Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG focus issue on D800E

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by lwg, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. lwg

    lwg

    I received my new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens last week. I am pretty happy with the image quality, but I am having issues with the Auto Focus on my camera.
    At close distances (a few feet) it requires no AF fine tune, but at infinity it requires -11. Essentially I can't get it to focus correctly at all distances.
    Has anyone else seen this issue? Any solutions? Should I send it back to B&H for an exchange (where it's back ordered), or send it to Sigma? If other's have had this issue and had it resolved I would love to here from you.
    I wrote this up with some examples at http://www.trippingthroughthedark.com/sigma-35mm-f1-4-dg/
     
  2. I have the same lens but have not had any of the problem that you are showing. Now granted I am only using a D4 but I have found this lens to be very sharp with accurate focus. I am just wondering about the sign image. Did you focus and then recompose the shot? If so that may explain the apparent back focus.
    I guess if I really thought this was a problem I would contact Sigma and see what they have to say. You also have the option of waiting till they release the USB dock for this lens and then you will be able to adjust the lens parameters yourself.
     
  3. lwg

    lwg

    I'm glad to here that all lenses don't have this issue. I'm sure the D4 would show the same issue. Things are still not sharp down sized to 9MP. Knowing that I will probably contact Sigma regarding the issue. I just fear getting stuck with a lens that can't be fixed. But that's probably an unrealistic concern.
    Regarding the sign image, no I didn't focus and recompose. I also took many pictures to verify this, so it's not just a one off issue. I just didn't post every shot. I should have mentioned that. Thanks.
     
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I would return it, wait at least three months and get another one. Let other pioneers test the early samples.
     
  5. That does sound like a lens issue to me.
    Nikon (as far as I'm aware) doesn't post the maximum aperture their camera's can autofocus but Canon does. Canons can autofocus from F2.8 - F5.6 (some to F8) which means, with Canon if you have a faster lens than F2.8 the autofocus system isn't sensitive enough and will autofocus it as if it were F2.8 which will show up as some looseness particularly shooting at F1.2. I would suspect Nikons autofocus is similar, the autofocus is only good to F2.8 and on the D800E in particular will show up as being a little loose shooting at F1.4.
    Knowing the autofocus is only as tight as F2.8 I would do the testing at that aperture. What happens if you aim it at the sign at F2.8 is the background still sharper than the sign itself? If you find the same result at F2.8 I would say it's the lens. If it doesn't occur at F2.8, then it's the autofocus is a bit loose when the lens is set to F1.4 and the effect being exaggerated by the amount of detail the D800E captures.
     
  6. Hmm. I have exactly that problem with my 80-200 AF-D, though that's so far off that I can't fix the focus at all at close distances; I've heard this is a normal part of the optical design (something to do with telecentricity), but maybe it's just an assembly glitch in your lens. Sounds like Nikon could do with introducing more than one adjustment value (one for up close, one for infinity). Canon have a zoom-dependent correction, but I've not heard of a distance-dependent one. Presumably the problem goes away in live view focus, but I appreciate that telling every DSLR owner that they should use their lenses without phase-detect focus isn't really an acceptable solution.
     
  7. lwg

    lwg

    I have a similar shot taken at f/4, and the same thing happened - the background is sharper than the sign.
    Interesting thing about the AF having a maximum aperture. I've never seen this number published for Nikon cameras, only the minimum of f/8 for the D800E. In this case i don't think that's the issue since it seems to nail the focus consistently at close distances (or far if I set the Fine Focus adjustment).
     
  8. Matt: I don't believe Nikon's autofocus (or Canon's) is only "good to f/2.8". There are sensors on Nikon cameras and Canons which are enabled at f/2.8 (the centre few on the autofocus sensors with large autofocus point counts, in addition to those that work at f/5.6), and these rely, I believe, on light leaving the exit aperture of the lens at a wider angle than the slower lenses. This allows a more appreciable difference in focus, increasing the speed and accuracy of focus with faster lenses. That's not the same thing as saying that the autofocus mechanism can't position the lens accurately enough to get pixel-accurate depth of field placed correctly with a fast lens. Nikon would have much more problem with it's f/1.4 lenses, and Canon with its f/1.2 ones, if the focal plane was only guaranteed to fall in the depth of field of f/2.8 (even with "depth of field" defined as "resolution limited by the sensor pixel size" as opposed to a perceptual measure).
     
