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AF Fine Tune - Sigma 50 1.4

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kixsand, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    Well, I went out yesterday and bought myself a Sigma 50 mm 1.4!!!

    Woo hoo!

    When I got home with it last night I immediately did something that I've never done before with any of my Nikkor lenses...checking the AF for accuracy.

    I started out by taking shots of the label on the beer that I had opened for myself. They weren't sharp at all...oh oh.

    So then I set up a tape measure and started to try and do a little more scientific testing...front focus! I was sweating a bit now..."everything I've read is true!".

    I ended up settling on an AF fine tune adjustment of +10. Then I did some more shooting around the house and it appeared to be pretty well bang on.

    So then I thought..."what if all my lenses are missing focus by some degree"?

    One by one I went through the lot and you know what? None of them needed an adjustment. I think I considered +1 on one of them but decided that it was too close to call.

    So, is this just an issue of Sigma making lenses that need to work with Canon and Sony and Nikon and that they will never/rarely be a perfect fit with a particular body?

    It doesn't really bother me too much...at +10 it seems to be fine. I'm really glad that the D700 can perform this magical feat for me with every shot...brilliant really!

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2011
  2. I would also check the focus inside and outside, at longer distances, including near infinity focus. Before I sent my Sigma 50 1.4 in for adjustment it required a +4 up close, a +10 at about 10 feet, and a +20 at long distances, and I wasn't always sure if it differend under incadescent or sunlight. When I got it back, it just required I think a +8 all the time.
  3. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    Ah....good advice!

    I will try that as well.
  4. nextelbuddy


    Jul 15, 2010
    i really need to do this with my 80-200 afd
  5. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    I've been doing some very unscientific testing around the office at greater distances than my tape measure in the kitchen testing allowed and everything seems to be alright.

    Thanks for the heads up though!
  6. Ronald M

    Ronald M

    Nov 10, 2008
    Why bother with a company that does QC like that?

    One would think they would get tired of doing repairs and clamp down in the assembly process.

    Or they make junk on purpose and only fix the ones the one people complain about.
  7. Takeda


    Jun 9, 2006
    Durham, NC

  8. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    I suppose you bother with a company like that because their lens, once dialed in, is superior to the Nikon equivalent.

    It is a lovely piece of glass...nice and big...77 mm front end...balances beautifully on the D700. AF is nice and quick. bokeh is to die for!

    I took a few shots today and I am absolutely smitten with this lens. It's got that "pop" that I love! I will try and post a couple of shots shortly.
  9. Pupator


    Jan 29, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    I know a lot of people think devices like a lens align and doing micro-focus adjustments are a waste of time - but the results can be pretty incredible. Sometimes it's the difference between a good lens and a stunning one.
  10. Agreed. Now try it at f/2 and check out the "pop" that it delivers.
  11. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    I agree. This lens at f/2 still blows me away...and I'm on DX. I can only imagine the joys of shooting this sucker on FX.
  12. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    Ahhh...so F2 is a nice place to be with this lens is it? I took a few today at F2.8 and was very happy with the results! Was amazed at how many stops there were between F1.4 and F2.8...there's a bunch of stops in between!

    I think these were all taken wide open:

    1. This is Louie (pronounced Loo-wee!). We celbrated Louie's 15th year with Mercedes-Benz Canada today. I took a few shots of him as he came to accept his award and eat some cake!


    2. Here's another shot of him. Check out the bokeh!


    3. This is Sharma...one of my sales consultants and a real piece of work. This is the look he gives me 10 times a day.


    4. Don't borrow any money from this guy...


    I love this lens!!!
  13. Yep. It's the sweet spot.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  14. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    Here's one more from when I got home...my son in the hot tub with my wife and older son in the background:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  15. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
  16. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    My son is the darkish blob on the left...sorta crouched down...damn bokeh!
  17. kixsand


    Nov 13, 2009
    Sorry...one more

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  18. If you feel that you are getting inconsistent focus accuracy, you may want to send the lens in. There are other threads on the forum that spoke about firmware updates for this lens. After of which they were very pleased.

  19. Patrick


    Jan 14, 2011
    Well not everyone has the cash to dish out premium for Nikkor lenses... I want a 30ish 1.4 lens for everyday walk-around... I don't have 1800 for a Nikkor.

    And every lens has it's + and - points... Bokeh on the 30-50-85 Sigma lenses are amazing... if dialed in correct they are allmost as good as the nikkor equivalents for a (much) lower price (30mm= 380 vs 1800, 50 = allmost same, 85= 800ish vs 1400)...
  20. VisualEchos


    Aug 25, 2009
    Sometimes it's the body, which is probably the case with my D700, as all of my lenses take a fine-tune (even my 200 ƒ2). But as long as it can be tuned, no biggie.

    I will say that a LensAlign II is an excellent investment. Lenses need to be checked for tune once a year, and the new model is only $90.
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