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Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
15 125991 Apr 5, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $467.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.92
9.83
9.1
23_05_1_

Specifications:
Get close-up shots even when you're physically distant. These macro capabilities add an entirely new dimension to photographing flora and fauna. With a minimum shooting distance of 63 inches the lens achieves a 1:3 reproduction ratio. Two SLD glass elements to help deliver outstanding optical performance. And the lens length never changes, thanks to an inner focusing mechanism. Solid construction and a durable, scratch resistant ZEN finish are incorporated in the lens design to ensure its suitability for rugged outdoor use. Available with Hyper Sonic Motor for Sigma and Canon mount lens.


 


          
RobertHD
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Registered: Feb 17, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 26
Review Date: Apr 5, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super Sharp wide open, Great macro
Cons:
Slow focus

I have the non-hsm version for Nikon. I had a 300mm Nikkor F4 that I sold to finance a 70-200mm but ended up really missing the lens and wanted to get something similar on a budget. The Sigma 400mm is just as sharp as the Nikkor 300mm at a 3rd of the price.

It is now one of my favorite nature lenses. Not practical for trips with the kids as it is locked at 400mm but great for those spring days where you just want to be around nature. I originally got this for light birding work but have found the macro version invaluable. Great lens if you get a chance to get one of these don't think twice.

I listed a sample link below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/montylisa/sets/72157629750368725/


Apr 5, 2012
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margilli
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Registered: May 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Mar 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp wide open. Focus speed is good, better when using the limiter. Not to heavy to hand hold. Has a decent macro range. Tripod collar included. Nice build quality.
Cons:
Nothing to complain about at this price point. Discontinued.

I found a Nikon version of this lens at a good price. I'm amazed and very pleased at the sharpness wide open. Focus is fairly quick on D50. The limiter speeds it up some. Not too heavy, has a good feel when hand holding. Macro is a plus. Can't go wrong with this one. If you see it for sale, grab it.

Mar 3, 2011
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canonguy4ever
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Registered: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 62
Review Date: Feb 26, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open, very fast and accurate focusing, as good and sharp as the Canon 400mm 5.6 L; with my 1D Mark II the results are breathtaking ! If you see one of these rare birds, grab it !!
Cons:
can only be used in AV mode wide open; not made anymore.



Feb 26, 2011
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cdreemz17
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Registered: May 1, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 17, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $442.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp wide open, Quick and accurate AF, Solid build, tripod ring, contrast, color reproduction, 63" MFD
Cons:
Heavy over time, VERY hard to find!

This lens is simply amazing. It is razor sharp wide open. It focuses very close (1:3). Superb overall IQ. AF is spot on. Smooth focus ring. Solid build. Canon EF 400 5.6L killer!

May 17, 2010
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Patricio Murphy
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Registered: Mar 16, 2009
Location: Argentina
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 30, 2010 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Just a correction on my previous review: the AF on the 400mm f/5.6 APO (I forgot to mention that I own a non-HSM version, don't know if there actually was a HSM for Nikon) is a lot better with my D300, so that's something to take into account.
On a camera with good AF, I had no problem in capturing action birds in flight shots.


Mar 30, 2010
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Patricio Murphy
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Registered: Mar 16, 2009
Location: Argentina
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 31, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding image quality, specially if you consider its price. Good tripod collar. Close focusing. Good MF grip. Focus limiter. Despite other opinions, for a 400, it's light. It weights the same as my 80-200 f/2.8
Cons:
Slow AF

In short: amazing value. This lens delivers outstanding image quality with no objectionable aberrations, lots of detail and very good contrast and is physically light enough for handholding (and carrying).
Construction is good for the money. Actually very good for the money. It features an AF/MF ring, a focus limiter switch and a detachable tripod collar. You probably have already read all this stuff :-)
Manual focusing is a breeze, it's very comfortable, the lens shade helps keep stray light at bay and provides protection to the front element.
AF is plain bad. You don need to prefocus if you plan on shooting birds in flight, and even then it may hunt and you may lose the shot, but once it adquires focus on my D200, it works. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do, you can make it work. I get more in focus bird shots than I do with my MF Nikkor, so for me it's great. For non action subjects it's OK.
The Macro thing refers to its close focusing ability, which is great for lots of uses, including confident birds.
I sure forget something, probably someone already mentioned it!

