Issues with Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AirborneAngel, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. AirborneAngel, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    AirborneAngel macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    So I bought a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 about a month ago (used,) and since then I've gotten some great pictures with it, but I seem to keep having this problem, take a look (focus esp. on the player's shoulders and heads, as well as the crowd.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It looks to me like some kind of chromatic aberration, I tried lowering my aperture from 2.8 to 3.2/4.0 and that seemed to help, but I'm still not exactly sure what the problem is and how I can fix it/compensate for it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ruahrc, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #2
    Are these crops or the full picture? Looks like some pretty noticeable and severe aberrations here, especially if these show the whole image. Did the previous owner of the lens report a similar problem?

    Another possibility is some pretty extreme autofocus misalignment- have you tried shooting some static subjects with manual focus to ensure correct focus, and seeing if the problem still exists?

    Looks like some kind of flaw that needs to get serviced, likely by Sigma since it was a used purchase. If I was buying this lens new and it behaved like this out of the box, I would return it to the retailer/manufacturer for exchange/repair- and if this is how the Sigma behaves normally (I don't know what to expect from this lens wide open), well I'd just send it back for a refund.

    Ruahrc
     
  3. AirborneAngel, Apr 3, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

    AirborneAngel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Yeah, those are uncropped images. The thing is, I bought this lens off eBay, and everything seemed to be working fine focus wise, I just get severe aberrations, and am not really sure what to do about it. I don't know if the lens is out of warranty, and I don't really have the cash to put down to get the lens repaired... and no, the owner did not report any issues regarding the lens, he said he'd only shot with it about 15-20 times total.

    On the other hand, I've gotten some excellent results with this lens where no aberrations/focus issues are present.

    I took this shot using AF and it came out great:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #4
    Lens performance can vary between close-up and far distance. So the B+W shot you put up looks pretty good, but likely also taken at a much closer focal distance than the other examples. I can still see evidence of some softening/blurring on the upper right and lower right corners too.

    Again, given the original pictures- I'd definitely say something is wrong with the lens. Especially if it consistently does this at the same focal lengths/focal distances.

    The question is if this level of performance is what is expected for this lens at those apertures, focal lengths, and distances. The most foolproof situation would be to send it in to get checked. Failing that, try to find reviews/example pictures of the lens and compare to see if they behave the same way- or if others who own this glass can put up some comparisons.

    If those original samples are indicative of what this lens typically produces, then IMO it's not worth owning. But if there is some flaw, you should really get it corrected. Those original images seem pretty much unusable, given how bad they look even when reduced way down.

    Ruahrc
     
  5. xStep macrumors 68000

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    Jan 28, 2003
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    Less lost in L.A.
    #5
    Is it possible the lens is still in a state of focusing when the picture is taken?
     
  6. rufhausen macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #6
    Is this version I or version II of this lens?

    I have version II and during the limited time I used the lens (shameless plug: I'm actually putting it up on eBay later today to help finance a new Mac), it was pretty darn sharp.
    I never used version I, but I think I read that there were more quality control issues with those.

    This is a cropped photo taken at f/2.8 @ 200mm:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. AirborneAngel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    It's the version II, I'm trying to return the lens to the original seller, as he did not mention that there were such severe issues with the lens in his original listing. I still want the lens however, and am probably just going to end up buying a new one if I can get him to refund me my purchase. (Unless someone can suggest to me a better 70-200 f/2.8 in the $700 range!)

    edit: that's a gorgeous picture by the way
     
  8. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #8
    This is why I very, very, very rarely buy from ebay, and certainly not for anything so valuable as a camera lens. Overstating or even outright fabrication of item condition seems to be the norm rather than the exception. I know that damage can happen in shipping, or that some sellers are truly honest about their listings, but IME it is not worth the effort when other sources are readily available.

    Ruahrc
     
  9. rufhausen macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #9
    Here's the bad news: The MSRP for this lens went from $799 to $949 a few weeks ago. If you buy a new one on eBay, make sure it has the USA warranty (if you're in the US). I found out the first one I bought didn't have it before it arrived, so I refused the package and got a refund, then bought from Amazon instead.
     
  10. AirborneAngel, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011

    AirborneAngel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Wow, that's just my luck... What do you think the best course of action is here then? Try to get the seller to pay for the repair? Try and just refund the item altogether and buy new? I can't believe this...

    Also, I'm shooting with a Canon Rebel XS (1000D) pretty much the cheapest Canon DSLR body, is there a chance that the body is causing the issue and not the lens? (I'm dubious of this, but I want to explore all the possibilities before sending this lens in for $250+ in repairs.)

    Edit: I'm using a 77mm UV filter (Hoya) on this lens, could this be the cause of these issues?

    Here's another sample shot: http://www.dailybruin.com/media/00/00/04/14/41443_web.sp.4.6.baseball.wrap.picaf.jpg

    Is that chromatic aberration around the player, or is it something else?
     
  11. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #11
    ^^^I don't think the UV filter is causing the problem, but many, many people shy away from the UV filters all together. Maybe try some shots w/o the filter?
     
  12. AirborneAngel, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011

    AirborneAngel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #12
    I think the issue here is that this lens kind of sucks wide open (2.8) but if I step it down to 4, it looks pretty sharp and all the problems I was having go away.

    Figures!
     
  13. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #13
    Based on your photos there is a rather glaring issue with that lens.

    I shoot with the more affordabe Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 hsm, basically a $400 mid-range lens on the cheapest nikon body (D40) and none of my shots ever look that wrong.
     

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