Discuss - Sigma 56mm f1.4 DC DN

NIlaga

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
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61
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Canada
No I didn’t got a lemon... I have been using this lens with a used GX-9 recently bought with no issues at all. It seems that Oly AF system is fairly inferior.
I also had an issue using the lens on an EM10ii so I had to return it. I still want to get this lens but that can wait till I get another camera body. Good for you now that you can enjoy using the lens.
 

horseman

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Jul 22, 2019
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4
Just purchased this lens. Wide open at f1.4 sharpness is acceptable, stopping down to f1.8-f2 improves sharpness dramatically across the frame and it's even a bit better at f2.8-4.

First impression of focusing is that auto-focus is indeed less reliable than comparable lenses. I have definitely seen the confirmation without focus issue on E-M5ii, but can't reproduce it consistently and the lens would probably be considered "functioning as designed" as far as Sigma would be concerned. Any suggestions for improving AF performance with this lens? Avoid small AF target mode maybe?

No mention of weather sealing or weather resistance anywhere in my packaging. No rubber gasket or other sealing visible on lens mount. Sigma site product page says "Mount with dust- and splash-proof design with rubber sealing". Are they intentionally advertising a feature that this product does not offer?
 

wjiang

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Sep 7, 2013
Messages
7,181
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
Just purchased this lens. Wide open at f1.4 sharpness is acceptable, stopping down to f1.8-f2 improves sharpness dramatically across the frame and it's even a bit better at f2.8-4.

First impression of focusing is that auto-focus is indeed less reliable than comparable lenses. I have definitely seen the confirmation without focus issue on E-M5ii, but can't reproduce it consistently and the lens would probably be considered "functioning as designed" as far as Sigma would be concerned. Any suggestions for improving AF performance with this lens? Avoid small AF target mode maybe?

No mention of weather sealing or weather resistance anywhere in my packaging. No rubber gasket or other sealing visible on lens mount. Sigma site product page says "Mount with dust- and splash-proof design with rubber sealing". Are they intentionally advertising a feature that this product does not offer?
Mine is still very sharp in the center wide open, much better than the 45mm f/1.8, and completely fine for portraits.

I have not had auto-focus issues on my old E-M1, current E-M1 Mk II or GX850, other than DoF being so thin at f/1.4 that if the focus point is on the wrong place it is very unforgiving, hence I only use the small focus point. It focuses slower than the 12-40mm f/2.8, but then so did the PL25 that I used to own, and apparently the 75mm f/1.8 as well I hear. It's certainly fast and accurate enough for me to get action shots of my three year old with C-AF stopped down to f/2.8, or more static portraits in S-AF at f/1.4.

Mine has a rubber gasket on the mount. It's very thin though - it's hard to see and you can only just feel it with your fingernail.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
376
I use mine on an EM1.2 and the sharpness at f/1.4 is sometimes too sharp, and I sometimes have to add a Gaussian blur to smooth out skin. Haven't noticed any AF issues.
 

horseman

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Jul 22, 2019
Messages
4
Mine is still very sharp in the center wide open, much better than the 45mm f/1.8, and completely fine for portraits.
Same experience here. Definitely better wide open at f1.4 than the 45mm f1.8 at f1.8 and fine for portraits. It sharpens up nicely when stopped down too - maintaining its sharpness lead over the 25mm f1.4 and 45mm f1.8 at f2+.

I have not had auto-focus issues on my old E-M1, current E-M1 Mk II or GX850, other than DoF being so thin at f/1.4 that if the focus point is on the wrong place it is very unforgiving, hence I only use the small focus point. It focuses slower than the 12-40mm f/2.8, but then so did the PL25 that I used to own, and apparently the 75mm f/1.8 as well I hear. It's certainly fast and accurate enough for me to get action shots of my three year old with C-AF stopped down to f/2.8, or more static portraits in S-AF at f/1.4.
Focus is definitely slower and less reliable than 12-40. On moving subjects using C-AF and stopping down to f2.8 definitely improves things. I need to test it on a bright / higher contrast day.
 

horseman

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Jul 22, 2019
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4
Going through my photos with this lens again - if I take a picture of a crowd with a the focus point on someone in the front row more often than not the row immediately behind them will be the one in crisp focus. This is even at f2.8. Tried AF-S and AF-C.

Is there anything that can be done about this or just return the lens?
 

wjiang

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
7,181
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
Going through my photos with this lens again - if I take a picture of a crowd with a the focus point on someone in the front row more often than not the row immediately behind them will be the one in crisp focus. This is even at f2.8. Tried AF-S and AF-C.

Is there anything that can be done about this or just return the lens?
That sounds like the body is confused and actually focused slightly outside the AF point. Apparently this was a known observation on the E-M1 Mk2 in earlier firmware?
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
376
Just purchased this lens. Wide open at f1.4 sharpness is acceptable, stopping down to f1.8-f2 improves sharpness dramatically across the frame and it's even a bit better at f2.8-4.

First impression of focusing is that auto-focus is indeed less reliable than comparable lenses. I have definitely seen the confirmation without focus issue on E-M5ii, but can't reproduce it consistently and the lens would probably be considered "functioning as designed" as far as Sigma would be concerned. Any suggestions for improving AF performance with this lens? Avoid small AF target mode maybe?

