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08-05-2008, 10:36 AM   #1
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Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 DC macro - my experience w/ Sigma service center

Hi,

Just want to share my experience dealing with Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 DC macro (or "macro") lens and Sigma service center in Ronkonkoma, NY.

The lens was purchased new from Jack's Camera / Delaware Camera (Sigma dealer) on ebay (to use M$ live.com 25% cashback /RIP/, etc).

I have read some topics here and there about Sigma plus I own Sigma 24-135/2.8-4.5 so I was expecting to get an item ready for a service
on arrival. And so was the case. The left side was soft, no - SOFT, no - SOFT compared to the right side (brick walls/newspapers) from 17mm to 70mm, and from f2.8 to f8.0... while the center sharpness was good starting even from 17 @ 2.8. The testing was done using Pentax *istDL
and Pentax K10D.

And to Ronkonkoma, NY it was sent the next day or so after arrival.

Here is the how fast was the service :
mailed (USPS) on 07/25/2008 - received by Sigma on 07/28/2008 - received back from Sigma on 08/05/2008.

Did they fix it ? I do not know yet - I am sitting right now at work and my camera(s) are at home. Hopefully will be able to update you in a day or so.

PS: may be we can use this topic to share experiences dealing w/ Sigma service for various lenses ? what do you think ?

08-05-2008, 10:40 AM   #2
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ONE important update - it seems that the label w/ the serial number at the bottom of the barrel was peeled off and put back, I am not so sure but one side of the label seems to be slightly detached - that was not the
case when I was sending it... so it is possible that the lens I received back are not the one that was sent to Sigma... I have read something about similar case (w/ serial number label after Sigma service) on dpreview, that is why I did pay attention to the label.
08-05-2008, 11:14 AM   #3
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At this time Sigma are blowing their competitors away when it comes to after the sales service.
And I hope that they keep it up.

From what I can tell Pentax USA is really good as well, with Olympus right up there.
However Pentax Canada is awful.
08-05-2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
At this time Sigma are blowing their competitors away when it comes to after the sales service.
And I hope that they keep it up.
.
well, I hope so - but I did not test it yet... the person reporting on dpreviewes had to send it back again (2nd time)... we'll see.

08-06-2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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I wrote on the other forum of my problems with Sigma service, although there service is great, I had an issue. And yes my serial number tag just like yours came peeling off. Humm, many people did not respond to it, they may have figured I was ranting or something, but you see for yourself I was telling the truth. I don't know whats going on with service in NY. You can look up my story on dpreview jamesm007. If it is not fixed right this time send it in I bet they ask for your camera, or maybe after what I did and called attention to their service and looked them up in the BBB in NY, they may have done with yours like mine switch serial number tags with another new/good unit; I am not saying thats what they do, just it seems the serial number tags come peeling off of their lens after being repaired.
08-06-2008, 04:53 PM   #6
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Perhaps rather than repairing these lenses, they're replacing them with new ones (with blank serial numbers). That way, the warranty gets transferred and remains active with the same serial number.
08-06-2008, 06:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamesm007 Quote
I bet they ask for your camera
as I wrote before - I read your story first, even before buying the lens and made a point (and reemphasized that in the form sent to Sigma) to use 2 different cameras to test the lens and I will do the same again... no way I am going to send them the camera, even I can easily ship the *istDL.
08-06-2008, 06:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
Perhaps rather than repairing these lenses, they're replacing them with new ones (with blank serial numbers). That way, the warranty gets transferred and remains active with the same serial number.
if it will happen that I need to send the lens again - I will try to mark it the way that I can see if it was actually replaced... at least it will confirm that they actually replacing lenses.

08-06-2008, 07:34 PM   #9
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well, actually no need for that proof... I have looked carefully at the pink receipt/service order copy that was sent back to me... at the bottom there is one section for technical notes and... "REPLACED SAME SERIAL NUMBER/CHECKED ALL GOOD IN WORKING ORDER"... so it is clear I guess, they just put your serial number on another lens, that's it... I did some test shots and while the situation seems to be better the new one is softer on the right side vs the left side... I will try to calibrate my K20D for a BF/FF with this lens, do some tests shots again and it might be a second trip to the service center, but now I will try to make some noise, so that somebody there will actually test it before shipping back.
08-06-2008, 08:35 PM   #10
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Your situation matches my situation well. My lens was soft on the right at 70mm, then I sent it in and it came back better, I decided to send it in again to see if they could just tweak it a little more, the tech wrote back asking for the camera; I called and said I dont have a problem with the camera the lady said its ok and they sent the lens back. Now the lens was very soft on the left at 17mm. I blamed my self for not sending in the camera, the tech said he will not touch the camera only take a picture. So I sent it in and the tech emailed me saying thier is no problem with the lens and have my camera checked, I blew lots of fuses, how could it be the camera when the lens was 90% great just a tad soft on the left at 70mm wide open and (I know, I was being anal) and now its useless until f8 at 17mm. So that's when the battle started and I did some investigating and wrote a couple letters over the weekend. That Monday they sent my camera back to me overnight next day delivery free of charge, but the paper said found no problem (I knew it would say that). But the lens performed perfect, real good at both ends. And the serial number tag started to come off, so I looked at the bottom mounting plate and sure enough that lens was never used on a camera, it was new IMO. I am not saying Sigma did something for sure, I am just telling what what I saw and my IMO; although I must say Sigma does not play and will please you and is not a bad company in fact they went further than many would.

