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Some Sigma lenses have AF and OS issues with the Nikon Df, firmware update coming soon

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Sigma reported another issue with some of their lenses when used with the Nikon Df (the previous one was for the Nikon D5300). A new firmware to address the problem will be released shortly. If your Sigma lens is not compatible with the USB dock, you will have to contact your nearest Sigma service center in order to get the update. Here is the full text from Sigma:

We have found that the current firmware of our Nikon fitting interchangeable lenses may not work properly with the Nikon Df camera's OS and Auto Focus functions. This is similar to the phenomena described in "Information Regarding the Nikon D5300 Cameras" that we have announced on November 19th. However, for the Nikon Df cameras, it includes those lenses that do not have an internal AF motor, and the following products will require a firmware update. For those customers who use Sigma lenses in Nikon mount with the Nikon Df camera, we are going to provide a free firmware update. Please note that all the products we dispatch from the factory will have the latest firmware.

[Phenomenon]
Without the latest firmware, the OS and Auto Focus functions do not work properly when it is used with the Nikon Df cameras.

[Concerned Products]
Nikon fitting interchangeable lenses not yet updated for the Nikon D5300 camera.
* It includes the following lenses that do not have an internal AF motor;
1. 8mm F3.5 EX DG CIRCULAR FISHEYE
2. 15mm F2.8 EX DG DIAGONAL FISHEYE
3. 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL RF
4. 24mm F1.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL MACRO
5. 28mm F1.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL MACRO
6. MACRO 50mm F2.8 EX DG
7. MACRO 70mm F2.8 EX DG
* For some discontinued products, we may not be able to offer the firmware update due to the discontinuation of related repair parts. Please contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for further details.
* Please refer to the link below for further information on the firmware update for the Nikon D5300: http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/new/new_topic.php?id=402

[Support]
For those customers in need of the latest firmware, we are going to provide a free firmware update from December 4th. For discontinued products, please contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for further details. Also, for lenses that are compatible with the SIGMA USB DOCK, it is possible to update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro.

[Local Service Center]
You can contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for the firmware update. Details of your nearest authorized Sigma distributor can be found on the following web page: http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english/network/index.html

[Compatibility Sticker]
We are going to put either of the following sticker on all the Nikon lenses that we will dispatch from the factory from now on.

基本 RGB

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  • Mike

    Taking ownership of their issue and dealing with it promptly – points to Sigma. Nikon should pay heed.

    • Ronan

      What? You mean putting a firmware out like they do every time their’s a new camera and their lenses don’t work properly?

      That’s… pretty normal. Nikon does it every time in their camera bodies. The only difference is they do it right before it’s even a post on a blog.

      Nikon has 1 camera with some slight issues, which are easily workable and everyone freaks out… wow… What do you have to say to the Canon shooters that actually had their lenses fall from their bodies when their mount failed to lock? Burn Canon workers alive?…

      • whisky

        “Nikon does it every time in their camera bodies. The only difference is they do it right before it’s even a post on a blog.”

        Thom used to assert that this was a licensing issue, and if Sigma licensed Nikon’s mount they’d mitigate this issue.

  • User

    One of the many reasons I am not an early adapter of new technology. I’ll let others do the beta testing and buy if the reviews are good.

    You just can’t trust advertisements from manufacturers and pre-release hype.

    • Jeremiyan

      No one cares.

    • Mandrake

      Not that uncommon with third party lenses. The D5300 and Df are not the first and won’t be the last. Avoid third party lenses if you don’t want to deal with these types of incompatibilities.

      • Remedy

        What if I want to deal with stunning image quality from some 3rd party lenses that “native” lenses can only dream about?

        • Mandrake

          No 3rd party lens will beat the Nikkor 200mm f/2. ;)

          • Remedy

            No “native/1st party” lens will beat: Sigma 18-35 f/1.8, Sigma 35 f/1.4, Sigma 180 f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 200-500 f/2.8, Sigma 8-16, Zeiss 135 f/2 APO, Zeiss 55 f/1.4 Otus, Tamron 90 f/2.8 Macro etc. So what are You on there?

            • Mandrake

              Are you seriously comparing those Sigma and Tamron lenses to the Nikkor 200 f2? And I’m the one on something? I’m all for the Zeiss glass especially since they won’t have to go back every few months to get it’s AF corrected but I would still take the 200 f/2 over the Otus any day of the week.

