What lens is this? Sometimes a particular copy of a lens can have misaligned elements (some lenses are more well-known for this than others). If it is new you can return it and ask for an exchange. If its not new it'll need adjusting by the maker or a shop.
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One of a few things might be happening 1. Photos being taken at high zoom (i.e. 200mm) are susceptible to camera shake, even though the lens is focusing properly. The solution here is use a tripod, zoom out, or steady yourself. 2. Photos being taken without flash when flash should really be used will result in motion blur (which is slightly different than camera shake). This is due to the camera using a longer shutter speed to let more light in, with the side effect being that objects will move while the shutter is open, blurring the picture. The solution here is to use a flash, or take pictures in better light. 3. The camera may be focusing on something other than what you intended. 3. If you are taking photos in good light with a steady hand, and the camera is choosing the correct subject to focus on, then yes, the lens could need readjusted, though this is not a very likely scenario. If the lens is "hunting" for focus, that could be a sign that something is amiss. A local camera shop can verify the accuracy of focus for your lens.
This is a lens problem, the AF motor of the lens is trying to engage the gears. Sometime it works, sometimes it does not... It happened to my sigma 70-300. The only solution is to have it repaired. If under warranty it should be free, if not.... might be cheaper to buy a new lens.
If you are getting some photos where only part of the image is visible, then I suspect that they were photos where you used a flash.
Cameras have a specified maximum shutter speed for use with a flash, this is called its 'sync speed'. This is the fastest speed that the camera will need to open the lead shutter and close the trailing shutter in order to expose the entire surface area of the image and have it evenly lit by the flash unit. If you shoot too fast of a speed, then the shutter will only be partly completed its exposure and you'll get a photo with only part of the image showing. The faster the speed past the sync speed, the less the resulting area of the image. Most cameras will have a sync speed of 1/250 or less. I think a lot of the Rebel models are 1/90 - consult your manual.
I have had to replace the focusing servo motor is these before. The problem of seeking without locking in may mean the same for your lens. Do check for a dirty filter on the front and look to see if the rear optic is dirty or cloudy first. I'm assuming other lenses work fine on your camera.
(From Sigma lens literature) Capable of macro photography, this
lens has a 1:2 maximum close-up magnification at the 300 mm focal
length. It's the ideal high performance lens for portraits, sports
photography, nature photography, and other types of photography that
frequently use the telephoto range. It also has a switch for changeover
to macro photography at focal lengths between 200mm and 300mm with a
maximum close-up magnification from 1:2.9 to 1:2. The minimum focusing
distance is 1.5m / 59 in. at all zoom settings.
Auto-focus technology on this camera is controlled by several contacts on the mount that physically mate with other contacts on your lens. It sounds like your mount may be malfunctioning due to wear and tear (if cleaning does not work). This is between $100 and $300 fix depending on which part(s) need replacement.
I think ya camea has developed a hardware fault.. maybe time for the camera Shop fixit man ... I found a manual maybe that'll B some help?