  9. Oops: I owe Matt an apology. I was mistaking the cross sensors on the Multi-CAM 3500FX for ones which work at f/2.8 (since that's often been a distinction in Canon cameras). It may be that Nikon feels there's no benefit to explicit f/2.8 support, or maybe there's a sliding scale (since f/2.8 lenses do seem to focus faster). Still, I don't believe there's a direct correlation between the angle of the light leaving the exit aperture and the ability to achieve focus at a given depth of field - I think you can look at the f/5.6 output of a lens in a split-prism rangefinder and still get the focal plane accurate to better than f/5.6's depth of field at the sensor.
     
  10. It doesn't sound like the problem is slack in the camera's AF, because it sounds like the problem is consistent - one AF
    tuning is needed close and another far. Maybe a test for AF slack would be to shoot a subject at medium distance many
    times, first by focusing at minimum distance then autofocusing on the subject, then going from infinity focus to the subject,
    and seeing if there are consistent results and if the two batches are different? Also, it probably wouldn't hurt to try the lens
    on more than one camera, but it does sound like your sample has a very slight misalignment of an element.
     
  11. I'll have that very same lens in hand tomorrow, and will try some tests myself. Very topical for me!
     
  12. Good thread. I am looking to purchase this lens for my Nikon outfit. I'm interested in what you discover, Matt. Thank you, in advance, for sharing your findings.
     
  13. I called Sigma and tech advised this lens does not focus accurately with side AF points on the D800. Known issue. That a hardware fix will come and the lens can be updated by user or sent back to Sigma.
    I think the less price of the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 this month might warrant me to reconsider. IMO resale value of the Nikon will be better (%). And know that it will fire on all cylinders.
    FWIW, for AF fine tuning, I do not use it. Too many Nikon pros/techs advised against it for use at various apertures and other variables. I find the focus to vary from my D800 to D4 w same lens. Not to mention, it is then not applicable to zooms. Though 1DX has it now for various focal lengths.
    I like Sigma, have the 15mm fisheye, and real cool lens, but got it since Nikon did not have same or current v.
     
  14. I find the focus to vary from my D800 to D4 w same lens.​
    Well, yes, the AF-fine tune is dependent both on the camera and the lens. Otherwise the manufacturers could just tell you how to make the adjustment... You've really not seen any of your lenses needing fine tuning on the D800E? I never bothered with my D700, but I wonder how many pros advising against it were trying to get diffraction-limited accuracy at 36MP. Each to his own, but I'd not necessarily expect the Nikkor 35mm to have perfect AF out of the box. I don't judge so much by brand - I have Sigma's 150mm OS macro (epic lens), 8mm fish-eye (decent), 150-500 OS (disappointing) and 28-300 in a Canon fit (paperweight). Nikon have their share of horrors too. Good luck with the fix!
     
  15. lwg

    lwg

    Van, I also called Sigma and had a nice talk with the tech. As soon as I mentioned the camera and lens combination he assumed I was calling about the side AF points. I hadn't even noticed that they have problems, but a quick and dirty test confirms they are off from the central on close up objects.
    He said I could send the camera and lens in and they could tune the lens to match my camera. The turn around time would be quick. But I'm not sure if this would fix the side AF points. At this point the lens is going back to B&H and I'll decide if I want to get another in a few months, or just buy the Nikon.
     
  16. lwg

    lwg

    Andrew, I have checked most of my lenses and surprisingly they all do better with AF fine tune turned off. This is in sharp contrast to the D7000 where every lens required some adjusting. But once they were adjusted they focused consistently well, so I'm certainly not opposed to using the fix if it's needed. I am using many of the same lenses on the D800E, so the need for an adjustment is certainly not based just on the lens. In fact it really seems mostly camera driven.
    If I buy the Nikon I will certainly test it, and if it can be brought into focus at all ranges I will be happy. Same if I decide to order another copy of the Sigma.
     
