Need help on test shots of Sigma 30 f/1.4 and 35 f/2 Af-D Nikkor

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by SamIAM, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. I got a new Sigma 30 f/1.4 recently. I want to make sure that I got a sharp copy.

    Perhaps, not very scientific test setup. Taken using tripod mounted D200 with M-up and MC-30 remote. I used a reasonably well lit area for the shots. Chosen center focus and matrix metering.

    I want you to look at the shots and advice. From the owner of this lens, I want to know whether Sigma 30 can do better wide open in terms of sharpness. (..whether the lens goes to Sigma for calibration).

    To access original Jpegs out of camera please click here.

    Newspaper shot Sigma f/1.4 1/80s, iso 400

    Newspaper shot Sigma @f/2.8 1/20s, iso 400

    To have an idea how 35 f/2 nikkor performs in comparision, I shot a similar one with
    f/2.8 1/30s iso 400

    Did another set with kitchen containers to test focusing accuracy.
    f/1.4 sigma:
    sigma at f/2.8
    Nikkor 35 f/2 at f/2.8

    Thanks for your help in advance. Also I am open to learn how I can perform these types of shots better.

  2. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    Of you take a close-up picture of a dollar bill, I can tell you if you got a sharp sample. The most important difference between the two lenses, though, seems to be the color.
  3. Here is a close-up of a dollar bill:
    Sigma 30 1.4:

    Nikkor 35 f/2 at f/2

    I love the color produced by Sigma but seems like my good old 35 f/2 is better in sharpness dept. than this copy. But you guys are better judge.

  4. Sam,

    These dollar bill shots aren't 100% crops, but it is easy to see that the Nikon 35 is sharper. That shouldn't be the case. It looks like you'll have to send your Sigma 30 in for calibration. It cost me about $6 postage and 8 days in my two cases.
  5. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    looks like your sigma needs calibration
  6. Thanks Glenn for your response. Did you talk to the dealer at all or just called Sigma service directly and shipped to them?

    I guess the lens lacks critical sharpness.

    whereas 35 f/2 seem to be OK:

    Focusing seems to be Ok. If you see the shots in kitchen, I aimed (Af-s) at the twin leaves of the second cannister in the center of the image (the one with floral painting ).

  7. Thanks a lot.

    p.s. Why not you provide us at least first name to call you? Hope you do not mind.
  8. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    hmm... your 35/2 doesn't seem to be very sharp either. Here is mine:

  9. Sam,

    I simply went to Sigma's website and followed the listed procedures for service work. I didn't see the point in speaking to either Sigma or the dealer.
  10. Thanks everyone. Another item in To-do list tomorrow.
  11. Sam,
    Thanks for the post. This is the next lens on my lust list since the Nikkor 28 1.4 is out of my reach. At least I'll know what to expect.

    Thanks also to Glenn for the information on dealing with Sigma.
  12. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    It makes me think about calculus.
  13. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    I don't have a phone... why would you want to call me?
  14. randyr5


    Jan 14, 2006
    Sharpness issues aside, the Sigma seems to have a yellowish cast, easily fixed in post, but there nonetheless.
  15. He means a name to address you by. Many people feel rude calling someone by a screen name.
  16. er..

    Your test results seem inconsistent, which coincides with the low shutter speeds you're shooting.

    Try shooting *exactly* perpendicular to a reliably flat target in good light. Even with a tripod, I do not trust slow shutter speed results.

    Plus, the fine detail in the 30/1.4 Sigma looks better in the closeup than the 35/2, but at lower frequency levels, the contrast seems lower.
  17. DABO


    Jan 13, 2006
    Sam -

    I had a Sigma 30/1.4 and sold it in favor of a 35/2. But I never took the step of sending it to Sigma. If you decide to do that, I'd like to see (and I'm sure you would too) some very comparable before and after shots. So take various shots like you've done, but keep notes so you can duplicate them later.

  18. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    I got a good sample of the Sigma 30/1.4 and also a good sample of the Nikkor 35/2. They both focus spot on. The Nikkor 35/2 is sharper and more contrasty than any zoom lens I've ever come across. Yet the Sigma is even sharper than the 35/2, at all apertures. The colors are VERY different, and I've taken enough controlled shots to know that it is the lens and not the camera settings. Here is a shot of the Sigma 30/1.4 at f/1.4 and at its closest focusing distance:


    Not bad for f/1.4 eh? The fact that this lens only gets slightly sharper stopped down is a testament to its quality. Center sharpness is amazing, but the 35/2 is sharper at the extreme corners and can focus MUCH closer.

    Here is the Sigma 30/1.4 Focus Test:


    Just for reference my serial number is 22439**.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2007
  19. DAB,

    It's not pretty, but here are before and after calibration test shots at f/1.4 with my Nikon-mount Sigma 30.
    100% crops, no sharpening, but taken at different distances.
    You have to click on the images to see them in their full 100% size without degradation.


  20. cotdt


    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    whoa even the colors are different!
Similar Threads Forum Date
I need your help with an 80-400mm! Lens Lust Jun 9, 2016
Need help with my 24 1.4 Lens Lust Jun 6, 2015
Newbie needs help with Nikon lens Lens Lust Feb 9, 2014
Morocco, and I need help! Lens Lust Nov 8, 2013
I'm in a prime lens buying mood for my D7000 ~ help needed Lens Lust Mar 4, 2013