How a Sigma Art lens messed up my Ferrari photo shoot

Mar 6, 2018

Steffen Jahn

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How a Sigma Art lens messed up my Ferrari photo shoot

Mar 6, 2018

Steffen Jahn

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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My name is Steffen Jahn, I´m a seasoned car photographer based in Germany. With over 20 years in business and all the famous manufacturers like Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes and Audi on my client list, I have a basic understanding what professional car-photography is all about.

I recently got the chance to shoot the Ferrari 488 Pista – a 2018 Geneva Motorshow novelty – secretly at Ferraris headquarter in Maranello / Italy for British Top Gear magazine.

The Nikon D850 was my camera of choice. I took the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art lens with me that I purchased 2 months before. It offered excellent quality images on other assignments and I simply loved its build quality and feel. So it seemed to be a perfect match for this shoot under time pressure. The editor asked for 12+ high-end shots in a timeframe of less than 6 hours.

Arriving at 8pm to Ferrari’s showroom the car showed up in all of its beauty and I started my shoot. As I wanted to avoid all the ugly reflections from the showroom in the cars glossy body, I worked my way around the 488 with my Elinchrom 400 battery flash, light-painting the car in multiple exposures. When checking my shots in Capture One (as I always shoot tethered), I realized that the car was jumping up and down in the frame.

At first, I blamed it on the shaky wooden floor that seemed to move, I took great care to not come near the camera when doing the next exposure round. Still, the images were not consistent – although my carbon fibre Gitzo tripod and Arca D4 head had proven rock solid in all other shoots before.

So while being under horrible time pressure I´d try to figure out what is messing up my production – but in the end, I kept shooting, convinced I´d somehow had to solve that problem later via Photoshop / Photomerge function.

A few days later I had a chat with SIGMA service personnel, and they explained to me that even when switching the stabilization (OS) to off, it does not mean that it’s really off. The stabilization element is kept in its position by a magnetic field. Whenever the camera goes to sleep – the element moves down. After waking up the camera, it takes a moment to reposition itself to the proper position. And it’s even doing it during exposures!

In a 5 sec light painting exposure – the car is tack sharp in the rear – while blurry on the front when the OS element moved. In the professional world, where you need to rely on every single shot, this strange behaviour of a lens could kill THE magic image.

Sigma Germany was checking my lens, reloading its OS-firmware, but when testing the lens on a massive FOBA studio stand, it shows the same jumpy behaviour.

So my lens went instantly to eBay – and I only can advise photographers who need to rely on consistent results – stay away from SIGMA Art lenses with OS as far as you can.

About the Author

Steffen Jahn is a Stuttgart, Germany based photographer who spends his time travelling the world capturing images in the jungles of Thailand, on Arctic test tracks and in a Los Angeles studio. His clients include Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche, and more. You can find out more about Steffen on his website and follow his work on Behance and Instagram. Images used with permission.

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131 responses to “How a Sigma Art lens messed up my Ferrari photo shoot”

  1. Michael Dow Avatar
    Michael Dow

    Dang, that’s terrible!

  2. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    good article

  3. Paul Monaghan Avatar
    Paul Monaghan

    I wonder if turning off sleep mode could have helped solve the issue by keeping power to the ois elements?

    I know Pentax gives you the option to disable sleep mode including the meters and such but I don’t shoot Nikon.

    1. Jayson Carey Avatar
      Jayson Carey

      I had the same thought. This sounds like user error.

      1. Steffen Jahn Avatar
        Steffen Jahn

        Read the article: OS was obviously turned off. I´m not a noob nor an idiot.

        1. mikerofoto Avatar
          mikerofoto

          obviously you had forgotten the OS turned ON, that’s what happen shooting on a tripod with VR or OS turned ON, blame that mistake on you!

        2. Luis Fonseca Avatar
          Luis Fonseca

          Read the reply. He wrote “turning off sleep mode” not turning off OS.
          Thankfully Pentax turns off SR automatically when using the bulb mode, remote control shutter release, self-timer, or wireless strobe.

        3. Paul Monaghan Avatar
          Paul Monaghan

          I was simply wondering if the camera is dropping power to the OIS element in the lens due to default power saving settings and if simply disabling them could have solve the issue or if its something more.

