Sigma 150-600 lenses and sharpness issues

I’ve heard a number of people say their Sigma 150-600 lenses aren’t sharp at the long end. I haven’t used any of them or kept track of their development, but stumbled on an interesting thread just the other day. (Yesterday? Who can keep track…) Scroll down to E.J. Peiker’s information.)

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I should add that AFFT (auto-focus fine tune or AF micro adjustment) is a DSLR thing, and well worth the very considerable trouble for cameras that support it. It is not applicable for mirrorless bodies, where focus is read directly off the image sensor instead of off a separate focus sensor.

Very interesting, as were the discussions concerning this lens.

I “know” several folks who shoot this lens, and seem to be happy with it. It was reviewed in a blog by respected wildlife photographer Jared Lloyd who, though he made clear it would not be his go-to lens, it had found a place in his bag.

My thought is, what does one expect from an $800 lens?

Probably not as much as the more expensive one, but from others being happy with it, and from what you said about not being able to go past something like midway without losing sharpness, you may be able to get much better performance by doing the calibration EJ suggests, if it can be done with that lens. His advice and information has always been excellent.

Thanks for posting this Diane! I have the sports lens and have problems with sharpness at the longer end . I will follow EJ’s suggestions and see if I can get better results. He sounds like someone I should ‘follow’.

In my experience, many lenses need AFFT, and Sigma zoom lenses often need different settings for different focal lengths and/or shooting distances. My Pentax lenses usually can do with one in-camera setting. Older Sigma lenses aren’t compatible with the Sigma USB dock. Using the dock is a pain, with many iterations, but the result is worth the effort.
The article that @Diane_Miller is pointing to uses a $20 dollar bill, I use a high resolution print of the test chart that is attached here.