            • Remedy

              Dude are You on crack?!!!! You came up with idiotic statement about Nikkor 200mm f/2 beating anything. NO SHERLOCK IT’S NOT BEATING ANYTHING IF YOU WANT SAY WIDE ANGLE, MARCO, TYPICAL PORTRAIT OR LONG TELE. Do You get the stupidity of Your comment? If You would take 200mm lens over a 55mm lens then You have absolutely no clue about photography. Every lens has it’s purpose, it’s niche. I won’t be shooting 200mm lens inside of a small room or any other location or application that requires wide angle lens. I also won’t be shooting macro shots with 200mm tele lens and most certainly I won’t be shooting far objects with it where 500mm or 600mm is a minimum. Do You get it now? I mentioned all those lenses to prove how stupid Your comment was. Don’t get mad at me, get mad at Yourself.

            • Mandrake

              I’m not mad, no caps in my typing. I responded to the general statement of “stunning image quality from some 3rd party lenses that “native” lenses can only dream about?”. You went into a rant, while calling me names, about different lenses for different shooting situations. While your statements are true you are just stating the obvious. All I’m saying is that the Nikkor 200/2 isn’t “dreaming” about having image quality that is on par with those third party lenses you listed.

            • Remedy

              It is a totally different lens mate, face it finally! Also it’s You who has put on the “Mr Generalization” pants by saying “Avoid third party lenses if you don’t want to deal with these types of incompatibilities”. Then You came up with Nikkor 200mm as if it was the holy Graal of photography gear… and it so isn’t. Also I was not calling You names, I only called Your comment stupid because it was stupid.
              So again, do not diss 3rd party lenses because often they destroy “native” lenses in terms of build quality, image quality, warranty etc.

            • Dpablo unfiltered

              No. Not that often. In fact, almost never. It’s why you hear about it a lot when it does happen. Out of that pile of lenses you listed you can subtract all the ones for cropped sensors. You’ll eventually see why I said that.

        • Ronan

          Nikkor > Sigma

          Why do you think they are so cheap?

          • Remedy

            Brain > muscles

            Go figure.

            • Mandrake

              Bullying behind a keyboard = coward

            • Remedy

              Whom do You bully? And why would You call Yourself a coward?

  • rt-photography

    must be a reason why sigma is the only one to have issues. dont know if tokina tamron have these problems..

    • Kneecon Wanker

      I would imagine that the dismissal of the OS patent infringement suit that Nikon filed against Sigma,has Nikon designing circuitry that makes Sigma jump through hoops to be compatible ;-)

      • nobody cares

        This all reminds me of the old cliche about windows: It’s not finished until lotus 123 doesn’t work.

  • French Fries

    I get the feeling Sigma says this to sell more docking stations.
    On the other hand I think its best to stay brand loyal anyhow to avoid any problems at all.

    • Global

      The Sigma dock is one of the most innovative, thoughtful and modern products in DSLR history. It is, if only that, inspired genius — not necessarily from a 1st party producer (NIKONLENS-NIKONBODY), but 100% genius from a 3rd party producer (3rdPartyLens-NIKONBODY).

      For those who don’t want to waste the shipping costs/knocking around of their lens & be for periods of time without a lens, due to it being updated in Sigmas factory — you can just use a dock, at home, in less than one day.

      Its true we are no longer in the days of film — and this is a brilliant solution for the future & sustaining value in 3rd party lenses. Sigma can make BETTER lenses, because consumers are willing to pay slightly more for products that they can be ENSURED will be working properly. Its a good thing for the industry.

      • whisky

        “The Sigma dock is one of the most innovative, thoughtful and modern products in DSLR history. ”

        not necessarily. in the context of firmware, it also triggers a game of obstruction/counter-obstruction — where the customer is the ultimate loser. Zeiss has circumvented the game by sticking to manual focus glass, and Sigma might consider fully licensing Nikon’s interface. JMO.

    • J. Dennis Thomas

      You think Sigma just “says” these things? They are documented issues.

      Nikon specifically targets Sigma due to a “copyright infringement” that they couldn’t make stick and was thrown out of court.

      • whisky

        “Nikon specifically targets Sigma due to a “copyright infringement” that they couldn’t make stick and was thrown out of court.”

        which may explain why only Sigma glass seems to suffer from these issues, and why Sigma may want to license Nikon’s interface. it’s a shame customers have to be put in harm’s way.

        • Mike

          Tamron and Tokina liscence the F mount from Nikon. Sigma reverse engineers it. Hence the “stick it to them” attitude by Nikon.

