Confused about SD1 and lenses (in particular the 17-50 f:2.8)

Started Dec 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Confused about SD1 and lenses (in particular the 17-50 f:2.8)

Before you read on please understand that I am a big fan of the Foveon sensor and own a DP1, DP2, DP2M, and DP3M so I am not trying to bash Sigma or Foveonites (or whatever we are called?).

Primarily to get the very wide-angle alternative with a Foveon sensor when later adding the 8-16mm lens. Secondarily to shoot high ISO (1600-3200) B&W with that special Foveon look (and I do not mind the noise).

I must admit to not having read posts on the SD1 here previously since I did not own it and never thought I would. Nevertheless I have not been totally oblivious to the QC problems that Sigma has endured in the past and my two attempts for Nikon were not great. A very early 70-200 HSM was quite soft and a super zoom (18-200); well, I should have known better… But I have also had problems with other makes (Nikon, Nikon, Ricoh, Voigtländer, and Fuji) so I was not particularly concerned about Sigma and QC. Recently I bought a DP3M and the first one had a huge dust spot on the sensor and was replaced. I did not have any problems with my other DP-cameras but I am more apprehensive with Sigma now

Since getting good responses to my initial questions regarding the SD1 in this forum (here) I have read on and on and have ended up being quite confused regarding the SD1 + 17-50 f:2.8 OS combo I am pining for. A little learning is indeed a dangerous thing!

I have consumed loads of reviews of the camera and lens. On youtube the output from Christopher Frost (a Canon version of the 17-50 I believe) seems perfectly okay, and Thom Hogan (whom I like a lot and is not exactly known to be a softie on camera manufacturers) is quite glowing about his Nikon version of the same lens. But the story I see forming after reading through many posts on this forum is not quite so rosy. But maybe I am wrong?

The understanding I have now is that the 17-50+SD1 combo has three different potential problems:

The first is the fact that the lens is not tack sharp corner to corner at f:2.8. I do not consider this a fault but simply a function of overall design, size, price etc. and am not worried since it is very sharp in the middle and seems to be very good already by f:4.

The second is the presence of a not insignificant amount of 17-50mm lenses that are decentered. What I cannot find out is if this is a historical problem (mainly present during 2011?) or if it is still a problem with lenses rolling out now? I would very much like to avoid having to send back numerous lenses until finding one that is not decentered.

The third is the “AF micro adjustment”. I have read the user manual of the SD1 and understand that “only one value can be stored for each type of lens”. I have never worked with a high megapixel camera with phase detection (and I assume the SD1 behaves like a high megapixel camera) and do not know if the AF back or front focus alternates over the focal length span or is always the same for one lens at all focal lengths and thus solvable by the AF micro adjustment in the SD1. I had no problems with my D700 and lenses, but maybe I was just lucky; and it is a lowish megapixel phase detection camera anyway.

Am I misunderstanding the concepts and problems here?
Is the 17-50 a problematic lens in general?
Or was it indeed, but is not any longer?
If you can give me some mental OS I will be very grateful.

Thanks in advance

Nikon D700 Sigma DP1 Sigma DP2 Sigma SD1
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