Sigma lens auto focus problems and Sigma do not want to honor warranty, help!

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by ly_esteves, May 11, 2010.

  1. Hello!
    I am having a problem with my Sigma lens and Sigma service. I have a Sigma 17-70mm 2.8 I was casually taking photos at home when all of a sudden the autofocus stopped working. The lens has never been dropped or hit against anything. I bought the lens only 9 months ago, so I went ahead and sent it to Sigma for repair, since it is under warranty. I got an email a couple of days ago saying that the cost of the repair was going to be $200. I called them immediately and they told me that a piece was broken and that the lens must have been dropped for that to happen, so the warranty would not cover the repair. I told them that the lens has never been dropped/hit and they still do not wan't to honor the warranty. I really do not know what to do. I have called them twice already and their response is the same. Any opinions?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Well, the first thing I would say is get it repaired anyhow as the lens is worth it.
    Then let others know of your experience and don't buy anther Sigma lens...
    I think that is what I would do, though I must say, my experience with Sigma's service has always been great.
  3. Did you pay for the lens with a credit card? If you did, write a letter to the credit card company ... some credit card companies may have a (second) warranty on the purchase. Then write a letter to the Sigma office in Japan to let them know you are one highly not-satisfied customer.
    The Internet is a very good place to give credit when something good is done.
    It is also a place to announce to the world that repair service comes at a price during the warranty period of ownership.
  4. Is it possible that someone else could have dropped the lens? Do you live alone?
  5. I had a problem with my Sigma 28 f/1.8 (one of my favorite lenses). I contacted Sigma service first, described the problem, they told me to send it in. They fixed the lens for me under the warranty (i.e. for free) or perhaps replaced it, I'm not sure; I didn't note the serial number of the original lens before I sent it in. It took maybe a week from the time I sent it to them to the time I got it back. In short, it was as satisfactory a service experience as one could hope for. That was over a year ago and the lens has worked like a charm since.
    I'm not sure what your complaint is here. Are you accusing Sigma's service department of dishonesty? All they know is, something was broken inside the lens. And what you know yourself, is that the lens was in your possession, it was working, and while it was in your possession, it stopped working. Obviously, it wasn't broken by Sigma's service department. Apparently SOMETHING happened. What are the options? Either it was dropped, banged, touched roughly, or, it just fell apart from, what? shoddy engineering or manufacturing?
    If you think it's the latter, then I suppose your remedy is to stop buying Sigma.
    But I don't think you don't have to DROP a lens for it to be damaged. I walk around with cameras hanging around my neck all the time, and although I'm extremely careful, I suppose it's possible that I could bang into something (say, a door frame) without knowing it.
    I've been using Sigma lenses for years and they've been some of my best lenses. So I'm inclined to keep using them.
  6. I'm going to have to chime in on the side of Sigma, I'm afraid. Had a 18-200 OS HSM, and the autofocus went spotty and then just quit working. The lens was dead in the water since I cant stand manual focus. So, 1 year and a few weeks after the purchase date on Amazon, I sent it in, and they repaired it for free. They swapped out the electronics and calibrated the focus. Works like a charm ever since.
    Took some telephone work since organization-wise, they seem a little disorganized, but if you keep with it, are polite, insist on getting what you want by repeating mild questions leading them to what you need, they'll help you.
    Like a dead zombie in a horror film, my AF would sporadically come back even after death, but very sporadically. They tested my lens right when the AF let out a gasp, apparently, because on one of my calls to check in, they said they were ready to send it back. So I asked what was fixed and they said nothing-- it works. So I held my ground to reinforce the intermittent nature of the problem, and sure enough, with persistence and insistence, the right thing was done.
    Just my experience. Good luck!
  7. Don't get me started with sigma. In 1995 , I paid almost $400 for an 18mm/F3.5 sigma in Nikon AI mount (from B&H). Within a few months in a bag next to my Nikkor glass, the lens went from bright and sharp, to clouded and unsharp. sigma was happy to charge me $80 for repairs, and returned the lens in the same unusable condition. Their explanation was that it was clouded by "gases'", which apparently didn't effect my Nikon brand lenses. Only the poorly made piece of sh-t sigma. Caveat emptor.
  8. What dealer did you buy it from? Was it US/your home country warranteed? If you really did not drop the lens, push things higher with Sigma.
  9. Steve I had that lens in Canon FD mount. It was the worst lens I ever owned. It was never sharp. I replaced it with a Tokina 17mm f/3.5 (I think it was f/3.5). That was a great lens. 1995 was 15 years ago (hard to believe, isn't it) . Sigma has gotten much better. It may be time to reconsider their lenses. I have several and they are all good.