          • jk

            yeah cause Nikon sometimes have them design DX zooms or like that and in return Nikon lets them use the license code.

  • Global

    I think Sigma is doing a good job — but I find this a HORRIBLE statement from them:

    “For some discontinued products, we may not be able to offer the firmware update due to the discontinuation of related repair parts. Please contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for further details.”

    –> How can they say that? The promise of Sigma lenses is that they WILL be updated (thus represent a good value); Sigma shouldn’t discontinue parts related to updating FIRMWARE — if an older lens becomes inefficient to produce parts for, they should at least allow the customer to pay a fee to have the FIRWARE updated. Otherwise, Sigma is basically saying that its lenses will all become paperweights, because Sigma will stop updating firmware.

    I don’t think that’s a good position for Sigma to take at this time (when they are increasing in market favor). A fee-based system for older lenses would be a better solution for both parties (Sigma and users). The parts might be expensive to produce — but loss of sales due to users thinking that their Sigma lenses will become absolutely worthless once Sigma decides to stop updating firmware is a message that would cause even more loss of sales.

    Just by reading that statement from Sigma alone, I don’t want to buy Sigma lenses ever again — because I have no idea what are their “cut off” standards for when they will stop updating a lens’s firmware. They need to reconsider this policy.

    • J. Dennis Thomas

      And how long should Sigma put resources into maintaining firmware for lenses that are no longer made? 20-30-40 years?

      It’s not saying ALL of it’s lenses will eventually become paperweights. You take things too literally. This simply says that don’t expect your 20 year old lens to be eligible for a firmware update.

    • Mike

      That’s always the risk with 3rd party lenses. It always has been. Buyer beware.

  • s.illes

    D5300 compatible, is more like a so-so works. After upgrading the 17-70 still have the continuous scrolling problem in review, contacted Sigma and they says it’s working to standard and have no intention fixing the issue.

  • broxibear

    I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
    It’s funny that it’s an issue with the Df, one of the reasons many wanted a “simpler, stripped down” camera was to cut down on all the electronics and be more mechanical, because hopefully there would be less to go wrong.
    I’m sure if you opened up a D3 and D4 you would be shocked at how much electronic hardware is squeezed into D4 by comparison.
    Nikon are probably smiling at the negative publicity Sigma are receiving, it gives them an excuse to say “We only recommend you use Nikon lenses on Nikon cameras”.

  • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

    I just tested the Sigma 35mm f1.4 “Art” on the Df.
    It’s awesome. Details in my writeup, including size comparison.
    http://inthemistphoto.wordpress.com/

    Focuses more accurately than on my D800, but yeah, you know.

    • MattN70

      I have the Df and the Sigma 35mm f1.4. I have discovered that the Sigma 35mm does not auto-focus AT ALL in Live View on the Df. Does anyone else have this issue?

      BTW – I LOVE the Df (it’s easy to bag out, but you only appreciate what the hype’s about once you have used it). Also love the Sigma 35mm (especially on my D800E – the detail is incredible).

      I also have the X100S and (at the risk of provoking a flame war, which is not my intention), IMO the X100S is a great camera with a stellar sensor, but to me the Df is what the X100S should be in terms of responsiveness and handling. The X100S produces beautiful images, but I will easily pick up the Df in preference to the X100S when heading out the door; it (the Df) is just a beautiful piece of kit!

      • Jon Ingram

        First, I’m happy for you. Seriously. I think most of use would enjoy shooting with a Df, but that still doesn’t change my mind that it I think it is overpriced for what it offers.
        As for the X100s, of course its AF isn’t as good, no surprise there. Fuji makes some epic cameras nowdays though, will probably pick up one soon.

      • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

        You’re right, MattN. I can confirm it.

      • jk

        I actually want a Df with video , that’s all.
        I think many of us are disappointed with it because it does not have video, I do not need or ask 4k or pro RAW video but at least proper D800 level of video.
        the D600 video sucks really bad , I could not even control aperture or audio level, so next Df should get the D800E electronics base and a bit smaller body than the current Df.
        but I will buy the current Df anyway for the D4 sensor , I shoot lowlight handheld most of times and I really want that camera,but but but I miss video.
        Pure Photography may appeal to some but for most of us hybrid is the future.

        • tuco

          So if they put video in the DF just to have video you’d be complaining about the crappy video. Video is a specialty and IMHO you either do it good or don’t do it at all.