  17. Re the Sigma 35mm you commented on in your test, I would also return it. You should feel confident with your equip. I for one stay with Nikkor lenses. I tried the fisheye from Sigma and like it. I would have bought a Nikon version automatically if there was one current. But, I thought about the 35mm Sigma cause of the price. I have too many lenses now, but a sucker for a good prime lens deal. Might still try it. Not keen on the issue the Sigma tech advised, so probably will not try it Probably will try the Nikon 35mm.
    Re the AF fine tuning. I have been told too many times, to stay away from it. And these are guys that work at Nikon and pros that earn money with their lenses. I don't know, maybe I am missing something, but sharpness from the lens is not an issue with mine. More so tracking the image, DOF settings, knowing the camera and settings available. I would recommend, instead of AF fine tuning, to really delve into the submenus, create various banks and better your AF settings right, especially if you shoot AF-C, which I do 90% of the time, I've found a big difference with tweaking the settings. There's a lot of settings for AF that will vastly improve the capture. Each lens has its issues, distortion, more or less sharp at certain apertures, etc. I have yet to find a perfect lens. Even Zeiss has some that are not great at certain settings or on particular cameras. Hate manual focusing now. Anyway, my 70-200 VRII is the sharpest of the bunch, can you believe, and I have the 200 f/2 and 200-400, and all the others. Go figure. But guess what, any image will be sharper with a tripod over any AF fine tuning you do, I say. Side note, I stay above f/8 for the D800 I have. Not an issue. But not more DOF with the D4 with any lens is a- ok.
     
  18. matt, what body will you be using your sigma 35 on? please post shots when it arrives. v. interested in this lens (for use on D3s, mainly).
     
  19. Wow! Did everyone just buy this lens? I'll be getting mine in a few days. Will check and report results with my D800E.
     
  20. Eric
    My copy of this lens works just fine on my D4. No problems with the side focus points.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14133178@N04/8454211364/
    This was focused using the far right focus point. Granted it is at minimum focus distance but the focus point does work.
     
  21. Eric: Will try out the 35/1.4 on a D300, D3200, and (most interesting to me) the D600. Not only that, I'll take dog pictures with all three (this is me we're dealing with, here).
     
  22. I use my D800E with the new Sigma 35 f/1.4 and the AF works perfectly at all distances. The left and right AF points focus accurately too. The lens is extremely sharp at f/1.4 in the centre and pretty good on the edges. It's razor sharp at f/4 to f/8. It's superior to my Zeiss 35/2, which I'm currently in the process of selling and that lens is better optically than the Nikon 35 f/1.4 I used to own. In fact, my Sigma 35 f/1.4 is almost on par with my Nikon 200 f/2 VR II at f/4.
     
  23. Tech advised me, it was with the D800, not D4. I am going to get the lens and try for myself.
     
  24. lwg

    lwg

    Well mine is heading back to B&H today. A local store will have one for me to check out early next week. Hopefully the new lens will focus correctly and I can get it. I really do like how the lens draws an image when it focuses correctly.
    Does anyone understand how the Auto Focus system really works? It seems odd that the lens can play such a role in it. I would think that the camera would move the lens into focus and then stop when focus is achieved. But it's obviously much more complex than that, given that they can adjust the lens at different ranges. What seems really odd is how the LiveView focus with the lens was dead on every time I tried it. I know one uses Phase Detect and one is Contrast Detect, but both should just be moving the lens to the correct position. Since it can work in one system, why not in both?
     