  10. Ask to speak with a supervisor or management. Ask exactly what piece is broken and could they please return it to you with the lens if you decide to pay to repair it.
    I'd be upset if the 2 times I had my 18-135mm DX lens repaired because the autofocus quit, if Nikon tried to charge me KNOWING I've never be rough with it or bumped it on something. I'm super careful with my equipment because it's just an expesive hobby for me. I'm sure there are others who use them as a tool and handle them as a tool, PJs etc.
    William: "suppose it's possible that I could bang into something (say, a door frame) without knowing it". I'm not speaking for the OP but if my lens or camera banged into something I'd know - especially if it was hard enough to damage something internally. I'd say it was a defective part in the lens (bad molding or something) or it was damaged during shipping to or at the place of purchase.
  11. Thanks to everyone for your advise!
    William P.- First of all thanks for your input! I've been more than happy with this lens and with Sigma for that matter, granted I've never had to had a lens serviced before. To answer your question no, I am not accusing Sigma of dishonesty! I just know that I did not drop the lens or bang it into anything, and yes I am the only one that uses that lens. So, it bothers me a little that they are saying that I must have dropped it. It could have been that during shipping it was mishandled, but that doesn't explain the fact that the lens autofocus stopped working while I was shooting (meaning from one shutter release to the next. First couple pictures where sharp and I could tell af was working as before, from then on pictures were blurry and the af would make noises and seemed as if it was "stucked").
    Les- I got the lens from Adorama
    Like I've mentioned above, I do not have anything against Sigma. I am puzzled, since the lens is under warranty and it has not been dropped/hit, etc.
    Anyways, I am calling Sigma again today to see if we can get something figured out.
  12. I just want to add, I would not be posting or wanting opinions if I would have bumped or dropped the lens. I would have no problem paying for repair costs if I knew it was my fault.
  13. Obviously, I have no idea at all what happened. So I'm not making a diagnosis.
    What I am saying is that, it's in the nature of certain kinds of accidents that we don't recognize them at the time. "I could never have banged my lens without knowing it," is a statement that is more or less illogical. The nature of things done without awareness is, um, that you weren't aware you did them. If you were to say merely that you think it's extremely unlikely, well, that would be different.
  14. Thanks everybody! I told them to send me the lens back. I want to get a second opinion from a local shop that told me they would check it free of charge.
    Thanks again!
  15. Its possible to do some damage to the components and only have it stop working a few uses or even a few dozens uses later (or more). The only lens I've ever broken took a 3ft drop on to a wooden board right on the filter mount. It worked just fine with no visible marks for about a month or two after that and then the focus started getting progressively tighter until it wouldn't focus any more (old Vivitar manual focus lens).
    Admitedly that is much rougher treatment than banging a camera/lens in to something by accident (most likely harder), but it still exemplifies how something could get knocked and show no signs for quite awhile and then finally the damage starts getting worse through use and lets go.
  16. We have to understand that the technicians don't know how something broke or stopped working in your equipment, they received your lens not autofocusing and a piece was loose or broken inside and depending on the type warranty it seems this void the warranty.
  17. "We have to understand that the technicians don't know how something broke or stopped working in your equipment, they received your lens not autofocusing and a piece was loose or broken inside"
    I do understand that Jose, but what puzzles me is that I really have no idea how it broke.
    Anyways, I have more issues with them now...I told them to send the lens back so I can get a second opinion and look at the lens. I got it back yesterday, and the lens does not work at all. When I sent it, it was working properly, just the autofocus function was not working. I was able to manually focus and take photos. Furthermore, it came with a piece of tape with a pen drawn arrow pointing at a screw (that screw is completely loose, it doesn't get tight at all) Underneath the tape there was a broken plastic piece which look as if it was the piece that holds the screw in place. Other than that no scratches, dents (just as before aesthetically) I do not know what to think at this point, but obviously when I sent it there was no loose screws,etc. I took pictures and will be posting this afternoon in this thread.
  18. I had the same focusing problem with my sigma 50-500mm lens after a little over a year, the repair price was the same 190.00 and
    10.00 shipping. When I called to ask what causesd this I was told that I did nothing wrong, sometimes things just stop working.
    Probably the same repair just a different response, I was thinking that they just replaced all the parts associated with my complaint.
    Haven't shot with the repaired lens yet, been a little overcast here I'm NJ. Need bright light with this lens.

    Great lens for the money!
    Just my 2 cents

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