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Author Topic: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4  (Read 21724 times)

sunnyVan

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I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« on: June 03, 2013, 04:50:08 PM »
After a month of intense testing, I'm returning the lens with some regret. It's actually pretty amazing and fits my budget. It's sharp. The biggest problem I have is AF. It seems to require different amount of MA under different conditions. I thought I was crazy but I found reviews that describe the same behavior. I thought about user error but I haven't experienced the same with the much cheaper canon 50 1.4. I agonized over it and kept testing. As the return window was closing I had to make a decision.

I am getting the Canon 35L. I don't know if it would serve me better. Everybody says the Sigma outperforms the old Canon so I don't keep my hopes too high.

I took quite a few pictures I love with the Sigma. I really wanted to love it but I can't deal with unreliable and slow AF.

The sigma deserves a second chance. Perhaps I'll get a better copy. But I'm gonna try the Canon first.
6D, 24-70 2.8L II, 16-35 F4L IS, 17-40L, 100 2.8L, 70-200L F4 IS, 85 1.8, 135L, Sigma 35 1.4, 600Ex-RT, Rokinon 14mm, EOS M

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I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« on: June 03, 2013, 04:50:08 PM »

Pi

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 04:55:27 PM »
Never tried the Sigma 35 but I had enough headaches with other Sigma lenses.

The 35L is the most consistently focusing lens I own or tried, and this includes 20+ lenses, at least half of them L (most of them and in the "tried" category).

Some people, me included, have concerns about the bokeh of the Sigma vs. the Canon. The 35L can often render harsh background as well. It would be interesting to hear your opinion after you get the 35L.

sunnyVan

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 09:28:13 PM »
Never tried the Sigma 35 but I had enough headaches with other Sigma lenses.

The 35L is the most consistently focusing lens I own or tried, and this includes 20+ lenses, at least half of them L (most of them and in the "tried" category).

Some people, me included, have concerns about the bokeh of the Sigma vs. the Canon. The 35L can often render harsh background as well. It would be interesting to hear your opinion after you get the 35L.


Consistent focus is a must for me. If you're right then hopefully I'll be quite happy with the 35L. Will see what happens. Too bad Canon Direct doesn't allow return. 
6D, 24-70 2.8L II, 16-35 F4L IS, 17-40L, 100 2.8L, 70-200L F4 IS, 85 1.8, 135L, Sigma 35 1.4, 600Ex-RT, Rokinon 14mm, EOS M

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 09:42:20 PM »
The 35mmL also tends to focus differently at different distances.  I like mine, and found it to be better after Canon adjusted it, but not perfect.
I have no complaints about sharpness, at least I didn't until I got my new 24-70L which is definitely sharper, but doesn't do f/1.4.

sunnyVan

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 09:57:48 PM »
The 35mmL also tends to focus differently at different distances.  I like mine, and found it to be better after Canon adjusted it, but not perfect.
I have no complaints about sharpness, at least I didn't until I got my new 24-70L which is definitely sharper, but doesn't do f/1.4.

Really? The 35L would do that too?  :o
6D, 24-70 2.8L II, 16-35 F4L IS, 17-40L, 100 2.8L, 70-200L F4 IS, 85 1.8, 135L, Sigma 35 1.4, 600Ex-RT, Rokinon 14mm, EOS M

jdramirez

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 10:38:38 PM »
I was seriously considering getting the sigma 35 but at around $800 or so... I can't bring myself to pay retail.  I did have an offer on the table for $900 for a used Canon 35mmL but I read enough about the sigma that I simply had to go that route.

Then I realized that 35mm on a full frame is like a 22mm on a crop (I'm just starting to make the transition).  And I rarely ever shoot anything at 22mm on a crop... so I'm back to needing a good low light lens f/1.4 that is sharp wide open... which eliminates the 50's.  So I guess my other option is the 85mm... but I have a 70-200 mkii which seems redundant... which is also why I'm selling my 100mm L and why I have all but stopped wanting a 135mm f/2. 

So there we go... I want a 50mm that doesn't exist.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L-> 85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm -> 85mm f/1.2L mkii

Dylan777

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 10:43:18 PM »
This is the nature of big aperture prime lenses.