  25. LG, I don't understand, if the lens is sharp in live view, why did you return it? The AF system's side sensors fix only on vertical lines and the center sensors on horizontal and vertical lines. And if you are to close to the subject or the camera cannot differentiate you may also have a AF problem. I am not concerned about AF fine tuning. If that is your concern, maybe someone else can assist you. Since many have not experienced D800 issues w this lens, I don't know if the tech at Sigma mentioning D800 issues with the lens as I mentioned is isolated issues or not at this point. (side note I did not know a lens can be firmware upgraded via a USB download, he mentioned is in the works for this lens, kinda cool, I did it to my speed lights but not to lenses before) IMO, it sounds like you may need to set up the AF system custom settings. It may not be an issue on your other lenses, but on this one, or brand it may be. Meanwhile, I don't know why everyone is so bent on razor cutting sharpness. There's more to a quality lens, ie. color rendition, weather proofing, warranty, resale, CA, Bokeh, speed of focus, filter size, etc etc. Please let me know your results with another of the same. I am getting a Nikon and Sigma version myself to test.
     
  26. lwg

    lwg

    Van, I returned it because I need an AF lens to focus accurately at all distances the lens supports. It won't do for me to have to use it only for subjects at long distances or only at short distances. I think Sigma could probably fix my lens and turn it to the camera, but I would have needed to mail the camera down to Sigma, wait a few days, and hope they got it right. Then I'm out the postage and insurance for a $4000 package, which I suspect isn't cheap. It was certainly easier to send the lens back. I'll test out the new lens in the store to see if it behaves well on my camera.
    I don't know about the side sensor issues. I'll check it out before I buy it. Hopefully Sigma will issue a fix quickly.
    It sounds like they should be sending the USB dock out with every lens if we will all need to buy it to make their lenses work correctly. If it was available that would certainly be the first thing to try.
    If I didn't care about sharpness I wouldn't have bought the D800E, and I could still use my older 35mm AFD on it, or just manual focus the Rokinon and accept the poor hit rate. But there are certainly other factors to consider when choosing a lens. I happen to like the bokeh of the Sigma lens, despite all the complainers on the forums. I also like the build quality, but I do wish it was weather proof. And the resale concerns me. I know with Nikon lenses like this I can generally sell them for a very high % of what I paid for them. In fact the 70-200 VR (first version) lost about $200 over the 4 years I owned it. Cheaper than renting it for couple of weeks. I don't think the Sigma will retain it's value like that, so the Nikon may in the long run be a better deal. I hope to compare it to the Sigma while I'm in the store.
     
  27. Ok I really don't get it. You worry about the resale value of a lens? Man by the time I am thinking about getting rid of a lens it has no resale value. I use my gear like it was meant to be used. And as an aside I have been offered more for my Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 then what I paid for it in 08. It looks like it has been used but it is still sharp and a work horse.
    With as few Nikon mount version of this lens in the states right now you probably could have sold it at a profit. instead of sending it back. And really do we know if it is a lens issue or if it is an AF issue with the D800..Wasnt there a side AF point issue with some D800's? Have you tested any other f/1.4 lenses using the side AF points on your camera?
     
  28. lwg

    lwg

    Mike, of course I consider the resale value of things I buy. Everything I buy I fully intend to use, but sometimes it ends up sitting because I don't like it as much as I thought I would, or it doesn't work well on the new camera (like the 70-200 VR 1 on the D800E). I sell equipment I find I am not using any more. So a lens that retains value is more desirable than one that doesn't. Nikon's professional level lenses seem to hold their value very well. Maybe some Sigma lenses will as well.
    Maybe I could have sold the Sigma 35 for mor ethan I bought it for, but there's one on Amazon for $929, so I doubt I could make more than $30. And there will be many more available soon.
    No, this is the only f/1.4 AF lens I owned. I have tried the 50 and 85 f/1.8 AFS lenses with no issues using the side focus points. And the manual focus f/1.4 lenses seem to come trigger the green dot at about the same place. I find it hard to believe that it's a camera issue when I have many lenses that all work fine with the auto focus in both AF-S and AF-C modes. Plus Sigma acknowledges that there's an issue with the side AF points. When a company does that I assume there's a problem.
     
