You always hear the brand snobs talk about how they never use third party lenses, they give many reasons for this. Usually you hear about how brand name lenses are built better, offer better image quality or are sharper. You also hear about how you never have to worry about a brand name lens working or not on your camera.
If you have read my posts for any amount of time you would know that I am all for saving money and buying third party glass if that is what you can afford. You rarely hear about actual issues with third party glass as a whole (it does happen every so often, but not a lot in recent years). Sigma bucked that trend and recently announced a compatibility issue with the new Nikon D5300 camera and some of their lenses.
According to the Sigma release the issue arises with lenses that have built in focus motors. They say that these lenses will not auto focus correctly while in Live View and that OS (Image Stabilization) may not work correctly as well. These are obviously huge issues if you happen to own a D5300 and any of the effected Sigma lenses. The good news is that a free firmware update will be available and will fix the issue for many Sigma lenses.
The bad news here is that the firmware may not be able to be updated on lenses which have been discontinued. So those of you running around with discontinued Sigma lenses may be out of luck with your D5300. You can find out more information from Sigma’s website to learn more about the issue and effected lenses.
This is exactly what people warn about in regards to buying third party lenses. Obviously the easy remedy here (if you happen to be stuck with lenses that you can’t update) is to either sell your sigma glass and buy nikon glass, or simply don’t buy a D5300. That said, this should be a good reminder to all of us to really think about purchasing third party glass over brand name glass. It may be rare and happen somewhat randomly, but at anytime with a new camera release you could be left owning a ton of glass that is useless on new cameras – something that is very unlikely to happen from a brand name lens (the obvious exception being Canon’s switch from FD to EOS in the 1990s).
What are your thoughts on this? Does this make you think twice about purchasing Sigma or other third party lenses? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below.