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Old Apr 15, 2009, 12:52 AM   #1
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I just got a new D90 with a couple of great Nikon lenses... But, I alsowant to use a Sigma APO 400mm Telefoto AI-S.

I am an amateur sports photographer who likes to blend several shots into posters for kids I either coach or know. (Sample attached)

I recently changed to the Nikon D90 (from a Canon Rebel) and love the camera but every time I use the Sigma lens the shots come out hazy. Almost like I am shooting through a slightly dirty window. The photos appear to be in focus, just not clear.The lens works in M mode but I am not sure I have the camera set up right for the lens. Does anyone have any experience with this issue? Or, is it time to sell the Sigma?
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 7:18 AM   #2
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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...every time I use the Sigma lens the shots come out hazy.
Chances are, you're just seeing some loss of contrast from flare when shooting in harsher lighting (sometimes called "veiling flare"). Most lenses have better contrast when stopped down a bit from wide open apertures, too (i.e, try using it at f/8 or f/11 instead of wide open at f/5.6 and see if Image Quality improves). Of course, keep an eye on shutter speeds if you do that, increasing ISO speed as needed. Exposure could also be a factor (for example, I see overexposed areas of that sample image), but in harsher lighting, it can be difficult to get enough Dynamic Range to capture everything.

I'd make sure you're using a good lens hood to shade the lens from brighter light whenever possible, and be careful about the filters you use (a cheap filter can cause issues from light reflecting in between optical elements). Note that some newer lens designs tend to have better coatings to help reduce flare related issues. But, you really need to take each lens on a case by case basis. So, perhaps some of our Nikon users that are more familiar with your lens can offer some comments on how well it performs.

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Old Apr 26, 2009, 7:58 PM   #3
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I've got a Sigma 500mm and had the same worries when I stepped up from my D70 to the D90.

One thing that helped was turning off the High and Low Auto Noise Reduction on the D90. I think the Auto Noisesettings are too agressive and were softening the focus too much to get rid of noise easily taken care of in Photoshop. Since I turned them off, I think I've been getting sharper images.
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