Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

Started Jul 14, 2009 | Discussions
tokengirl Contributing Member • Posts: 696
Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

Ok, it's actually the second test. The first one revealed a God-awful front focusing problem. After micro-adjusting my camera to +20, it's bang on the money.

Canon 5D Mk II, ISO 1600, f1.8 @ 1/320 sec.

All I was trying to do was test out the focus, then I ended up being mesmerized by those eyes. It's a rare moment when my dog sits still and looks right at me, as she is bigtime ADHD.

Fabian628 Senior Member • Posts: 2,447
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

nice photo

porsche997 Contributing Member • Posts: 837
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

Great shot but its a shame the lens had to be adjusted +20. Glad to see you got it working though. Thanks for sharing.

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OP tokengirl Contributing Member • Posts: 696
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

I'm just happy it didn't need to be adjusted MORE than +20.

Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,984
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

tokengirl wrote:

I'm just happy it didn't need to be adjusted MORE than +20.

I don't remember my number exactly, but around +15... but it works (and reliably). Many of my Canon L's, even with adjustment, are much less reliable (85L requires nothing up close, and +5 at full-body/distance. 35L needed +15 over 10 feet, but zero below that, the 24LII is "working" with +3, but will random BF/FF on about 1/3 of my shots, the 70-200/2.8IS needs extra help shooting distant subjects, but -7 works for the majority of closer subjects and focal lengths, ect, ect)

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-CW

よしよし、今日も生きのいい魂が手に入ったな

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UCSB
UCSB Contributing Member • Posts: 993
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

Chez Wimpy wrote:

tokengirl wrote:

I'm just happy it didn't need to be adjusted MORE than +20.

I don't remember my number exactly, but around +15... but it works (and reliably). Many of my Canon L's, even with adjustment, are much less reliable (85L requires nothing up close, and +5 at full-body/distance. 35L needed +15 over 10 feet, but zero below that, the 24LII is "working" with +3, but will random BF/FF on about 1/3 of my shots, the 70-200/2.8IS needs extra help shooting distant subjects, but -7 works for the majority of closer subjects and focal lengths, ect, ect)

That is the pattern you get when you don't perform MA correctly. Here is a procedure that should get you much better results.

http://www.precisioncaps.com/training_af_micro_adjust.html

Good luck.

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Bill.

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Reciprocal Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

Tokengirl,

We had a beautiful Weimaraner, but he passed in November 2007. He was adopted. A dog so human, he had about a 25-50 word vocabulary, a very special connection. He went with us everywhere. We thought we would never get over the loss.

We rescued a German short haired pointer. He's very sweet as well. Dogs have unique personalities. He goes with me everywhere. He runs with me 10-12 miles every day while I bike.

Anyway, I think you should try less MF adjustment. I think you'll find it shifts depending on the aperture.

F/1.4 = +12
F/1.8 = +8
F/2.2 to F/16 = +5

Then there's another little tip, not sure about it, but I thought I noticed the MF adjustment would drift depending on the manual position of the focus ring. I painted a mark on the focus ring. I rotated it 30 degrees between shots until I found the position where it focused accurately with the least amount of MF correction. Whenever I'm finished manual focusing, I return the ring to this home position. It shouldn't matter, and perhaps it doesn't, all I know is I get focus consistency that is equal to all my other Canon L glass. On all of them, the 70-200L F4 IS, the 17-40L, the 24-105L, I set the MF to +5. Apparently this offset is needed for the particular 5DMkII body I have. The additional adjustment for the Sigma 50mm below F/2.2 is for the shift when stopping down.

I rarely manual focus. Following the rules above, it's spot on, even in tough light. I put the center focus point over the eye, it's always accurate. It shouldn't be necessary to apply special rules but it is. Take it or leave it, that's how this lens is. That's not the only anomaly. It overexposes 1/3rd of an f-stop at F/5.6 and underexposes 1/3rd at F/1.4. I love it though. So much is said about sharpness. Not enough is said about contrast. This lens is very high contrast.

Good luck with it. We learn to communicate with our pets. I think there's a learning curve with this lens as well. I hope you try my tips, and find them useful. With the understanding I have about it, it always focuses accurately for me, even in tough situations. But I had to develop that understanding. I think if you don't, you could be back here cursing it. Give the tips a try and see what you think.

Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,984
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

UCSB wrote:

That is the pattern you get when you don't perform MA correctly. Here is a procedure that should get you much better results.

I learned by adjusting in the field to get "correct" results (and it took me two outings with my 85L to understand what was going on). If there were a magic number for my 85L, it would be between the 0 and +5... but I need both depending on my subject distance. +5 with portraits is backfocused, and at a distance 0 is frontfocused.

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-CW

よしよし、今日も生きのいい魂が手に入ったな

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OP tokengirl Contributing Member • Posts: 696
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

Thanks for the insight, I have plenty of testing to do to get to know this lens. And you're right, the contrast is superb on this lens.

xchric Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

I dont mind some microadjustment. I just hope it works for all distances. However that's not the case. My Sigma 50mm has the same symptom as your 35L. It needs +5 over 10 ft. and 0 or +3 below that.

