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Sigma 100-400 F5-6.3 DG DN


ropo54
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I primarily use Panasonic S1R but I also tested the 100-400mm on a Leica CL. I am really deeply impressed. Photos come out razor sharp with good contrast and colour. I shot the photo of the dog with the lens at 400mm (equivalent focal length 600mm) hand held - and it is really tack sharp. I cannot possibly see why this lens should not satisfy 95 % of all users. 

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'The dog days of summer' . . . (truly so in Florida)

Edited by ropo54
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My first pictures from the 100-400mm Sigma with SL.  The third pictures using 187mm 1/5 sec. The Sigma OIS works fine with my SL and CL.

No sharpening just came out from the Camera.

Edited by lawrence_lee
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Last shots with the Sigma 100-400mm (with SL) before it goes into the dry cabinet for a long slumber.  On subjects of all distances today, critical accuracy was about 40%, most keepers shot within five meters.  For me, beyond the OOF issue, which I now kinda suspect may be OIS-related, the biggest problem with this lens is that I shot Leica telephotos first.

Luckily I found two of its favorite subjects to close out on.  First is a myna . . . 

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Thanks @tritentrue! The L-mount users 'deserves' a long-reach  p r i m e ... Something like 400mm f4 (or a similar 500mm), with extender(s), fine sharpness, high contrast, pleasant oof rendering and acceptable af. Likely not from Leica (and possibly the safest for customers, cost-wise), but hopefully from Sigma. That being said, the close-up photos with the Sigma 100-400mm looks very good!

Edited by helged
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On 8/25/2020 at 10:43 AM, tritentrue said:

Last shots with the Sigma 100-400mm (with SL) before it goes into the dry cabinet for a long slumber.  On subjects of all distances today, critical accuracy was about 40%, most keepers shot within five meters.  For me, beyond the OOF issue, which I now kinda suspect may be OIS-related, the biggest problem with this lens is that I shot Leica telephotos first.

Luckily I found two of its favorite subjects to close out on.  First is a myna . . . 

Rob, I hear you about this lens totally.  I'm not in the habit of putting a lens I'm less than happy with in the cupboard, it usually gets sent off to a dealer or hits e-bay😄!

Think I said somewhere before I was sitting on the fence, still there I think.  I just can't make up my mind about it, I look at results and keep thinking maybe if I had tried something different.  Anyway, I got to the point after trying to get some shots of gulls this morning on the CL (usually pretty easy I find), that it bugged me enough to drop an e-mail to Sigma, will wait their response.  I'm at the coast for a quick 24hrs and about to go try with the SL2, will see how that leaves me feeling.   Hopefully a bit less frustrated.

 

 

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Whatever the issue is, Jayne, maybe it's something that Sigma can make right with an update, which is why my copy is not yet in the outbound bin.

On my last outing with the lens (and SL) I took my time with static subjects using single-point AF in the center of the frame.  What I noticed in the images afterwards was that the focus points were off-center by varying amounts and in varying directions.

Fairly recently I had a similar issue with a major brand's lens stabilization, in which it appeared--especially when using a teleconverter--that the focus point, with the image appearing unsteady in the viewfinder, was often being moved just before I pushed the shutter button, causing front- or back-focus on some shots.

Interestingly, Sigma's DSLR 100-400mm has a setting, enabled by the dock, in which the photographer can set the lens so that OIS completely stablilizes the image in the viewfinder within a second or two of half-pressing the shutter button. I missed out on a few shots of fast-moving critters because of the delay, but the shots I got were focused with critical accuracy.

Going as far back as Nikon's first iteration of VR, I've never totally trusted in-lens stabilization.  Inertia has always proved more reliable for me.

I will be interested in hearing how Sigma responds to your email, should you choose to share it with us here.

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That is interesting, as it resonates with a remark I made in another thread.

Quote

people may tend to rely too much on OIS, neglecting the principles of long lens photography. 

I find the O.I.S. convincing, but results, including AF,  are  better when I augment it with traditional stabilizing techniques like a chest pod and shorter shutter times. There may be some imprecision  when it moves to its maximum shift.

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On 8/26/2020 at 11:23 PM, tritentrue said:

Whatever the issue is, Jayne, maybe it's something that Sigma can make right with an update, which is why my copy is not yet in the outbound bin.

On my last outing with the lens (and SL) I took my time with static subjects using single-point AF in the center of the frame.  What I noticed in the images afterwards was that the focus points were off-center by varying amounts and in varying directions.

Fairly recently I had a similar issue with a major brand's lens stabilization, in which it appeared--especially when using a teleconverter--that the focus point, with the image appearing unsteady in the viewfinder, was often being moved just before I pushed the shutter button, causing front- or back-focus on some shots.

Interestingly, Sigma's DSLR 100-400mm has a setting, enabled by the dock, in which the photographer can set the lens so that OIS completely stablilizes the image in the viewfinder within a second or two of half-pressing the shutter button. I missed out on a few shots of fast-moving critters because of the delay, but the shots I got were focused with critical accuracy.