I'm rating it very highly taking it's price into account.


Oct 31, 2009
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Badmono
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Registered: Mar 9, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price - Size & weight - IQ - Sharpness
Cons:
They don't make it anymore:-((

A bargain telephoto lens. I bought mine used from a mate we'd previously tested it against my Canon 400 F5.6 'L' the results were indistinguishaBLE.
I bought it off my friend when he wanted to sell it. and immediately sold my Canon on ebay.
Fabulous sharpness - bokeh 0 and contrast.
Nothing else to say really
a real bargain if you can find one - buy it.


Mar 19, 2009
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Wallie
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Registered: Jan 3, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Optical very good, Min. focus distance also,1,5 kg. is an good weight for this kind of lens.
Cons:
Not fast AF, af/mf switch not easy to use. Hard to find anywhere.

I use this lens with my sony a700. I am searching for an used 500/4.5 from sigma but when i see my new made foto's i doubt again and again.
I use this lens for nature fotography (www.waltervanos.nl)
For snakes, butterflys and other animals the 1,6 mtr. min. distance is verry nice to work with.
Foto's printed on A3 give very nice results.
If you can find one, give it a try.

Walter van Os


Jan 3, 2009
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Manuel Barrera
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Registered: Sep 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Nov 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $180.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light, excellent sharpness, cheap if you can find one
Cons:
slow focus, works on my 1D and 1Ds, an no problems

Have nothing to complain about this lens, don't use it often but it seems to bring me good luck. With the 1D it is an awesome lens here is a photo that I recently took with this lens http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=8190331&size=lg

Nov 10, 2008
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Dirk Hiemstra
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Registered: Nov 22, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, good contrast even at 5.6, better at 8.0. Decent built. Cheap second hand
Cons:
Out of programm ! Hunts sometimes in low light.

I am talking about the non-HSM version for Nikon. For the price you cannot find any better 400mm in the market. Sharp to the edges. Can easily be used with a teleconverter such as Kenko PRO 300 1.4. I did some tests to see the difference with the Nikon 80-400VR and concluded the Nikon (on 400mm where it wil be used mostly) can not compete the Sigma, VR does not give better images and the details with the Sigma (on monopod) are unbelievable. Don't think of 135-400, 80-400, 170-500 or 50-500 if you can find one of these !
Also no problems whatsoever with Nikon, all apertures can be used, all working nicely.
It's a shame Sigma discontinued the lens !!


Nov 28, 2007
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Grandin
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Registered: Mar 12, 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 51
Review Date: Aug 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap used prices, fast and accurate AF with HSM, sharp wide open (which is essential since my copy can only be used at f/5.6 on my Canon EOS 5D), black colour, sturdy metal build, built-in lens hood, comes with tripod collar and last but certainly not least can focus close enough to allow 1:3 magnification.
Cons:
Most copies (I believe, even of the last iteration) can only be used at all f-stops on analog Canon SLRs and older dSLRs (as mentioned by a previous reviewer). Its not a showstopper as this is a lens I'd use 90% of the time wide open anyway, but naturally its still nice to have the option.

Well, most of my review is already up in the pros and cons. I owned a Canon EF 400/5.6L prior to this lens and they are definately on par.

• They are equally sharp wide open.
• The Canon autofocus slightly faster.
• The Sigma has a significant advantage in how close it may focus – 1:3 magnification is really useful. With the Canon you’d have to add a 500D closeup filter and/or extension tubes to get anywhere near that magnification.

All in all, its great value if you can live with the f/5.6 only aperture on Canon dSLRS (or you might get lucky and get one with the latest firmware, but I believe those are rare). Sigma does not re-chip/update these lenses anymore, unfortunately.


Aug 30, 2007
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photomind
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Registered: Mar 31, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp IQ stop down a bit. Inexpensive. Solidly built. Easy to do MF.
Cons:
Heavy and long, longer than an EF 400L. Can be used in full f-stops with only Canon Digital D30, D60, 1D and 1Ds and limited to f5.6 with other Canon DSLR. It should work fully with Nikon or Minolta mount DSLR cameras.