  4. Alexander Meas Avatar
    Alexander Meas

    Good to know

  5. Hidenori Inagaki Avatar
    Hidenori Inagaki

    This kind of remind me why some of photographer deliberately maintain non imagestablization lens for some of shoot purpose that does not requires image stabilization. And this just confirm some of whisper going around with people who has been doing certain commercial shoot.

    It is still great to see some of example why some of us need to avoid using image stabilization lens.

    1. BlueBomberTurbo Avatar
      BlueBomberTurbo

      Or you can just disable the power saver time out. It’s a DSLR, not mirrorless, so leaving it on won’t kill the battery anytime soon.

  6. Viggo Næss Avatar
    Viggo Næss

    Crazy….

  7. Alan Amos Avatar
    Alan Amos

    Ian Towers one to read

  8. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    so basically if you do like Sigma Art dont buy the image stabilized ones because they are inconsistent… cool… i do love prime lenses too.

  9. Batman Avatar
    Batman

    Some professional :))).. shooting with a zoom lens with OS :)) .. dude, I don’t know how all those companies gave you work! This is the lamest article I’ve ever read, it sounds as if Nikon paid you to write some bullshit about Sigma, so people called “professionals” to start buying again the giga-mega-expensive Nikon lenses. How lame can you be, to go shoot a car with such a lens, and with only ONE lens ? Sounds like an amateur to me!!!

    1. Jerry Milton Avatar
      Jerry Milton

      As if the pros don’t shoot w/ zoom OS lenses day in and day out . Sounds like you own stock in the crap that is Sigma .

    2. Jospeh Broham Avatar
      Jospeh Broham

      The hell is wrong with a zoom lens with OS?

  10. Jyi Offer Avatar
    Jyi Offer

    For a pro shooter, why would you risk your reputation to save a couple of $ on a cheap lens?

    1. Brian Stalter Avatar
      Brian Stalter

      Because it hasn’t let him down before. I can’t image the ART lens is really considered cheap.

    2. Henry Rodgers Avatar
      Henry Rodgers

      Unless you’re going Otus, or medium format, you’re not doing better in terms of image quality than the art line (24-70 excluded)

    3. Ian Towers Avatar
      Ian Towers

      Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art is excellent

    4. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      I wouldn’t call a $900 lens all that cheap, really. :)

    5. Jyi Offer Avatar
      Jyi Offer

      I would! ?

  11. Dimitris Servis Avatar
    Dimitris Servis

    You must be kidding… 24-105 for professional photoshoot? Never seen IS elements floating in the viewfinder before? I bet the next up will be “professional car photoshoot with iPhone X”

    1. Zos Xavius Avatar
      Zos Xavius

      Yeah. no pros use the Goldilocks 24-105 .nope. none. please.

      1. Jerry Turnbow Avatar
        Jerry Turnbow

        I don’t think the issue is the 24-105 lens. I love that lens. To me the issue is that he went to a major photoshoot with ONE lens. What if he had dropped it putting it on, or any other of a number of things that could go wrong? Wouldn’t you have an alternative with you?

        He went to Ferrari. With. One. Lens.

        1. cbenci Avatar
          cbenci

          Agreed.

          Never go to any paying shoot with one of anything! Body, lens, flash, cards, tripod etc.

    2. Ian Towers Avatar
      Ian Towers

      Can’t compare the two can you, nothing wrong with sigma art lenses !!!!!

    3. James Chou Avatar
      James Chou

      Not sure what is wrong using a 24-105? I do a lot of studio work with Canon 24-105 L. No client ever had issues with my end product.

  12. Henry Rodgers Avatar
    Henry Rodgers

    Tough way to learn that bit of information.

  13. Jeffery Kordsmeier Avatar
    Jeffery Kordsmeier

    If you need precision and accuracy why choose an “art” lens?

    1. Ian Towers Avatar
      Ian Towers

      Why not 50mm fantastic (lens snobbery one thinks)

  14. Adolfo Rozenfeld Avatar
    Adolfo Rozenfeld

    You got a Ferrari shot and it didn’t cross your mind to shoot medium format and used a long range zoom lens?

