New use for Error 99 Sigma EF lenses

Error 99 Sigma EF lenses: the 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro

Taken with a 20 year old Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO macro EF lens on an Olympus E-PL2

Taken with a 20 year old Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO macro EF lens on an Olympus E-PL2

What can you do with a Sigma EF lens that can only be used wide open and you can’t find any­one to re-chip the lens?

This Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro EF lens listed for $1,600 dur­ing the 1990s and weighs 1.58 kg.

This Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro EF lens listed for $1,600 dur­ing the 1990s and weighs 1.58 kg.

Try stop­ping down this Sigma lens and an obso­lete chip pre­vents you from tak­ing a pic­ture by dis­play­ing an “err99” code. In addi­tion to this prob­lem, the rub­ber­ized coat­ing on the bar­rel has become sticky and attracts dirt like a magnet.

Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro EF lens after removal of rub­ber­ized coat­ing with dena­tured alcohol.

Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro EF lens after removal of rub­ber­ized coat­ing with dena­tured alcohol.

You can’t con­trol the elec­tronic diaphragm inside the lens with­out some type of elec­tronic inter­face so one pos­si­ble solu­tion is an EF to MFT adapter with a built in diaphragm. It’s not the first time a diaphragm has been used behind the rear lens ele­ment; the 135mm lens for the Mamiya C330 had both a diaphragm and shut­ter behind the rear element.

EF to MFT adapter with diaphragm

EF to MFT adapter with diaphragm

 

Taken with a 21 year old Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO macro EF lens on an Olympus E-PL2

Taken with a 21 year old Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO macro EF lens on an Olympus E-PL2

A 180mm lens is equiv­a­lent to a 360mm lens on a MFT body because of the 2X crop fac­tor. Here’s a cropped image of a dove from 6 meters.

Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro with EF to MFT adapter on an Olym­pus E-PL2. 1/250 sec at ISO 200. Hand held with image sta­bi­liza­tion set to 180mm.

Sigma 180mm f/2.8 APO Macro with EF to MFT adapter on an Olym­pus E-PL2. 1/250 sec at ISO 200. Hand held with image sta­bi­liza­tion set to 180mm.

Error 99 Sigma EF lenses: the 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro

Another “obsolete” EF mount lens that only works on Canon film cameras is this Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro.

The Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro had a list price of $1,207 in 2000-2001.

The Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro had a list price of $1,207 in 2000-2001.

Using an EF to micro four thirds adapter with a built in diaphragm, the lens becomes usable on a digital camera body.

Taken with a Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro on an Olympus PEN E-PL3. 1/320 sec at f/4.

Taken with a Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro on an Olympus PEN E-PL3. 1/320 sec at f/4.

Taken with a Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro on an Olympus PEN E-PL3. 1/250 sec at 200 ISO

Taken with a Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro on an Olympus PEN E-PL3. 1/250 sec at 200 ISO

Front element of the Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro

Front element of the Sigma 300mm f/4 APO Tele Macro