No mention of weather sealing or weather resistance anywhere in my packaging. No rubber gasket or other sealing visible on lens mount. Sigma site product page says "Mount with dust- and splash-proof design with rubber sealing". Are they intentionally advertising a feature that this product does not offer?
My copy is so sharp at f1.4 I don't see any changes at f2 other than depth of field.
 

speedy

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 27, 2015
Messages
2,071
My copy is so sharp at f1.4 I don't see any changes at f2 other than depth of field.
Mine's the same. Only reason I stop it down, is to increase DOF as you say. I've never done any scientific testing mind you, just what my eyes tell me when I've processed and resized am image. Gotten way too old to care about tiny little differences that may or may not be visible at 100% viewing sizes
 

horseman

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Jul 22, 2019
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For those who have shot both the Sigma 56 f1.4 and the Olympus Pro lenses how does the single af focus speed / accuracy compare? How does the continuous af focus speed / accuracy compare?

Similarly for those who have shot both the Sigma 56 f1.4 and the Olympus Premium portrait lenses (45 f1.8 & 75 f1.8) how does the single af focusspeed / accuracy compare? How does the continuous af focus speed / accuracy compare?

I'm currently unsure if my lens is defective or my performance expectations are unrealistic. My primary lens is the Oly 12-40 f2.8 Pro so it is definitely possible that I'm just taking that kind of "Pro" af performance for granted...
 

pake

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Oct 14, 2010
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One question: Has anyone suffered from varying exposures when shooting in burst mode? My E-M5 with the Sigma 56mm underexposed the first photos from every series a couple of days ago when shooting at an outdoor event (with plenty of sunshine). I was shooting running horses so I "had to" use burst mode to get the shots I wanted but every group of shots started with a noticeably underexposed photo while the rest where exposed correctly. I did unmount the lens 2-3 times to see if it wasn't properly mounted but that didn't help.

I had suffered the same issue once before a few months ago when I was test driving my new lens. Lens issue? Camera issue? I do have another E-M5 so I will try to recreate the issue later when I have the time...
 
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
376
For those who have shot both the Sigma 56 f1.4 and the Olympus Pro lenses how does the single af focus speed / accuracy compare? How does the continuous af focus speed / accuracy compare?

Similarly for those who have shot both the Sigma 56 f1.4 and the Olympus Premium portrait lenses (45 f1.8 & 75 f1.8) how does the single af focusspeed / accuracy compare? How does the continuous af focus speed / accuracy compare?

I'm currently unsure if my lens is defective or my performance expectations are unrealistic. My primary lens is the Oly 12-40 f2.8 Pro so it is definitely possible that I'm just taking that kind of "Pro" af performance for granted...
I have only suffered one AF problem and that was when trying to focus on a hawk flying towards me, with a busy background, in cloudy afternoon light. There wasn't enough time to get a lock. Otherwise, I find it works great on my EM1.2
 

wjiang

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
7,181
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
One question: Has anyone suffered from varying exposures when shooting in burst mode? My E-M5 with the Sigma 56mm underexposed the first photos from every series a couple of days ago when shooting at an outdoor event (with plenty of sunshine). I was shooting running horses so I "had to" use burst mode to get the shots I wanted but every group of shots started with a noticeably underexposed photo while the rest where exposed correctly. I did unmount the lens 2-3 times to see if it wasn't properly mounted but that didn't help.

I had suffered the same issue once before a few months ago when I was test driving my new lens. Lens issue? Camera issue? I do have another E-M5 so I will try to recreate the issue later when I have the time...
I'm guessing based on the plenty of sunshine that you were at very high shutter speeds? I strongly suspect it's a camera problem. Reason? My old E-M5 started doing the same thing at very high shutter speeds when using other fast lenses.

My theory is that the E-M5 shutter gets a bit sticky or something with age such that the initial activation isn't fast enough...
 

pake

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
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Finland
Real Name
Teemu
I'm guessing based on the plenty of sunshine that you were at very high shutter speeds? I strongly suspect it's a camera problem. Reason? My old E-M5 started doing the same thing at very high shutter speeds when using other fast lenses.

My theory is that the E-M5 shutter gets a bit sticky or something with age such that the initial activation isn't fast enough...
Very high shutter speeds indeed: Auto ISO (camera chose ISO Low), Aperture-mode with f/1.6-f/2 selected and the shutter speed maxed out at times. Thanks for the "tip". I'll need to investigate more...
 

wjiang

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Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
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Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
Very high shutter speeds indeed: Auto ISO (camera chose ISO Low), Aperture-mode with f/1.6-f/2 selected and the shutter speed maxed out at times. Thanks for the "tip". I'll need to investigate more...
Fairly easy to test, just use M everything and set the shutter speed to maximum. The first exposure of a sequence will tend to be underexposed.
 

Mabashi

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
17
My copy appears noticably soft or out of focus on the left edge, especially the bottom left corner. It seems to even out around f2.8. Is anyone else experiencing this?
 

Baenwort

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Aug 22, 2017
Messages
125
Location
Wisconsin, USA
Sounds decentered.
I would agree. There are numerous tests you can run if you want hard proof but most good retailers would take it back for exchange if you say it is decentered.

I find the two best are either the flashlight method of Kasson or the flip test where you find an even and artificial patterned object and using a tripod flip the camera to put it in all corners without moving between shots.

Kasson gives instructions on his blog and the flip test you should be able to see a difference between each image when you pixel peep the object. I find that lining the object if Photoshop and then flipping between the images works to tell if one corner or side is much worse than he others. This lens should be similar in all corners.
 

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