    1. Jerry Milton Avatar
      Jerry Milton

      Unless he was shooting FILM, there is absolutely no reason to use a medium format in this situation.

      1. BlueBomberTurbo Avatar
        BlueBomberTurbo

        Resolution? Dynamic range? Color accuracy?

        1. Cube948 Avatar
          Cube948

          None of which are an issue for multiple exposure, light painted images that end up in a magazine…

      2. Luka Gorjup Avatar
        Luka Gorjup

        Don’t you just love the internet and all the wisdom out there? :)

    2. Briceson Hill Avatar
      Briceson Hill

      Medium format for a Magazine print? It’s not a fucking billboard.

  15. Neil van Niekerk Avatar
    Neil van Niekerk

    Yikes … this is bad news.

  16. Michael Stevens Avatar
    Michael Stevens

    That’s why you don’t buy off-brand glass, right?

    1. Nick McClure Avatar
      Nick McClure

      I don’t think that is the actual moral of the story. I think the moral here is know the limitations of your gear before walking into a high stakes shoot, and bring backup gear in case something goes wrong.

  17. Jake O'Donnell Avatar
    Jake O’Donnell

    He actually messed up his Ferrari shoot.

    1. David Harpe Avatar
      David Harpe

      Absolutely.

  18. David Harpe Avatar
    David Harpe

    It’s a $900 lens with 19 elements in 14 groups – and you’re doing a commercial shoot of a high value car with it? Sorry that’s not the fault of the lens…

    1. n1x0n Avatar
      n1x0n

      The value of the car has nothing to do with the equipment choice, it all depends on the assignment budget. That’s how business works.
      Even if we disregard the fact, that this lens/camera combo is way beyond what’s needed for magazine article in terms of quality.
      And yes, this OS glitch is absolutely a lens fault.

      1. David Harpe Avatar
        David Harpe

        The OS glitch is an issue with the lens, but the lede on the article and the whole spin in the text is wrong. The shooter screwed up this gig, plain and simple, and blaming the lens is just lame.
        Regardless of the budget you select gear that will get the job done, that’s how SUCCESSFUL business works. It also means when you see an issue while you’re shooting you don’t just blow it off and say you’ll fix it later using photomerge (!).
        He saw the problem – on site – and he didn’t take appropriate steps to rectify the situation while it was happening. The lens acted in an unexpected way and he KNEW it WHILE it was going on and he did nothing to cover himself. Gear can have issues – either through design defect or otherwise. That’s why a professional always brings backups, always fixes issues when they occur, always covers their shoot so they get the job done.
        I’m sorry I think it’s just wholly unprofessional to publish an article like this with this type of headline on a high traffic web site so that anyone who searches for “Sigma Art Lens” is going to see it with “messed up my Ferrari shoot”. He messed up his Ferrari shoot, no one else. He didn’t do his job, plain and simple.

  19. Dan Watson Avatar
    Dan Watson

    In body image stabilization can also mess things up and no lens can fix it. Filming in the back of a bumpy truck can move the sensor even with Ibis off and I wonder if it might still move during multiple long exposures. Stabilization is one of those things that’s awesome for 99% of uses but can be horrible for that other 1%. I certainly wouldn’t have picked that lens for this shoot but I absolutely wouldn’t fault the photographer for this issue.

  20. mikerofoto Avatar
    mikerofoto

    really, blaming a lens because you shoot on a tripod with OS turn ON, wow, why is this review not deleted yet?

    1. Jayson Carey Avatar
      Jayson Carey

      He turned it off, read the article.

      1. mikerofoto Avatar
        mikerofoto

        I did that mistake at least twice, and that’s what happen when you shoot on tripod with VR ON. never blamed the lens for my mistake.

        1. Leonardo DaVincci Avatar
          Leonardo DaVincci

          Dude, I hear you. I did that once for long exposure 10-stop ND seascapes, and couldn’t figure it out at first, but then I eventually had my ah-ha moment. No problem after that.

