Sigma 19mm DN Art f2.8 Amazing Lens with a Video Auto Focus Problem.

The very first lens I bought for my Sony a6000 was the 19mm Sigma DN Art f2.8. For under $200 you get a lens that is super sharp. According to most reviewers, dollar for dollar, it outperforms the competition.

Flag over Washington (Half Mast)I have been very happy with it. I’ve taken some great pictures. On an APS-C sensor, the 19mm is a handy focal length for catching pictures of kids inside the house. It’s not too bad for wider landscapes. Or shots like the one above.

There is a problem, however, when you use it with AF turned on for video recording.

I didn’t notice it for a long time. If you’re running hand held, you might never notice it. On Youtube it’s not easy to see, unless you’re looking for it. And I wasn’t. The I pulled up the footage on my computer. How could I miss this?

But now that I’ve seen it, I can’t look at any footage on a tripod or slider without seeing it. What is it?

Here’s a video that shows the issue very clearly. Watch the edges:

Slowed down like this, the jitter on the edges of the frame is very visible. I pulled down a few videos I shot with it. (But not everything.) But every video I’ve checked has the issue. I’ve used the lens for several videos, but none were reviews of the lens. All were about something else, so I didn’t notice. they look fine where the center of focus is, where your attention is drawn. I don’t “pixel peep” with most of my gear. The center of the lens is sharp, and looks great. But with the autofocus on, the edges shake and jitter.

When I was researching this lens, every review was positive. I didn’t find one mention of this issue. Now there are a few posts about it. Some videos like the one above. I’d hate for someone who wanted this lens for video to not know about this issue, so I’m doing my part.

I love this lens for pictures. But I can’t recommend it for video.

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Forward Progress

It’s really all Seth Godin and Jon Acuff’s fault. I keep reading books and posts by Godin talking about “shipping” and I read Acuff’s Quitter book, and stopped thinking about how I was going to make it happen and started seeing the resources around me and engaging them. I came out of an intense week of prayer and fasting with a basic distribution model, but no idea. I talked with people. I had an amazing conversation with David Nixon of DNP Studios, which you may know from their involvement with Sherwood Pictures and the movie Letters To God. I talked about my distribution idea. I dreamed, I thought, I prayed, I paid attention.

Then about the ninth or twelfth idea I worked on started to stick. I kept coming back to it. I remember when it crystalized. I had just written about why Christians Don’t Believe in Comedy. And I got the chance to have a soda with Eric Bramlett, who produced the “Sunday” parody you can see in that post. He is part of the Exponential Conference we host every year. I had been waffling between some sort of comedy and/or reality TV show. The target audience was 18-34 year olds who use social media. The two most popular kinds of TV shows for this demographic are sitcoms and reality TV shows. I had even considered a stand-up-comedy/missions show. But after our conversation I was more convinced than ever that a sitcom from a biblical worldview was the way to go.

But I’m not script writer. I know a bit about single camera production, but I’m not director. But I can be creative, and I’m really good at logistics. And we have some great talent right here on the church staff. So I developed the idea a bit, and when I had a shell I went to see George Livings. We talked about the series and he gave me some advice. I went back to work. we’ve talked a few times since then, and now he has volunteered his writing partner and himself to help me make the pilot plot into a real script.

In the meantime I was talking with my boss, Jon Marks. I had been keeping him vaguely in the loop for months, but I finally just broached the subject of resources. I was concerned about exposure for the church, but we have a lot of resources that could be utilized in production with no additional cost and a lot of people who are interested in TV and movies in the congregation. Since Christians really don’t believe in comedy, and this show is geared toward non Christian people and will address issues that may make Christians uncomfortable, I didn’t know how closely tied the church would want to be. There will be some negative reaction. I won’t relate all of our conversation, but the gist was this; Art is risk. That doesn’t mean the church is going to partner with me. But we are engaged in conversation about it.

This week I finished the prep work on the plot outline, and registered the series idea with the Writers Guild of America (#1535064). I’ll write up a synopsis of what it is later. For now the next step is finishing the script. And then… I don’t know. Support needs to be raised, because even if I can create the shows for very little money advertising isn’t free. I need to build a “tribe” as Godin would say. Casting. rehearsal, production, post, delivery. The other 12 episodes in this season need to be plotted and written. I’ve started on episode two and have the general themes for the rest.

There’s a lot to be done. And this isn’t my job. This is my side project. But every step is forward motion.