Shootout Siggy vs. Nikon - a one-shot 50 1.4 shootout

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Mar 10, 2008
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Seems like if you get a good sample of the Sig, then you're in the good (and should be, given it is a little more expensive lens, heavier, etc.), but that variety in samples is a pain to deal with.
Considering their unreliable low quality warranty service, it's a big pain! My Sig 50 just returned from the third round of calibration from Sigma NY, still not focusing right. Not even close! What are they doing there? It feels like they don't even have a skilled technician and a good equipment there. Or, maybe, they just don't give a ****! Anyway, I'd rather have slightly less perfect but working Nikon lens than a Sigma lemon. Even if you get a good copy and it is working ok. with your current body, there is no guarantee it will work the same with your next one, especially if you going from DX to FX. My Sigma's focusing is significantly different on my D40X and my D700. There are lot of things to consider, when choosing the best 50!
 
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i don't know about this lens but it's true for most of their lenses
I got a good 10-20, a horrid 50-500, a good 120-300, a horrid 300 2.8, a great 150 2.8, a bad 30 1.4 and a good 30 1.4, and a 2nd good 10-20

it's a crap shoot with their stuff so many of us have stopped trying
Sorry, I don't mean to hi-jack the thread but when one gets a bad copy, is it best to exchange it where purchased or Sigma itself?
 
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There is a 15 days return window with B&H. If you miss it you are screwed. I did missed it. The only thing you can do after that is to send it for calibration under the warranty. It is not going very good so far, at least for me.
 
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Aleksey,

Thanks for the reply. Good to know. I know you're in NY as is the repair facility but I read a few other threads on here and it seems the AZ facility seems to do the best repair work (good for me being in CA). Was it your 50 f1.4 you sent in? Best of luck with your repair.
 
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If the lens works on one body, but not the other, it may be that the body is the problem.
My Nikon lenses working just fine on both of my bodys. I have two Sigma lenses and they are both an utter disappointment on both of my bodys. Something tells me it is not my new D700 is a problem. :wink: Also, unlike my Nikon lenses, Sigma exhibit very different behaviour on DX and FX bodys, which could cause it to be ok. on DX and not focusing correctly on FX and the other way around. It is much less likely the case with Nikon Lenses. There is also some firmware issues with Sigma lenses were reported. My Sigma18-50 f2.8 switch Image Area on my D700 from Auto DX crop to DX format, so when I change it to FX lens I have to go to the menu and switch it back. It is likely that Sigma lens will have more firmware issues as new Nikon bodys will come in the future.
 
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I have a D200 and I have never had any problem with any of my five third party lenses... Tamron, Sigma or Tokina. Maybe some bodies are more temperamental about it than others. I would hope that Nikon isn't deliberately sabotaging third party lenses in its newer camera bodies. There are disadvantages to being on the bleeding edge of the lastest model camera bodies.

As for the basic design of lenses, a bad design is always going to be bad. Nikon has had some dogs just like third party manufacturers. It pays to carefully research lenses on a case by case basis and try before you commit. Blanket endorsements or condemnations of whole brands aren't really much use compared to a specific review or test.
 
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Considering their unreliable low quality warranty service, it's a big pain! My Sig 50 just returned from the third round of calibration from Sigma NY, still not focusing right. Not even close! What are they doing there? It feels like they don't even have a skilled technician and a good equipment there. Or, maybe, they just don't give a ****! Anyway, I'd rather have slightly less perfect but working Nikon lens than a Sigma lemon. Even if you get a good copy and it is working ok. with your current body, there is no guarantee it will work the same with your next one, especially if you going from DX to FX. My Sigma's focusing is significantly different on my D40X and my D700. There are lot of things to consider, when choosing the best 50!
Why didn't you exchange it at the dealer? If the focusing issue was obvious then I assume you could have exchanged it for another copy in the first 15 days.
 
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Oct 16, 2008
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West Michigan
As I suspected as well. I have found Sigma saturates colors more and has, in most cases, a more pleasing bokeh. If not for ... unreliable quality control I would suspect they could dominate the pro market above Nikon. And, just because it's a Siggy thread ... I just got my dirty thirty back (I had sold it then re-purchased it from the buyer when he decided he didn't enjoy it as much as hoped:)

Looks like we've got a pretty knowledgable bunch around here. Everyone got it right - except carauction (Sorry Mike).

The first shot is from the Nikon 50 1.4.
The second was shot with the Sigma.
 
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And, you couldn't find a pretty girl for those test shots?:wink:

Here's a shot of a pretty girl, taken in The Mallard (the bar in the Peabody Hotel).

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