          BUT IF YOU READ THE ARTICLE, he says, even with OS turned off, it was doing it. So that’s a mystery, until Sigma confirmed that the OS element will still shift slightly even when it’s turned off.

          The only thing I can blame him for is to not realize it sooner, and to not bring more than that lens to switch out.

  21. Liam Broome Avatar
    Liam Broome

    He gets the problem when getting long exposures so jutst don’t shoot long exposures with that lens I imagine it’s sharp every other time

  22. shecalledmejay Avatar
    shecalledmejay

    What Photographer shows up to a shoot of this scale with only one lens??

  23. Tariq Sheikh Avatar
    Tariq Sheikh

    I appreciate the article and warning on this Sigma lens. The design of the OS sounds terrible. For a professional shoot a 24-105mm f/4 sounds like a poor choice regardless. There is time in 6 hour shoot to switch between 2- 4 fixed length lenses with better optics. Crazy results from this shoot.

  24. Nick McClure Avatar
    Nick McClure

    I’m sorry what I read here is a case of somebody that wasn’t fully prepared for the shoot. I never go into a high stakes shoot with one body and one lens. If you notice during the shoot that something is wrong with a lens, you grab a different lens, and try it again.

  25. Adel M. Takash Avatar
    Adel M. Takash

    Fadi Shaban

  26. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    Going to a professional shoot with only one lens and no back-up? This is kind of … “unprofessional” to me actually. However, though I don’t know much about car photography, but isn’t that lens was specifically dedicated to portraiture in the first place? Didn’t you have the choice of simply turning on the stabilizer and shooting handheld to make it smoother (tethered or not)? Problems happen to photographers all the time and that’s normal, and I’m sure this one here is not the hardest or the lamest.

  27. Ian Towers Avatar
    Ian Towers

    I wouldn’t have used it l would have used a prime , l have the sigma 24 105 and it’s excellent if used for right situation

    1. Alan Amos Avatar
      Alan Amos

      I saw loads last year where students were doing long exposures on a tripod but not turning IS off. Piss poor.
      Blaming the lens is all well and good for an inferior OS but f2.8 or faster should have been the choice

    2. Ian Towers Avatar
      Ian Towers

      Bad workman and tools ??

  28. Dani Diamond Avatar
    Dani Diamond

    I question the authenticity of this article. Anyone with 20 years of experience with such Huge list of clients doesn’t show up to a shoot like this with gear they aren’t familiar without their regular go to gear as backup.

    And a zoom lens? C’mon. I don’t know much about shooting cars but I’m pretty sure that’s like doing one of my fashion shoots with a 16-35. Doable? Possibly. Would I show up to a shoot comparable to Ferrari with only that lens? Uh no.

  29. Bastien Santucci Avatar
    Bastien Santucci

    Never understand why shoot with a zoom for a 6 hours static shooting….

  30. Enrico Becker Avatar
    Enrico Becker

    This is a shoot for a prime lens not a 24-105…don’t get people who needs zooms for static shoots

  31. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Who takes a 24-120 to a shoot like that? Get some decent primes, or shoot handheld with is on.

  32. Jørgen Freim Avatar
    Jørgen Freim

    Stunning work from this guy. Good to know about this lens on tripod.

  33. Steffen Jahn Avatar
    Steffen Jahn

    Holy moly – ladies and gentlemen, I think I have to put some things straight here.
    1) With European airline regulations you can bring very limited hand luggage on board, so I´m not carrying my whole lens collection.
    2) Professional photography is all about efficiency – delivering exactly to the needs. So for a print-magazine a zoom-lens is perfectly ok. I would have shot it on a D5 – but the D850 was smaller and lighter. It was an editorial run-and-gun shoot – not a high class advertising shoot.
    3) Hypercars and concept cars are my daily business – I´m not peeing my pants nor getting crazy about the fact, that I´m allowed to touch a Ferrari. So I´m not bringing in my ALPA Max with the IQ3 100 just to do the horse and pony show and make a shoot more complex.
    4) During that night I had not the slightest clue what was the reason for these shifts of the frame. But I´m sure most of you would have straight found out the culprit at that point.
    5) Professional photography is about delivering every single time. Even if you run into trouble. The images are in print in the next Top Gear magazine. Mission accomplished.
    6) Some photographers spend their weekends in testing lenses and shooting test patterns. Some photographer use lenses and take pictures. Choose your appropriate approach.
    7) The camera and the lens is not the important factor of being a photographer at all. But this wisdom comes with age. So just wait for some more years ;)

    Cheers – Steffen ( the guy with only one lens but all the clients )

    1. tomsimone Avatar
      tomsimone

      Good points. I’d like see some of the other commenters post their portfolios!

