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Lenses / Re: Another thread about AF problems with Sigma 35A
« on: September 25, 2014, 09:07:23 AM »
switters:  What camera are you using?

A 5D3.

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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 / Re: Sigma 50mm Art 1.4 Focusing problems
« on: September 16, 2014, 02:19:03 PM »

Again, as I've stated previously, along with the others having this problem, it cannot be user calibrated because it's only off center points having the issue and any calibration gets applied to all focus points, throwing the center point(s) out. Neither in camera AFMA nor the sigma dock can fix this issue, and sigma service has stated that they cannot fix it either until the sigma corporation finishes writing the software necessary to do it with (note: they said it's software to be used at the service centers, so it will still not be a user serviceable issue). At least it sounds like they are working towards making it fixable, god knows how long that will take.

Interesting. I just came to the forum to post exactly the same issue with the 35A I have. My first two copies 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.

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.

So I am selling my 35A and buying a 35 IS. And as excited as I was about the 50A, I'm going to pass on that as well. Still hoping Canon will come out with a 50 IS or revamped 50/1.4. In the meantime, may just skip up to the 85/1.8 and have a 35/85 combo with two small, compact lenses. This appeals to me because my main workhorses are the 24-70 II and the 70–200 IS.

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Lenses / Re: Any word on the 50mm with Image Stabilzation?
« on: June 29, 2014, 03:46:22 PM »
I have asked in the Review thread of the 35A whether people are still happy with the lens but with no reply. If other people are having problems with the 35A I'll give it a miss.

It's a fantastic lens in terms of IQ, but the focus is inconsistent (and can't be fixed with AFMA). At least in my case—I know others are happy.

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Lenses / Re: Any word on the 50mm with Image Stabilzation?
« on: June 29, 2014, 01:58:42 PM »
I've been waiting quite a while for this lens. I was excited when the Sigma 50A came out, but after going through 3 copies of the 35A and still getting inconsistent AF, the reports of similar issues with the 50A kind of turned me off to it. I mostly shoot my young daughter at this point, and since she's always in motion, f/1.8 as a max aperture would be fine.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 07, 2014, 12:50:39 PM »

That would be a rather different market to the art line up so far I'd say, they might not be small but they are small/cheap enough for the average user where as a 24-70mm f/2 would be a beast of a lens.

My guess would be if they do release an F/2 zoom it'll follow the 18-35mm F/1.8 and have a more limited range, maybe something like 35-70mm f/2.

True. The size/weight of the 24-70 doesn't bother me (seems small and light compared to 70-200 IS!), but I wouldn't really want my 24-70 zoom to be much bigger or heavier than it already is.

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 07, 2014, 12:25:11 PM »

Rumor has it that it is a  24-70 f2 in the pipeline.

Really? Now that is interesting. Makes sense given the 18-35/1.8.

I'm really curious about the new 50/1.4. Hope the AF is more consistent from copy to copy. Took me 3 tries to get a good copy of the 35A.

I'm also torn between the Sigma and the rumored Canon 50 IS. I shoot with a Canon 24-70 II and 70-200 IS primarily, and both are big and heavy. I find that smaller/lighter primes are a nice contrast to the bigger zooms.

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FWIW, I used to shoot primes exclusively. I had a 35, 50, 85, 135. I was mostly doing fine art and street stuff, but 2.5 years ago I had a kid. Now I've sold all of the primes except the 35 and do 90% of my shooting with the 24-70 II and 70-200 IS. Since my 2.5 year old daughter rarely stops moving, f/2.8 is plenty wide enough in most cases, and the convenience and flexibility of the zooms outweighs the extra light and shallower DOF of the primes. And as others have pointed out the IQ, AF speed, flare control, bokeh, etc. of these new zooms is so good that I don't find myself missing the primes for that reason.

I still use the 35 (Sigma Art) for indoor work and when I don't want to lug one of the zooms around—though truthfully the size/weight difference between the Sigma 35A and 24-70 isn't that significant. I am considering trading the Sigma 35A for the 50A when it comes out, because I think the 50A might be more versatile as my single prime.