  29. I spoke to Sigma today myself bugging them about a release date for the USB dock. No firm date yet. But I did ask them about the 35 issue and the tech that I spoke with said that they where unsure if it was a camera issue with the lens or a lens issue. He was right upfront about saying there was a problem and I found that to be very refreshing. How many times have there been problems with Nikon gear and Nikon tech denied the problem?
    He also said that limited number of them in Nikon mount in the public's hands made it hard for them to nail down weather it was a camera or lens issue.
    Me I am very happy with the way mine works on my D4 and D300's and I am sure you will be happy with yours when they get the side focus point issue fixed.
    Also I would be interested in hearing if you try the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 AFS and what you think of that lens. And I would wonder how accurate the side AF points are with that lens.
     
  30. "Meanwhile, I don't know why everyone is so bent on razor cutting sharpness. There's more to a quality lens, ie. color rendition, weather proofing, warranty, resale, CA, Bokeh, speed of focus, filter size, etc etc."
    Of course there is more to a lens than, "razor cutting sharpness". However, it is one of the most desirable attributes of a lens, in fact, probably the most desirable attribute if we are honest about it.
    "Anyway, my 70-200 VRII is the sharpest of the bunch, can you believe, and I have the 200 f/2."
    It's reasonably well known that the 200 f/2 can often have back focus issues and because it's so sharp anyway it largely goes undetected until an AF fine tune adjustment is done and wow! I have a very sharp copy of the 70-200 VR II especially at 200mm close up but in no way does it compare to my 200 f/2 VR II in that regard.
    AF fine tuning is a Godsend for those lenses that need it. The various warnings about not using it are probably based on the knowledge that many people seem to make a mess of it. There is even a misleading tutorial on YouTube that gets it wrong. It's not rocket science and it's there for a reason otherwise Nikon (and Canon with their version) would'nt have put it there. A few years back on an extended assignment my D3 was front focusing after a bad knock and the AF fine tune enabled me to still use the camera by setting the default value to +17.
     
  31. Just as another data point, I unpacked that same 35/1.4 a couple hours ago. Only the most unscientific casual focus tests over a range of distances. Dead on a with a D600 and D300 regardless of distance or which focus point is used. The D3200 tests are a bit fussy, but that's mostly because it's never as obvious what the D3200 is focusing on the first place! :)

    The lens is quick to focus (and quiet doing so). Seems to be built like a tank, and produces beautifully sharp, contrasty, colors-look-just-right images very low on CA and other artifacts, and with nice creamy OoF rendering. In short: it's just what other people are raving about. Happy to say that AF issues seem to be a complete non-issue. I'll be using this lens a lot - it's quite spectacular, actually.
     
  32. Sam, glad to hear that AF tuning works for you. IMO too many variances in testing targets. I find most AF issues occur at longer distances and don't value testing close up. The sharpness of a lens is very important, but I will not buy one over another just for that. Maybe if they improve on software auto tuning which, when I last checked was being fine tuned itself :) I might investigate it further. Thanks.
     
  33. Sam, glad to hear that AF tuning works for you. IMO too many variances in testing targets. I find most AF issues occur at longer distances and don't value testing close up. The sharpness of a lens is very important, but I will not buy one over another just for that. Maybe if they improve on software auto tuning which, when I last checked was being fine tuned itself :) I might investigate it further. Thanks.​
    Van, I always test lenses for AF at longer distances as well close up. Currently none of my lenses need any tuning as they're all spot on as they're meant to be. I do think some people can get a little over enthusiastic about using AF fine tune when it's not necessary.
    Personally, I'm quite happy using Zeiss MF lenses and in many cases find they're more easier to focus quickly than using an AF lens and moving the focus point around. Of course an AF lens can be manually focused as well and I often do use them this way although most are not particularly smooth in operation compared to a dedicated MF lens.
    I suppose the Sigma USB dock will be an expensive accessory.
     

  34. "I suppose the Sigma USB dock will be an expensive accessory."

