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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93

    problem with sigma 400mm 5.6 prime lens

    I was woundering if anyone has ran into this problem i have older sigma 400mm prime auto focus lens. I bought a 1.4 SIGMA telecoverter to use on the lens i read in the chart that it would work but only on manual so i said ok so i put the thing on and it worked fine but when i took the teleconverter off and put the 400mm on and switch on the Autofocus on i started to get this strange grinding noise and now the thing will not auto focus right but works in manual and sticks. It has made me upset to think that i follow directions and the thing screws up my lens. Woundering if anyone has had this problem or any other problems with this lens and its gears.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Thumbs down T/C Issues

    This is not the first time I have heard of this SIGMA lenses getting chewed up by the SONY camera body. The problem is that unlike earlier Minolta "A" bodies, the sheer torque created by the camera's focus drive motor literally shatters the internal PLASTIC focusing gears of the lens, itself. It was a design for a different amount of drive power.

    Case in point is the SIGMA (or Quantaray) 70-300mm f/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens. Several owners of this lens have lost the autofocusing of this lens to this compatibility issue, as the gear teeth were literally notched out from the force of the drive. Fortunately, the cost has not been that extraordinary and more often than not, the lens was considered throw away, at $150 replacement with a TAMRON AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD.

    The repair of your particular lens, though, could be quite expensive, because not only are they not made any more, but I truly suspect that SIGMA may not stock the spare parts to repair it.

    I would make some phone calls, if I were you ... and see if you can round up a broken SIGMA 400 f/5.6 on ebay for possible parts salvage.

    This is truly a shame if it is broken as you say. A possible lower cost and contemporary replacement would be the SONY 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM, which not only snappy, but delivers a dandy looking image.

    P/S refrain from using T/Cs ... I have never seen one improve an image.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-29-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93
    So your saying the lens is trashed you wouldn't even send it into sigma repair?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Eric,

    here is a similar episode (<- click on this) that played out here, a couple years ago.

    Personally, I would take the time to get a repair QUOTE, for your best bang for the buck, then invest the repair costs into the SONY 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM and enjoy some real quality and flexibility that uses the electric drive from the camera, not the body's screw drive. It is quiet and quick.

    Arguably, if you a planning taking images on a consistent basis, this lens is the one I normally carry, along with the SIGMA AF 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX IF HSM and the SIGMA AF 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG EX. Between the three, you have most bases covered with decent glass.

    I mean, practically speaking, let's say you get the lens "fixed" ... and this failure happens again, say a year later? Good money after bad? Admittedly, you used the T/C and it may have done your lens in, but to me, it is the sheer "unreliability" you have already witnessed that is troubling. In my online experience, over the past five years, almost every forum I have been on has a report of this particular problem with certain SIGMA lenses on SONY camera bodies.

    You might say "they are geared up" for it now, but the older stuff ... not so much.

    If and when you get the lens opened for service, have them photograph the contents they find inside of it and just see if this is not the case. I suspect it will look just as described ... broken gear teeth.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-29-2011 at 08:09 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93
    So what your saying is stay away from sigma altogether and putting any older lenses on newer digitals because they just torc out the gears. I get the picture.ThanKs Don

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb SIGMA ... it is all in the age

    No, I am not saying that. Eric. The older SIGMA lenses were designed for a different kind of focus drive source. The Minolta cameras had LESS torque to the lens. Putting them on the higher-torque SONY's could be asking for trouble.

    The newer SIGMA lenses have been re-designed for this problem ... and that's how I suggest you roll. My personal issues with SIGMA dated back to anything under $500 and earlier than 2008. They have made some improvements ... and the reduced number of returns is quite indicative of that.

    Bottom line, older SIGMA is a roll of the dice. I hope that clears it up.

    Not every lens made a clean migration to SONY. In fact, I still have a rare Ozunon AF 70-210mm f/4.5 lens that works just fine on my Minolta 7000 and Minolta 9000 bodies, but does not work on any SONY body I have had. The point where the screw drive blade meets the focus drive on the lens ... you know, that slot in the lens. It is actually too narrow to meet up and lock, so the camera's screw drive just noisily spins away against it, when the lens is cleanly mounted, and the focus does not work. It's like using a #2 Phillips head screw driver on a #1 Phillips screw. No good ... and an awful racket, to be sure.

    I apologize if I sounded like a SIGMA-basher. I used to be ... but, they have definitely improved their product, where it comes to SONY, and it is what I now use for most of my stuff. I would say that is a significant change in posture. If you take a moment and check my gear list, you will note that I have four (4) significant SIGMA lenses, and a variety of others. Most of my SONY manufactured glass is prime lenses, of which only a few other manufacturers even make these lenses, but then again, most of the third parties are represented in my collection.

    I invite the other members to relate their experiences, too ... to get a true feel to this unfortunate issue of yours. I hardly want to be the only canary in the coal mine.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-29-2011 at 09:12 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93
    Thanks Don for the info on the old and new . I will have to see if they can fix this if not i'm eyeing one at a Camera store near me the same 400mm but a much newer model .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Red face Still ...

    Based on my experience and a little friendly advice, you really cannot go wrong checking out the SONY 70-400. Because it is an internal focus (IF) zoom lens, it's all of of 360mm @ 5-ft and 400mm f/5.6 at 29-ft ... and a whole lot more.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-29-2011 at 11:08 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,758
    check the driver on back of the flange..sometimes they dont push back out and will make a grind noise when not fully engaged...the are spring loaded to push in while you attach the lens..try twisting lens in mount a bit too

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    93
    Thanks Don i would but i'm kinda broke do to back problems so money is a issue or i would have looked else where in lenes .I do like my 400mm but the older model is the problem it looks like can you maybe tell me where i could find model numbers of models that do work right so i don't make the same mistake. Like i said there is one i am looking at at the local camera store and It is a newer model. I also checked the flange and it is not sticking. I wish that solved my problems . Thanks for the tip.

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