Home | Reviews | Lenses | 35mm Primes | Sigma

Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO 35mm Primes

3.9 star rating
                      3.9 / 5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $0
Focal Length : 300mm - 800mm | Max. Aperture : f/5.6  | Focus : Autofocus  

Product Description

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by praxis0344 a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2004

Strengths:    comfortable to use.
nice looking.
gives great pictures.
built very well.
good price.

Weaknesses:    rubber focusing ring rotates and falls right where you would normally put your other hand which will intefere with auto focusing if you are not careful.

Bottom Line:   
there were three different versions of this lens. the non apo version, the apo version and the apo/hsm version.
i have used the latter two. of these, i prefer the apo version due to it's smaller circumference. my hand fits around this version better and i find it is much more comfortable to hold and carry .
the filter size for this version is 72mm as comparred to 77mm for the apo/hsm.
the apo/hsm is quieter in autofocus.it is also supposedly sharper, but i have'nt seen it. they both look equally sharp to me. as for focusing a little closer, i don't use this lens for that sort of thing. i use this lens for birds, animals etc. at a distance.
the apo also came in two colors, black and a light grey, which is the one i have.
in use, i leave in in autofocus mode most of the time. it works just fine. it does make a noise when focusing, but not terribly loud.
you must have a clear target though or it will start to hunt.
for birds among tree branches etc. it is better to leave it in manual mode because the targets are so small it doesn't know what to lock onto most of the time.
the good part is that it takes very little movement of the focusing ring to bring it into focus. i usually support it in my palm and adjust focus by simply moving a couple fingers a small amount.
one thing that is irritating though is that when in autofocus the focus ring falls right where you would normally palce your hand and since the ring turns when it focuses, your hand will interfere with it. you just have to learn to place your hand a little further up on the lens.
i find that this lens is very well constructed and can take hard use.
i have been out in swamps with this lens many time and although i have never abused it, i have used it hard and it is still working beautifully.
picture quality in my opinion is great.
this is the only 400mm lens i have used so i don't have much to compare it with, but the pictures i get from it are satisfying to me so i will continue to use and enjoy this lens until i can find one that gives better pictures, is as comfortable to use and can take hard use. AND not cost me and arm and a leg.
thanks sigma.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   keh

Similar Products Used:   none

Type of photography:   Fine Art

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fotograafdigi a Intermediate from Apeldoorn

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2002

Strengths:    - Have read many complaints on build quality but mine is build like a brick.
- AF surprisingly fast snappy on my dynax 5 when all 7 AF sensors are enabled. Even in low light (dawn/dusk when photographing wildlife in low-contrast situations).
- Even autofocusses with my 1.7x converter attached!!! (viva minolta!), but only in good light.
- At 5.6 good image quality (checked by 8"x10" prints), very sharp in the centre, getting slightly soft near the corners (but still pretty good). No vignetting.
- At F8 tack sharp throughout the frame.
- Still usable with 1.7x converter at 5.6, although slight chromatic abberations become visible in small area's in the corners, as well as very-very slight vignetting.
- At F8 + 1.7x converter, you'll have long shutterspeeds - it will still give excellent results (comparable to at 5.6 without a TC). At f8, no vignetting with the TC.
- Note the above might vary depending on how well a specific TC matches with any lens. I've had this TC on a 300mm minolta giving horrid results.

- Exclelent AF (even tracking fast cars at close range on overcast days) in combination with the Dynax 5. Quite a combo!!

Weaknesses:    - Requires a reasonably heavy tripod & head & proper long lens technique. Which is difficult to master.
- Gets frowns from those with more expensive glass. Even more frowns when showing prints taken at 680mm with the 1.7x tc
- Has a bad reputation (many reports say its much worse then the newer, but now also discontinued APO-Macro version), but I havent been disapointed with it. Gives excelent images when used properly. Except for contrast, it's sharpness compares to the 135mm 2.8 used at 5.6. which is no easy task for a 400mm lens.

Bottom Line:   
I've got this lens for AF minolta for my minolta Dynax 5. I've been pleasently surprised by both build quality and image quality. I was afraid of non sharpness / colors / contrast in comparison to more expensive glass. I've shot a 24 exp. test roll with Fuji Reala 100 print film of both wildlife (from a hide), and 4 shots at different apertures, and again these 4 shots using a soligor C/CD4 1.7x converter.

If you can get your hands on one, BUY IT!!, but do keep in mind i've been working on my long lens tecnique for over 2 years before buying this lens. It's not easy to get these great results without proper technique!!! (hence the many reports that it gives blurry images). A 400mm 5.6 lens gives shutterspeeds that require proper technique!.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   kamera express

Similar Products Used:   Minolta 135mm 2.8, minolta 50mm 1.7

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Deniz Merdanogullri a Intermediate from Abbotsford,BC,Canada

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2002

Strengths:    Cheap for a telephoto
light enough to lug around everyday
Can be sharp if you know you to use long lens

Weaknesses:    slow at f5.6
Autofocus is kinda slow but not so slow that would piss me off.

Bottom Line:   
After reading lots about this lens i decided to give it a shot and i am not dissapointed with the purchase. If you use proper long lens technique you can get really sharp pictures.It is really small and light. Built in lens hood is nice. But could focus closer.I beleive new mocro model focuses a lot closer.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   e-bay

Similar Products Used:   exakta 300mm
nikon AF 300mm f4

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martin Cliffe a Expert from Manchester, UK

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2001

Strengths:    Very sharp
Fairly lightweight
Nice built-in lens hood and tripod mount
Well constructed... very sturdy!
Well balanced
Internal focusing - no rotation or extension of front element.

Weaknesses:    Obviously darker to focus than an f4 lens
Lens cap design could be better
Other than that, nothing!

Bottom Line:   
I've only had this lens a short time, but I love it! Knocks the socks off my old 500mm mirror lens. Easy to focus, a good weight, and it fits into my Lowepro Mini-Trekker.
Finding long telephoto lenses in MD fit is tricky... but I'm more than happy with this find... it's a wonderful lens! Definitely to be recommended.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   Campkins, Cambridge

Similar Products Used:   500mm f8 mirror
70-210 zoom w/2x conv

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ross Nolly a Professional from Stratford, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2001

Strengths:    Cheap. Light. Sharp. built in lens hood.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
A very light weight, cheap but very sharp lens. Ideal for wildlife work. Have used it wide open and trannies are still sharp enough for publication.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $145.00

Purchased At:   Photo Warehouse, Auckland , N.Z. (second hand)

Similar Products Used:   Tokina 400mm f5.6

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!

See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »


PhotographyReview Videos