    Maybe not, but then you hardly use it, would be neat as a disposable thumb drive toss away. Alternatively, I do not doubt Sigma would upgrade the lens for you n/c. Cool feature though, to upgrade lens firmware in the lens. And I don't think that would help any fine tuning? Maybe just to match the make and model of the camera with Sigma. Another reason I like to stay with Nikon lenses. Can't blame the camera (D800) for the lens, as Sigma suggests could be a possibility from their reporting.
    Curious your opinion on the following software AF tuning :
    http://michaeltapesdesign.com/focustune.html
    http://www.reikan.co.uk/focalweb/
     
  35. I'll be using this lens a lot - it's quite spectacular, actually.​
    got pics yet, Matt? really interested in performance from 1.4-2.2 in low-light conditions. not so concerned about corners, more so in sharpness and bokeh.
     
  36. lwg

    lwg

    Cool feature though, to upgrade lens firmware in the lens. And I don't think that would help any fine tuning?​
    Actually, the screen shots of the Sigma software leads me to believe that AF will be able to be fine tuned in the lens, and at several distance ranges. It looks like it does have the potential to fix the issues I was experiencing (but there's no release date for the Dock). The Sigma rep also indicated that they have a way to tune the lens at many distances at the factory.
     
  37. Thanks for the first impressions, Matt. Useful info.
     
  38. Actually, the screen shots of the Sigma software leads me to believe that AF will be able to be fine tuned in the lens, and at several distance ranges. It looks like it does have the potential to fix the issues I was experiencing (but there's no release date for the Dock). The Sigma rep also indicated that they have a way to tune the lens at many distances at the factory.
    LG.. it is my understanding FT has to be made with the camera. I would have hoped the factory would have FT the lens already before releasing. I think, the port is for updates to allow the lens to correct to work w/ current and those models to follow, and firmware updates Nikon makes to the bodies that may affect the lens communication.
     
  39. From the Sigma web site
    "
    The Sigma USB dock works in conjunction with Sigma Optimization Pro software in order to connect a photographers lens to their personal computer to update firmware and other parameters such as focus, and for the Sports category: Autofocus speeds, focus limiters, and optical stabilization functionality. Updating the firmware can be done via the internet. Sigma Photo Pro is available for Mac and PC computers.
    Focus Settings:
    4 Categories of customization for fixed focal length.
    16 Categories of customization for zoom lenses (4 options for focal length) x (4 options for shooting distance).
    Sports Line:
    AF Speed: 3 adjustment modes.
    Focus Limiter: Customize auto focus range.
    OS: 3 adjustment modes.
    "
    Sure sounds like you will be able to tune the lens to your particular camera body.
     
  40. To the original poster: Check your focus tests again, in order to make sure you're shooting under the same color balance for both the close-up and infinity. If you're shooting the infinity test under outdoor lighting and the close-up under indoor lighting, it's not a consistent test. The reason is that color temperature (e.g. cooler outdoor sunlight versus warmer, more yellow, indoor incandescent light) can affect AF performance, especially if the mirror angle on the camera is incorrectly adjusted.
    You might want to replicate this with other lenses before sending to Nikon — preferably other similar lenses, along the lines of being very sharp and having a wider maximum aperture. In my case the problem showed up much more strongly with newer lenses that are sharp and very contrasty but have high chromatic aberration, such as the 17-55 DX. My 24/2.8 which is a less contrasty lens that's very low in CA had a far less pronounced difference, though it was still just discernable with fine-tuning.
     
  41. Nikon D800E + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 @ f/1.4:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [100% crop]
     
  42. Thankfully, my Sigma 35mm appears to be focusing correctly. Tested left and right AF points on a Nikon D800E at distances up to about 7 feet. Very impressive wide-open in quick initial tests.
     
  43. lwg

    lwg

    Great to see another copy working correctly. Have you also tried distance shots?
     
  44. Not yet! The UPS guy only just came about an hour and a half ago!
     
  45. I haven't had time to prep a bunch for viewing here yet, but because I was putting together some images for Nikon Wednesday, I happened to have some from a quick shoot on Sunday. Here, for example, is some Sigma 35/1.4 on a D600. I didn't have any trouble with focus being right, or tracking - and that's with the D600's less-good-than-the-D800's AF module.
     
