Sigma 50mm 1.4 Still Having Focusing Issues?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by michael_w|7, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I have been seriously contemplating getting a nice fast lens capable of get some really shallow DOF and from what I have read, it really comes down to either the Sigma 50mm 1.4 or the Canon 50mm 1.4. The Canon 1.2L seems to be a great lens, but I haven't heard or seen enough good stuff about it to choose it over the other two. I have compared the numerous image comparisons on the canon 1.4 and the sigma 1.4 and I really like how creamy and smooth the bokeh is on the sigma. I was prepared to place the order for it and noticed that a lot of people were talking about how some copies of it have front or back focusing issues. My search results on this issues dated back to the middle of last year. I wanted to ask if anyone had recently purchased a copy of the Sigma 50mm 1.4 and if they had this focusing issue. I am hoping Sigma has resolve this matter and is not selling more copies that are consistently focusing properly. For the nice bokeh that it can produce, I don't mind paying more for it than the Canon, but I am not sure if it's worth the hassle of sending it back to Sigma for calibration, especially since its a brand new lens and you would expect it to work properly right out of the box.


    Thanks in advance everyone.

    Michael
     
  2. Michael, I can't say that I have used either lens yet but I'm currently in the market to purchase one of these exact 2 lenses myself with Sigma currently my preferred choice. I have friends with both that are yet to come across any issues with theirs.
    I have however, used various very shallow DOF lenses and found out quickly that wide open there is a very fine line to getting the focus right and horribly wrong. More often than not it is user error or the subject moving just enough to finish up out of focus.
    Get your hands on the one you want and get out there shooting. You'll get some great results with both.
     
  3. Michael, I can't say that I have used either lens yet but I'm currently in the market to purchase one of these exact 2 lenses myself with Sigma currently my preferred choice. I have friends with both that are yet to come across any issues with theirs.
    I have however, used various very shallow DOF lenses and found out quickly that wide open there is a very fine line to getting the focus right and horribly wrong. More often than not it is user error or the subject moving just enough to finish up out of focus.
    Get your hands on the one you want and get out there shooting. You'll get some great results with both.
    00W0ks-229623584.jpg
     
  4. If it helps to hear another anecdote (since that's pretty much all you get, when it comes to people talking about such things), I have two fast Sigma primes and an ultrawide zoom. They were each perfect out of the box, and have performed perfectly ever since. The 50/1.4 is one of them, and indeed it's a beauty when you like to shoot wide open or nearly so.

    As Joshua mentions, I think a lot of people find themselves shocked at how easy it is to wind up with a 50/1.4's razor-thin DoF placed on the wrong part of their subject. We're talking abbout a quarter of an inch, one way or the other. Just the way you're breathing while holding the camera can cause you to drift off of a subject's eye and onto their ear, if you know what I mean.

    I don't think that very many people who purchase that lens and have it do exactly what it's supposed to will get on a photo forum and start a thread saying, "Lens worked just like it's supposed to." That tends to amplify the complaints, obviously. No manufacturer has a perfect track record, and it would annoy me if any of the three Sigma's I've purchased (or the several Nikons) needed a trip to the shop for a tune up. But none ever have, and I love 'em all.

    The 50/1.4 HSM's bokeh is quite a creative tool, if you go that way. Good luck either way! Just remember Joshua's reminder about paper-thin DoF - that's basic laws of physics stuff, and it's easy to mistake that reality for lens trouble if you're not used to it.
     
  5. Unless you really like 50mm focal length, the EF 85 f/1.8 or EF 100 f/2 will give shallower DOF at any given distance. It's ring USM (unlike the 50 f/1.4) and it's Canon so there's no Sigma issue, perceived or real, and it's cheaper than the Sigma 1.4 lens.
     
  6. I am using the Canon 50/1.4 and I am having focusing issues on THAT lens! I took it in last week and they said that this lens is notorious for focusing issues. I got the lens back and it still has a bit of issues with the autofocus. It "sticks" a bit. So, it might just be an issue with both the Sigma AND the Canon. Not sure why. This is the first I've heard of the Sigma having issues.
     
  7. Hi,
    I have owned both lenses my canon 50mm has never had any focussing issues and I´ve had it for the last nine years. 95% of my shots have been taken with this lens on my 1 DsII and I average about 150 shots a week so I know this lens quite well, the only reason I´ve changed to the Sigma is because the Canon did not survive a five storey fall. I´ve found some shots from my Sigma which were not in focus however I´m pretty sure it´s probably been my fault anyway. Both have lovely bokeh I feel the the Sigma is a bit smoother, I personally couldn´t give a damn about camera brands I just use what does the job.
    One thing you should take into account is the size of the Sigma lens as it is pretty big compared to the Canon its not very subtle! However its a newer design and is built with digital in mind whilst the Canon came way before digital became popular.
    You could also look at the two Zeiss 50mm lenses: Makro-Planar T* 2/50 said to be stunner so is the price and the Planar T* 1,4/50 a little bit more expensive than the Sigma, just remember they are both manual focus lenses.
    Good luck!
    Paul
     
  8. I have the Sigma 50 1.4 and it appears to be working correctly. No front or back auto focus issue and it is consistantly accurate. If you do some searching there are a lot of complaints of the Canon 50 1.4 focus motor failing and requiring repair. The Sigma 50 1.4 has a ring type USM with full time manual focus override. The Canon has a much older focus design.
     
  9. Thanks for all the input everyone! I found a local store that has it and will be buying from them later today, so just in case there is any issue with the focusing, they will be able to help me.
     
  10. I have the Canon version, it is great. Here is a test shot from the other day, I was testing wireless high speed sync flash with two heads, one in my left hand the other resting on a table , the ambient was bright. f1.8
    00W17C-229790084.jpg
     
  11. I tried 3 Sigma 50mm / 1.4's about 6 months ago and all of them front-focused by somewhere between .5 and 1 inches on my 5D. I really really really wanted that lens but after 3 strikes I gave up and stuck with the Canon 1.8 version. If I were going to try again I would find an actual physical store that sold the lens and try it in the store before I bought.
     
  12. I agree with Steve P
    I read somewhere that the Sigma 1.4 issue is resolved after a certain serial number. I also read on the "rumors" site that Canon will soon update their 1.4
     

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