Reviews and Problems with Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG
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Good ..... But Can Be Better
Ahmed Rabea, B&H Photo
31 August 2008
Summary: All through to the 300mm it is sharp enough for me, and on the 400mm nothing that can't be fixed in photoshop. After all, if you don't have the money, and want to have some tele shots, this lens is recommended. Though, if you can buy a used Canon 100-400mm it would be little bit more, then go for the Canon it is much worth it.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Easily Interchangeable, Easy To Clean, Sharp Focus, Strong Construction
Summary: I needed a lens for wildlife photography right away, and budget was my primary consideration. This lens is not optically stabilized and not exactly bright, either. Obviously, it's tough to use hand-held, but I'm getting the hang of it. I can use it early morning and late afternoon with a tripod. When I'm tracking birds in the air, I have to make sure the subject is fairly centered before I attempt to focus, or it starts to hunt and the shot is gone.
Conclusion: This lens does nothing wrong. Image quality is good and consistent thru out the zoom range apart from getting a little bit soft over 350mm. Images wide open at 400mm are still very usable for a enthusiast like myself. I haven't noticed the IQ getting any better stopping down. I did try this lens in store before buying and i'm pretty sure I have a good copy optically anyway. CA is well controlled needing pixel peeping to detect.
Pros: Image quality, Build quality, compact size and weight, Included lens hood, tripod ring and carry case.
Cons: Lens creep, el cheapo sigma lens caps (both ends), mf/af switch. Focus ring spin when focusing.
Summary: With any Aspherical lens you are going to miss out on the crisp clean razor sharp shots that you would get with the more expensive model. I was a bit shocked that the clarity of this lens was as good in manual focus mode however the auto focus is not good with my D70s. The lens has a great weight to it and is balanced very well with the tri-pod mount on the lens. This is a great beginner - intermediate lens and very much so worth the price.
Conclusion: OK the weight is an issue but lets be real here...it is a 400mm f5.6 lens. It weighs about the same as the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 and it's physical size is comparable. But the build isn't quite comparable, the base of the lens is made from metal (which is why it's so heavy) and feels cool to the touch. The weight drops a lot if you remove the tripod collar and it's the same collar that the 70-200mm f2.8 uses. So I only take one collar is I take both lenses.
Pros: The price and focal range. Hood and tripod ring and lens case included. I like the 77mm filter size. Excellent contrast and good enough IQ.
Cons: The AF is a joke really. It's noisy, crass and slow. The focus ring rotates when it focusses too. Not HSM or EX. It's very heavy too. A very stiff zoom ring. The lens REALLY extends in length at 400mm.
Conclusion: If you are looking for something better than your run of the mill 70-300/4-5.6 zooms, but cant afford a $1000+ lens then this is a good balance... It does extend a lot when zoomed, but the barrel is solid and has no freeplay... Mine has very little if any zoom creep (very stiff zoom ring).. On my *ist DS it does tend to backfocus a little when wide open and at its wider end (like some other Sigma zooms).
Pros: Very solid build for the price range, rather sharp when used on a monopod, fairly cheap yet not cheap and plastic feeling...
Cons: Backfocus at less than 250mm when near wide (like many Sigma lenses..
Conclusion: I have canon d 20. I have taken a lot of pictures with that lens. The proce of this Sigma lens is very good and I wolud recomend that lens for people who don't like spend a lot of money and who want to have a sharp lens for small money
Conclusion: This has been a great lens for me. It is a little heavy and long… you must use it with a tripod or monopod… the zoom does creep… BUT it is SHARP. I’m pleased with image quality on images shot wide open and at all focal lengths! It is sharper stopped down but it's sharp enough used wide open. This lens is a true APO so say goodbye to purple fringing (CA) on high contrast areas. It isn’t the “best” 400mm zoom money can buy but IMO it is the best for under $450 US.
Pros: Sharp, great color, good build, good AF and a great price.
Conclusion: I own this lens now for a couple of months. In common I am pleased about the results of this lens. Especially when you use it stopped down to F11 the results are good! No Chromatic Aberration and well sharp. The negative site of that is that you can’t really use it handheld. Because then you will need to use it wide open, and then the results are disappointing! The images are soft as a baby bud! So when used with a tripod or beanbag, you get a lot of fun for the money!
Pros: Solid build, easy to handle, good images when used stop down.