Canon mount Sigma 14/3.5
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dbyers
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 157
Country: United States

I spent a rainy Sunday digging through my all too substantial collection of old gear and ran across a lens I completely forgot I had, a Sigma 14mm 3.5. Out of curiosity I put it on my 5DII and it focused fine, although slowly and noisily, but I got an error message when I tripped the shutter. I wasn't surprised and didn't expect it to work on a modern body but when I googled the lens, several reviews came back saying it was ONLY compatible with film bodies. Now, if my admittedly poor memory serves me, I bought the lens to use on an early digital camera (DCS 1 or a 1D) in an effort to bring a somewhat wide view to a cropped camera. If that's the case, these reviews can't be correct but since I no longer have either of the old digital war horses I have no way to confirm my theory. With that in mind, I turn to wide experience base of FM, wondering if any of you have experience with this lens and might know if it's truly film only or is compatible with older digital bodies like the 1D?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?



EB-1
Registered: Jan 09, 2003
Total Posts: 22256
Country: United States

Was the controller chip ever replaced? The old Sigma lenses drew too much current when the lens stops down.

EBH



dbyers
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 157
Country: United States

No, it's stock. That makes sense and I'm sure it's too late to have any modifications done on it. I honestly don't remember why I retired the lens; it works fine and is in good shape. All I remember is how much it bugged me that the front element was so big and easily exposed to fingers prints and whatnot.



dbyers
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 157
Country: United States

Forgot I had an old D30 (not 30D, confused?) tucked away and sure enough the lens works as expected on that body. Maybe that's the one I bought it for, can't remember. But I'm thinking if it works on the 30D it ought to work on an original 1D as well. Still, I wish I had my old body to confirm it. Very interesting that the amount of current a lens draws could mean the end of its useful service life when it is otherwise good to go.



Snopchenko
Registered: May 19, 2010
Total Posts: 2098
Country: Russia

Should work on anything up to D60 and original 1D, methinks. It was succeeded by the f/2.8 HSM version (I have one of these) around '99.



wimg
Registered: May 09, 2006
Total Posts: 143
Country: Netherlands

dbyers wrote:
Forgot I had an old D30 (not 30D, confused?) tucked away and sure enough the lens works as expected on that body. Maybe that's the one I bought it for, can't remember. But I'm thinking if it works on the 30D it ought to work on an original 1D as well. Still, I wish I had my old body to confirm it. Very interesting that the amount of current a lens draws could mean the end of its useful service life when it is otherwise good to go.

There actually was a current problem with the 40D the first year and a bit of its existence. Using an 85L would give tremendous problems. 8-12 shots on a fresh battery, and the camera would shut down. Remove battery, insert again, a few more shots, until after a total of 40 shots or so it would give up completely.

Next use any other lens, no chimping, easily another 4000 shots.... (I know, because I tried )

This was fixed with a firmware upgrade .

Kind regards, Wim



James Markus
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 4368
Country: United States

dbyers,
I tried getting another Sigma lens made compatible - or "re-chipped". A Sigma tech told me on the phone that Sigma has never Re-chipped a single lens. The old lenses use a ROM memory chip and can not be re-programmed. Newer lenses use a different type memory and can be reprogrammed. If yours focuses...well that is part of it, next try shooting wide open - it may work that way, but not stopped down. If yours has a manual f-ring you maybe can use it in manual mode. Good luck!



EB-1
Registered: Jan 09, 2003
Total Posts: 22256
Country: United States

I don't recall that "re-chipped" was meant to be anything other than a replacement of a chip. If it were a program change in EEPROM (firmware) then we would be saying flashed.

EBH



Ian.Dobinson
Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Total Posts: 11542
Country: United Kingdom

James Markus wrote:
dbyers,
I tried getting another Sigma lens made compatible - or "re-chipped". A Sigma tech told me on the phone that Sigma has never Re-chipped a single lens. The old lenses use a ROM memory chip and can not be re-programmed. Newer lenses use a different type memory and can be reprogrammed. If yours focuses...well that is part of it, next try shooting wide open - it may work that way, but not stopped down. If yours has a manual f-ring you maybe can use it in manual mode. Good luck!


I dont think the 'tech' knew what he was talking about. I have a 300/4 HSM that like the OP's lens only works wide open (which is not such a problem at f4 on a tele) and contacted Sigma UK and was told they STILL rechip some lenses if they have chips available. even gave me a price of 48 + vat .



Snopchenko
Registered: May 19, 2010
Total Posts: 2098
Country: Russia

Ian, you'd better do that before they run out of spares. At least your lens can be helped (I've heard that non-HSM lenses are a no go by definition).



James Markus
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 4368
Country: United States

Ian, I thought the same thing until the Sigma people that answer the phone in New York put me through to the repair techs. I wrote about it a few months ago on the alternative gear board....title is "MYTH.... Something or other" After the call I wrote this here...

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1028983/0?keyword=sigma,300mm#lastmessage

Just got off the phone with Sigma New York. Turns out that Sigma has never "re-chipped" any of it's lenses. Prior to 2001 Sigma used ROM (Read Only Memory) chips in it's lens. After that, it used programmable chips so that they could re-program lenses that had become incompatible with newer camera bodies...primarily Canon camera bodies.

I had heard that the UK did "re-chip" lenses too, but could not find anyone from Sigma in the UK willing to do it. I also have the 300mm HSM, but have found a work around. If you do manage to find someone in the UK willing to crack your lens open and replace the original manufacturer's chip with one compatible with Canon's more modern bodies - please let me know. BTW....it was the Sigma tech that call the "re-chipping" a myth. He asked me...."does it sound reasonable that Sigma would take apart a perfectly good older lens and replace the chip for free, because it doesn't work with a modern dslr" ...I had to reply...when you put it that way - I guess it doesn't sound reasonable.. To be clear...I was willing to pay...but the rumor or myth is that Sigma does this for free.



