod.

My third copy is much better. I was able to use the dock along with FoCal to get it consistent using center-point focus, though it did need large adjustments (something like +9, +5, +4, +3 IIRC).

However, when using outer focus points, it's ridiculously off. It will focus on an object a foot in front of what I'm actually focusing on—it's not even close. For example, I took some shots of my daughter sitting on the couch holding a friend's newborn on her lap. Even though I was focusing on my daughter's eyes (with a cross-focus point a little left and above center), the lens decided to focus on the baby's face... which was a good 8-10" in front of my daughter's eyes, and at least 12-16" below.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Like everyone else, I am blown away by the sharpness and clarity of the 35A when it hits. But being forced to use the center focus point in order to get those results is a dealbreaker. 90% of the pictures I take are of people that are moving. Focus and recompose is not an option.

I'm thinking of picking up the Canon 35/2 IS. I'd miss the extra stop of light (because I mostly photograph moving subjects), but it doesn't matter how sharp a lens is in theory if it can't focus accurately in real-world situations.

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Lenses / Has Sigma announced plans for a 50mm "Art" lens?
« on: March 17, 2014, 08:25:38 PM »
I saw the recent rumor (CR1) of a Canon 50mm IS f1.8 or 2.0. While I'm sure this will be a great lens for many people, I have no need for IS at 50mm (as I mostly shoot pictures of my daughter, who never stops moving) and I'm more interested in a wider aperture. I've owned two copies of the 50L and had a love/hate relationship with it. What I'm really looking for is a 50/1.4 or 50/1.2 that is sharp wide open, focuses accurately, and has great color/contrast. In other words, I want the Sigma 35/1.4 version of a 50mm lens, and it seems Sigma would again be the company to do it.

Have they announced any intention to do so?

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Lenses / How "real" is the Sigma Art 135/1.8 OIS rumor?
« on: May 19, 2013, 02:20:05 PM »
I am trying out the 135L right now. It's a phenomenal lens, of course. But I do find situations where OIS would be helpful, and a little extra light-gathering capability never hurts.

Has Sigma actually announced that the 135/1.8 OIS is coming, or is that more of an unsubstantiated rumor at this point?

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Lenses / 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 05, 2013, 12:11:40 PM »
I have a Canon 5DIII and 24-70 II. I take pictures of my 21-month old daughter exclusively at this point. (I used to do more street, fine art, etc. but don't have time anymore and won't for the foreseeable future.)

I want to add a couple of fast primes for lower light work and shallower depth-of-field. I'm trying to decide between a 35 & 85 and a 50 & 100. My decision will be based on focal length preference, of course, but also on the quality/price/value of lenses available at those focal lengths.

I'm somewhat leaning toward 35 & 85, for a few reasons. First, from what I can tell, the Sigma 35/1.4 is probably the most highly regarded of all of the 35 and 50 autofocus lenses. Second, I like environmental portraiture and tend to shoot quite a bit indoors, so the wider perspective of the 35 might be a better fit there. Third, it seems the portrait options are better at 85 than at 100? The 85L II is legendary, and many agree that the Sigma 85 comes close to it at less than half the price.

On the other hand, 50 is a great focal length for general work and casual portraits, and the 50L has beautiful, creamy bokeh and a nice look. (I actually own the 50L now, and enjoy it.) The Canon 100/2, while not as highly regarded as the Canon 85L or Sigma 85, is still a great lens by most accounts.

I guess this also depends somewhat on my future lens plans. Frankly, the only additional lens I can imagine getting in the future (assuming my subject matter doesn't change) is a telephoto. I would probably either choose the 70-200 IS or the 135L.

Curious to hear if you have any thoughts about this choice? Thanks.

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EOS Bodies / Best way to clean dust off focusing screen of 5D3?
« on: February 16, 2013, 05:52:18 PM »
There's a large, black speck of dust in the upper-right when I look through the viewfinder of my 5D3. I suspect (but don't know for sure) that it's on the focusing screen and not in the viewfinder itself.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty OCD about this stuff and I know that speck will drive me crazy even though it won't affect the pictures. Some folks here and elsewhere have described using a blower to successfully clear the dust. (I do have a Giotto Rocket Blower.) Can someone describe that procedure — especially with an eye toward minimizing the chances of introducing new dust?

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Lenses / Which 50mm (with AF) is best from f/1.4 - f/2.0?
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:28:21 AM »
I currently own the Canon 50/1.4 but am disappointed with its performance from f/1.4 to f/2.0. At f/2.0 it sharpens up nicely, but what's the point of an f/1.4 lens that can't be used wide open?

Is the 50L any better in that range? I've read so many conflicting reports about the L. Some love it, others insist there isn't much of a difference (in sharpness, at least), between it and the 50/1.4.

Then there's the Sigma 50/1.4. I've heard it might be the sharpest of all at f/1.4, but it's extremely prone to AF problems (which I'm not willing to deal with).

I was really hoping Canon would come out with a new 50/1.4, or that Sigma would update its 50/1.4 to the "Art line" with similar quality to their new 35/1.4. No luck on either front — so far, at least.

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Lenses / Would you keep a lens that required +18 AFMA?
« on: January 09, 2013, 08:28:39 PM »
Just bought the new Sigma 85/1.4. It requires a +18 AFMA on my 5D III. I'm concerned that if I ever get a new camera body, and it front-focuses even a little bit more, that I won't be able to adjust it.

What do you think?

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The new Sigma 35/1.4 is getting rave reviews. Most comparions show it beating the 35L in nearly every area. Quality control seems to be vastly improved; I haven't heard any complaints about AF inaccuracy or inconsistency. And then there's the ability to fine-tune the focus with the docking station thingy, which admittedly I'm not clear on yet.

If they released a 50/1.4 that performs as well as the 35/1.4, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I'm not entirely satisfied with any of Canon's 50mm offerings.

Anyone heard anything about this?

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