It has a perfect review at www.photozone.de so I decided to buy a Canon D60 (it is cheap now) to fully use this lens at all f-stops after using only f5.6 (with occasional err 99) for a while with my 20D and XT. The general IQ is excellent if stopped down to f6.3 or higher. Even though it is not as good as a 400L but at 1/3 of the price it is a great bargain. If you happen to use a film cameras older than EOS Elan 7e or EOS 30) (not including 7e/30) or digital D30, D60, 1D, 1Ds you can still take full advantage of this lens at a bargain price.

Sigma also has this lens in other mounts; Nikon, Minolta, Pentax .. and I think (but not 100% sure) they are fully compatible with the current DSLRs.


May 2, 2007
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fishbait
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Registered: Jan 3, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 98
Review Date: May 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: good value for the price, nice appearance, decent AF (when it works -- see below).
Cons:
mine stopped working (won't focus) and the price repair isn't worth it, if I could even find a place to get it fixed. So it's done.

This was my first real telephoto (the APO HSM version) and I was happy with the photos it took using fuji slide film... it was a bargain at $400 bucks used... I liked the look better than the white canon L 400 5.6 which costs at least twice as much used and I don't think the quality was that far off... I'd say the quality was as good if not better than the Canon 100-400L zoom at 400mm -- which isn't too much of a surprise as zooms usually never match up to prime lenses. The 100-400L is the lens that replaced the sigma after it stopped focusing one day about 2 yrs after I bought it... it was strange, one moment I was adjusting MF and it was working fine, the next moment I was turning the adjustment section of the lens and nothing happened, it wouldn't adjust... after some frustrating hours and phone calls to local camera shops I gave up on it, it was clear the trouble and expense of a repair would be more trouble than the lens cost me.

But it was a great lens for price while it worked... I spent 3x the money on a new 100-400L and there's still many times using it fully extended when I think i'd be better off with the sigma


May 11, 2005
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choochoo
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Registered: May 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 483
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $310.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very well built, metal body, focus ring has wide grip, fairly sharp wide open, neutral color reproduction, HSM focusing (not quite as fast as USM), handy tripod mount, short focusing distance for a long telephoto (approx 5ft), black finish not as obvious as the white L lenses, inexpensive
Cons:
F5.6 sometimes a little too slow. HSM focus not as quick as USM, at f5.6 not tack sharp, it's sharp, but not tack sharp. okay, i'm nitpicking... Sigma customer service is not great either

I originally had one for my Minolta Maxxum system. It was great for the price and met my long telephoto needs. It's not a light lens, but it's not terribly heavy either. So, I got one with a Canon mount when I switch over. I was disappointed to find out that it didn't work on the 10D, unless I got it rechipped. So, I called Sigma USA, they said they were out of stock and I was out of luck. But, I kept the lens since I could still use it at f5.6 in "one shot" mode. Then I got a 1D Mk1. I was please to find out that it works perfectly with this camera. So, now, i'm happy as a bee... Good quality long telephoto for $300, what more can you ask for...

Jan 20, 2005
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NicolasB
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Registered: Jun 5, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 31
Review Date: Mar 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Autofocus very fast in good light condition, sharp @ 5.6, aptitude for macro photos ( minimum shooting distance : 1.6 meter ) Focus range selection, quiet focus ( HSM )
Cons:
None ( maybe the aperture 5.6 )

Hi,

I speak about the HSM version

I have made and I make always my photo with this lens and I am very pleased. It's a real good lens for birds in general, for birds in flight and also for macro shots due to his special minimum shooting distance for a 400 mm ( 1.6 meter / 63 inches ). Very sharp but not as sharp as my other lens ( Sigma 180 mm macro ). The AF hunts a little with my 10D but when the focus is done , the autofocus of my 10D can follow a bird in flight. The tripod collar is excellent and well build. This lens is also really amazing for handheld shots. You can select the focus range : 1.6m - 2.5 m or 3.5 m to infiny. So select 3.5 m to infiny and the Af speed will increase ( for birds in flight per example ). Built-in lenshood.
Lens is well built.

Compatible with the new 1.4 Extender of Sigma, The AF works but my Eos 10D have then more hesitations for the autofocus, It takes more time to do the focus point.

Price paid : 1100 € in the year 2001

Nicolas ,


Mar 2, 2004
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Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele Macro HSM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 125991 Apr 5, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $467.44
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.92
9.83
9.1
23_05_1_