Sigma 30mm f1.4 front focus - need advice

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Guest-002, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Guest-002

    Guest-002 Guest

    263
    Jan 14, 2006
    Worcester, MA
    I recently purchased a used Sigma 30 f1.4 which was described as "sharp". Upon receiving it, I immediately ran some tests, like I do with all newly acquired lenses. I believe the lens has front focus and am wondering if the community agrees with my concern. Test shots can be found here:
    http://www.pbase.com/raduray/sigma_30_f14_front_focus

    Any idea if Sigma can fix this and, if so, how much it would cost?
     
  2. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    650
    Nov 7, 2005
    Thailand
    radu, it does appear that you've got front focus issues. I'm fairly certain that Sigma can adjust this, but as for cost...I don't know. But, I would be curious to see how much they charge as well. If you get a price, please post it here or drop me a PM.
     
  3. davidzvi

    davidzvi

    Apr 30, 2005
    Massachusetts
    David
    Radu,

    let me know what you find out. I have just got one as well. I think there may be a hair of front focus, but I have not run a real test.
     
  4. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    If its still under warranty it'll be free.
     
  5. Guest-002

    Guest-002 Guest

    263
    Jan 14, 2006
    Worcester, MA
    Sigma will fix it for free, even if purchased used

    I called Sigma service and they told me they would adjust if for free, even though I bought it used. They could use their D200 or, if I wanted it to be matched to my body, I could send in my D200. They promised they would not touch the customer's D200, but would only use it for testing.

    I think this is excellent customer service policy. It maintains the value of their lenses in the secondary used market which, in turn, maintains their reputation when selling new lenses.

    I did, however, decide it wasn't worth the hassle and returned the lens for a refund. It will be worth it to me to pay a bit more money at a local store where I can check it on the spot.
     
  6. SP77

    SP77

    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    Good info. Ken Rockwell also noted front focus issues in his review here. I'm glad Sigma has great customer service like that, so thanks for the update. :smile:
     
  7. Radu, please remember to post the results of their adjustment. The 30/1.4 is one that's REALLY on my wish list. I've heard and read horror stories about the focus on this lens, but they all seem to have one common element. IF the owner sends the lens back to Sigma for correction, they end up with a great product. I'm thinking of doing just what you may have done. Purchase used from someone unwilling to send it back and let Sigma do their thing. My thought is that I'd get a good product, lower price, and I'd probably have to send back a new one if I got it anyway.....
     
  8. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Radu isn't sending it in for fixing.

    I think the majority of these lenses are fine, but with such a small DOF there are bound to be some that have focusing problems (like all lenses, Nikkors included).
     
  9. Kap,

    I sent mine in and was very pleased with its sharpness after calibration. Here are a few wide open test shots.

    Click on the images to bring them up in 1200 pixel size without distortion.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i take it u bought this lens here on the Cafe` ..did u contact the seller?
     
  11. thomamueller

    thomamueller

    24
    Jun 23, 2007
    New Jersey
    I agree with Weiran about the shallow DOF. When I first got mine, I went thru the same thing. Ran chart tests, sent examples to Sigma, etc. However, my tests where not consistent. Sigma said they would fix for free. In the end, I chalked it up to operator error. Remember its intended use is not portrait shooting at f1.4. For that I would use 50, 85, or 105.
     
  12. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    the prob i had with this glass beside the consistant front focusing was that it focused all over the place,,,and i wasn't shooting in the dark...;-(

    i'm way happy with the 35f2 ...;-))
     
  13. Guest-002

    Guest-002 Guest

    263
    Jan 14, 2006
    Worcester, MA
    QFT?

    I returned the 30 f1.4. If I buy another it will be from a brick and mortar store where I can test it on the spot. I may also try the 35 f/2, but I've heard that it's softer at f/2 than the Sigma is at 1.4. Is that true?
     
  14. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    From what I've seen the Sigma is a little sharper wide open than the Nikon (not much in it), but when stopped down to f/2 it's significantly sharper, especially in the corners.
     
  15. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    very sharp @f2
    candid, 900 iso, @f2
    503645709_d259350735_o.
    @f2
    View attachment 102075
    @f2, cropped some
    View attachment 102076

    more on my Flickr @f2
    ...the lens flat rocks, and using the close focusing ability does a lovely job on floral as well..good luck..;-))
     
  16. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    now how crazy is that? really gives me the warm and fuzzy (NOT)..lol:biggrin:
     
  17. weiran

    weiran

    966
    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I just tested my Sigma 30 as I've never done a proper test before, and it front focuses by a very slight amount (3mm), but it's not enough for me to notice on normal shots.

    Probably not worth sending in for that.
     
  18. Guest-002

    Guest-002 Guest

    263
    Jan 14, 2006
    Worcester, MA
    Nuteshack,

    That is one nice lens. How is it stopped down for landscapes?
     
  19. Very dispointed here...

    I received mine today. After some testing here the are findings on my copy:
    -At a first glance mine doesn't suffer from front or back focus;
    -Instead, it seems that it focuses better on the right side from the center (where I always have the focus locked);
    -From f/5.6 to f/8 I can get sharp images, showing good detail almost in all the frame;
    -However, from f/1.4 to f/2.8 it is impossible to avoid blurred images even in day light, shooting at 1/2000s !
    -Curiously in my office, under dim light, I carried out some tests and got acceptable results at 1.4 or 1.8, handheld, shooting at 1/30s - 1/50s, handheld, provided the distance to the subject was no more than 40cms (15,7").
    -However in the same conditions (same light, same speed) I was forced to shoot on a tripod to get sharp pictures of subjects 6mts (236 inches) away, using f/1.4 till 2.8.
    I got so disappointed that I gave up to do further tests.
    So for me the question is: What's the use of having 1.4 or 1.8 apertures if we cannot use it without a very steady tripod? I bought this lense to use inside monuments where flash or tripods are generally not allowed or at evening/night doing cityscapes but it is completely unuseful. Any of my Nikkors do it better by far even with no larger apertures than 3.5!
    Fortunately, tomorrow I'll go in vacations and I have other Nikon options to carry with me.
    This is my 2nd SIGMA lens (the 1st. one was the 10-20 that also had focus problems) and I will not buy any other from this brand again!
    Hope that my story will be useful to those who still are lusting on the 30 f/1.4. Buy the 35 f/2 instead!
     
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