Sigma 70 -300mm zoom macro

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dagwood56, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :blushing: I feel stupid asking this, but I can't figure out what the problem is unless the lens is broken...

    It was a beautiful day today so I decided to try out my husband's Sigma lens and get some bird shots in the back yard. First, I do not have experience using a lens larger than a 70-210, and since I chose to use his 70-300zoom macro hand held, I expected the shots to posibbly be blurred from camera shake as I'm not real steady on my feet - But that really wasn't the problem. Getting the thing to focus on something was the problem!

    I tried it using apeture pri., shutter pri., program mode, and it would not focus on anything clearly. The birds I tried to get were in the tree and I assumed the lens was trying to focus on the branches, but when I tired to focus on the branch by the bird, the lens still wouldn't focus clearly. Naturally, the first thing i double checked, was to see that it was set to normal and not macro mode. I set the camera to manual mode, but what I thought was the focusing ring on the lens wouldn't budge. I looked for a button on the lens and saw only the one for normal & macro.

    I tried changing focal lengths and tried focusing at 70mm, 100mm, 135mm and 300mm and it would not lock focus on anything! I was about 10 or more feet away from everything I aimed at and the minimum focusing distance of this lens is supposed to be 5 feet! I tried aiming at a bird on the ground thinking the lens was trying to focus on the sky --- it still would not lock focus.

    I tried using this lens several months ago to photograph a great blue heron which landed at my neighbors duck pond, which is quite a distance away and it didn't focus then either and i thought it was me....maybe it is, but I'm seriously thinking my husband might have dropped this lens at one time [he's broken three others] and thats why it won't focus.

    The only other thought I had, was perhaps because its a longer focal length and more powerful lens, my unsteadiness is causing the focusing problem.....but I have no problem with my 70-210. The other thing I noticed was my camera battery - the charge was almost gone, but when i put my 35-70 lens back on the camera, the battery listed as being fully charged. :confused:

    Any thoughts? Oh yeah - I'm using a Sony A100. And since the lens would not lock focus there are no photos to post.
     
  2. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

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    That lens should have an AF/MF switch as well as the MACRO/NORMAL. If you do not switch the AF to MF it will be hard to turn.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    the AF/MF button on that lens is way back at the base of the lens where it joins with the camera.
    My own experiences of the lens are that whilst it goes to 300mm its rather softer at that range so good lighting and stopping down to around f8 can really help and improve image quality (clearly for a fast shutter speed at f8 you need a good amount of lighting to shoot).
     
  4. wolf

    wolf TPF Noob!

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    I'm not familiar with your camera, but you may also want to check whether the camera has a similar switch. You may need to check both the AF/MF switch on the lens and the AF/MF switch on the camera body.
     
  5. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have that lens and it's sitting in my camera bag collecting dust. Last time I used it was to photograph butterflies. I also have problems with it focusing and it does get annoying. Sometimes IF I use this lens I focus manually as close as I can than focus on the subject. Sometimes that does the trick. If I don't do that it just searches and searches for something to focus on.
     
  6. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the input. I'm glad its not just me. My husband admitted this morning that he didn't use the lens very often either and when he did he used it on manual focus. He said he never really tried it on AF. I think I'll stick to my 70-210.

    WOLF - I did change the camera to manual yesterday.

    Overread - Thanks - IF, I try the lens again,now I'll know where to look for the AF\MF button and I guess i will have to try it in manual focus. Thanks.

    DRoberts - Thanks.
     
  7. hankejp

    hankejp TPF Noob!

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    Sometimes I have a problem with the lens trying to find its focus. I quickly focus on something else and then try again. Works fine then. I always use this lens.
     
  8. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the tip - but I did try that and it didn't work so well for me. :(
     

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