So there is no way for Canon or Sigmato fix this? and I should live with it?

Chez Wimpy wrote:

tokengirl wrote:

I'm just happy it didn't need to be adjusted MORE than +20.

I don't remember my number exactly, but around +15... but it works (and reliably). Many of my Canon L's, even with adjustment, are much less reliable (85L requires nothing up close, and +5 at full-body/distance. 35L needed +15 over 10 feet, but zero below that, the 24LII is "working" with +3, but will random BF/FF on about 1/3 of my shots, the 70-200/2.8IS needs extra help shooting distant subjects, but -7 works for the majority of closer subjects and focal lengths, ect, ect)

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thx1138
thx1138 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,161
This sounds rather depressing

Reciprocal wrote:

Tokengirl,

We had a beautiful Weimaraner, but he passed in November 2007. He was adopted. A dog so human, he had about a 25-50 word vocabulary, a very special connection. He went with us everywhere. We thought we would never get over the loss.

We rescued a German short haired pointer. He's very sweet as well. Dogs have unique personalities. He goes with me everywhere. He runs with me 10-12 miles every day while I bike.

Anyway, I think you should try less MF adjustment. I think you'll find it shifts depending on the aperture.

F/1.4 = +12
F/1.8 = +8
F/2.2 to F/16 = +5

Then there's another little tip, not sure about it, but I thought I noticed the MF adjustment would drift depending on the manual position of the focus ring. I painted a mark on the focus ring. I rotated it 30 degrees between shots until I found the position where it focused accurately with the least amount of MF correction. Whenever I'm finished manual focusing, I return the ring to this home position. It shouldn't matter, and perhaps it doesn't, all I know is I get focus consistency that is equal to all my other Canon L glass. On all of them, the 70-200L F4 IS, the 17-40L, the 24-105L, I set the MF to +5. Apparently this offset is needed for the particular 5DMkII body I have. The additional adjustment for the Sigma 50mm below F/2.2 is for the shift when stopping down.

I rarely manual focus. Following the rules above, it's spot on, even in tough light. I put the center focus point over the eye, it's always accurate. It shouldn't be necessary to apply special rules but it is. Take it or leave it, that's how this lens is. That's not the only anomaly. It overexposes 1/3rd of an f-stop at F/5.6 and underexposes 1/3rd at F/1.4. I love it though. So much is said about sharpness. Not enough is said about contrast. This lens is very high contrast.

Good luck with it. We learn to communicate with our pets. I think there's a learning curve with this lens as well. I hope you try my tips, and find them useful. With the understanding I have about it, it always focuses accurately for me, even in tough situations. But I had to develop that understanding. I think if you don't, you could be back here cursing it. Give the tips a try and see what you think.

I have 11 AF lenses and essentially they are spot on with focus in one shot with my old clunker 1D II and 5D. However, when I shoot between f/1.4 and f/2.8 I always use manual focus anyway.

It really makes me nervous when I see people having to make so many adjustments on these newer bodies and that it appears to depend on distance as to what the correct setting is - that's just crazy IMO.

Reciprocal Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: This sounds rather depressing

Nature of the beast in this case, for me at least. But I don't see distance as a variable for the correct setting, just aperture. Since you mentioned you always focus manual between f/1.4 and f/2.8, I'd have to ask why? In that case, for the Sigma you'd never have to change the MF adjustment for any shot. I use and get perfect focus at all apertures virtually on every single shot, even the moving shots with AI Servo. But...I do follow those situational rules I came up with. I agree you shouldn't have to. So it may be advisable to pass on it if you can't live with some compromises, or get something else. Sure makes pretty pictures though.

thx1138 wrote:

I have 11 AF lenses and essentially they are spot on with focus in one shot with my old clunker 1D II and 5D. However, when I shoot between f/1.4 and f/2.8 I always use manual focus anyway.

It really makes me nervous when I see people having to make so many adjustments on these newer bodies and that it appears to depend on distance as to what the correct setting is - that's just crazy IMO.

thx1138
thx1138 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,161
Re: This sounds rather depressing

Reciprocal wrote:

Nature of the beast in this case, for me at least. But I don't see distance as a variable for the correct setting, just aperture. Since you mentioned you always focus manual between f/1.4 and f/2.8, I'd have to ask why? In that case, for the Sigma you'd never have to change the MF adjustment for any shot. I use and get perfect focus at all apertures virtually on every single shot, even the moving shots with AI Servo. But...I do follow those situational rules I came up with. I agree you shouldn't have to. So it may be advisable to pass on it if you can't live with some compromises, or get something else. Sure makes pretty pictures though.

I focus manually so I can place the focus where I want it. With razor thin DOF, the AF can't be expected to land it exactly where I want it, even if it's shooting within tolerance. Those AF squares are a lot smaller than the actual sensors and it's easy to snag the wrong point. Also I much prefer MF when I don't need AF.

I should say I'm keen on the Sigma, although I find the bokeh a bit too smooth sometimes as strange as that may sound.

buggi Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: Sigma 50mm f1.4 - First Test

awsome shot ilike it sooo much :o)))

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Greetings from Denmark

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