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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:25 am 
Very very informative - thanks again for going to this level and sharing!

The Sigma is such a beast..it wold look almost grotesque on my D40..lol.

On one hand thre is the question of which is "better" but the other question would be if the 500mm mirror is "good enough" for one's purpose. Hauling the Sigma around is not a trivial thing!

I could see these long lenses would be suitable for fairly static wildlife ut perhaps more interesting, oblique street photography where composition, motion-blur and some "grungyness" can be a quality.

Family-functions where people are camera-shy and you want candids might be a good purpose for this lens as well.

However, it seems to me that your review also reveals something else - that one shouldn't expect to get high quality long-range zooms or tele's very cheap either....

Although I have to admit that the image you took of that kid on the beach with your 500mm was gallery-worthy on all levels!

Cheers :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Quote:
one shouldn't expect to get high quality long-range zooms or tele's very cheap either
Well I agree, but only with the first part: Long tele zooms in very good quality are expensive - think 1000 EUR and above. But long tele-lenses are cheap to come by if you dare to buy them used! Look at the results from my Sigma 400/5.6 APO macro and I'm pretty sure the Sigma 300/4.0 APO macro is of the same vintage. So if you don't hesitate do swap your lenses, you can get a very good selection of large aperture tele-lenses for a fraction of the cost of one very good tele-zoom :idea:
That's all a result of a simple engineering paradigma: fixed-focus lenses of very high IQ are much easier to design and build than zooms of the same quality!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:31 am 
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If you want to see the IQ of this lens compared to the new Sigma 120-400mm OS at 400mm just have a look at this post (links to the large originals included).

There will also be a test of IQ when used in combination with a Canon 500D close-up filter which should get the lens up to approx 1:1 magnification. The results are expected end of October and will be published as part of this article.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:32 pm 
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I'm looking at the sigma 400mm F/5.6 APO to get some birding and windsurfing shots. It goes for about 150 euros (maybe trade it for my 18-105 VR). Sounds like a good deal?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:35 pm 
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150€ looks like a good deal, but make sure that it is the incarnation that I show in my image here.
Thomas wrote:
There was an earlier version that was not designated "macro" which can be found even cheaper on eBay (around 200€) and there was also a HSM (aka AF-S) version which would have worked on a D40/x/60...
Mine is the macro but non-HSM version.

The older version might not be as good as the one I reviewed.
And there is always the chance to get a lemon. So make sure you can give it back or you can otherwise be sure to get a good sample...

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Well, it's the gray one (no-macro version), and it's reported to AF on a D70, so I'd have to try it on my D2H. If the sale/trade goes through I'll probably end up meeting the seller in person anyhow, so I will test it :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:18 pm 
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This is from PMs that user Storch allowed me to publish:
Storch wrote:
I still have one question about Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO macro. What do you think about AF speed of this lens? Is it suitable for action shooting (e. g. for birding)?

I'm not a birder, so I can't tell.
But on my D300 it takes around 1 second to go from infinity to 2.5m plus a lag before the focus motor starts to work depending on the brightness of the scene. Indoors this phase can add another second to focusing, but in brightly lit outdoor scenes it is almost imperceptible.
Storch wrote:
Thanks for answer, Thomas. I am not a birder too, just think it would be interesting for me. But I cant make big investments for long lens for the moment, so I try to find something old, relatively cheap but decent.

Yeah, the Sigma 400/5.6 APO macro is decent lens and quite cheap too if you can get hold of a used copy in good condition.

Btw. In my Sigma 120-400 OS lens-review there are some comparisons to the 400/5.6 lens. Just have a look here.

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