Is Sigma Still in Business?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by john chapman, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. john chapman

    john chapman Guest

    I sent a lens in for repair 7 weeks ago. After hearing nothing for
    six weeks, I sent an email asking the status of the repair, but heard
    nothing. Today I have called the number listed on its web site
    (631-585-1144). No one answers and there is no recorded message!!!
    Even if the holiday is impacting this situation, I would at least
    expect a recorded message to that effect.
     
    john chapman, Dec 31, 2003
    #1
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  2. john chapman

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    A friend of mine sent a lens to Sigma and it took 6 months to return - they
    assured him, each time he called, that they had just completed the work on
    it and it was on the way home to him. Not answering their phone at all is
    probably kinder.
     
    Tony Spadaro, Dec 31, 2003
    #2
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  3. john chapman

    Jeremy Guest

    <Today I have called the number listed on its web site
    It's New Year's Eve, chap! They're getting sauced!
     
    Jeremy, Dec 31, 2003
    #3
  4. john chapman

    T P Guest


    Unfortunately, yes.
     
    T P, Dec 31, 2003
    #4
  5. john chapman

    Mark M Guest

    Not only are they in business, but clearly...
    ....it's business *as usual* at Sigma.
     
    Mark M, Dec 31, 2003
    #5
  6. john chapman

    john chapman Guest

    That doesn't explain the unanswered emails. I have seen a few posts
    about Sigma backing its products. But the serious 6 month delinquency
    described by the other poster, and my current experience, if they get
    well known can make a dent in Sigma's sales.
     
    john chapman, Dec 31, 2003
    #6
  7. john chapman

    john chapman Guest

    Well, unlike a number of shooters, I do not have a problem with Sigma
    lenses, at least most of the ones I have tried (my problems are with
    Tokina lenses). But this level of unresponsiveness by Sigma is a
    rather compelling reason why not to buy Sigma products. Regretably,
    Sigma is the most innovative manufacturer in the marketplace in terms
    of lens offerings; the new full frame 12-24 being a prime example.
     
    john chapman, Jan 1, 2004
    #7
  8. john chapman

    Mark M Guest

    I do give Sigma points for quantity of lenses on the market...
    But when it comes my personal choice in lenses, there is more to consider in
    terms of cost than just the lenses. One huge consideration is simply basic
    reliability. I expect my lenses to work--unless I drop them off a cliff (or
    other foolish mistake of my own making) I have personally witnessed two
    Sigma lenses coming apart in the hands of people--one of which was in the
    wilds of Alaska (and this was one incredibly unhappy guy...on "the trip of a
    lifetime"-his words-only to lose his ability to record it). Sigma's return
    policy doesn't help in places like these--even if they returned lenses in a
    single day. By the way...upon inspection of both these lenses, it was
    discovered that Sigma had literally held internal components together with
    TAPE. That's right...tape. -Like what you might have wrapped a holiday
    gift with.

    This is something I will not buy, even at a huge savings.
    I pay too much for vacations, trips, and other considerations to quibble
    over the "savings" I might gain via a lens that is FAR more likely to fail
    in the field.

    I understand that Sigma is helpful in terms of expense, when either the
    budget...or simply priorities but them beyond what one can spend, but I
    think people often forget that photographic expenses also include plane
    tickets, gasoline, time, and perhaps most of all...the expense of
    frustration and loss that comes with critical equipment failure. You've
    been six months without your lens. Meanwhile, I've been shooting 13 Canon
    lenses for 15 years, without a single hint of failure. Obviously I am only
    a tiny sample, but camera shops and repair service centers will similarly
    show that Sigma is woefully bad in terms of reliability.
     
    Mark M, Jan 2, 2004
    #8
  9. john chapman

    john chapman Guest

    Apparently others use tape as well. I remember some years ago reading
    about shooter who discovered his hi grade OEM from Minolta lens had
    used tape.

    I have repaired a Sigma 28-70/2.8 AFD in the field on a near once in a
    lifetime trip to Egypt. I had dropped the lens, and was able to get
    it functional again. Some screws (not tape) had pulled loose. I
    believed that the build quality was not great, but then at the time
    Nikon did not have a 28-70/2.8 in its line even if I had wanted to go
    that direction.

    While price is always a consideration, particularly with a low use
    lens such as a 14mm, I am also interested in zoom range and/or lens
    speed. Sigma produces lenses that no one else duplicates, such as the
    relatively new 20mm/1.8 , and 50-500. I do think that Sigma build
    quality levels are all over the place -- some seem well built
    (50-500), while others appear flimsy.

