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Author Topic: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question  (Read 7725 times)

Dave_NYC

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Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« on: April 26, 2013, 10:56:37 AM »
So I'm in the market for a 50mm 1.4 (I cannot justify the additional cost of the 1.2L for what I'm doing, no matter how much I'd love to get it) after running into AF issues with a Canon 50mm 1.4.  I have previously tried a Sigma 50mm 1.4 and LOVED how sharp it was at 1.4 - 2 (primarily where I would use it), but had major issues with a shifting depth of field and AF issues.

As I mentioned though, I loved the IQ on the Sigma. But I am wondering what the ratio of this lens having AF issues is, and for those who owned one and had AF issues: whether sending it in to Sigma definitively fixed the AF issues for the body you were using.

So two questions really, for those who own one of these:
If you own one, did you have AF issues out of the box?
If you did have AF issues, did sending it into Sigma fix it?

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Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« on: April 26, 2013, 10:56:37 AM »

DominoDude

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 11:25:14 AM »
I had serious AF issues straight from the start. When I showed it to the shop in which I bought it, they recommended I should send it to Sigma. I did so, and they returned it saying it was "within specs" (no data shown to prove it) as they had tested it on one (1!) body identical to mine. The front focusing was so bad it was impossible to compensate for it with microadjustments. Bought another (better/newer) body a few years later and I have identical issues with that lens on that body. Still not possible to compensate with microadjust.
Sigma mentioned that they might be able to fix it if I did send both body and lens to them, but I certainly don't trust them enough to have my cameras. Other shops hinted that Sigma might try to adjust my Canon house to work with that lens, and it would most likely screw up all other lenses (all of them Canon) I have.

All in all I ended up with an expensive door stop that takes super sharp, crisp,  photos on things I don't focus on, and I had to pay for sending it to Sigma, who showed no signs of doing anything to fix my lens or to compensate me.

I wouldn't buy another Sigma lens unless I can test it on my camera for a week and it delivers a reliable, and expected, result during that time. Much much easier to just get a proper lens from the start, that is manufactured by someone that cares about photography, their customers and their brand.

Update:
I took a few shots with my Sigma 50/1.4 yesterday. Here's one properly processed with focus as I wanted/intended it to be, and another one that is just a screenshot showing a crop with an overlay of the selected focus point.
That last one is so so bad that even your guide dog would have to be blind to pass a focus check...
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 10:05:13 AM by DominoDude »
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RLPhoto

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 01:24:49 PM »
The sigma 50mm AF is in-consistant. It will lock fine on one shot then the next shot it's completely erratic. Atleast the 50L is predictable in its behavior, but his sigma needs to be revamped to the art series.

rs

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 08:41:24 AM »
I got mine replaced by the retailer as image first copy was front focusing by a huge margin. The second copy nails focus every time - and I have used it on four different bodies, all with equal levels of success.
5D II | 24-70 II | 70-200 II | 100L | 40 | Sigma 50/1.4 | 40D | 10-22 | 17-55 | 580 EX II | 1.4x TC II

yogi

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013, 05:07:01 PM »
I have it, but havent used it much so far(never enough time). I must have gotten a good copy because the focus works fine for me. Would like the Canon  1.2L, but already have the Sigma 1.4 & Zeiss 1.4. Maybe one day for the 1.2L, but how many 50mm's do you need? Still....  :D

Normalnorm

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 07:03:58 PM »
The sigma 50mm AF is in-consistant. It will lock fine on one shot then the next shot it's completely erratic. Atleast the 50L is predictable in its behavior, but his sigma needs to be revamped to the art series.

I am wondering why this is so? I was led to believe that the lens was controlled by the AF module in the camera where there was an iterative process that ceased when focus was achieved.
Or is it a matter of calculation about the amount OOF and then a signal sent to the lens to move to a predetermined position? If so why do they hunt?

At any rate my Sigma 50 was a pile of stinking manure when it arrived. I sent it to Sigma who repaired it noting that an element was loose (!!???!!). It is now razor sharp but can skunk me on focus every once in a while.
OTOH I went through 3 Canon 50 f1.4s that all exhibited AF issues on all my bodies. I am wondering if the focal length is cursed.

yogi

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 08:28:03 PM »
Maybe it is a quality control issue for the Sigma. Mine focused fine right out of the box, but i wonder how long it will last. The 50's must be cursed! I still cant get my Zeiss to autofocus. >:(

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 08:28:03 PM »

pwp

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2013, 10:45:04 PM »
Good choice on the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4.

I regret selling a perfectly good Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 and replacing it with a bigger, heavier Sigma 50mm f/1.4. When the Sigma nailed focus, it was fabulous. But it was so inconsistent that it couldn't be trusted for commercial work, or any type of work for that matter.

This focal length is now handled by the stellar 24-70 f/2.8II which for me has rendered all primes in this range obsolete.

