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Thread: Advice on what to do about Sigma 150-500 issues.

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    Advice on what to do about Sigma 150-500 issues.

    Hi Guys,

    I am an active participant in the bird section of this forum and would like some advice on what to do in the following situation.

    Firstly, I am paying a mortgage off one income and I don't have much spare cash to throw around so my options are limited as far as budget.


    I purchased a SIGMA 120-400 DG F4-5.6 APO OS TELEPHOTO ZOOM from a leading Camera shop in Perth, who I might add have been very understanding and have done the right thing the whole time,

    I immediately ran into issues with it throwing up errors on the camera. It was unsusable so I returned it.

    It was replaced as DOA and the new lens had no issues with camera errors.

    The new lens lasted 2 weeks before autofocus just stopped. Manual focus was fine and the lens still took pictures. So a 2 week old lens went away to be fixed.

    3 weeks later a "new" lens was returned, but the lens was actually a refurb which was not only soft, but have large flecks of white stuff inside the glass.


    The tripod mount was chipped and had obviously been used. So my 2 week old lens turned into a second hand one.

    I returned that and they gave me a new 400mm which lasted a week or so before the autofocus died again.

    I decided, instead of waiting for it to be fixed I would upgrade to the SIGMA 150-500MM DG F5-6.3 APO OS TELEPHOTO ZOOM as it wasn't a lot more.

    This lens was great and lasted about 3 weeks before once again autofocus died.

    The shop promptly replaced the lens with another 500. I went to my local birding haunt and took some photos. None of which were any good. The lens was so soft that even tripod and prone ground supported shots were all ruined.

    I have taken this lens back and the shop is now giving it a focus test.

    They told me they thought my d90 body had a back focus issue to which I replied that all of my other lenses focused fine and not one of them has had the auto focus die. (all Nikon lenses) These lenses still take sharp pictures.

    So my dilemma is now what happens if they replace the lens again and it dies.

    I thought about taking the body back to were I purchased it and getting it replaced but what could I say to them? All the Nikon lenses are fine.
    and have no issues.

    Nikon have the Nikon AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR Lens which is an old lens but might be an option. However I have heard it is not much cop for birding.

    So yeah I dont know what to do in this situation and would like some advice please

    Cheers

    Glen

  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Glen, you seem to be having a rather unusual run of "bad luck" with the product.
    If I were you I would be detailing all the experiences so far and getting in contact with the distributors direct and seeing if you can engage in some personal dialogue to try to resolve the issues in a more positive manner. From all the dealings I have had with C R Kennedy, not faulty products, just normal service that you would expect to have to have done on lenses, I have had fantastic service.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Glen, you seem to be having a rather unusual run of "bad luck" with the product.
    If I were you I would be detailing all the experiences so far and getting in contact with the distributors direct and seeing if you can engage in some personal dialogue to try to resolve the issues in a more positive manner. From all the dealings I have had with C R Kennedy, not faulty products, just normal service that you would expect to have to have done on lenses, I have had fantastic service.
    Thanks for the reply, I am suprised by the amount of issues I am having. I was thinking maybe it was my d90 body but the Nikon lenses I have are still working flawlessly. I would of thought one of them would have had an issue by now. So maybe it's bad luck. I hope it is sorted because I am happy with the lens for the price payed. If only I can get a good copy.

    Cheers

    Glen

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    I've heard about issues with compatibility between Sigma lenses and some bodies and something about their lenses needing their 'chips' upgrading. I don't know about it all and google doesn't yield lots of hits but it seems to me there are too many issues for it to be a coincidence.

    Maybe there is a problem with your body that is causing the issues with the lenses, dunno but seems fishy to me.
    Mic

    Photography is the art of telling stories with light.

    www.michaelgoulding.com

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    ....... always professional service from CR Kennedy

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    A difficult one really, if other lenses had issues, then sure, it's the body. With the Sigma lenses being the only issue, I would start to look at alternatives. The AF80-400VR is not a fast lens, but no slower in terms of fstop than the Sigma, however it has no built in focus motor motor so relies on the bodies screw motor, and even on a D3 it is slow to focus in anything but the best light or on fast moving subjects like BIF, so on a D90 I would not expect great results in anything but the best conditions..

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    Member OZAmateur's Avatar
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    i have been looking into buying a 150-500 sigma lens and have heard that faults are not an uncommon thing. (something about rather poor quality control.....you either hit pot luck and get a great lens or you strike out and get a terrible one)
    that said it does sound like you have been having some really bad luck.

    Me i would wait until the lens comes back...test it out and if it faults again take the lens and camera body back to the guys you bought the lens from and show them everything. It may just simply be a compatibility issue with your camera body?

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    Quote Originally Posted by etherial View Post
    I've heard about issues with compatibility between Sigma lenses and some bodies and something about their lenses needing their 'chips' upgrading. I don't know about it all and google doesn't yield lots of hits but it seems to me there are too many issues for it to be a coincidence.

    Maybe there is a problem with your body that is causing the issues with the lenses, dunno but seems fishy to me.
    Hmm the body is still under warranty but was purchased from a different retail outlet.

    The issue I have here is if I return it and tell them it's having issues with an after market lens, they will just tell me I should be using a genuine lens I would assume.

    Also I am not out to bash Cr Kennedy as I was just giving background on the issue.

    So am I right to believe Nikon can refuse a replacement on the basis of it being an aftermarket lens?