    In the case of this current 28-70/2.8 in for repair of CPU (works fine
    with film bodies, but metering/AF problems with digital SLRs D100 and
    Fuji S2), I fortunately have 3 other lenses in the same range. I am
    trying to decide which to keep, given their prices and performance. I
    had decided to sell the 28-70/2.8, but wanted it fully functional for
    the digital SLR bodies. Big mistake, should have just listed in ad
    with that caveat.

    Probably will keep super heavy super expensive Nikon 28-70/2.8 AFS,
    but new Tamron 28-70/2.8 is so small and light, and runs a very close
    second to Nikon in terms of performance. You have got to see it to
    believe it. I understand many photogs are dumping their heavy Nikon
    and Canon lenses in this range for the Tamron, given its stellar
    performance.

    One pays a price -- actually two prices -- with Canon and Nikon pro
    lenses in terms of dollars and very heavy weight. The payoff, at
    least with Nikons, is that they are very ruggedly built lenses.
    Center sharpness is about equal (give or take) to the best that Sigma,
    Tamron, etc. produce, but at the corners the Nikons are clearly
    better, which is the second payoff. The Nikons generally, but not
    always, do a bit better wide open both in resolution and contrast.

    Final thought is that the Sigmas and the like are very good for
    back-up purposes, particularly when going places where replacements or
    quick repair is just not possible (e.g., Viet Nam).
     
    john chapman, Jan 2, 2004
    #9
  10. john chapman

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Do you mean the 28-75 Tamron XR Di? I hadn't heard of it before but
    it's the closest I could find to your description just now. Weight is
    510 g, which I guess is a lot less than the Nikon.
     
    Paul Rubin, Jan 2, 2004
    #10
  11. john chapman

    T P Guest

    Of course the Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 is no such thing; it is not a
    constant aperture zoom, having a variable f/2.8-f/4.0 maximum
    aperture. Of course Sigma will be very pleased to know its customers
    cannot tell the difference, given that Sigma and its dealers are
    sometimes reticent in pointing out that such a difference exists.

    Nikon would never entertain such nonsense, and its 28-70mm f/2.8 is
    precisely what it says; it has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout
    the zoom range.

    The Nikon lens has great appeal to those who recognise the significant
    value of a constant maximum aperture. The Sigma lens appeals to those
    who think (wrongly) that they got an f/2.8 lens at a bargain price.
    Long may that remain so. There are far too many junk designs already.
    Potential buyers beware. Don't assume that the production line lens
    you buy will have the stellar performance of the hand-made example the
    manufacturer submitted to your favourite photography magazine for
    test. Don't assume that your favourite photography magazine can
    ignore the potential loss of advertising revenue that would result
    from a less than stellar test result. Don't assume that an
    inexpensive consumer zoom will retain its new performance after use or
    after being dropped.

    Test your lens; if it isn't up to standard, get a replacement or a
    refund. Test it periodically to ensure that its performance continues
    to live up to its standards when new.

    Top quality pro grade camera brand lenses are expensive for a number
    of reasons, some of which I have mentioned above. Those independent
    brand lenses that match the quality and performance of pro grade
    camera brand lenses tend to have price tags that are much closer to
    those of camera brand lenses than those of cheap consumer zooms.
    Examples include the Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 and 28-80mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro
    lenses which are both optically superb and extremely well made.
     
    T P, Jan 2, 2004
    #11
  12. I'm not here to defend Sigma, but to bury him.. (oops wait, that was
    Julius)...
    Anyway, parts of your automobile are held together with tape, or glue...
    Not to mention that the airliner that took you to Cancun has numerous parts
    stuck on with adhesives... Same for many electronic items on your home,
    those nice new windows you had installed in your house, and so on... The use
    of adhesives, tape, whatever, is not necessarily a sign of poor quaility -
    and in fact may be the only way to get the weight to strength ratio
    needed... But, fanatic cleanliness, surface prep, etc., must be maintained
    to get the performance these new adhesives offer... If that is not done,
    then falling apart in your hands is likely... Not good when it is a part on
    your F15 during a high G turn... Or your lens during a once in a lifetime
    trip...

    Denny
     
    Dennis O'Connor, Jan 2, 2004
    #12
  13. john chapman

    T P Guest


    It is a light and comparatively flimsy design.

    You cannot be sure that any inexpensive lens you buy will have the
    same performance as the hand-picked example that was sent to your
    favourite photo magazine for "testing" and "review", and neither can
    you be sure that it will continue to perform that way.

    With pro grade lenses you have a much greater degree of certainty that
    they will perform well, and continue to perform well. That's why they
    cost more than cheap plastic consumer junk.
     
