I bought a new lens last week. It was in the used market, and the deal was just too hard to resist. It was the not so new, Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN lens, not the new Art version, but the original first generation released about four years ago.
Why would I want a new lens, at an odd focal length of 19mm? I have always had the 35mm perspective in mind, and I wanted a lens just for that. I did not quite click with the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 version, and I was not happy with the slow autofocus speed of the older pancake version of Olympus 17mm F2.8 lens. No, that Panasonic 20mm F1.7 is even slower, though I do like the image output from that lens. I was left with not many choices left, and that Sigma 19mm F2.8, after going through some online reviews, looks promising. Focusing was reported to be fast and the lens performs considerably well optically. Yes, it is very close to Olympus 25mm F1.8, and even larger, but at a super low selling price, I thought why not give it a try?
Imagine, having a newly acquired lens in hand, with a mission to do a long, extensive shoot to compose a blog review for that Sigma 19mm F2.8 lens, I was fired up and fully enthusiastic on last Saturday morning. The enthusiasm lasted as long as the lens was still alive, which was about 30 minutes into my street shooting session. Unfortunately, the Sigma 19mm lens decided to die on me. IT DIED ON ME while I was shooting halfway, and the camera just refused to recognize the lens mounted on it. I brought two of my own Olympus cameras out: E-M10 Mark II and E-P5, both failed to recognize the lens. I then tried the Sigma 19mm on my friend's E-M1, and it did not work either. After half an hour of rubbing the electronic contacts and praying to the Photography God, I must have not done anything right at all as the lens still remained dead.
I figured, I could just give up and move on to the fully air conditioned nearest cinema to catch The Jungle Book, or put the Sigma lens away and substituted it with my faithful Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F1.8 which I did bring along, continued with the shutter therapy and then ended the day with The Jungle Book. I went with the latter option. Never let a dead lens stop you from shooting. And The Jungle Book was super freaking awesome, so awesome I think I am going to watch it again soon.
Here are a handful of images I shot with the Sigma 19mm F2.8 lens on my E-M10 Mark II before it died on me. And yes I have used these images in my previous blog entry.
I have two options: to confront the seller of the lens and ask for a refund (not a very wise move, I don't think it was the seller's fault, the lens could have just decide to commit suicide at any time), or I can look for the service/repair center and get the lens fixed. At this point, I am weighing if it was worth the trouble and I am in no urgent need to use this lens.
The 30 minutes affair with the Sigma 19mm F2.8 lens was not sufficient for me to write a complete assessment of the lens. I was even thinking about the newly released Sigma 30mm F1.4 for Micro Four Thirds, which looks really intriguing.
I am sure some of you have owned the Sigma 19mm lens. What do you think of the lens? Do share your opinion.