In Case You Weren’t Fully Aware of Just How Stupid I Am…
Waiting Kendo master next in line for his match -- 旧武徳殿 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on when used online)
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/80 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Kendo master next in line for his match

If you don't know me personally you may not have a good grasp of just how stupid I am, but today's story should fill you in plenty.

Online reviews for Sigma's new 50mm f/1.4 Art lens have been universal in praise for its quality without respect to price, made all the more amazing that its price is ¼ that of lenses of comparable quality. I've not had good luck with Sigma in years past (as reported here and here), but all the stellar reviews made me give them another try.

Yesterday I ordered it on Amazon Japan, and it arrived today just as I was about to head out to photograph some kendo (Japanese fencing). It wasn't the best focal length for the situation, but I used it here and there throughout the day.

Prior to loading photos into Lightroom I have to pre-process the files to fill in missing lens details that Lightroom doesn't let me edit after the fact, such as replacing the 0.0 mm f/0.0 that the camera puts for my favorite non-CPU lens with a more descriptive Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5. With the new 50mm lens, I wanted a full description so as to differentiate it from other 50mm lenses I might use, so I needed to update my pre-processing program to fill in something like Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM.

Updating my program to handle the new lens involves finding out exactly what data the camera writes for it, then mapping that to whatever I want to change.

It's at this point in the process (after ordering the lens the previous day, receiving it today, testing it, and then using it throughout the day) that I realized I'd ordered and received the 35mm version, not the 50mm version.


All 8 comments so far, oldest first...

2014 05 04, Burlington Ontario Canada 11:28 Eastern Daylight time

Aside from that small error in recognition Mr. Freidl, how was the performance of the lens? :>)

Jeffrey, we’ve all done similar. Suspect it is the continuing Sigma jinx that has done you in this time.

And as for that Bigma, maybe pass it on to somebody looking for a large paperweight?

I feel your stupidity havng been there, now we both need to sit down, pour ourselves a tall cold beer and simply veg…

— comment by Bryce Lee on May 5th, 2014 at 12:32am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

On the bright side, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 art lens is also fantastic. I have one in my bag, and love it. I’ll be interested to see what you think of the 50mm f/1.4. I am intrigued, but it has some pretty tough “bang for the buck” competition with the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G… unless you REALLY need that partial f/stop.

— comment by Josh on May 5th, 2014 at 3:24am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink


35mm is a better focal anyway. 50mm is boring, no matter how technically perfect the lens is.

Are you going to return it?

No, it was opened and used and was completely my mistake, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable to return it. I don’t have a 35mm lens anyway, so it’s probably for the best. (I have two other 50mm lenses already, Nikkor 1.4 and 1.2) —Jeffrey

— comment by Gustaf on May 5th, 2014 at 4:46am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

“In Case You Weren’t Fully Aware of Just How Stupid I Am…”

In case someone has any doubts left, I’d be happy to provide a testimonial!

ps – at first I thought you were insane to hand your siblings an opening like that. Then I realized that I spent all day thinking of so many possible responses that I was overwhelmed and couldn’t decide which to use. I almost didn’t post at all. Very clever!

Ah, but don’t forget that as my sister, I have stories going the other way as collateral, so I figured I’m safe. —Jeffy

— comment by Marcina on May 5th, 2014 at 10:41am JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

Butokuden, the oldest martial arts hall in Japan. My wife’s co-worker, a Kendo fan, told us about the place and asked that we bring back a souvenir. Getting the souvenir turned into a wonderful memory. I love the huge rock out front.

— comment by RBMann on May 5th, 2014 at 12:42pm JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

> It wasn’t the best focal length for the situation, but I used it here and there throughout the day.

The end of the story does make me curious. When I read the sentence, I though you meant that the 35mm might be more appropriate than 50mm to get foreground/background shots like shown.

Actually I can remember that I almost had the same (with Canon’s 24mm f/2.8 IS lens that has a 28mm twin introduced simultaneously).

Whatever focal length I had, I wished I had wider. Realizing now that I had a 35mm lens, I wish I’d actually brought the 24/1.4 —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter van den Hamer on May 5th, 2014 at 4:02pm JST (10 years ago) comment permalink

What program do you use to modify lens info?

I use a Perl script I wrote to inject the data into the raw files before I import them into Lightroom. I really wish Adobe would allow these kinds of updates from with Lightroom, but my pleading has been to no effect. )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Tudor ApMadoc on June 16th, 2014 at 5:47pm JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I don’t fully understand what you’re trying to do, but it sounds kind of similar to what this tool does:
I have been using this mostly to add propper info to my Mamiya 7 scans, so I don’t know how well it works on RAW files (or if it works at all, but since the author mentioned legacy lenses on m4/3, maybe it does) …

It ends up doing something similar, but some Exif fields that I want to be updated can’t be updated in Lightroom after the initial import. Also, there’s some danger in doing it within Lightroom because of the hoops Lightroom makes you go through… if you’re not careful, you can lose all your edits and updated metadata. For both reasons, I prefer to do it prior to import. —Jeffrey

— comment by Florian on February 23rd, 2015 at 12:26am JST (9 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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