  46. Looks great, Matt!
     
  47. Really nice lens isn't it guys.
    That is a fine looking pup Matt
     
  48. Michael said:
    Really nice lens isn't it guys.​
    Yeah, I can't believe how much I've missed the 35mm angle-of-view on a full-frame body. I now think of 35mm on an FX body as the new "normal." By that, I mean, it seems that 90% of the time I "visualize" a frame in my head, it ends up approximating the 35mm angle-of-view (FX).
    The last time I shot at this focal length, full-frame, was with my 35mm f/2 on a Nikon 6006. But, finally having a stupid-fast, f/1.4 lens at this focal length is quite a treat. I especially like how I can narrow my depth-of-field using an ultra-high shutter speed, yet still not get too much foreshortening.
     
  49. lwg

    lwg

    I picked up a second copy of this lens after trying it out at the store. Focus is correct closeup and at a distance. Hopefully I'll get out this evening for a few real world test shots. But so far it's encouraging.
     
  50. Good to hear, LG!
     
  51. lwg

    lwg

    Well I'm not sure if the side AF points are working as well as the central one. I didn't think to check that when I was buying the lens. Images from my walk seem inconclusive on if there's an issue there. But the central point works quite well at all distances.
    A brief followup to my other post is here.
     
  52. Well, I can't tell if it's my methods or what, but at distances greater than 10' my left and right AF points are off 90% of the time on a D800E. The center AF point works at all distances. All AF points work at distances of 7' or closer. Is it me or the lens? Will try to replicate with my D3s.
     
  53. lwg

    lwg

    Ralph, that seems to be the case with my new lens as well, also on a D800E. Up close all the AF points work. At distance the side points don't reliably focus. But I've only done a few tests at lunch today to examine the issue, so I am not positive in my conclusion. I don't have another DSLR to test on.
     
  54. Well, things don't look too good for us, do they? I'll test it with my D3s this weekend and let you know what happens. I'll also compare its L/R AF performance with my AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4.
     
  55. I've had my 35mm for one day (have D800E). Focus problems for me also. Typical scenario, not bad at close, worse at distance. Using center point only. Seems a bit better with AF-C. Most often it front focuses. Can't calibrate for distance as it throws off close range. I'm skeptical the USB dock will fix anything. I appreciate this thread to learn from other experiences. Not sure if I will return it. Being so good optically makes it hard to send back. I must say my 85mm 1.8 is not perfect either, but much better. More testing tomorrow.
    DL
     
  56. Well, here's some good news . . .
    DxO Optics Pro Elite 8 now supports a lens/body-specific profile for the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A for the following Nikon bodies:
    Nikon D4
    Nikon D3/D3s/D3x
    Nikon D600
    Nikon D700
    Nikon D800
    Nikon D800E
    I was pretty sure they were probably working on this, and they were! [Many other bodies are likely also included.]
     
  57. Ha! I just tested the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 on my Nikon D3s. My Sigma lens works perfectly! It's my Nikon D800E that's f****d!
     
  58. Okay. I've calmed down now. A -12 AF-fine tune seems to have corrected the problem with the Sigma on my D800E. Anyhow, the Sigma works perfectly on my D3s with no fine tune. Damned, finicky-as-all-hell D800E! Why do lenses which work perfectly on a D3s, fail to perform without adjustment on a D800E?
    Sometimes I really wish I would've just bought a second D3s body instead (the ISO and WB buttons on each are in such wildly different places, it's sometimes difficult to use them in a two-body set-up).
     
  59. lwg

    lwg

    Ralph, I assume that the -12 in the AF Fine Tune only fixed the center point, or are the sides and center now working correctly at all distances on the D800E?
     