With Canon 50 f1.4, you almost have to step it down to f2.8 to get sharp photos - that would kill the funs buying a f1.4 lens and shoot it at f2.8 :-\

I rather shoot with my 24-70 II @ f2.8 ;D
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 10:55:01 PM by Dylan777 »
Bodies: 1DX -- 5D III
Zooms: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 10:43:18 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 11:01:51 PM »
The 35mmL also tends to focus differently at different distances.  I like mine, and found it to be better after Canon adjusted it, but not perfect.
I have no complaints about sharpness, at least I didn't until I got my new 24-70L which is definitely sharper, but doesn't do f/1.4.

Really? The 35L would do that too?  :o

Pretty much all wide aperture lenses do that, the margin of error at f/1.4 is so tiny.  Off just a little bit, and it can look bad.
 
However, the AF speed of the 35L is excellent, just don't expect shots near mfd to be as sharp as those at 5-10 ft.
 
That said, here is one taken a day after I received mine, and its near mfd. I went around our small county fair with my 5D MK II and the 35mmL, and found it to be a good focal length.
 
Its a shock of wheat, and very shallow depth of field, but also very sharp.
 

 
 
Of course, if you get stuck in a large arena, just do a big crop, the lens stands up to cropping. This was taken half way up into the seats of my friend driving clear across the arena.  I had to crop it a lot, but the level of detail is excellent, even at 1:1.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

jdramirez

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 11:14:22 PM »
This is the nature of big aperture prime lenses.

With Canon 50 f1.4, you almost have to step it down to f2.8 to get sharp photos - that would kill the funs buying a f1.4 lens and shoot it at f2.8 :-\

I rather shoot with my 24-70 II @ f2.8 ;D

That's exactly why I got rid of my 50mm f/1.4.  I'm not satisified with f/2.8 if what I want if f/2 or bigger. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100L-> 85mm f/1.8 USM-> 8mm -> 85mm f/1.2L mkii

Dylan777

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 11:29:40 PM »

That's exactly why I got rid of my 50mm f/1.4.  I'm not satisified with f/2.8 if what I want if f/2 or bigger.

Give 50L a chance. Photo below is @ f1.6. I was about 15-20ft away from my daughter, standing next to the mail box. I found my 50L is SUPER if I shoot @ f1.4 to 1.6. Shot JPEG, zero editing.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 11:35:46 PM by Dylan777 »
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Zooms: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

PhotographAdventure

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 12:39:48 AM »
Someone mentioned on these forums that every new lens they purchased, they order a few copies, pick the best one, and return the rest.  Sure it's extra cost, but you increase your chances of a good solid copy.

My sigma 35mm is great.  One of my frequently used lens so far for weddings and events.  I've noticed no issues with auto focus.

kbmelb

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2013, 12:50:47 AM »
The Canon 35L is really good. In fact the only think I find it lacking is weather sealing. I know the Sig is supposed to be amazing but from what I've seen, real world stuff wasn't enough of a difference for me to sell the L and take a chance with Sig's spotty history.

As for the 50L, at f/1.2 even when you nail the focus the focal point has some gaussian blur in concert with the sharpness. What I mean is, you can see the sharpness but there's some halation that makes it seem soft. Especially in situation where you'd NEED f/1.2. By f/2.0 it is sharp and the images are amazing.

victorwol

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 12:51:32 AM »
I have no noticed any issues with my Sigma 35, in fact, I think is an amazing lens.
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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 12:51:32 AM »

Pi

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 01:05:23 AM »
The 35mmL also tends to focus differently at different distances.  I like mine, and found it to be better after Canon adjusted it, but not perfect.
I have no complaints about sharpness, at least I didn't until I got my new 24-70L which is definitely sharper, but doesn't do f/1.4.

Really? The 35L would do that too?  :o

Mine does not. I am familiar with that problem, after all, I have tried a few Sigmas. My 135L had that problem and had to be serviced. My 35L nails the focus every time, regardless of the distance.

florianbieler.de

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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 01:13:31 AM »
Give 50L a chance.

You did not just say the 50L is anywhere near the Sigma. The 50L, though performing perfectly from f/2 upwards, is one of the worst lenses price/performance-wise, it's just really, really soft from below 2.0, even the old 50 1.4 performs better in that range. And this is not just based on test charts, I owned it myself for quite some weeks before I switched to the razor sharp Sigma 35 1.4. There is quite a quality scatter but not even close as worse as it was with their old 50 1.4 and if you get a decent copy - like i did - it's just a treat to work with. Give it some time, get to your local lens dealer, and pick a lens by hand. You won't regret.
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Re: I'm returning my Sigma 35 1.4
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 01:13:31 AM »