Microfocus adjustment frequency (Canon vs Third party lenses)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Andy01 Senior Member • Posts: 4,294
Re: Microfocus adjustment frequency (Canon vs Third party lenses)

ikolbyi wrote:

Andy01 wrote:

I can't comment on 3rd party AF lenses as I stopped buying them after a poorly performing Sigma 17-50 f2.8. Nearly all of them (3rd party AF lenses) seem to have some sort of issue with some or other Canon body (especially newer DSLRs) - even if it is a non-AF related issue like the Sigma 24-105 chewing batteries faster than a Canon lens. I have one 3rd party lens and that is a Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP (their premium range of lenses) and it is MF.


Colin - unfortunately I need to disagree based on my experience with Sigma.

Sure, everyone has their own experiences and from what I have read the newer Art lenses certainly seem to be better than the old EX lenses.

I own 2 Sigma lenses an Art and Sports and I use to own a legacy EX but sold that.

The Art and EX out of the box flawlessly worked.

A bit of searching when I was fighting with my Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX revealed that it seemed to be a fairly common issue. I first used it with a 600D (which doesn't have AFMA) and sometimes it would AF perfectly and be very sharp, and other times (usually at f2.8 and closer to 17mm) it would miss by enough to produce a soft image. No pattern to it - pretty random.

Then I got my 70D and I took great pains (a few times) to do the AFMA adjustment and got it to a point where it could produce results using OVF as good as LV, but the random inaccuracies persisted.

So I sold it and just used my EF 24-105L, and when that wasn't wide enough it was either a pano (if I could) or tough luck. I was fed up of getting home to find that some images were soft - they generally looked OK on the LCD, but when viewed on a 27" monitor, they just didn't cut it.

If I knew that a lens consistently produced bad results and under what conditions, I may have been able to deal with it with a work-around, but when it kept catching me by surprise, that was VERY unwelcome. Also the fact that the ONLY reasons I had the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 was for the 17-24mm range and for f2.8, and it was precisely that combination that gave me the most issues, it sort of took away the primary purpose for having the lens. My EF 24-105L never let me down - if the focus was off (which was quite rare), it was almost certainly user error.

The Sports lens was back focusing for me. I drove the 3 hours to Long Island NY where Sigma has their service center and they adjusted the lens to my Canon 5D.M4 at no charge. While I was their they confirmed the performance of my Art lens.

In Australia I don't have that luxury. The Sigma offices are in Sydney, which is a 1,900km (1,200 mile) round trip, and I am not sure that they even have a full tech centre there for doing this - they might ?

I have a lot of praise for Sigma and their lenses in how they perform both as a company and product on my Canon body.

It is great that you have got a working "set" that produces great results - something to hang on to.

I think it getting better, but there is still a large number of posts in Canon forums about poor AF or compatibility issues - especially with newer bodies and older lenses.

I own one non-Canon lens and it is a Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP MF lens, so no AF issues to deal with, and I think it will stay that way - at least until I upgrade one day (in the fairly distant future) to a mirrorless FF body (I have a M5) as there seems to be less issues with Sigma + Canon mirrorless than with Canon DSLRs.

If (and this is a big if) I stay with Canon in the future after my 5D breaks, I will still use Sigma my go-to lens brand. But right now my Olympus (with Olympus glass) are my primary camera system, and the Canon has been regulated down to low-light photography only. I have owned 3 Canon DSLR camera bodies over 20 years and that is all in jeopardy because of their decision to EOL the EF mount and the EOS R body was a terrible product when I evaluated it. I have no experience with R5 or R6. Olympus on the other hand, has completely blown me away....with exception of low-light performance. It's small sensor struggles to handle ISO greater than 5000.


 Andy01's gear list:Andy01's gear list
Canon EOS M5 Canon 6D Mark II Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM +5 more
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