      • Mike

        My Sigma 35/1.4 Art does not auto focus in Live View on the DF. I had a chance to test it out on one.

    • silmasan

      Just want to say, your blog looks cool. :) Also, I noticed on that stuffed santa photo, you successfully produced a pac-man bokeh, omnomnom… hehe

      http://inthemistphoto.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/sigma-35-art-test-8622.jpg

      • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

        I think that cool too. Of course it was a total accident! Waga-waga-waga-waga.

    • mikeswitz

      good lookin’ blog

    • jk

      thanks for sharing your interesting blog, I am waiting for my own Df to come but it takes 1 more month since it is badly backordered here in Japan.

      • http://Flickr.com/inthemist InTheMist

        The Japanese, it seems, have good taste ;)

        Someone will probably vote this down and say “too expensive.” Ok, fair enough, but go to a shop, hold it in your hand, turn it around and say this isn’t a premium product. I don’t think you can, while being honest.

        Except that guy who put the D7000 focusing system in here. He screwed up.

  • Mike

    None of those lenses are compatible with the dock. Lol.

  • C Anon

    I didn’t expect to see AF problem from a pure photography camera as it’s supposed to have none. No autofocus, not problem.

  • neversink

    This is one reason never to buy a third arty AF lens. Compatibility for future cameras may become permanently disabled. Other reasons are poor quality control. You can purchase cleverly named lenses like Sigma”art,” but that doesn’t!t make them better than Nikon. After owning a “great” Sigma lens which broke down on assignment one month after purchase, I swore I would never be suckered again.

    • silmasan

      Which “great” Sigma lens? Curious whether it’s one released before or after their newer foveon-based QC. Mike Johnston from theonlinephotographer changed his mind about Sigma lately, after using one of the Art lenses.

      I’m not a Sigma fanboy, just keeping an eye for the 24-105/4 and maybe the latest version 120-300/2.8, so this oft-repeated “Sigma QC issues” intrigued me.

      • jk

        have you ever tried the 35mm f1.4 or 180mm f2.8OS?

        • orpickaname

          Have you? Why, do share your experience!

      • Dpablo unfiltered

        I like the 100-300 that they stopped making.

  • James Donahue

    Always buy Nikon Glass when only the best will do.

    • Peppeino

      Or wait for a nikon Df10 with a complete support for sigma lens

      • Rudi

        The problem is Sigma, not Nikon… or did you hear about any issue of Nikon glass with DF?

        From the Sigma statement:

        You can contact your nearest authorized Sigma distributor for the
        firmware update. Details of your nearest authorized Sigma distributor
        can be found on the following web:…

    • jk

      the problem is almost no Nikon lenses are good enough for the D800E sensor.
      only the 300f2.8GVR2 , the 400mm f2.8G VR2 and the 200mm f2 VR2 or the 85mmf1.4G are good enough for the sensor but all other Nikon lenses are not good enough.

      • http://www.davidiam.com/ davidiam photo

        This is a ridiculous statement.

      • groucher

        That’s odd. To my first-hand knowledge, the 24mm f2.8 Ais, 50mm f2.8 Ais Pancake, 180mm f2.8D, 300mm F4 and even the 40+ year old Nikkor H 28 mm f3.5 out-resolve the D800 sensor. In their central potions, these lenses even out-resolve the Nikon 1 V1, the pixel pitch of which is only about half that of the D800.

      • http://z7photo.com/ Csaba

        “almost no Nikon lenses are good enough for the D800E sensor.”

        There goes the coach photographer of the day. May we see your portfolio sir? :D

        The 16-35 F/4, the cheap 50mm F/1.8 G and 85mm F/1.8G are all good on the d800. Hell, even the 24-120 F/4 is great throughout the focal range at F/5.6. In fact, at F/5.6 it tends to be too sharp for portraiture work.

      • orpickaname

        “… but all other Nikon lenses are not good enough.”

        Holy crap! You saved me the $17,899 that I was going to spend on the new 800/5.6!!!

      • neversink

        Really… No other lenses are good enough. Funny, I use the Nikon 24 f/1.4 on it, the 24-70, the 14-24, the 17-35, the 500, the 70-200 as well a some of the ones you mentioned, plus some older Ai lenses. You are totally nuts jk. Are you sure your name isn’t formally robert?

  • Mansgame

    And here lies the problem with buying third party lenses – aside from their values dropping like a rock. Nikon doesn’t give away any secrets and they always have little secret stuff in their lenses for products that may or may not come out later. Sigma and Tamron have to reverse engineer everything. Sure they’ll have a firmware update now days, but what about your older lenses?

