April 25, 2014, 12:09:16 AM

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Messages - sdsr

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As much as I would like to see a pay per view fight between photogs, maybe we should step back and take a breath.

Perhaps I'm missing something (I wouldn't be shocked if I were, as I'm not remotely as technologically savvy as many contributors here), but wouldn't this focusing inconsistency problem vanish if Canon and Nikon took mirrorless technology seriously and released some competitive mirrorless bodies?  In the world of M43 and Sony e-mount (and presumably Fuji too), Sigma's remarkably inexpensive primes consistently receive very high praise (aside from some wishing they were faster than f/2.8) from reviewers and users and in the - hardly comprehensive, admittedly - reading I've done I've not encountered any complaints about focusing.  (That's not to say mirrorless cameras never have focusing problems, but they seem to have nothing to do with the inconsistency problem being discussed here.)

Has anyone reading this attached a Canon-mount Sigma lens (preferably one which focused inconsistently on a Canon dslr) to an EOS M and experienced focusing inconsistency?  I would expect the answer to be "no."  Presumably someone will correct me if my expectation is false.


I'm not sure why people here are still calling for an AF improvement from Sigma. The new Art series remedied AF issues (AF as good as the average Canon, imo), and the USB dock is there to maintain it into the future. All these complaints seem to reference older Sigma lenses, which were obviously sub-par compared to the new quality standard.

Sigma's newer lenses may be better, but there are complaints about them too - reviewers and users both complain about focusing inconsistency even though they praise the lens in question to the skies in other respects (e.g. 35mm 1.4 and the 1.8 zoom). 

The AF section of Lenstip's review reaches a rather different conclusion from Bryan's: AF accuracy of the 50mm A varies with the camera model - on a 5DIII the fail rate was c. 6-7% (which he describes as good, but not better than that), but far higher on a 1DsIII:


This perhaps shouldn't be surprising, especially given the reverse engineering Sigma is forced to do (remember the Sigma/Nikon D5300 problem?).  It's also the case, as Roger Cicala has shown, that some newer Canon lenses focus much more accurately on a 5DIII than on other Canon bodies.  As for how consistent Sigma's AF inconsistency is, perhaps Mr Cicala will test that too - no-one else seems to be able and willing to test umpteen copies of the same lens.

(My experience, which is statistically near-worthless, is that of the three Sigma lenses I've owned, and the few I've rented, most of them older, only one gave me AF problems - a copy of the older 50mm 1.4 which seemed to refuse to focus on anything, ever....  Aside from that, my worst focusing lenses were various Pentax lenses and my first Canon 50mm 1.4.)


BTW...if the 24A is optically similar to the 50A and 35A from f/1.4 to f/2.8 with reasonable coma, I'll buy one in a heartbeat.

Me too - the coma performance of the 35A is remarkable (far better than the Canon 35 IS).

Photography Technique / Re: Am I the only one this has happened to?
« on: April 21, 2014, 03:45:55 PM »

It may be something else: if you take photos of public spaces, and people happen to be in those photos (e.g. museum) then it's OK.  If you zoom in on individuals then it's not OK.  Cell phones don't yet zoom well, and they're slow.  I think people know that if you're in a cell phone photo it shouldn't be a surprise.

Some public spaces aren't quite as public as you may think.  My office is a block from Independence Hall in Philadelphia and I like to take photos of and around it, partly because it's an attractive building, partly because it's  a useful sort of thing to test lenses on thanks to all the fairly straight lines, bricks, symmetry etc. of buildings of that style and age, and, as it's a much-photographed tourist destination, photographers are expected and thus aren't the nuisance they can otherwise be in a city.  I don't much like carrying around lots of camera equipment, so when I bought my Sony A7r a few months ago for several days in succession I visited it with different lenses and adapters to see how they behaved.  On the fourth day, as I was leaving, a pair of federal police officers stopped me because guards outside Independence Hall thought I was taking photos of *them* (it's hard to take photos of that building that exclude them...).  They were perfectly pleasant about it, and it probably helps that I don't look much like anyone's idea of a terrorist and was able to produce ID showing that I work for a federal appeals court, but still.  At any rate, it's probably best not to make repeat visits to such destinations armed with a camera!

I also find it a bit odd that big cameras and big lenses, or even just clearly and openly taking a photo, look suspicious to so many.  If you were trying to breach security or take a photo of children for nefarious purposes, wouldn't you do so furtively with as small a camera as possible?   


There exist plenty of other review sites that test lenses.  Why keep looking at DxO?  You might as well read science fiction.  At least sites like LensTip and The Digital Picture will show you actual images.

Lenstip's review is now up:


Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 02:26:21 PM »

i did not know that there were lenses that had an adjustment ring to control that effect, i don't really understand how it  works but it is a very cool feature, are there any other lenses besides this nikon that have that adjustment? i really want one now.

Minolta used to make at least one:


Not exactly a current lens, though....

Lenses / Superzooms, again
« on: April 18, 2014, 02:19:30 PM »
After all the angst about whose 50mm primes are trash, this might amuse (sorry if it's already been posted somewhere, but if it was I couldn't find it).  The fact that it's about Nikon is neither here nor there, though I guess some may want to complain about that, too....


Lenses / Re: Sigma vs Zeiss vs Canon
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:59:46 AM »

So. Am I to infer that if Canon comes out with 50/1.2 II that is sharper and has better corner to corner sharpness then you would not DESIRE to use it?