      1. Steffen Jahn Avatar
        Steffen Jahn

        ;)

      2. Juha Bly Avatar
        Juha Bly

        Remeber, participating in a conversation does not require being an expert. Didn’t comment, just read some of them ?

        Here are some photos by my friend:

        https://www.flickr.com/andy_woods/albums/

    2. Miguel Cunha Avatar
      Miguel Cunha

      Did you bring any other lens beside the sigma to the shoot ?
      This is my only doubt at the moment…

      Maybe you didn’t manage to find the issue that was going one and pin it to the lens while shooting ? And in the time that you had you decide to carrie on and fix it in post ?

      The comments that I have seen so far in this post makes me belive that every single one of this persons never had a bad shoot. Or a bad day when every thing went completely bad, they must be all perfect !
      I have taken the time to explore your work and I must say you are a hell of a good dam car photographer !
      Shit happens you manage to save the shoot because it went on print so good for you.
      Thank you for sharing.

      1. Steffen Jahn Avatar
        Steffen Jahn

        Of course I had other lenses – but I never suspected the OS from the lens being the problem. Camerashake, floor, tripod, earthquake, software …. but not the lens.

        1. Miguel Cunha Avatar
          Miguel Cunha

          That is what I thought … Bad luck. Keep up the good work Cheers

      2. Steffen Jahn Avatar
        Steffen Jahn

        Oh – and thanks for the kind compliments !

      3. HDCTX Avatar
        HDCTX

        If he had a second identical lens as a backup, the shots would still be ruined. If the Sigma stabilization system doesn’t work for long exposures, why didn’t they tell us?

    3. Michael Palmer Avatar
      Michael Palmer

      Good article. Ignore the haters.

      1. Steffen Jahn Avatar
        Steffen Jahn

        I will for sure. ;)

    4. Nick McClure Avatar
      Nick McClure

      I’ve had plenty of bad shoots and things go wrong, but if I’m seeing oddities I start changing things out. Swap a lens, swap a body, swap both. Just to see if I can find the culprit.

    5. Peter Stout Avatar
      Peter Stout

      Honestly Steffen, a Sigma Art lens didn’t mess up your Ferrari photo shoot. I’d say this is a lesson learned on how the lens operates when the camera goes to sleep. This seems to be a very specific issue related to a very specific circumstance. I’m a bit surprised you’d sell a lens that you seemed to really enjoy based on this one circumstance. This must not be a very typical way for you to shoot as this is the first time you encountered it in over two months.

      It’s sad to see someone try to tarnish a product because of their own lack of understanding of its function.

      1. HDCTX Avatar
        HDCTX

        Sigma says lens stabilization isn’t off even when turned off, so yes, the lens messed up the shoot. Should he have carried a backup lens, yes, but that doesn’t mean the sigma lens design isn’t the issue.

        1. Peter Stout Avatar
          Peter Stout

          No, I think you are misinterpreting the author’s interpretation. When the OS switch is turned off, magnets hold the floating element in place. OS is off, the power to the lens is not. Now, you kill power to the lens when the camera goes into sleep mode, the power to the magnets are now cut off releasing the floating element, when the camera wakes up, it repowers the magnets, which then go back to holding the floating element in place. It appears it may not hold it in the exact same place as the previous position. You can call this a design flaw or not, it could’ve been deemed not cost effective for a very specific situation (tethered shooting, camera going to sleep on tripod w/ OS off).

