Lens RAW Sharpness curiosity/dilemma, RAW meaning RAW, no in-camera/post-processing?

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EE-TV
EE-TV Contributing Member • Posts: 584
Lens RAW Sharpness curiosity/dilemma, RAW meaning RAW, no in-camera/post-processing?

Firstly I wasn't sure where to post this, but I already have a thread on Third-Party Lens regarding my new Sigma 150-600mm.

My dilemma is that I have never invested so much (cost) in to a Lens before, and this is no "off the shelf" Lens. It's a whole different beast and with it brings a totally new learning curve, and hence, especially reading (to me) "horror stories" regarding Lens variation with back-focusing/front-focusing, some softer than others I really want to make sure I have got a good copy first and foremost before I even start learning to use it.

So I have followed many recommended procedures on how to test for sharpness/front or back focusing using the 5 batteries at a 45° angle and a printed chart. Also to turn all in-camera processing off in addition to the obvious - shoot manual, RAW, low ISO, Tripod,etc.

Here's what I noticed (image sample attached) is that no matter what I do to tweak focus it still appears soft to me. Yet reading a post by Nasim Mansurov at https://photographylife.com/how-to-quickly-test-your-dslr-for-autofocus-issues he shows a similar image that looks even more blurry than mine and he states "The image looks good and sharp. Please note that this is a RAW image without any kind of sharpening applied to it."

So please can someone confirm that my image of (this is the full size uncropped) is sharp or not?

Are ALL images at "pixel-peep" level as soft when absolutely no in-camera/post-processing applied?

If so this is a revelation. Then again it would make sense as why then would there ever be a need to use software that Sharpens? Yet on the contrary what exactly does "this Lens is sharp" regard to?

Thank you for your assistance. I am already in possession of this Lens a week now, have tested it out thoroughly, and have found no front/back focusing even though I have also purchased the Sigma USB Dock to accompany it . Do I need to return the Lens because it is soft or is it actually sharp?

Close up crop

 EE-TV's gear list:EE-TV's gear list
Nikon D5500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Nikon AF-P 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G VR +1 more
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