Ian.Dobinson
Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Total Posts: 11542
Country: United Kingdom

I dont know, maybe the re chipping is just a reprogram. As to wether they would do it for free out of their own kindness . Well maybe not out of kindness but to keep future buyers it does make sense to do. The deal with sigma uk was that if you could prove it was your lens bought from new then they would do it free , if not they would do it for a charge. Let's face it sigma (like the others) reverse engineer the EF mount so when things change they don't know about it until it happens. So there would have been a time around change over that someones nice new lens suddenly became unusable. And if they did not remedy the situation would you buy another sigma lens (probably not) .

It's not just lenses, Around the time of the 5D2 canon changed the flash coms which left alot of 3rd party flashes unusable on newer canon bodies. Sunpak in particular had lots of isssues and had to take back flashes and fix. Maybe that's why Metz heads are USB upgradable.

Anyway as to getting my lens sorted. I'm not sure Ill bother . It's going to cost me the best part of a 100 . And as I now have a 100-400 I'll just keep the 300/4 as a play thing.

James what's your workaround?



James Markus
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 4368
Country: United States

Ian, If you read the link I posted...you will see my work around don't get your hopes up...it ain't pretty. Anyway, if things slow down here enough I want to try two other ideas I have. I just wanted to see if a reduced aperture would get me to the level of sharpness I demand. I think my 300mm still may meet that standard - whereas my 400mm apo did not, and it now has a new home somewhere in Korea.



Ian.Dobinson
Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Total Posts: 11542
Country: United Kingdom

Oh wow james thats some workaround
You can also mount it on a cheap film body and set an fstop then while holding the DOF button unmount it. that way the apature stays in the closed position and wont change when mounted on the digital body. you only get one shot which will error and you have to unmount and mount again (sometimes you can just swith the body off/on) . its slow but does work . also makes AF a little bit of a pain in anything other than bright light (probably no worse than your work around anyway)
Its not a bad lens, just that my 100-400 is better.
I may call sigma UK again and see what the situation is. Maybe the market for a working one will be better. although if you want a 300/4 then the canon non IS would be my choice.



James Markus
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 4368
Country: United States

Well, I can always use my Nikon 300mm AFS f4 with an AF confirm adapter. Actually works really well...just have to manually focus and wait for the beep... I just didn't want to spend another 1-2k on another 300mm lens & and to get AF on the Canon side of things.



Fr3d
Registered: Nov 29, 2008
Total Posts: 292
Country: Germany

If you tape the pins you can still snap pics at f/3.5 otherwise it's a lost cause as in "it won't work on a dslr" sigma is not offering rechiping for this old glas



dbyers
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 157
Country: United States

Thanks for all the info gentlemen. I know the lens works as expected on my D30 and have access to a 40D and XS, XSi and T2i. I think I'll play around and see if it works on any of those. I would expect it to work on the 40D, I guess we'll see.

I really have no use for this lens and almost threw it after I found it. I decided I'd clean it up and see if anyone would be interested in it, it's in great condition. There are a few on eBay but I really don't have any idea what it would be worth considering the chip/program issue. Ideas?



James Markus
Registered: Jul 20, 2005
Total Posts: 4368
Country: United States

dbyers, I have the f2.8 version of your lens. Sorry if I helped get your thread off track. Here is some info that you may find useful.

Three current listings on ebay
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIGMA-AF-14MM-F3-5-WIDE-14-3-5-LENS-MOUNT-EX-/330651622518?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4cfc5f5c76

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIGMA-AF-14mm-F-3-5-Ultra-Wide-Angle-Lens-/120811908256?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item1c20f36ca0

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-D60-Camera-Body-Sigma-AF-14mm-f-3-5-/380391745569?pt=Digital_Cameras&hash=item58911d6821

Auctions that were completed in the last 30 days got these results

There was a nikon mount one with 55 bids that sold for $355
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sigma-14-mm-F-3-5-Fisheye-Lens-Nikon-/230705261101?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item35b71aea2d

Another Nikon mount one that got 21 bids and went for $226
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sigma-14-mm-F-3-5-Lens-Nikon-mount-/320799399588?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item4ab1225ea4

A Canon mount one with an initial bid of $299 that got no bids before it ended
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sigma-14-mm-F-3-5-Lens-/140633420039?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item20be67b107



Ian.Dobinson
Registered: Feb 18, 2007
Total Posts: 11542
Country: United Kingdom

dbyers wrote:
Thanks for all the info gentlemen. I know the lens works as expected on my D30 and have access to a 40D and XS, XSi and T2i. I think I'll play around and see if it works on any of those. I would expect it to work on the 40D, I guess we'll see.

It won't. It's not going to work on any of those. I think the watershed point is the 10D(I may be wrong) So any of those bodies would be out.
I would guess at the bodies that would work are D30( as already proved) , 1D, 1Ds , and possibly the D60


I really have no use for this lens and almost threw it after I found it. I decided I'd clean it up and see if anyone would be interested in it, it's in great condition. There are a few on eBay but I really don't have any idea what it would be worth considering the chip/program issue. Ideas?



dbyers
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 157
Country: United States

Ian, testing today confirmed your thoughts regarding the 40D and XS. I honestly didn't expect the lens to function properly paired with either body but I wasn't going to take it as fact without doing my research. The good news is the lens functioned flawlessly on a 1D MKII which means it should have decent resale value as there are still quite a few of those bodies in service.



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