          1. HDCTX Avatar
            HDCTX

            According to the author, the lens re-positioned itself in the middle of an exposure, ruining the shot. “In a 5 sec light painting exposure – the car is tack sharp in the rear – while blurry on the front when the OS element moved.”
            To me, a lens which moves elements during an exposure is a serious flaw.
            Astrophotographers were really excited about Sigma’s new wide angle lenses.How do you think they will feel if Sigma lenses have stabilization flaws which ruins long exposures?
            And for those pointing out that the author should have had a back up lens, what if he had a second copy of the same lens as a backup? His shots would still be ruined.

          2. Peter Stout Avatar
            Peter Stout

            That part does not make sense to me. I’d rather let Sigma explain themselves than this guy’s regurgitation. This is the first time I’ve ever heard a complaint that the lens was floating during long exposures. No astrophotographer is shooting with a zoom f/4 lens. They will be reaching for the 14mm, f/1.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, or the 20mm f/1.4. And, astrophotographers cameras are always on, they do not go to sleep. Personally, I would disable that function anyway if I were to shoot tethered shots.

          3. HDCTX Avatar
            HDCTX

            I wasn’t suggesting this lens for astro, just questioning how sigma’s stabilization works. Most likely sigma will issue guidance telling long exposure shooters not to use sleep mode.

        2. Robert Mynard Avatar
          Robert Mynard

          None of Sigma’s “Astro” lenses, either the 20mm of the 24mm f/1.4 are stabilized so there wont be that problem.

  34. HDCTX Avatar
    HDCTX

    A better question Peter, is whether other manufacturers lenses with stabilization suffer from the same flaw, i.e., element movement during long exposures. Do Canon or Nikon lenses suffer from this flaw? If this flaw is by design, Sigma has a duty to inform their customers.

    1. Robert Mynard Avatar
      Robert Mynard

      All image stabilized lenses will do the same thing here, their stabilizers will all turn off during the sleep mode and will all still need to move back to position (even when IS is turned off) when waking.

  35. Whatdoyknow Avatar
    Whatdoyknow

    Unless it is a thing with NIKON that the camera goes to sleep within 5 sec.??? Every camera stays on while it is operating!!! No matter what your settings are for going to sleep. That only applies for when the camera has NOT been operated for that particular period that you have set it for. Even then when the camera goes to sleep you have to take another photo. The process is finished and the camera is ready for another photo. My camera only goes to sleep after 1min. minimum. Never heard of within 5 sec? Come on! I have tried the same thing with my camera and with the OS on , yes its slightly blurry. And that was with a time of 30sec. With OS of and a time of 30 sec. PIN sharp over the entire frame. Something else happened there. And the weird thing is that its only the front of the car that’s out of, lets say “focus” and not the rear. When OS goes on or off the entire picture shifts not only part of it.
    People are much to quick to criticize for my liking, instead of looking for the real cause.

  36. Will McGregor Avatar
    Will McGregor

    Is this just an article bragging about your gear?

    Even your reply is a brag.

    Why did you have to name your tripod and head brands?
    “I’m not bringing my alpa max with the iq3 100”

    “I would have brought a D5 but the D850 was lighter”
    I would also like to see this ebay listing with your lens that you immediately put on there? I’m sure it will disclose the litany or issues you were having with it?

    1. sikaheimo Avatar
      sikaheimo

      “Why did you have to name your tripod and head brands?”

      Alpa Max is a medium format camera and the IQ3 100 a PhaseOne digital back for it. A camera system that is significantly slower to work with than the DSLR used for the shoot.

      1. Will mcgregor Avatar
        Will mcgregor

        I’m aware, did you think I thought an iq3 was a tripod or head? I didn’t.

        I was commenting on the fact he drops brand names like crazy in the article and then In his reply proceeds to do the same for literally no reason. They don’t bring anything to the article, or explain anything.

        In an article (that is pretty stupid) being nothing more than “stop using all sigma art lenses with OS” because he has one particular issue with one particular lens we are supposed to take his word on so he warns to not use any of the lenses at all.

        Which is stupid.

        For literally no reason he tells us he owns gitzo tripods, heads, FOBA stands, a D5, a d850, a medium format camera, phase one back, elinchrom lighting.

        ALL of which wasn’t relevant WHATSOEVER.