-PW

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2013, 11:13:56 PM »
I own one. Have had it for about two years. I have used it on a Canon 5D Mark II & III. It focuses just fine. I had read all of the mixed reviews etc. so I really checked the focusing when I first received the lens. I used a tripod etc. and checked it out very carefully...  if it had issues I was prepared to just return it to B&H.  I like the lens a lot...but I know that others have had a lot of trouble with the lens.
It's interesting what Roger has to say at Lens Rental:
http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/canon/lenses/normal-range/sigma-50mm-f1.4-dg-hsm-for-canon
5D Mark III, Canon 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye, Canon 17mm f/4L TS-E, Canon 16-35mm f/4L IS, 21mm f/2.8 Zeiss, Sigma 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 Sigma, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro,70-200mm f/2.8L IS II...1.4x converter III, and some other stuff.....

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2013, 11:17:48 PM »
I'm hoping that Sigma will redo their 50mm 1.4 and make it as good as the 35mm 1.4;  that should solve the issue for good.  I have the Canon 1.4 but am not wild about it, and even though I had read endless complaints about the Sigma I thought I would buy one on the off-chance I received a good copy.  The copy I received was atrocious - nothing was remotely sharp at any aperture, not the subject nor anything in front of or behind it.  Rather than commence a tiresome replacement hunt, I returned it for a refund and decided to wait for something better.  (Meanwhile I may try the Panasonic/Leica 25mm 1.4 for my Olympus OM-D instead....) 

wickidwombat

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 09:35:42 PM »
Good choice on the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4.

I regret selling a perfectly good Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 and replacing it with a bigger, heavier Sigma 50mm f/1.4. When the Sigma nailed focus, it was fabulous. But it was so inconsistent that it couldn't be trusted for commercial work, or any type of work for that matter.

This focal length is now handled by the stellar 24-70 f/2.8II which for me has rendered all primes in this range obsolete.

-PW

i've got both and to be honest i'm not super impressed with either (not in the same league as the sigma 85 or the new 35) my wife still likes the canon 1.4 i should sell the sigma i give this lens an OK but i cant rave about it like i can about the 85 and the 35.

i'm waiting patiently to see what simga do with a 24-70 if it gets OS I personally dont use that zoom but its my wifes favourite (version 1) however the weight becomes a drag on long shoots for her and IS would help alot
so if sigma do something good here it will be awesome otherwise it'll be the v2 for her.

i would be interested to see a comparison of the 24-70 v2 @35mm vs the sigma 35
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Albi86

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 07:09:34 AM »
So I'm in the market for a 50mm 1.4 (I cannot justify the additional cost of the 1.2L for what I'm doing, no matter how much I'd love to get it) after running into AF issues with a Canon 50mm 1.4.  I have previously tried a Sigma 50mm 1.4 and LOVED how sharp it was at 1.4 - 2 (primarily where I would use it), but had major issues with a shifting depth of field and AF issues.

As I mentioned though, I loved the IQ on the Sigma. But I am wondering what the ratio of this lens having AF issues is, and for those who owned one and had AF issues: whether sending it in to Sigma definitively fixed the AF issues for the body you were using.

So two questions really, for those who own one of these:
If you own one, did you have AF issues out of the box?
If you did have AF issues, did sending it into Sigma fix it?

I wouldn't buy anything from Sigma at this point except for those lenses already in the A/C/S lineup.

rpiotr01

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 07:54:46 AM »
I have one and rarely use it because of AF issues. Sometimes front, sometimes back, never predictable. I'd use it as a MF lens but the MF ring is a little stiff, not fluid enough. I read a theory that it's a mechanical piece inside the lens that isn't seated properly, so that when the camera thinks AF is confirmed, the piece in the lens that controls focus isn't moving exactly where it's supposed to. The issue is a Sigma QC issue, as their tolerances in build are too large.

Obviously this isn't a professional opinion, and obviously I have no technical experience with this sort of thing based on the fairly pathetic description above, but it makes common sense to me. Sadly we're starting to see the same issue pop up in reports about the 35 1.4, which has seriously put me off buying it.

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 07:54:46 AM »

drmikeinpdx

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 04:55:08 PM »
Autofocus performance is in general a mysterious and frustrating topic.  I have had a Sigma 50mm F/1.4 for around 3-4 years.  I got it to use on my 5D classic, but it front focussed enough to be annoying and there is no micro-adjust on that body.  (Canon calibrated the body for me shortly after I bought it used.)  I managed to get some use out of it for portraits by focusing on the subjects ear, then the eyes would be sharp!  ::)

When I got my 5D III last Fall, the Sigma worked great with it, needing very little MFA.  I use it a lot now for full body portraits at about F/2.0 to F2.8 to get just the right background blur.  Sorry I don't have any acceptable images to post right now, most of my work is not appropriate for this site.  ;)
Current bodies:  5D3, 7D, 550D, S100
Favorite lenses: 135 f/2.0 L, 85 f/1.8 200 f/2.8 L, 50 f1.4 Sigma, 40mm pancake, 24-105 L.
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DominoDude

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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 09:50:54 AM »
I wonder if I could get inspired by this and actually get some usage out of my lens. "Please, lay down and spread your legs so that I have something to focus on to get your eyes sharp."  ::)
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Re: Sigma 50mm 1.4 AF issues question
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 09:50:54 AM »