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by WDCarrier on Sun Apr 17, 2022 4:05 pm
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To lighten the load on my aging body I recently sold my Canon 500 f4 and purchased a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens and replaced the gimbal head with a ball head on a lighter tripod.  I recently made my fifth trip to Costa Rica for bird photography using this equipment for the first time this past month.

The results were extremely dissatisfying and I am hoping someone can advise me as to how to correct the problem if it is something I can achieve or advise me if the lens could be at fault.  I am using the same camera settings as I did with the Canon 500.  My 7DII is set at AV.  Both focus and metering are spot.  ISO at 800-1600.  I use back-button focus.  Using the Sigma lens at least 80% of my images were 1 to 2 stops overexposed and most out of sharp focus yet within a burst of a dozen or more images, all on the same subject, I might find one or two to be correctly exposed and/or focused, usually mid-way in the series.  Of the ones in focus the images were sharp so I know the lens is capable of image sharpness equal to that of my Canon.   It appears the lens is not responding to the signals from the camera.  Is there a correction for this?  I have the dock for this lens.
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 17, 2022 4:20 pm
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Hey Dean
I hope you’re doing well. My only question is “Did you do an AFFT on the lens (or whatever Canon’s name for it is?” I can’t offer any other advice regarding exposure.

Joe
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by WDCarrier on Sun Apr 17, 2022 4:47 pm
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Hi Joe,
I assume you're indicating the auto face detection on some cameras? I can't find any mention of it for this lens and definitely know it's not a feature of the 7D. As I take all my images from a tripod I have the OS turned off. A colleague using the exact same set-up regularly gets high quality images and talked me into this combo. Frustrating.
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Apr 17, 2022 5:35 pm
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No, I’m referring to auto-focus fine tune or auto-focus micro adjust. On most DSLR’s, the focus can be way off due to machining tolerances between the body and lens mounts and adjusting that can make a huge difference. Something like LensAlign will help you to set this.

https://www.gerlachnaturephoto.com/_files/ugd/71c73d_3cc82d09ca46482bb932b99e6cc2483d.pdf

John has about the best focused images I have ever seen. The following article doesn’t have anything to do with your situation in general, but has great tips for others that may be having focus issues:

https://www.gerlachnaturephoto.com/_files/ugd/71c73d_28e41bd2be8846af93e70ec4fa1177b3.pdf

This download from Canon may have some useful info:

https://downloads.canon.com/nw/brochures/pdf/brochures/eos-7d-mark-ii-af-guide-cusa-9-2014.pdf

And more on focus fine tuning:

https://cdn.static-bl.com/images/manual/Canon-AF-Micro-Adjust-Guide.pdf

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Apr 17, 2022 10:23 pm
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That lens needs a thorough focus calibration using the Sigma lens dock which calibrates the length at multiple focal lengths and multiple shooting distances. A simply in camera AF microadjust will not do the trick for the complex optics of this lens. it is a several hours long process to do it right. Once you do that, the lens is an excellent performer. As for the overexposure, it sounds like the lens aperture diaphragm is sticking. My review of this lens from several years ago goes into this and you will be able to see a focus calibration table for this lens which of course ONLY applies to the camera I was using and will be different for every camera that it is attached to.

https://ejphoto.com/Quack%20PDF/Sigma%20150-600.pdf
 

by KK Hui on Sun Apr 17, 2022 11:07 pm
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Dean said that he has a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary not Sport which you reviewed, EJ!
Contemporary vs Sport, is the optical design different and hence focus calibration need is different?
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by E.J. Peiker on Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:33 am
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KK Hui wrote:
Dean said that he has a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary not Sport which you reviewed, EJ!
Contemporary vs Sport, is the optical design different and hence focus calibration need is different?


It doesn't matter, both need to be calibrated in the same way.  Teh Contemporary needs it even more as it is not manufactured to the same tolerances as the more expensive Sport lens.
 

by OntPhoto on Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:51 am
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OT.  If you want to spend the $$, if Canon comes out with the crop factor mirrorless and a Canon RF 100-500 lens will lessen the physical load.  A light and hand-holdable combination.  May not even need a tgripod in decent light.  Even less weight to carry.  Me, I seldom carry the 500 f4 II in the field unless I am shooting something specific that requires it.  I prefer to go light, when out and about exploring. 
 

by Karl Egressy on Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:03 am
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I'm in the same age group more or less as you are. The field has been changing all the time, but back then a few years ago the lightweight option was to switch to Nikon as it had two very light lenses, the 300 f 4. PF and the 500 f 5.6 PF. Now they are coming out with an 800 mm f 6.3 PF that is very light for an 800 mm lens. If yo prefer zoom lenses, Sony has a 100-400 lens that you can use with both 1.4x and 2.0x telecoverters and their cameras are very light as well.. I was a Canon shooter for decades and switched brand as Canon did not offer lightweight option back then and I could no longer deal with the Canon 500 f 4.0 II anymore. Many options to consider.
 

by ChrisRoss on Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:23 pm
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I would think you would want to establish if the aperture is sticking first - it sounds like a newly purchased lens under warranty still? If you can reproduce the issue in controlled conditions it would help and try and get that fixed under warranty first - before going through the AF adjust on the dock.
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by WDCarrier on Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:53 pm
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Thanks to all. I have recently been contacted by Sigma re. this issue and am awaiting a zoom session to work it out.
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by WDCarrier on Sun May 15, 2022 1:47 pm
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Well, I guess I spoke too soon.  After sending a follow-up letter that included number of examples of sequential images with varying focus and exposure I've heard nothing back.  I guess I'm on my own.
[font=Helvetica, sans-serif]“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK[/font]
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun May 15, 2022 3:14 pm
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That’s pretty sad customer service! If you didn’t buy it directly from Sigma, I would ask the dealer for assistance. It reflects badly on them as well.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

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