Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55

Started Sep 11, 2010 | Discussions
SrAT
Junior MemberPosts: 40
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Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
Sep 11, 2010

Imaging Resource published the suggestion to engage the DOF preview several times to reestablish aperture communication with the camera when the Sigma lens loses that communication. I found another workaround for my Sigma lens on the A33 that I-R didn't mention.

If you slide the body AF/MF switch to MF. mount the Sigma lens, and then slide the body switch to AF the Sigma lens stops down and autofocuses properly. With my fast and old Sigma 75-200mm the lens works properly on an A700, but the lens rarely initializes the aperture properly if I mount it on the A33 with the body AF switch in AF.

As I-R pointed out, when the aperture does not engage the aperture remains stopped down, and in my 5-pin lens you can't AF and the aperture is reported incorrectly. Apparently with the current 8-pin interface the Sigma behaves a little differently. When I slide the body switch to MF before mounting the Sigma, then switch to AF the Sigma lens initializes aperture and focus properly and it has continued to work until I turn off the A33.

I am going to try the DOF stop-down trick I-R used to see if that reestablishes communication with my Sigma lens as well. With my Sigma lens once I have aperture cmmunication everything works as it should and continues to work as it should - it doesn't lose the communication once established.

This in fact may be a Sigma mechanical problem with their A-mount copy and not a chip issue. If so Sigma is being disingenuous in saying they can't fix older lenses. They probably just don't want that expense. OR perhaps it is a combination of a mechanical issue and the lens firmware chip.

At least there are apparently at least two ways to workaround the issue until we have a real solution from Sigma.

Sigma was already at the bottom of my list for third-party lenses after my Canon experiences. However, Sigma does have some unique lenses and I reluctantly bought them when there was nothing else from Tamron or Tokina. The Sigma experience with Minolta/Sony had been better, and unless they were film era Sigma for Minolta the Sigmas have been fine (I have a Mint condition super tiny 60-200mm push-pull Sigma from the film era that no one will rechip, so its a paperweight). However, with this latest A33/A55 incompatibility pointing toward a Sigma inability to even reliably copy the mechanical parts of the A-Mount, I probably have bought my last Sigma.

Of couese the problems will make the Sigma for Sony prices drop to the point where a fast f/2.8 is dirt cheap and I will probaly be tempted to grab a bargain and take the risk. At least I know it's my fault if I do decide to take the gamble.

furjaw
Regular MemberPosts: 186
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Re: Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
In reply to SrAT, Sep 12, 2010

I ordered a Sigma 18-250 to use with the A33 that I plan to buy.
I will only have the one lens, so it will never be removed.
If I put the lens in Manual Focus and mount it,
will it continue to work properly after the camera is turned off?

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brendon1000
Regular MemberPosts: 248Gear list
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Re: Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
In reply to furjaw, Sep 13, 2010

Thanks for the tips !

I stay in India and I doubt the local service centre will help as they deal with only Canon and Nikon mount lenses.

And I have two Sigma lenses to worry about.

 brendon1000's gear list:brendon1000's gear list
Sony SLT-A55 Sony SLT-A37 Sony DT 16-105mm F3.5-5.6 Tamron SP AF 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) MACRO Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +6 more
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RenatoXSR
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Re: Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
In reply to SrAT, Dec 11, 2010

SrAT,

Does your fix work without removing the lens? I mean, turn off camera, switch to MF, turn on camera, switch to AF.

Thanks.

PS: I have some sigma lenses and I plan to buy the A33 and a 18-250.

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PC Wheeler
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Re: Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
In reply to RenatoXSR, Dec 11, 2010

RenatoXSR wrote:

I have some sigma lenses and I plan to buy the A33 and a 18-250.

Your new Sigma lens is likely to be compatible. The one I received earlier this month is compatible with SLTs and says so on the box.

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Phil
Canon 7D, S90; Sony A55; Panasonic ZS7
http://www.pbase.com/phil_wheeler

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Little Pooter
Contributing MemberPosts: 644
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Re: Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
In reply to furjaw, Dec 11, 2010

When you receive your lens, look on the box for a sticker that says it is compatible with the SLT A55/A33. If it has the sticker then it has been updated and will work like any other lens, a great lens by the way. If it doesn't have the sticker then it likely hasn't had the update and you will need to send it in to Sigma for a free upgrade. The "workarounds" discussed in this thread refer to older discontinued lenses that Sigma will not update.

furjaw wrote:

I ordered a Sigma 18-250 to use with the A33 that I plan to buy.
I will only have the one lens, so it will never be removed.
If I put the lens in Manual Focus and mount it,
will it continue to work properly after the camera is turned off?

-- hide signature --

Sony A55, A500, HDR-SR12, T100

Lenses: Sigma18250 OS HSM, Maxxum 50mm 1.7, SAM 18-55mm, SAL70400G, Lensbaby Composer

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ConfuciusTse
Regular MemberPosts: 288
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Re: Workaround for Sigma lens on A33 and A55
In reply to Little Pooter, Dec 12, 2010

I triggered the error by taking a couple quick shots wide open, close down hard a couple shots, then back again. After a couple cycles like this the lens got stuck stopped down. I "think" it's simply the aperture lever size is just slightly "off" and doesn't physically catch. It took my local Sigma service center 20 minutes to fix two lenses.

BUT I do wish Sigma would extend the fix to all their lenses, new and old. If it really is a quick and simple fix (vs manufacturing a bunch of new chips for each lens type), then they should "do the right thing" and support the customers who support them. Otherwise there will always be a cloud over every Sigma purchasing decision which would permanently put them beyond other third parties such as Tamron and Tokina for similar products.

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