Going as far back as Nikon's first iteration of VR, I've never totally trusted in-lens stabilization.  Inertia has always proved more reliable for me.

I will be interested in hearing how Sigma responds to your email, should you choose to share it with us here.

After my e-mail to  Sigma asking for their comment on my results which seem to show a loss of detail at shooting distances over 5 metres, especially when using the 1.4 extender, today I had a response from Sigma, asking for some more information, some sample images with MF and no image stabilisation.. not quite sure I have worked out what 750TL means!  

Sigma Japan's response :
 
We haven't received such reports from customers, so let us have more information.
It would be appreciated if you could give us the following information and images.
 
1. Is the firmware of the cameras the latest one?
2. We would like to have some images as well as the setting information which show this phenomenon.
3. Moreover, if possible, could we have two images with the settings below? Ideally, with the same angle of view.
Image 1: 750TL and Leica CL (without teleconverter) - OS off, manual focus mode
Image 2: 750TL and Leica SL2 (without teleconverter) - crop mode, OS off, manual focus mode
 
If you could provide this information then I can forward it onto my colleagues in Japan for further investigation.
 
 
 


 

Edited by Boojay
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17 minutes ago, Boojay said:

not quite sure I have worked out what 750TL means!

Sigma's internal code for this lens is #750969 (see e.g. B&H product page). TL is Leica L Mount.

Just a guess but looks plausible.

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5 minutes ago, Joachim_I said:

Sigma's internal code for this lens is #750969 (see e.g. B&H product page). TL is Leica L Mount.

Just a guess but looks plausible.

Was just looking at the packaging a minute ago to see if I could find a code of some sort, couldn't think what else it could mean, so will take that - thanks.

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One can only speculate what they can establish by comparing #3 with your other images, Jayne.  Maybe they suspect a technique issue?  And it wouldn't surprise me if, in the case of the CL, they blame the camera.

One thing is relatively certain (unless they're bluffing about not having received similar reports):  there's no fix in the works, nor will there be until or unless they believe enough users are having problems with the lens.

Many thanks, Jayne, for sharing this. Looks like my copy is headed for the outbound bin. 

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5 minutes ago, tritentrue said:

One can only speculate what they can establish by comparing #3 with your other images, Jayne.  Maybe they suspect a technique issue?  And it wouldn't surprise me if, in the case of the CL, they blame the camera.

One thing is relatively certain (unless they're bluffing about not having received similar reports):  there's no fix in the works, nor will there be until or unless they believe enough users are having problems with the lens.

Many thanks, Jayne, for sharing this. Looks like my copy is headed for the outbound bin. 

Well I will give it a try.. see what response I get, I had suggested in my e-mail that they looked through this forum and some of the images and discussion, who knows whether or not they do.  I do hope it is possible to get some more from the lens, otherwise for me it may mean a total re-think going forward. Even though I do very little telephoto/wildlife type stuff these days, when I do it's nice to get good results.

5 minutes ago, bags27 said:

Thanks so much for doing this, Jayne. I'm certainly not giving up on the lens yet (the extender is another matter), because it's fun to carry around. But the IQ is indeed disappointing. If I had a Sony mount, I'd sell it to my brother-in-law (but that's another story 😃).

Would like to know if Sony users have noted any similar issues, would make me a little upset if the lens is performing better over there.  If there was a chance Leica were going to come up with an alternative longer TL lens, or even a blooming extender for the 90-280 monster I may feel differently, but I'm on the edge of making some changes, or additions maybe🙃!

 

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There's much to like about the Sigma, including superb imagery inside 5 meters or so.  But, as Ken mentioned previously, it's not on par with the 20-year-old R 80-200mm Vario + APO 2X, which puts things in perspective.

I'm plenty comfortable with focusing manually, and the 180 APO + APO 2X give me a direct replacement for the Sigma,  more compact, a dream to use especially on the CL; and if something ends up out of focus, it's not the gear's fault! 😉

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I think after countless efforts to get a decent image from the CL and 100-400, I will be putting mine on eBay or maybe return it to Sigma for a trade off with something else.

I get better results on the CL with my Leica-R 80-200 f4.0

I do enjoy the reach of the 100-400 but it's extremely difficult to nail a decent shot at further distances, such a shame.

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A reminder of what I have posted previously. My fp had problems with video output, which I reported to Sigma, and received an acknowledgement, after sending them files. It was sorted a couple of months later in the last major firmware update. I don't see Sigma as uncommunicative, and sometimes as unresponsive, as Leica is to such issues, though it may take a short while to sort out. Of course it is up to you guys if you wish to sell your lenses straight after buying them, but based on my experience, I would be inclined to hold on for a while. OTOH, if anyone wants to sell their nearly new lens at half price, please PM me.

Edited by LocalHero1953
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