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Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS APO

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Reviews Views Date of last review
41 232495 Feb 12, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $919.85
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.06
8.78
8.4
Sigma_80-400_OS

Specifications:

  • Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 80-400mm; 1:4.5-5.6
  • Lens Construction: 20 elements in 14 groups
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 30.3º-6.2º
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 180 / 70.9*
  • Filter Size: 77mm
  • Dimensions (Dia x Length), Weight: 95.0 x 189.5, 1750g


 


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paramac
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Registered: May 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jun 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $459.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Variable zooming held focus, OS a huge plus, rugged
Cons:
Heavy, AF slower than expected

I am still getting use to this lens. First round of action shots taken at rodeo. I almost impressed my self. Next assignment will be wildlife. More to follow. Review image at www.tmrservices.org/photos.htm

Jun 15, 2006
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opusthecat
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Registered: Jul 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Jun 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: LOTS of range, seems to be built very well and strong
Cons:
Heavy of course. Soft edges across all apertures, colors are entirely too warm to the point of obviousness.

Wide open images were near useless, totally soft and noisy no matter what aperture I was shooting. It seems all images were totally too warm in coloring that I had to use a "cool" filter plug-in in Adobe to tone them down. Just made everything look so unrealistic. Of course I loved the range but none of my images were keepers. If shooting higher ISOs is normal for you and you need the extreme range and don't mind lugging a battleship cannon in your hands, then this lens will work for you.

Jun 9, 2006
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radiodenver
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Registered: Apr 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 490
Review Date: Jun 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $990.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: L Killer, built like a brick, great optics.
Cons:
Slow autofocus

I really like this lens. Optically, it does an outstanding job. The optical stabilization works great. The build quality is very good. For the price, this lens smokes the Canon 100-400 IS.

It is heavy but handles well.

The only gripe with this lens and the only reason I don't give it a 10 is the autofocus. While accurate, it is slow. If Sigma could make the focus faster on this lens, it would be the perfect lens in my opinion.

Save your money, don't get the L glass, go for this one instead. You will not regret it.


Jun 2, 2006
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Imperitus
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 43
Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Nice colors, resonably sharp focus, great range for the cost.
Cons:
slow autofocus, not the smoothest bokeh.

I got this lens a whiel back after a long debate between it and a canon 70-200mm 2.8 L IS, I descided I wanted the greater reach.

While there have been shots I feel could have been better with the canon with it's 2.8 and softer bokeh, there have also been a lot of shots I just could not have gotten without the 400mm of this sigma. And I paid less than I would have for the canon.

If money were no object I'd go all canon, maybe even all prime, but in the reality of my budget this has been a very good lens.


May 8, 2006
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rfernatt
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Registered: Feb 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $990.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp images; OS seems to work well; good build; great reach; reasonable price.
Cons:
Heavy - to be expected, but still; slow focusing (pre-focus helps).

In my short time with this lens, I can appreciate it's use for nature photography. Images are sharp on my 20D, color reproduction is very good and contrasty. There are trade-offs (weight, slow focus), but for the price and image quality, it has been a great performer thus far.

May 3, 2006
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Gary N
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Registered: May 2, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 2, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $939.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Built rugged and Solid -
Cons:
Poor Optics, sharpness and clarity average. This is rated like a Nikon G lens according to specs provided. My N75 together with G lens is much better, sharper. So dissapointed that I returned this lens.

I purchased the Sigma 80-400 mm last week and received it yesterday. I returned it today. After testing it out I was very disappointed with the opitcal performance of this lens. Depth of Field was almost non existent. Sharpness was poor. There is no way that this lens can be compared to a Nikon G lens. I have learned my lesson on this one. Maybe I am a die hard Nikon person. But, I think that a Nikon Lens goes with a Nikon Camera. A Tamron lens maybe? A Sigma Lens may match up well with a Sigma Camera but, I hoped that perhaps when they tested out this lens they would have done it against the Nikon 80-400 VR. The Sigma Lens is solid, rugged which is the best part of this lens feature. But, without good optics all you have is a mechanical machine. The Sigma 80-400 runs smooth and, contrary to what I read in some reviews it runs quieter than my Nikon 70-300 mm lens. Hunting was minimal. The optical stabilizer? I could have lived with the wait of this lens especially with a nice tripod mount feature. However, to be quite honest I feel that perhaps lenses of other manufactures including Sigma will be a long time working at trying to match the quality of a Nikon lens.

May 2, 2006
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koen
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Registered: Oct 24, 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, range, includes hood, case and straps
Cons:
weight, slow AF

This lens takes some gettin used to, but after that you'll enjoy the great range and OS. When compared to the canon 70-200/F4L you notice the extra wait and the difference in AF speed, the canon focusses instantly on a subject while the sigma will take a lot of time to focus. If you're in a hurry try prefocussing behind the subject to avoid excessive AF hunting.


Mar 24, 2006
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canonlight
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Registered: Feb 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Review Date: Mar 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent 5x tele range, OS, EX build, Nice tripod collar included, Fairly sharp wide open at 400mm (better stopped down to f8).
Cons:
Slow AF (no HSM).

