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Nikon Df Lens Compatability Problems | More Sigma Issues With Nikon Cameras

By Anthony Thurston on December 5th 2013

We told you a little while back about an issue with the Nikon D5300  and Sigma lenses. Specifically lenses OS and AF would not work correctly without having the lens firmware updated, a process that for most lenses meant having to send it in to sigma. It also meant that some lenses that could not be updated would basically be worthless to D5300 owners.


Well now it appears that Sigma lenses are not playing nicely with the new Nikon Df either. In a statement sent out my Sigma it appears that this will require a (free!) firmware update to fix the issue, and luckily it appears that the firmware needed is the same as the one needed to fix the D5300 issues so if for some reason you have a D5300 and a Df you will only need to update your lenses once.

These two bodies, the D5300 and Df, are Nikon’s newest camera bodies so I think it is safe to assume that Nikon has updated some sort of AF/OS software in their cameras and it does not play nice with the Sigma lenses. Now that it is apparent that these issues are happening and will continue to happen I would think that Sigma would update all future Nikon mount lenses with this firmware so people are not inconvenienced by having to send in their lenses.

Can’t we all just play nice? I mean to be fair this isn’t really Sigma’s fault here, Nikon changed something without giving a heads up. That said I don’t think that Nikon is blameless here, its rather shady in my opinion to update software that will break lenses without even mentioning it (and you can’t tell me Nikon didn’t know this would happen, with all the testing they do I find that highly unlikely). Could this be Nikon’s way of getting back at Sigma for all of Sigma’s recent success? Im not sure I would go that far, but that would make for an interesting discussion wouldn’t it.

What are your thoughts on this? Is Sigma handling the issues correctly? How about Nikon, what blame – if any – falls on them here? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. J. Dennis Thomas

    $59 USB hub and your Sigma lenses are updatable without any shipping.

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  2. Jesse

    And people always complain about zeiss being manual focus only, this is a reason why zeiss don’t reverse engineer af for nikon and canon. Also, I see it as a conflict of interest for nikon to give sigma the heads up, nikon want to sell their own lenses.

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  3. Robert Lalancette

    I have to agree. BTW I own a Tamron and a Sigma for my D90, yet I really believe the onus is on the third party brands to ensure compatibility. Then again, it woukd be kosher for Nikon to warn that Sigma lenses may be damaged on the 5300 and the DF.

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  4. Steve

    Wouldn’t it be fair to say this is the reason Nikon, Canon, etc all recommend using their lenses with their bodies? I don’t see any reason why a camera manufacturer ‘needs’ to make their camera bodies work with 3rd party lenses. It might be the right thing to do in some’s eyes, but I don’t see it being blamed on Nikon.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Yes, this is exactly why they recommend only using their lenses. Surely they don’t “need” to make sure that other lenses work on their system, but that is not really what I am saying. I would just like them to give the Sigmas of the world a heads up when they make changes so that those manufacturers can make necessary adjustments on their own.

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