So send yours back, and I bet they ask for your camera. Don't send it, there is no need, either the lens is good or not. If the lens is working on their K10s and they do have K10s because I have test pics from them (I requested all test pics) then it should be good on your camera. So if your sure your camera is fine... (dont send it). BTW focus can be tricky especially at 17mm just a tad off can make one side seem bad, and consistently so, but it can be the camera a hair off causing it; or better to say lens/camera relationship during focus causing it. I have noticed Pentax lens behave much better and get much more hits than my Sigmas.
08-09-2008, 11:55 PM   #11
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well, it quite certain that Sigma is really trying chances by
sending back replacement lenses w/o actually testing them - the replacement
has also a severe tilt somewhere in its optical elements

compare the left and the right sides - cut from the same focus testing chart... cheap bastards
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08-09-2008, 11:57 PM   #12
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jamesm007 , do you have by any chance a copy of your letter/email to BBB/Sigma or whatever, so that I can use it as a template (if you do not mind) ?
08-10-2008, 10:50 PM   #13
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Because of the nature of my letter I would rather not disclose it for personal and legal reasons. However I am more than willing to tell you the basics and to help. Anyone can file a complaint with the BBB in NY, I looked them up and found they had (if I remember right) 4 complaints in the last year, I looked up Tamron in NY and found they only had 1! I did not start the complaint because that would go on their records, but I was going to file a complaint with the BBB in NY if they did not resolve my problem (as stated in my other posts). I just presented pics and the facts and told them to fix it or I will go to persons in Sigma even higher than the service manager I was dealing with, let them know I had to file a complaint with the BBB in NY to get help, that your rival in NY Tamron has had only 1 complaint in 12 months you Sigma have 4 complaints and so on, I also told them to send my camera back in two days, I allowed them a little time (2 days) because I had requested test pictures showing my lens worked fine on their cameras but my lens did not work on my camera, I wanted proof of this, and told them if I send in my camera and they find a problem and it was my camera, I will write a letter of apology. So tell them your complaint, to get it right this time, or you will file a formal complaint with the BBB, if you continue to get a product that does not perform as it should. If they say it is fine, tell them you will have your dealer look at it, and send your camera and lens to Pentax and get their opinion on the lens (even if you have to pay); and if both the dealer and Pentax say its a bad lens - the BBB in NY will not be too impressed with Sigma Corp of America.

So you know the rest I got my lens back overnight delivery the day I told them I wanted it. My pink copy says for sure and I double checked after reading your post, that they found no problem, why would they say this, because if they said they gave me a new lens that would have meant they where lying or something the first time to me. So to save face they had to say here is your old lens no problems found on our camera, its your camera. But when I got it back the lens performed fine, totally different, serial # tag started to peel off, and the base was spotless. IMO 99% sure it was a new lens.

Now in saying this I do not mean to discredit Sigma, and they do go out of their way to please you and fast; honest and serious I am not just saying this, it may take time, but they just keep trying to get it right it seems. So I have no problems with Sigma service. Some companies take weeks and weeks. For example I did not tell them they had to overnight my camera back to me, I told them to just send it on that day not latter; because they had my lens and camera. But they went ahead and overnight-ed it to me; that and the fact it was a new lens has taken my displeasure away with them. BTW write and call and speak to a manager and get their name and make sure that person is going to be the one who gets named if you have to file a complaint with the BBB, and let them know in your letter that they will be the person who the BBB writes and calls.
08-10-2008, 11:35 PM   #14
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I had this problem with a different Sigma model the 18-125mm. One side very soft the other side fine, I took some sample shots and the lens in to Sigma Service center here in Melbourne and they ended up jus giving me a replacement (I only had it for barely a week from memory)..

Pentax and Sigma are the same service center here though, so impossible to compare them

It does suck that they are all so different depending on what city/country your in.. Good luck..

Last edited by joele; 08-10-2008 at 11:41 PM.
09-05-2008, 08:06 AM   #15
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UPDATE: today my Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.5 (the 1st replacement) was mailed back to the service... did not have time to send it earlier... wish me some luck with the 2nd replacement
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