Good lens but sorely needs HSM; that would really make it superb. See this test at my site http://www.pbase.com/fstopjojo/teletest

Mar 11, 2006
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straehle
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Registered: Dec 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Feb 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $969.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: It's sharp and is about $600 less than the Canon 100-400 and has a little more range besides. You can see the sharpness in this picture, taken at 400mm, http://straehle.smugmug.com/photos/43020887-M.jpg several others in this gallery and in other Alaska galleries, My Pt Mugu Airshow gallery, and my Blue and Grey Gallery. Just look for most images shot with more than 200mm.
Cons:
As others have noted, focus is slower than a Canon USM. I have since acquired a 70 - 200 2.8 and the focus is noticably faster on the latter, but when you need 400mm, "Who you gonna call?"



Feb 23, 2006
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gugs
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Registered: Apr 16, 2005
Location: Belgium
Posts: 7537
Review Date: Feb 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely versatile (range and stabilization), sharp, good build, well balanced, impressive, allows to shot at very slow speeds (1/60sec at 400mm), excellent tripod mount, can be used to carry the lens/camera combo
Cons:
(Too) impressive, size, weight, not ultra fast

General: That lens is one of my favourite lenses. The range is perfect for a telezoom and the stabilization makes it incredibly usable even in low light... I have been able to take shots at night @400m 1/50 sec. You can win up to 3 stops, 4 stops if you are lucky (very steady arm). I really got addicted to that lens. It is one of my most used lenses overall. The percentage of keepers is very high.
Sharpness: that lens is very sharp all over the range even fully open when shooting from a short distance.
Sharpness is decreasing if the subject is far from you at long focal distances. This perception is also due to the fact that there is usually much more air between the subject and the lens, but sharpness is definitely lower in that situation (but still sharp enough).
Focus: no HSM, the focus speed is just normal (not as fast as HSM or AF-S) but I never had issues because of that even for semi-action shooting (race, airshow). Sometimes it is difficult to track flying birds when they are moving erratically. The "slow" focus sometimes allows to lock the target faster (I had more hunting problems with faster AF lenses).
TC: this lens can be used in MF with a Sigma TC. @800mm with a 2x TC, pictures are still very usable but are of course less sharp, AF not possible and f11 fully open.
Stabilization: very impressive, takes half a second to be activated so that you have to prepare your shots (prefocusing for instance). Also works fine for panning.
Makes some noise when activated.
Size: that lens @400m with suncap is huge !!! Interesting to impress friends but not too easy to shoot unnoticed: the lens is so big that everybody is staring at you while shooting.
It is also a very heavy lens, don't forget it when going for a hike. It is very well balanced and the tripod mount is fantastic and I am using it constantly to carry the lens/camera combo.
I almost never used the lens on a tripod thanks to the possibilities of OS.


Feb 23, 2006
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Toonman555a
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Registered: Sep 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9
Review Date: Sep 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good levels of sharpness and contrast. Well balanced handling on both the DX2 and D100.
Cons:
Nothing really at the price.

One of the few reviewers of the lens with Nikon gear by the look of it. :-)

Ideally, I'd have liked to try it against the Nikon 80-400VR, but I couldn't find a dealer within 200 miles who had both. Indeed, finding a dealer in the UK who had it in stock, at much less than the retail price (£999.99 or around $1900.00 at the then exchange rate), was a problem.

After reading a couple of magazine reviews of both, I took a chance on the Sigma which was rated marginally better than the Nikon. A firm on eBay had new ones with full Sigma International Warranty at almost half UK price ($797.00 at today's exchange rate) and delivered it from Hong Kong within 4 days. So far (6 months), it's been reliable, which's something I've generally not found with Sigma lenses before.

It has good levels of sharpness across the aperture range, and produces detailed images from corner to corner. Contrast is excellent, and despite its size and weight, is well balanced on camera.

It's big and heavy, but then what do people expect? It's a cracking quality lens, with a great range. Just what I was looking for at the time.

Cheers

Mike


Sep 23, 2005
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candc
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Registered: Aug 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,009.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good build, nice finish, sharp.
Cons:
heavy, slow focus, noisy.

I had been looking for a lens of this type for a few months. I read every review I could find and decided on this lens over the others in the category. Problem is nobody has them on the shelf to try around here in Wisconsin so I ordered one. It was an up and down ride when I got the thing. The box was huge, bigger than the one the camera came in (20d). Opened it up, Wow, this thing has a beautiful finish, like a powder coat, and you know its metal under that. The proportions are double what you expect (zoomed out it must be a foot long). I started taking some test photos and was crushed. It was not a miracle lens like I wanted. I read these reviews that said you could point the thing wildly and get sharp photos at 1/15s blah blah blah. Then after a couple days and couple hundred shots I started to see that this lens does everything its supposed to do. It will give you 2 free shutter stops. All the way out you are supposed to stay above 1/400s or is it 1/640s for the conversion? That would mean 2 stops are 1/100s or so. It does that. Lower than that and its 50/50. It is super sharp if you can stop it down one. Dof is really shallow so you have to pay attention to your focus. All in all I think its a great lens for the money and does what the company says it will do, just don't expect miracles.