        It’s a stupid article just to talk about his gear, as was his stupid reply

  • Richarddd Avatar
    Richarddd

    I will never understand why there are guys who literally piss and sh*t in their pants when they see a Ferrari or Lamborghini or any of those Fast and Furious cars :D Thanks God I don’t have those genes. Good article, btw.

    1. Steffen Jahn Avatar
      Steffen Jahn

      Thanks Sir !

  • Aquilax Avatar
    Aquilax

    Why not stick to Nikon lenses with your nikon body…

  • James Chou Avatar
    James Chou

    Good lesson and all part of being in the business. I learned long ago never to use any lighting technique/camera/lens combination unless it has already been tested several times before I do a job.

  • Doug Mungavin Avatar
    Doug Mungavin

    Thanks for the article and info, I had no idea about this when it comes to sigma art lenses. I have both the 50mm & 85mm which I use mainly for portraits, not as critical as this situation here. But good to know about these lenses none the less.

  • SumNika. Avatar
    SumNika.

    Steffen. First let me say, I love your work. But I don’t get it, when you write an online article, you should expect some kind of CC, criticism, or comments. For people saying “why not bring a second lens”, they are “haters”? and you go into this pissing contest about all the expensive gears you have and all the cars you touched without peeing in your pants, and I love the whole Me Tarzen Me “with only one lens but all the clients”? I expected more from you, as a Professional Photographer. As a professional myself shooting multi-million homes, I don’t pee in my pants either when I touched a $100,000 fireplace, I always have 3 lenses, 2 bodies, in my backpack along with some underwear that I haven’t pee on when I see a LaFerrari, P1, or F40 in the garage. I also take criticisms from my peers and clients, because if I showed them my work, I want to listen to what they have to say, and if they have opinions, they are not haters, because I opened myself up to their criticism.

  • Maximilien Charlier Avatar
    Maximilien Charlier

    I was thinking that a professional photographer always have a backup body and lens in is bag. Think to grab an another lens and body the next time :)

  • Ryan Opaz Avatar
    Ryan Opaz

    Defective lens and you sell it on ebay? Passing problems onto others? Wtf.

    1. Steffen Jahn Avatar
      Steffen Jahn

      OK – you missed the point. The lens is perfectly ok – its just serviced by SIGMA and they told this is how the SIGMA-OS is working. This behaviour is with every single OS-fitted SIGMA lens.

      1. Whatdoyknow Avatar
        Whatdoyknow

        Strange that I do not have that same problem. My OS when turned off, it does NOT move. I shoot for 30 sec and my pictures are pin sharp. I don’t know who you spoke to but I am seriously beginning to wonder! What is the point off switching OS off when it is still inclined to move?? Crap I say.

  • Tronn Hansen Avatar
    Tronn Hansen

    A pro who uses a cheapo zoom when shooting for Ferrarri; that does not compute at all.

    The PC-E series would have been my choice on Nikon, for full creative control.

  • Harold1966 Avatar
    Harold1966

    So the Sigma ART OS elements move on (half) press and needs some time to (re)position from a ‘parking position’. With OS switched off, it has to do the same. When the C2 (standby timer in Nikon Menu) is set to 6 (default) seconds, the element drops after 6 seconds? Even if the exposure time is set longer/Bulp? Or as you say within a 5 second exposure where you light paint. Which would be very bad since that would mean it even ‘switches off’ independent of the metering ‘standby timer’ time. By which it would be impossible to ‘cure’ this by setting C2 to 30mins or ‘no limit’ (longest possible settings).

  • Eric McCormick Avatar
    Eric McCormick

    If doing a shots like this, not sure why you even use a zoom lense. All IS does this to some extent. Fault is in the user, not the lense. I say fault is in the user not knowing his gear and going on a high end shots carrying one lense.

  • Attila Avatar
    Attila

    I’m highly surprised that a professional photographer with 10 years of experience is even looking at the Sigma lenses.. Sigma is a piece of cr@p (in the word of professionals), it’s not a professional tool and the word “art” means nothing and has nothing to do with the meaning of art whatsoever.

