Published August 28th 2013

My latest lens acquisitions

I bought a couple of great lenses used recently. Unfortunately one didn't work.

The Nikon 45mm f/2.8 is a dainty lens
I'm a lens man and can't deny that I have a bit of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) when it comes to glass. I browse the classifieds quite often and can't help pressing that buy button now and then.

Just this month I bought two new lenses: a Nikon 45mm f/2.8 pancake lens and a Sigma 8-16mm wideangle zoom.

The pancake is one heck of a cute lens: extremely small and flat (hence the name) and of very goo mechanical and optical quality. It was inexpensive. I paid about 150 US$ for it, and I see them running up to both 300 and even 500 sometimes. It was as new and works like a charm on all my Nikon bodies. It's a manual lens, meaning no autofocus, but I have no problems with that. I spent most of my photo career turning a focus ring, so I have no problems with that. it doesn't really do anything that I couldn't do with any of my existing lenses, but I always wanted one and now I have one.

The Sigma 8-16mm - or 12-16 in my case...
The other lens is a Sigma 8-16mm zoom. Now this was a lens I didn't know I wanted until I read about it. I have always loved my Sigma 10-20mm and have a bunch of Sigma lenses, which I'm very pleased with. So when this puppy appeared in a local used market, I contacted the seller. The lens wasn't exactly cheap, but from what I read about it, it was just what I wanted to replace my battered and worn out 10-20. So I paid, and the seller mailed the lens, which I picked up at the post office yesterday. It was as new and a very nice piece of glass indeed. Well built and compact, although not exactly lightweight.

I mounted it on my D5100, which was on the table right next to me and looked through the viewfinder. Nice! 16mm is a great wideangle on DX, and this darling can go down to 8, still being rectilinear. But unfortunately it couldn't... the zoom ring stopped half way - about the 12mm mark - and couldn't go all the way to 8mm. I inspected the lens but could see nothing wrong. I grabbed my D300s and tried. Same same. I fiddled and fondled the lens, but still the same... a 12-16mm rather than an 8-16. Bummer!

I contacted the seller, who had never experienced any problems, and I then started looking for other people having the same issue. And found none. So today I called the Danish Sigma distributor and asked them, and they want me to send the lens to them for service and repair. It might be covered by the warranty. All papers and receipts are there and the lens is just over a year old, so with a bit of luck it's a warranty repair. If not, I'll have to take it up with the seller and see what we can work out.

Too bad, because I was really looking forward to shooting with it - at 8mm!

Hooray for Sigma!

I turned the 8-16mm in for a repair with Tura Scandinavia, the Scandinavian distributor for Sigma, and within a week the lens returned with the repair note saying "Loose part removed, possible transport damage". And it was done on the warranty in spite of me having bought the lens used and it being more than a year old. I have only had good experiences with Sigma lenses and Sigma service, having them rechip a couple of my old Sigma lenses for Minolta for free many years ago, and this incident just further strengthens my fondness. I do like Sigma lenses.