    Thanks

    Glen

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Glen, have a look at this link, a Sigma press release, admitting auto focus issues with both the lens you've had, plus the 50-500.

    http://www.sigma-imaging-uk.com/returns/

    It also gives the serial numbers of the affected lens.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Glen, it seems too much to Mongo to be a coincidence that EVERY lens has broken down. It is also noted that virtually every lens worked fine at first and then EVERY lens only lasted 2-3 weeks before breaking down. All lenses seem to have the same problem, ie auto focus and soft focusing issues – in short, always to do with focusing issues. Mongo is not convinced there is not a camera or compatibility problem. Has your camera had firmware updates that have not been installed?? Might be worth checking.

    There are a number of things you can do. In no particular order :-
    1. Do what Andrew has suggested and put it all in writing (chronologically) – keep a copy and deliver it to Kennedys. Pre-make an appointment to discuss it with them the day you deliver the letter. Take the material on the link that Trublubiker has provided for you.

    2. Eventually , if they can not get the lenses to work (Mongo means on a proper basis – not just a few weeks) and it can be shown that there is nothing wrong with your camera body (primary evidence being that it functions normally with all other lenses), you should be entitled to seek a full refund. In this regard, one would hope that if it got to this point that Kennedy would offer that to you rather than you having to lodge a consumer claim with the W.A. equivalent of the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (as it is known in NSW or VCAT as it is known in Victoria). Mongo is assuming there is such an equivalent in WA.

    3. Lastly, Mongo’s advice – do not buy a 80-400 nikon – you will be disappointed for your purpose for a number of reasons. If you get your money back, think about buying a very good second hand Nikkor e.g 300mm f4 with a second hand converter or a 400mm f5.6 ED-IF Nikkor (manual focus only) with a second hand converter. Mongo owns and uses the latter combination when he does not want to carry a heavy lens around and yet get good quality images.

    Whatever you do , good luck and keep us advised- we may come up with some better ideas to help if necessary.

    PS forgot to mention old sigma 400mm f5.6 APO macro (manual version) as another possibility.
    Last edited by mongo; 11-01-2011 at 10:17pm.
    Nikon and Pentax user



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    Thank you all for the advice it's appreciated. After considering whats been discussed I think I will pay the money to get the D90 body tested before the lens is returned to me.

    That way I can be sure that it's not a body issue.

    Trublue, thanks for that list but my serial number is not one of them so that counts that one out.

    Mongo, Thank you for the advice also appreciated.

    I did take my d90 body in with me but they didn't take a look.

    I'll keep you posted on what they say about the body.

    Cheers Guys,


    Glen

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Glen,

    I suggest you do not waste your money testing the body. If all of your Nikon lenses work flawlessly and have done so since day 1, then the issue is not with the body.

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    Just another thing Glen, I don't have a Nikon but I do have the 150-500 and found it is a finicky lens. In that I mean you have to have perfect settings for the shot for it to come out nice and sharp. It is very unwieldy hand held, still hard on a monopod and even on a tripod I use the centre focus point and the fastest shutter speed I possibly can. Hand held I generally need 1.5 times the focal length at a minimum, I like to try for higher. I try to shoot on the lowest f stop number, but again it performs best above f9 on higher focal lengths. I used to tear my hair out with it on my 450D, but get much better results on my 50D. So for me it wasn't so much the lens, it was the fact the better body suited the lens better.
    Lloyd
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    I have both the sigma 150-500 and nikon d90.... no issues with either here... all shots auto focus fine and are sharp.

    I am stumped.

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    I use the 150-500 on all three of my Nikon bodies without a problem other than my choice of settings.

    Bodies are:- D70, D90 & D300S.

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    Just an update on this issue. I have both the camera body and lens in at a WA Nikon Repairer.

    After explaining the issue he seemed a bit stumped. He said he had seen Lenses kill the AF on Camera's but not the other way around. I gave him the lens in the hopes it help with diagnosing the issue.

    Apparently he has Spoken to Nikon and they have said they also haven't seen the issue before. So he has sent it off somewhere over east. I hope it doesn't come back saying no problem was found.

    Also I have now had a number of the Sigma Lenses. A couple of the 400mm and the same of the 500mm and I have noticed quite a difference in sharpness. Unfortunately the latest one I have, which I have not used much for fear of it dying, is not as sharp as the previous ones.

    So I have not been taking photos for quite a few months. Hopefully it will change once it all comes back.

    Incidentally I am going to get a lowish price range wide angle when I get it all back for landscapes. Have about 1k to spend.. Any Recommendations?

    Thanks

    Glen

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    Well I have the Sigma 150-500mm zoom and got it around the first week in December last year. The serial number is later than those listed in the link and I haven't had any issues with it. Images are quite sharp even at 500mm and wide open which many reports indicate as soft.

    Yes, it is hand holdable but much easier to control on a tripod or monopod.

    As for a wide angle lens for the Nikon, I have the Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom and it costs around the 1k mark at the moment (with a little shopping around). It is a very good lens and the range makes it a good streetsaping lens too.

    If on a budget, I know several people with the Sigma 10-20mm zoom, both the older version and the newer f/3.5 constant aperture. I haven't heard any complaints and they are both good value.

    The other one with a good reputation is the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. It is very good but you gain speed at the expense of a very restricted aperture range.
    Cheers

    PeterB666


    My photo-mojo has gone

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Metabones Speed Booster and Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 - almost as insanely wicked as sin itself... but then again, the Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 is kinda fun.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day all

    Some time ago I came across the foll article regarding lens performance / non-performance
    at ** http://www.canonrumors.com/tech-arti...d-other-myths/ **
    The author seems to make sense with much of what is referred to ... maybe it's something that Apers would like to follow-up

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I'm in the process of doing auto focus checks and adjustment on all my lens and came across this useful site.
    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a...djustment.html

    If your camera has auto focus adjust capability, I think this is a very useful tool.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day tryblu

    just had a look at the site you referred above - amaziing info

    Regards, phil

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