Aug 21, 2005
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Hards80
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Registered: Jun 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 210
Review Date: Jun 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $960.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: built like a tank, nice fit and finish, great coverage, OS allows handhold at 400mm @ 1/125 conistantly, sharp, contrasty, CA well controlled
Cons:
lack of HSM

this is a superb lens for the price. imo it can do everything the 100-400L IS can do for less. sure it lacks USM/HSM, but focus is still quite quick, i would place its speed between the micro USM and the ring type USM.. image quality is definately on par with the 100-400L.. and i prefer the twist zoom over the push-pull of the canon..

build quality is excellent, the lens has a nice heft to it.. fit and finish is beautiful.. zoom and focus movements are sure and smooth.. tripod collar/handle makes it easier to carry around in the field.. sigma has inlcuded a nice case and lens hood as well..

overall, i think this is a great alternative to the canon 100-400L.. everyone considering the canon should at least take a look at this lens.. which you choose will be based on whether you need USM and whether you want a twist or push-pull zoom as i find image quality to not be significantly different btwn the two..


Jun 29, 2005
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AZFireman
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Registered: Apr 27, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great Range, Crystal Clear Photos, No Apparent CA, Great Build and Feel.
Cons:
Slow and Noisy Focus, Heavy

I bought this lens instead of the Canon 100-400L. My reasons were that I didn't want the push-pull focus because of dust. I read as many reviews as I could get my hands on and was swayed to the Sigma lens. I have to say I'm not sorry about my decision at all. This lens has performed as advertised and I absolutely love it! If you're looking for a good zoom and a alternative to the Canon as I was, this is the lens you want.

Tim in Phoenix


May 21, 2005
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sasha_p
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Registered: Mar 28, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 70
Review Date: May 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Focus range, build quality, not white, Optical Stabilization, feel, look of the lens, optical quality.
Cons:
Noisy focus (not too bad but still far apart from ring type USM), somewhat slower than USM, heavy, heavy, heavy, not white.

I was looking for a good lens mainly for aviation photos. Lenses I considered – Canon 100-400 IS, Canon 70-300 DO and Sigma 80-400. At the end of the day, I would have bought the 100-400 only if it was 200-300 dollars cheaper.

I think that Sigma is a superb lens and the best value for the money. The focusing, which seems to be the problem many people mention is not equivalent to USM but at the same time it is not on the slow side either. I would say it is equivalent to if not faster than with EF 75-300 IS USM which I sold after I purchased this lens. What makes the focusing feel slower is the noisy AF motor, which gives you the impression that it is taking longer. Also I find that once the focus is locked, it keeps up with the subject movement very easy and accurately and I have a lot less out-of –focus photos than I used to with the other lenses.

Colours and contrast are great compared to my old Canon. Is it better than EF 100-400 – some say yes, some say no. Optically, I could not tell the difference but I’m sure that some people will. If they were the same price, I would choose Canon. In my case, for the price difference I was able to get a nice wireless multi flash set up.
If you would like to take a look at some photos taken with this lens, here is the link (anything taken starting May 1, 2005 is with Sigma 80-400):
http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?photographersearch=Petrovic%20Alex&distinct_entry=true

Hope this helps with your decision.


May 19, 2005
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Rrexy
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Registered: Mar 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 950
Review Date: May 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optics, Image Stabilization, Range, Price
Cons:
No USM (However, not a major issue), Zoom ring stiff when new (Loosens with use)

I was looking for a zoom with a fairly long reach - primarily for wildlife.

I considered the Sigma 50-500 as I've seen some impressive results with it as well as this lens. I would have liked the extra reach but the lack of Image Stabilization pushed me towards the 80-400. I also looked at the Canon 100-400 L IS. Great optics, however price, the tendancy to suck dust, and an extra 20mm on the wide end (w/ the Sigma) were issues I couldn't ignore.

Since I purchased the 80-400 it's been the most used lens on my XT. The Image Stabilizer works incredibly well and so far I've not even had the lens mounted to a tripod. I love the freedom & versatility this provides. I'm very satisfied with the optics and the build quality is great.

So far my only negative thought is that it isn't as fast at focusing as an USM or HSM lens. HOWEVER, I haven't found this to be a problem - especially if you've prefocused to a point at or near your intended subject. If so, it's as quick as necessary. The only time I've really missed the faster focus is when going from a very close subject to another subject far away. Focusing is always accurate & no problem with keeping up with "in flight" birds, etc.

The zoom ring is a bit stiff when new, however, it's become easier to operate the more it's used.

I would quickly recommend the lens to anyone looking for a high quality longer range zoom.


May 9, 2005
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Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS APO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
41 232495 Feb 12, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $919.85
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.06
8.78
8.4
Sigma_80-400_OS


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