Back in September, I broke my Sigma 50-500 lens (colloquially referred to as Bigma) when I was in Montreal. The lens fell from my camera bag, and the zoom jammed. I brought it to Precision Camera in Enfield, CT which is now an authorized Sigma service center. I’ve had experience with Precision before – they fixed my a700 when the antishake borked. They were quick and professional. So I drove down to Enfield (it’s not that far of a drive) and dropped my Bigma off with the warranty card, figuring hey, it’s worth a try. After a few weeks, they called me saying they could fix it, but not under warranty. I said fair enough, and paid the $450 repair fee.
A few weeks later, I got another phone call saying that they couldn’t fix it and that they would send it to Sigma for factory service to repair it. Fine, I said – I have no problem with that. A few MORE weeks go by, and I get a phone call today that my Bigma is all fixed, ready to pick up. Even better – the Sigma factory invoice came back with the repairs costing zero dollars – Sigma did it as warranty work. Since the factory did the repair for free, they would refund me my $450. Awesome! It’s great when a company is open and honest about things like that – a less reputable company would have just pocketed my money. I’ll be picking my Bigma up this Saturday, ready to put it to use.
It’s been three months without the Bigma, and I’ve been able to survive without it because in most cases my 70-200 and a little cropping have done the job. I’ve felt its loss on smaller aircraft like RJs and bizjets, though, where cropping just doesn’t cut it. I’ve learned a valuable lesson, too – always double check your backpack zippers before picking it up!