  60. [double-post]
     
  61. L.G.:
    I don't know what's going on with my D800E. All I know is that it's not focusing correctly at distances greater than 10 feet on my D800E. I need to test further, but I got so frustrated I just gave up (for now). I'll re-do my tests and report back here.
    I was about to return the lens, then realized it works perfectly on my primary D3s body without any fine-tune necessary. I did just buy a second D3s the day after I posted that, and that body seems to require a +20 AF fine-tune--go figure. Other than that it seems to work fine on the second D3s. I'm sick of testing.
     
  62. lwg

    lwg

    That's too bad. I think you should return the lens for a new copy.
    I understand about being sick of testing. My new copy is working well on the D800E as long as I use the center AF points. I've decided to stop worrying and testing, since I have a solution that works. It's a bit of a pain in the butt to only use the center AF point, but in a way I am finding composition easier since I don't try to fit the subject onto one of the points. Still, I want to get the lens fixed. But I can live with it until Sigma gets their act together.
     
  63. Why aren't you returning yours? I think mine is fine, and it's my D800E that's bad. I got an RMA from B+H for the lens anyway that's good for a while. I'll really should re-test my lens before it runs out.
     
  64. lwg

    lwg

    That's a good question. I'm holding onto mine mainly because I like the image quality and I can make it work. But maybe it's foolish to keep it when it may never work correctly with this camera. I guess I need to decide in the next two weeks.
    I called up the Sigma service department again this morning. He said they were aware of the issue, but at this point they are not sure if the issue is in the camera or the lens. I'm not sure I understand this, but he said the issue is the side AF points aren't taking the slope into account when determining how far to set the focus. He explained it as not factoring in the hypotenuse of the triangle. I'm going to have to read up on how the AF sensors work.
    Also, he said the first USB docks have gone out to the reviewers, so they should be shipping to the public soon (usually about a month after).
     
  65. My take on all this:
    From my tests and suggested on multiple on-line forums, the camera is at least part of the problem. Seems to be common knowledge that fast wide angles have more trouble and my tests with 50mm and 85mm 1.8's confirm this. Wish I had the Nikon 35mm f/1.4 to confirm this. I would be happy if the Sigma was f/2 or f/2.8 and half the weight, but this is the best choice right now for me.
    I haven't paid attention to the off center focus points. I tested my camera when I first got it and they were fine, although they are not something I would routinely use, so have just done tests using the center point. In my situation AF-C delivers better results. Low light and especially low contrast scenes cause more problems. Yesterdays firmware update seems to have improved things a bit, but being so recent, is inconclusive.
    Fine tuning has some value, but not as consistent as one might hope. I'm using +5 due to front focusing, but there are times when it does not help and these are once again in low light/contrast situations.
    I've been on the fence as to returning, but am getting probably a 70-90% success rate depending upon conditions. My other lenses are not perfect either, getting about 95% approaching 100% in ideal conditions. I have decided to keep it and be aware of its and my cameras limitations. Image quality is great, a bit more CA than I was hoping for.
     
  66. lwg

    lwg

    Sigma has now released the USB Dock for the new lenses. I preordered one from B&H, which should ship in about a month. Hopefully I can use this to fix the side AF points. But even if it doesn't work I'll live with only using the center point.
     
  67. LG I have the exact same problem! I just purchased my Sigma 35mm 1.4 art lens for my Nikon D800 and after doing multiple tests have found that the only reliable focal point is the center, all of my right focal points completely don't work they are off by up to 15 centimeters from what I can tell, depending on the distance. The problem I see is that this lens was not designed to work on the huge 36 mega pixel sensor on the D800-800E, Sadly I just bought the Dock and updated my firmware with no improvement. This same lens works perfect on my D90 because of the crop sensor.
    Are there any D800 users out there that have had a good experience with this lens? Please chime in Adorama is going to issue me a replacement but I'm thinking after my experience to opt for a refund sadly...
     
  68. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The Sigma 35mm/f1.4 works great on my D800E. I used a test sample on loan from Sigma for my review on photo.net: http://www.photo.net/equipment/sigma/35mm-f14/
    Later on, I bought one myself. The Sigma 35mm/f1.4 is the only third-party Nikon F-mount lens I own, and it is among the best lenses I have ever used.
     

Share This Page