Views from above


I had the opportunity to join a few Soldiers from the COP on their jaunt up to OP (Observation Point) 2.  It is a small hilltop near the COP which provides a great view of the surrounding valley.  I like to think I am in pretty good shape, but that 600 meters or so up that hill was a lot harder than I thought it should be!  Coming down the goat trail in the loose gravel wasn’t that fun either.  But I enjoyed the time at the top.

I am not pleased with the pictures, but they are all I have.  I am having a lot of trouble with my camera – I should clarify – with my lens.  I bought a Sigma lens, despite the warnings from a lot of people to avoid 3rd party lenses.   I normally shoot with a Nikkor 28-300mm, but the Afghan environment was taking it’s toll and I didn’t want to have to replace it when I get home.  I thought I would buy a less expensive lens that I could use while here.  Good theory, however it has not worked out.  The Sigma lens started acting up within a month.  I contacted the folks (Adorama) I bought it from & unfortunately they backed away from the problem as quickly as they could – it has been more than 30 days, contact the manufacturer – never mind it took 2 weeks to get it here.  Their 30 day clock started the day they shipped.  I can’t really blame them, but still…I have not received a response from Sigma. I will definitely never buy another Sigma lens.

In the meantime, I continue to use the lens, but it is getting worse and over the last 2 days I have lost as many pictures as I have taken due to this crappy lens.  Once I get back to Apache it will go back in the box and I will deal with it when I get home.

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9 responses »

  1. Mark says:

    Your shutter speed is too slow on many of these (1/50th) – the landscape shots. This in turn is causing your aperture to stop down too far (f20, f29) which is giving you diffraction in your jpegs and making the dust bunnies on your sensor show up more prominently..

    Make sure to follow the 1/focal length rule for your shutter speed – at a minimum 1/1.5xfocal length is better. if you look at the image of the soldier firing his weapon, the shutter speed is 1/500th and the image is in much better focus.

    Give that a try before throwing in the towel. I’m not a huge fan of the Sigma’s myself, but quite honestly any super zoom, regardless of manufacturer is going to suffer.

    • danbohmer says:

      Thanks for the tips, but the problem I am having is the lens is not listening to the camera. I didn’t change settings. It is getting worse every day. It goes from not shooting at all to shooting completely black to completely white to everything in between, no matter what I set the camera to do. I lost over half the shots I took yesterday. I switched back to my Nikkor lens last week to ensure it wasn’t the camera & I had no issues. I kick myself for not bringing a second lens with me to Mizan!

  2. Mark says:

    Could be dirty contacts – on either the camera or lens, or another issue causing lack of contact, including warped lens mount. You can try cleaning them with a pencil eraser – or see if those maintaining the computer equipment or the armorer has any electrical contact cleaner. The nikkor may be a tighter fit and making better contact. Given your situation though, sticking with the nikon, which you know works isn’t a bad idea.

    Without the Sigma is 28 the widest lens that you have with you? If so, shoot me an email (it’s attached to my comment and I presume you can see it) with your APO. I have an older Nikon 18-70 collecting dust I can donate to the cause.

    If you get a spare moment, you should also consider sending Sigma USA http://www.sigmaphoto.com/contactus an email explaining your dilemna. If you catch the right support staff who recognizes your situation and service, they might expedite a replacement – can’t hurt.

  3. Ben says:

    Sir I writing you here bc AKO is too slow with this internet. I’m in one of the buildings near the Gym and would like to meet up with you when you have a chance. You already have my gmail account info I believe.

  4. […] amazing box from a kind soul in Illinois.  Mark had read me whining about my crappy Sigma lens (here & here) I had bought, so he sent me a lens for my camera.  The box also included many books […]

  5. […] Sigma Saga I have written a few times in the past (here, here, here and here) about the crappy Sigma lens I have and the poor customer service I received from Sigma […]

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