    As much as I hate admitting it (because I’ll never get over the D600′s oil and dust issues), unless you’re getting an 17-50mm f/2.8 lens where the price difference is 100% with the Nikon equivalent, it’s better to stick with Nikon.

  • Allan Smith

    And why would anyone want to use a sigma glass on a top end Nikon body?

    • jk

      most of Nikon primes are worse than Sigma’s or Zeiss’
      I now use mostly third party primes on my D800E.

      the 58mm , the 35mm , the 24mm f1.4G are all poor low quality lenses , the Sigma 35mm , Zeiss 25mm and Zeiss Otus kill them all.

      • Allan Smith

        Somehow I doubt that rather broad statement. However, I only really shoot with long lenses, 300 – 800 and you will be extremely hard pressed to find better glass.

        • Nope

          Plenty better long glass than the Sigma 300-800mm.
          It’s a long way from being awful, but top draw it isn’t.

          • Degsy

            I read it as he shoots with Nikon glass with primes between 300/800

            • Allan Smith

              Indeed. I only shoot Nikon.

        • neversink

          And I only shoot with Nikon glass from 14mm to 600mm on my Nikon bodies.
          Had a supposedly great Sigma lens. Blah! AF problems galore and failure. Soft IQ….
          Art lenses only sound good because of the name “Art.” People are not so simple as to be fooled by a second-rate lens company which puts out lenses under the brand called “Art.”

    • Richards

      Perhaps you don’t know Sigma ART series. Sigma ART 35/1.4 blows away Nikon 35/1.4 nano into small pieces with a lot cheaper pricetag.

      • AM

        For how long? Until it stops working? Until it requires a FW upgrade?

  • tengris

    In a few years we have the 30th anniversary of that war of camera manufacturers against their customers. Minolta started it in 1986 or so. Since then a lot of efforts ran into the creation of firmware that locks out Sigma lenses from Canon, Nikon and Pentax cameras. I don’t know whether Sony still contributes to that race started by Minolta. Besides the fact that patent infringement is a crime and after 3 decades their should be ways to stop it, it’s also a war of camera manufacturers against their custumers. Nobody would buy a Sigma lens with Nikon mount if he/she wouldn’t have bought a Nikon camera first. Nobody with a Nikon camera would buy a Sigma lens if there would be a competitive Nikkor lens for a reasonable price. Some poeple mentioned the Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4. Well twice the price for a lower quality Nikkor is not what we want. That makes firmware upgrades for lenses the lesser evil.

    And well, Nikon engineers, if you are bored at work, I may provide you a little tasklist that gives your lives some sense again.

    • whisky

      it would also appear few people care for that 15MP x3 Dx sized Foveon DSLR which Sigma builds. perhaps the flip side is if Sigma innovated and iterated “reasonably priced” cameras with features people actually wanted, they wouldn’t need to poach other camera makers customers.

      • tengris

        Of course using Sigma cameras would be a proper way both to use Sigma lenses and not to leave the “original manufacturer” path. The problem is that you have to dig through the boulder to find the nuggets in the Sigma lineup and there’s no second source at all. So well, there are some Sigma lenses Niikon can’t comptete with at the moment, but there are many more the other way round. So using a Sigma camera is more of a problem than a solution.

    • Me

      >In a few years we have the 30th anniversary of that war of camera manufacturers against their customers.

      Ummmm…. what?

  • jk

    Nikon seems really looking some fight, stupid business.

  • Ethan

    Sigma should reconsider their policy. This kind of problem has never occured for mirrorless camera. Sigma should reduce a support for f-mount lenses and more focus on m4/3, Fuji XF, or Sony FE instead. Even though I’m using Nikon FX, nobody can deny that mirrorless system is the future.

  • Kevin

    Well this type of problem is not uncommon for 3rd party vendors. If sigma wants to create lenses for other companies, they will need to do all the testing on it.

  • Johnny

    I love and use Nikon, but, they will loose to Canon, beacuse of those things, A LOT of people that i know is changing to canon and the rest uses Sigma lens. they have to see that not everyone can buy nikon glass, and Canon offers the same thing BUT it will work with “cheaper glass”. I was gonig to buy the d5300 but i’m not going to, gonna put some more money and go for the 70d, i’m not going to be able to use my sigma lens anyway, why not go to Canon?

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