At some point when my daughter gets older and stops moving so continuously I might reacquire some primes for more deliberate work. But right now the zooms suit me best.

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Lenses / Re: Has Sigma announced plans for a 50mm "Art" lens?
« on: March 17, 2014, 11:12:54 PM »
Sigma has announced a new lens "50mm Art" which is due in stores in April. Rumor has it that image quality equal to or better than "35mm Art".

Wow! Somehow I missed that. Thanks for the heads up—I'll be first in line.

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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 / Re: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II Mentioned [CR1]
« on: June 24, 2013, 05:03:36 PM »
Not a Sigma fan boy by any stretch of the imagination, but have to agree that it will be difficult to improve on the Sigma 35 optically. The thing is razor sharp at f/1.4 and doesn't really have any optical flaws to speak of. There's a reason people rave about it.

AF is another story. I'm on my 3rd copy of this lens. The first two were erratic and inconsistent, so I returned them (which was a shame, because it's such an incredible lens). This 3rd copy is better, and using the USB dock I think I've been able to calibrate it so that it's very accurate. Still, that's taken a lot of time and effort (and 3 copies, to boot). If the Canon 35L II was out now, I probably would have been willing to pay $1,500 for it if it matched the Sigma's optics but had more consistent AF out of the box (like my other Canon lenses typically do).

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After my experience with the Sigma Art 35, and their new dock, I'll wait until they release their Art 50 lens. If it's as good as their 35, I'll be all over it.

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Lenses / Re: How "real" is the Sigma Art 135/1.8 OIS rumor?
« on: May 19, 2013, 03:11:12 PM »
Oops. Just found the original rumor: http://www.canonrumors.com/2013/04/135mm-f1-8-dg-os-art-next-from-sigma-cr1/

Looks like it's not certain at all.

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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 / Re: 35 & 85 or 50 & 100 for photographing kids
« on: May 06, 2013, 08:47:30 AM »
Your 24-70 f/2.8II is an absolutely awesome lens. Why would you consider focal lengths that fall in the 24-70 range? My 24-70 f/2.8II is so good I've sold my primes as they were sitting unused. I'm talking about the highly regarded EF 24 f/1.4II and a Sigma 50 F/1.4. I don't miss either of them.

Shooting kids? You next purchase really should be a longer lens. You'll be familiar with the advantages of a zoom. Look at the 70-200 f/2.8isII. Plenty of photographers on the planet would name this as their all-time favourite, most used lens. It's heavy & expensive, but wow does it deliver...

I doubt there is a Canon pro shooter on the anywhere on the planet who doesn't have one, or have it on their shopping list.

-PW
Couldn't agree more. I might not be a pro, but I've been a parent for more that ten years now and zooms rule. The kids just doesn't move from your side to another, they actually move towards you and away from you also. No offense, but there can be a tendency to prime snobbery here. I can understand that in  a studio environment or any controled situation primes are very good, but for many other situations I think zooms are great. Especiall when they are as good as the 70-200 or the new 24-70 MkII (haven't tried that one though)

I can't speak for anyone else, but here's why I want primes in addition to the 24-70 II (which indeed is a fantastic lens):
More light gathering capabilities. I have a custom setting with a minimum shutter speed of 1/250 to freeze movement and prevent blur. When I'm shooting indoors, which is often, f/2.8 and 1/250 often yields an ISO that is fairly high. Even with the 5DIII's excellent high ISO, I prefer to keep it as low as possible.
Shallower depth-of-field. I think super shallow DOF can be overused, but I like having the option of really isolating my subject from the background. See below for an example of a picture I took with the 85/1.4 a while back.
Creative limitation. In my case, having one fewer choice to make (i.e. focal length) can lead to more creative compositions. This is why I sometimes prefer primes to zooms, even if the zooms are more flexible.

I am definitely considering a 70-200 II, but not right at this moment. I just don't think I'd use it enough, given my shooting style and my tendency to work very close to my subject. I'm not even sure I'd use a 135 much, but I'm going to give that a shot next. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind and get an 85 and 135 in addition to the 24-70 instead of a 35 & 85. We'll see.


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