    1. Liam Avatar
      Liam

      …I agree with much of your sentiment, these ‘Art’ lenses have kept Sigma out of bankruptcy since being introduced but by no means do Sigma products have a pedigree of fine optical & mechanical performance, in fact they have always been marketed as a less expensive alternative to the camera makers optics.

    2. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmid Avatar
      John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmid

      Yeah, man. That 135,, 1.8 and the 85mm 1.8? TOTAL pieces of crap. Utterly not worth any pro’s time.

      Thanks for admitting you’ve never shot Sigma and are completely unfamiliar with their products.

    3. Whatdoyknow Avatar
      Whatdoyknow

      Attila the Hun I suppose?

  • K5TRX Avatar
    K5TRX

    Stefan, I am sorry for your bad experience but I am surprised it took 20 years to happen.
    When I shoot professionally I always take an extra camera body and several lenses. Yes, I have paid the fee to have my camera bag as an added carry on. It takes one time like this to know how much it is worth it.
    I am also surprised you would use a 24-105mm f/4 lens for a pro car shoot. The new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2 is literally twice the resolution on my D850. Why put a 20MP resolution lens on a 45MP body? For a car or portrait shoot, I would pair my d850 with the new Sigma 85mm 1.4 prime. Compare the test results on dxomark or any of the review websites or any of the review website and it really is that huge of a difference.
    One final thing is to never try out a new lens and body combination for the first time on a professional photo shoot. Test it, calibrate it, and learn it at home before you leave. We are paying for your expertise not your learning curve.
    If you believe things happen to you they will keep happening to you. If you claim responsibility then you can be in control the next time.

  • Luis Fonseca Avatar
    Luis Fonseca

    Hi, everyone is criticizing the lens and the photographer but I have a doubt.
    What I understand from Sigma explanation is that if the camera goes off the moving optical element will rest and will take some time to resume its position when the camera is turn on again.
    I never used OS lenses since I use a Pentax but won’t this happen with every OS lenses? I know that the same happens with Pentax SR and that is one reason why Pentax cameras usually take a little longer to wake up and that why they have a symbol in the viewfinder to show us that SR is ready.
    Are you sure that the same won’t happen with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM or a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E ED VR?

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Doesn’t happen with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8VR. Off means off. It’s locked in position when it’s turned off.

      1. Luis Fonseca Avatar
        Luis Fonseca

        I reread the original text and still don’t understand what happened. He says:

        “The stabilization element is kept in its position by a magnetic field.” – I guess that’s true with all stabilization solutions either in the lens or the sensor and that there are no mechanical locks. Too complicated, too heavy, too prone to failure.

        “Whenever the camera goes to sleep – the element moves down.” – This makes sense to me. If the camera goes to sleep there in no use in wasting battery.

        What doesn’t make sense to me is Sigma’s response: The camera went to sleep during a 5 second (long) exposure. How is that possible?

        Harold1966 said “The moving element dropped during this 5 second exposure, because the electromagnetic mechanism switched off.” – OK, this I understand but, if true, it is really dumb from Sigma not thinking in long exposures.

        Unless is the camera that gives the instruction (as Harold1966 suggested with “Problem is easily solved if it’s C2 in the Nikon menu,standby timer”) but then it should happen with all OS/VR lenses. And that would be dumb from Nikon and you said it doesn’t happen with the 70-200.

        This is strange but I’m glad that this can’t happen with my Pentax (the camera won’t shut the electromagnets off during a exposure – unless the battery is dying but that would be my fault)

  • Harold1966 Avatar
    Harold1966

    There are a lot of misconceptions in the comments.
    1. This did occur during 5 second exposures.
    2. Single flash was fired multiple times during the single exposure.
    3. OS was switched off.
    4. Sigma OS switched off, still uses the OS electromagnetic mechanism to position the moving element in it’s default place, the middle. In rest/pause/sleep it isn’t in the middle somehow…
    5. The moving element dropped during this 5 second exposure, because the electromagnetic mechanism switched off.
    That’s bad news if it’s the lens that does this. Problem is easily solved if it’s C2 in the Nikon menu,standby timer (the time the exposure metering stays active before ‘going to sleep’. Something he could have tested and written about.

    If someone with a Sigma Art lens and a Nikon could test that, we would learn more.