    T P, Jan 2, 2004
    #13
  14. john chapman

    Alan Browne Guest

    One 'surface adhesive' an airborne product of mine used bonded to 10,000
    Lb per square inch. The planar antenna had a weight of about 20 ounces
    and a surface area of 182 square inches! Seems like overkill, but it
    was the only adhesive that met many other characteristics (temperature
    -55 .. 72C) , humidity, bonding to etched teflon, etc.) The adhesive
    sheets were stored at -30C.... An annual stock test (of 5 year old
    stock) had the strength of the adhesive down to 7,000 Lbs per square
    in... and that halted production... until the internal paperwork allowed
    the adhesive to have a tested strength of 100 Lb/square inch (and this
    worried people!). The company (I left there years ago) prob is still
    using that very expensive stock).

    Cheers,
    Alan.
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 2, 2004
    #14
  15. john chapman

    Skip M Guest

    Mark, there is tape, then there is tape. The side mirrors on my truck are
    held on with one screw and several pieces of double sided tape. Those
    mirrors have stayed attached for several bursts to 120 mph. Some adhesives,
    this tape in particular, are designed to withstand more than package tape
    is. Several new, very exotic, very fast cars are held together with
    adhesives, the Ferrari Enzo and the upcoming Mercedes SLR come to mind.
    Not to defend Sigma, 'though I own a couple of them, their lack of quality,
    especially in the lower line lenses, is indisputable.
     
    Skip M, Jan 2, 2004
    #15
  16. john chapman

    Skip M Guest

    Frankly Tony, no one can depend on the quality from one lens to another in a
    batch, the lens you buy that you swear by may be disappointing to me in the
    example I buy. The manager of our local camera store snagged me the other
    day to ask me if I was happy with the performance of my 28-135 IS. He had
    just tried one on his recently purchased 10D (he's been one of those fixed
    focal length or nothing kind of guys 'till now) and was very disappointed in
    its sharpness at the edges. And this was on a 1.6x sensor. When I told him
    that it was one of the best lenses in my bag, he went back and went through
    5 or 6 lenses until he found one that performed acceptably. And that's from
    a Canon that could hardly be called "cheap," if not exactly "top line"
    either.
     
    Skip M, Jan 2, 2004
    #16
  17. john chapman

    john chapman Guest

    It is not a flimsy design, and I have personally tested it using my
    standard resolution and live tests. It performs very well. It is not
    the rock (aka large lead weight)the Nikon version is, but part of the
    reason it is lighter is that it is smaller, is not AFS and takes 67mm
    filters.
     
    john chapman, Jan 2, 2004
    #17
  18. john chapman

    john chapman Guest

    Why do I have the feeling that you have no idea what you are talking
    about???

    Sigma has made many models of constant max aperture (not variable
    aperture) 28-70 f2.8 lenses, and has been making them for over 10
    years. Your ravings about their inexpensive variable aperture
    versions is not relevant to this discussion.

    I have owned, tested and used 4 Tokina 28-70/2.8 and 2.6-2.8? lenses
    and 2 of the 20-35/2.8 lenses. In terms of construction they were
    superb. Optically, they were mediocre and easily surpassed (in the
    case of the 28-70 models) by any of the comparable Sigmas I have
    owned. Anyone checking many discussion groups will find that there
    is a large group of shooters who also feel this way about Tokina
    lenses.

    If we could get Sigma optics with Tokina construction we would really
    have something good.
     
    john chapman, Jan 2, 2004
    #18
  19. john chapman

    Ed E. Guest

    And unlike even more, I had a good experience with their service. They
    shipped my lens the same day they received it for rechipping.
     
    Ed E., Jan 2, 2004
    #19
  20. john chapman

    Mark M Guest

    Of course. I know it's not "Scotch tape". :)
    But... Both lenses that came apart showed evidence that the tape had come
    loose.
    I'm not sure that this was responsible for the rings, etc. coming apart, but
    clearly the tape had failed.
    I understand about adhesives, and do indeed love my trusty duct tape (it's
    literally saved my skin before...repairing a blown coolant pipe while alone
    in deep winter snow with nobody nearer than 60 miles to help if stranded by
    an over-heated vehicle with no coolant).
    I recognise these things, certainly.
    But we're talking about Sigma here, who makes every possible effort to cut
    costs.
    Ferrari spares no expense, and one can drive without mirrors.
    I note that the extremely cheap (but excellent) Canon 50 1.8 uses no tape,
    so apparently there are other means to cheap, quality construction.
    I'm all for honest criticism, so I have no problem with voicing the "other
    side" of issues such as tape.
    :)
     
    Mark M, Jan 2, 2004
    #20
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