TPF Noob!
Dec 29, 2005
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Hello everyone.
I just had a question.
Anyone here who owns a SIGMA camera and lenses.
Your experiences?
Should I buy one?
Thank you.
Tough one to answer. Sigma are basically a lens manufacturer, and their lenses vary from poor to extremely good - I think it's basically a case of getting what you pay for. What specific lens/lenses were you looking at?

As for their cameras, as far as I can see they've been completely ignored by everyone, at least in the West. I'm not even sure where you can buy one. That doesn't mean they're no good however - from what I can see from the specs of the current range it looks like they give good value for money - they even have mirror lock-up, plus the shutter speed is controlled the way the gods intended it (with a proper shutter speed dial). However I'm looking at their 35mm cameras, you might be going for digital. Which Sigma camera are you interested in? One thing I would say is that if you buy a Sigma camera you'll be very limited in the range of lenses available - you'll only be able to use Sigma lenses, whereas if you went for a Canon, Nikon, Pentax etc, you could use the manufacturer's own lenses as well as Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar, Tamron etc.
I would suggest a Nikon N75 or Canon Rebel T2. They are the same price range as the Sigma. And both companies have a long history of film cameras. Nikon has announced they will stop most film camera production. But the company will still support them for a long while. Not sure what Canon is going to do. But the one advantage with Nikon is basically any lens made since early 70's would work on the N75. No autofocus using the manual lenses, but they will mount and work. Almost any nikon autofocus lens made or 3rd party Nikon mount autofocus will work with it. The only exception is a short lived af camera that had lenses specifically for it. Was not that popular. Canon you can use any AF lens they made or 3rd party made for Canon AF. You can not use old Canon manual lenses like you can with nikon. Your lens choices and accessorie choices will be much greater for either Nikon or Canon cameras. Also I believe Pentax still has a decent film camera available for a good price. That would be my third choice. Sigma film camera would be down the list. Just due to the availability of lenses and accessories associated with the bigger brands systems.

I will admit I am particular to Nikon film cameras and lenses. I do have a Canon Digital SLR though. :)
Forgive ben, he has 'list dyslexia' which makes him accidentally place Pentax below Nikon and Canon. :p

No offence intended ben (hoping list dyslexia doesn't really exist and you don't have it, or I'm going to feel really guilty) :)

Anyway he's absolutely right. Nikon, Canon, Pentax, even Minolta (I say 'even' because they've dropped out of the camera business) are indeed better choices when it comes to range of lenses and accessories. Go for Nikon or Canon and you won't have any trouble whatsoever finding lenses and accessories anywhere in the world. Go for Nikon or Pentax and you'll be able to pick up very good quality older lenses second-hand without having to worry about compatibility. Go for Minolta and you'll find a range of very good cameras, lenses and accessories that are now going for very little money, and the lenses will soon be supported by Sony's DSLRs. However as I mentioned earlier, Sigma cameras are virtually unheard-of, and I can't imagine many camera shops stocking their cameras or their lenses for their proprietary lens mount.

There are certainly some things about that camera that would make me consider buying it. From the reviews I've been able to find, the metering system is very good. I like the fact that the shutter speed is controlled by a dedicated shutter speed dial, which most companies have forgotten is exactly the way it should be (but unfortunately the lack of aperture rings on Sigma lenses means you can't control aperture in the traditional way too). And the mirror lock-up is something which sets it apart from everything else in its price range.
But... for the difficulty of finding the lenses and accessories, of getting support if something goes wrong, of finding anyone else in the world who has one... sorry, it's just not worth it. Not unless they can develop an adequate adapter for other lenses.
ZaphodB said:
Forgive ben, he has 'list dyslexia' which makes him accidentally place Pentax below Nikon and Canon. :p

At least you have Nikon before Canon!!!

Sorry to those who love Canon. :)
benhasajeep said:
At least you have Nikon before Canon!!!

