1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Nikon D3300 & Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DS OS HSM images not sharp

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by giddyypixie, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. giddyypixie

    giddyypixie New Member

    Good morning everybody

    First time posting (hopefully I have posted this in the right place!). I recently bought a second-hand Sigma 17-50mm F3.8 EX DS OS HSM for my Nikon D3300 to upgrade from the kit lens (PS> I am an amateur!).

    I used it for the first time yesterday and I must admit that I was a little disappointed with the images once I got home and put them on the PC (they looked pretty good on the screen but I know that can be deceptive!). I was shooting using the viewfinder, not live view btw. Also, shooting in aperture priority, still a bit nervous of going full manual!

    I recently upgraded my Nikon onto the V1.1 firmware.

    I did some searching around the forums and I couldn't find a definitive answer that would help me so I wanted to upload some pictures from yesterday as well as some test ones that I have just taken - http://www.amateurphotographer.co.u...50mm-f2-8-ex-ds-os-hsm-images-not-sharp.1995/

    Is it me rather than the lens (quite possible)? Or am I expecting too much? In someone's more professional opinion, are these normal and what I should be expecting?

    Is it a problem with the lens maybe? Any further tests I can do to find out? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The pictures definitely look below par but these are very small image files. We'd need to see full sized files to start making sensible comments. I do know from personal experience that Sigma quality control is not always the best. A 17-35mm full frame Sigma I had was horrendously decentred yet the 28-300mm lens I have (also full frame) is surprisingly sharp. My first reaction would be to return this particular specimen as faulty.
  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The pictures of the test chart actually look pretty sharp, the others it is not easy to ascertain.

    Firstly do you have the OS activated on the lens? Secondly what camera quality and processing settings are you using? Thirdly, what aperture settings are you using? Fourthly, unless you have aggressive sharpening set in-camera digital images do require some post processing in an image editing programme to extract the best from them. It is also possible you have a below-par lens.

    Incidentally if you use the camera on a tripod the OS should be deactivated.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The charts look underexposed but OK. The landscapes look OK for sharpness as far as I can tell though they could do with some contrast tweaking and the exposures are a bit off. There is no EXIF data and you reduced the images to 800x800 for display here (that's good! ... but) it doesn't tell us what it is that you are seeing on your screen. With budget lenses you have to be aware that they might not be as sharp wide-open or fully stopped down as they are in the middle of their aperture range and with zooms the sharpness might not be equal at all focal lengths.
  5. giddyypixie

    giddyypixie New Member

    Thank you for your responses everyone. I have created a Photobucket account and uploaded images to there so hopefully the quality is better - http://s349.photobucket.com/user/giddyypixie/library.

    Nimbus - Yes, I have the OS & AF on when shooting. I use a Nikon D3300 so only entry level, no post processing on the images - these are straight from the camera.

    I also added a calibration (very crude home made at that!) - I don't know if his provides any insight? To me it looks like it's focusing more at +10? However, i don't have AF-fine tune on this camera body so it may be that this lens just doesn't work with my body or it has been damaged at some point in it's life?
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Sorry cannot see those - my screen gets filled with ads.
  7. giddyypixie

    giddyypixie New Member

    Sorry Pete, not sure why that is! Have created a Flickr account instead, hopefully that is better - https://flic.kr/s/aHskwj4nAn
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    They (the 4 landscapes) look nice and sharp to me on my ipad. I'll put them up on the monitor later but I'm struggling to see what the problem is!
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I've looked on the monitor now. They look fine to me. I left some comments on Flickr. There is a bit of softness at the edge of the frame evident at 100% view but that is to be expected with a wide-angle zoom. The Canon 17-40 L, which at one time seemed to be the only lens in use if you picked up a landscape photography magazine, is a lot softer at the edges. There are dangers in pixel peeping at 100% view - it is useful for checking focus and to see if the image is sharp in the middle (assuming that is the point of focus) but you will see differences between the centre and the edge of the frame even with lenses costing 3 times the Sigma price.
    giddyypixie likes this.
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I have just had a quick look at the Flickr samples and they seem ok. The last one looks a bit softer but the weather was hazy, which does reduce definition. Admittedly Flickr does I believe do some automatic sharpening, but it needs a reasonable basis.
    giddyypixie likes this.
  11. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Just to echo the above comments I would not expect much better from an image reduced to 800 pixels across. For example I took a very quick shot of a chart and reduced it similarly . That's from an image that is bitingly sharp at full resolution.
    IMG_6154  800.JPG
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    giddyypixie likes this.
  12. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think the Flickr processing (and artefacts therefrom) is assciated with its own downsizing-for-view. If you choose view all sizes, and then the original, I beleive you get what's actually there. That's why it is better to downsize yourself, post the result to Flickr and link to the original when sharing.
    giddyypixie likes this.
  13. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    The pictures on flickr look fine to me - even at full size. Judging from these pictures I'd say the Sigma is doing it's job.
    giddyypixie likes this.
  14. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    The shots look fine to me. There is one of the charts which looks a bit softer at the bottom but I think this is because the camera may not be exactly square on to the wall and the aperture is f2.8.
    giddyypixie likes this.
  15. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Are you using autofocus, and are you sure the camera is autofocusing with that lens?

    I recently upgraded the firmware of my D800 (Version 1.11, to make it compatible with AF-P lenses), and was very concerned to find that my Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM and Sigma 8-16 mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM would no longer autofocus on that camera. However, my 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A still functioned properly.

    The good news is that when I contacted Sigma, they offered to upgrade the firmware of the lenses without charge. The even better news for me is that I live fairly close to Sigma’s UK base at Welwyn Garden City, and they can carry out the updating while you wait, so I was out of the house for less than 1½ hours, and now have autofocus restored to my lenses.

    giddyypixie likes this.
  16. giddyypixie

    giddyypixie New Member

    Thanks Chris, that's very helpful. I am going to try and contact Sigma to see if they will be able to adjust the lens. Hopefully that will resolve any issues but from comments above I think it might be more me being fussy than a problem with the lens!
  17. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Possibly. A while ago I sold a lens on Ebay, the buyer complained that it was not focusing accurately at close distances, it was actually the lens I had used to photograph my Ebay items for a long period, all those pictures were sharp. I accepted return, at my expense, when the lens came back I checked it, no problems. A bit of delving showed a large number of items bought and subsequently sold on, or returned as sellers had relisted them.
  18. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    It’ll be very easy to check whether your lens is autofocusing; just point the camera at something close, activate autofocus by half-pressing the shutter button, and listen for an “acquisition of focus”, and watch through the viewfinder to see whether focus has been acquired. Then turn to something distant, and watch for any change.

  19. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Rather assumes that th sounds are turned on, first thing I do with any new camera is turn the noises off.
  20. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Absolutely - who needs a beep!

Share This Page