It depends entirely on who "you" is and what s/he wants to do with it.  If you like that dreamy look, and if you use the lens to take portraits (in which case the chances that anything in a corner would be in focus anyway seem slight, rendering - pun half intended - corner sharpness moot), you may not want such an improved lens at all. 

And if you do want better sharpness, including sharp corners, why not get the new Sigma - or do something different altogether and buy, say, a Sony A7r + FE 55 1.8?  Do your lenses all have to have "Canon" written on them?"  Your complaint looks rather like another manifestation of the fanboy-ism that keeps getting brought up:  Does Canon have to make the best of everything according to some notion of "best" that may or may not be widely shared?

(And leaving all that aside, for now if you want a 50 1.2 (or 85 1.2) lens for a ff camera, regardless of brand, are there better alternatives which are also 1.2?  There are new similar lenses from Fuji and Panasonic/Leica, both supposedly marvelous, but they're APS-C and M43 respectively, but that's not quite the same thing....)

Canon General / Re: Helen Oster
« on: April 18, 2014, 11:22:43 AM »
I'm simply overwhelmed with all your good wishes - so glad I'm able to be here  and provide personal support and advice.

Thank you!!

We're glad too; you're a model of customer service.  Happy birthday!


I bet the majority of us posting here are middle aged men. The white versions of cameras are mainly bought by women and the EOS 100D / SL1 is definately aimed at the female market as much as men.

You may be right; but if so, is it insulting or just realistic that the only white lenses are the 40mm and the 18-55mm kit zoom?  (As someone pointed out, the white Ls aren't white at all but a nasty orthopedic-shoe-beige.)

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 16, 2014, 11:20:04 AM »

Here we see the defensive comments and a retreat to the trenches of the intangibles like bokeh (which is not clearly different in any sample shot I have seen anyone point to specifically) and creaminess [...].

Your overall point re pro-Canon bias may have more than a hint of truth about it, but I disagree with your implication that "intangibles like bokeh" don't matter (at least, I assume that's what you mean by "retreat to the trenches").  Of course, bokeh/blur is a tricky issue for reviewers because it can't be measured in the same way that resolution/sharpness can, and while there's presumably no debate whether one image is sharper than another, there may well be disagreement over which has better bokeh (and, of course, whether it matters in the first place).  But the fact that it can't be measured doesn't mean it's "intangible" - you see blur just as you see sharpness - and whether one image is "clearly different" from another is also subjective (in the 1.8 vs 1.4 comparison someone posted earlier to show that there was almost no difference, the difference seemed quite obvious to me and I had no difficulty at all in forming a preference).  And for some people a lens's bokeh/blur properties may trump other considerations. 

That said, for all I know the Sigma may have better bokeh than the Canon (unlikely though that may seem), just as the Sigma 35 1.4 seems to have better bokeh than the Canon 35 1.4 (at least as per Brian's comparison at the digital picture.).

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
« on: April 16, 2014, 11:01:10 AM »

Higher quality lenses also require a higher quality review(er). Just putting it on your camera and going outside and shooting some objects and posting centre crops doesn't cut it.

That's true of all lenses, of course.  But I don't think test chart comparisons are terribly helpful either.  What I would rather see - and which Brian will surely do when his review shows up; it's one of the most useful aspects of his reviews - is comparisons of photos of actual subjects of various sorts: portraits, buildings, landscapes, etc. 
I suspect the Sigma will prove to be a superb lens, and wouldn't be at all surprised if in may ways it beats the 50L - though if I used a 50mm lens to take portraits I would be far more interested in which has better bokeh than which shows the most clinical detail. 

(Personally, I have no stake in this particular debate - if I want crazy sharpness from a 50mm-ish lens, I suspect that my Sony/Zeiss 55mm 1.8/Sony A7r combination is at least as sharp as the Sigma would be on any current Canon body, while weighing less than the Sigma lens alone, and if I want a blur-fest from a 50mm-ish lens I'll use my manual Canon 55mm 1.2 on the Sony.)

Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro
« on: April 08, 2014, 05:16:23 PM »
He hasn't yet reviewed its big brother, the Sigma 180mm 2.8 OS, which evidently knocked the socks off the hard-to-please lenstip reviewer:


Has anyone reading this tried that one?

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Gets Reviewed
« on: April 06, 2014, 08:54:36 PM »
I'm about to put my 50L on Ebay.... and it has nothing to do with this new 50mm Art.

I took my kids to Flower Field in Carlsbad yesterday. I carried A7r + FE 55mm. With Eye-focus feature in A7r, compose the shot is so easy. At wide open, I couldn't miss a shot. However, the Bokeh is not smooth as my 50L.

Bottom line is, I'm willing to trade that bokeh for light weight ;)

I suspect that for most real world use the differences between the new Sigma and the FE 55mm are trivial, far less than the difference in weight and size; it's nice to be able to carry around a FF camera and two primes in a small bag whose weight is negligible.  The FE 55 is so sharp on my A7r it's hard to imagine I would appreciate something even sharper, and if I want more dreamy blur I can use my old manual Canon 55 1.2.  I may end up buying the Sigma in a Canon mount, especially if reviews appear showing comparison shots involving something other than test screens and the like - though the Sigma on a current Canon FF sensor may not look any sharper, if at all, than the FE 55 on an A7r anyway, and the more I get used to the light weight of my Sony and M43 mirrorless gear the harder it is to return to my vastly heavier FF Canon gear, much as I like it.  I wonder if Sigma would ever be interested in making longer and wider primes (or even zooms) in Sony's FE mount....

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