Well, in the same way that Patton respected the Germans, I respect my arch-enemy (Nikon). :lol: They deserve credit for keeping the same lens mount for decades; the reason I prefer Pentax is they have done the same but are more within my price range. In fact if I was being honest I'd have to say my ideal camera is an FM3A... I can't believe I just said that. You drugged me, didn't you! Now I can never go home again. The shame! :(

Seriously Vera, don't buy the Sigma.
If you suck with a Sigma, you'll suck with a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc... If you are good with a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc..., you'll be good with the Sigma.

Generalizations about brand names gets the sales departments at Nikon and Canon all hot and bothered, but it's amazing how similar all consumer (particularly entry level) 35mm AF SLRs and lenses really are. Remember, Canon led the charge down the hill of quality with the first plastic lens mount, and Nikon doesn't even make their FM-10 camera (you used to be able to find identical cameras (except the lens mount) to the FM-10 with the brand labels Sigma, Vivitar, and Olympus).

Look for reviews from people who have actually used the gear. All brands make some crap gear, and some fantastic gear. You really have to evaluate it on an individual basis.
:confused: I never said Sigma suck, nor did I say you'll suck using one :confused: and I don't think anyone else did either. In fact I said that I personally really like the look of the camera from its specs - it's just that I think it'll be infinitely harder to find the lenses and accessories, when compared to other brands, especially when you could pick up the bits for those other brands new or used from pretty much anywhere, rather than having to order it all new from Sigma or find the one store that sells Sigma cameras in the country.

Also, I just don't see why you would want to be limited to lenses made by one company. Sigma make some extremely good lenses which will be available for that lens mount. That still doesn't mean you'll necessarily get the lens you want. Case in point: where is the fast 50mm prime here: ?
I really enjoy the discussion. Lots of usefull info and the
temperature seems to be rising !!!:)
I'll chuck a mindless opinion in here...

I handled one of those Sigmas a while ago for a friend who wanted to ask me what I thought of his "really good" camera. I wasn't terribly complimentary about it - it's plasticky, poorly made and plasticky. Needs saying twice cos it's the main "feel" I got for the camera - cheap and plastic.

There are literally thousands of bargains out there for camera bodies at the moment - digital has seen most amateurs sell their SLRs in exchange for ZLR digitals and compacts. I'd say to get yourself something which has future expansion potential to digital, like a Canon or Nikon, BUT which is better built.

As has been mentioned, Sigma make some great kit and some of their lenses are fantastic. They also make some plasticy crap, and I personally wouldn't go near their bodies. Remember that Sigma make lenses for all the major brands as well, so you could still buy the lenses from them, whilst taking advantage of a more robust durable body and a mount with a future potential to go digital.

ZaphodB said:
:confused: I never said Sigma suck, nor did I say you'll suck using one :confused: and I don't think anyone else did either.

Did I quote you? Was I talking to you? I didn't even read any of the posts other than the first one. I was responding directly to the person who asked the question with my personal opinion. I was talking about brand worship in general, and if you've never heard someone say "Sigma sucks, and Canon/Nikon rules!" then you're not getting out enough.

I never said any particular brand sucks over-all either. I said, to paraphrase, if the photographer is good, it doesn't matter what label is on their gear.
I have a few Sigma EX lenses and have never that a problem with image quality. But some of their lenses are not dumbly proof, broke one because I did not disengage the auto-focus before removing the lens from the camera.

If I recall correctly Sigma DSLR only write in RAW format
Woah, no offence intended! Sorry, I didn't mean to take what you said out of context, I thought you took what I said out of context... if you see what I mean. :)

I am getting out enough, thankyou for your concern :) But brand worship isn't a problem here, the problem is that for a Sigma camera with a dedicated Sigma mount lens the range of available lenses and accessories will be much more limited than with other brands. It will certainly be more difficult to find cheap used equipment, and also to sell it on later. That's what differentiates this camera from a Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus, or other cameras that use their mounts.

As you said you need to evaluate it on an individual basis, but Vera said she was interested in a Sigma 35mm SLR and the lenses for its special SA mount. Regardless of how good the camera is, by buying into the SA mount system you'll be limiting yourself to a range of lenses that, as far as I can see, doesn't include very many primes at all. You said it yourself; all consumer SLRs are very similar. Why then would you choose the SLR that is the most limiting in terms of available glass and accessories?

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