Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

  Home · Search · Member List · Register  
Home » SLR Cameras, Digital & Film » SLR Lenses  
Sigma_Lens_Advert2.jpg
>

SIGMA 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS
Reviews Views Date of last review
9 31671 Fri January 18, 2013
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
89% of reviewers $1,300.00 7.6
Sigma_Lens_Advert2.jpg


Description:
Keywords: Sigma / Nikon 120-400mm OS F4.5-5.6



Author
Post A Reply 
Andy Bright

Administrator

Registered: August 2002
Location: Watford
Posts: 4409
Review Date: Sun July 19, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Posted on behalf of Lozninja
Please! read the instructions on the main review page... upload the product, then add your review.

Im' Posting This review Because There Doesn't Seem To Be Much Information On This Lens On Any Forums When I Needed Information Or Advice .

I Picked Up This Lens Second Hand , Bargain it had only been used a few times .

I opened the Box & the lens is all niceley solidly packaged in a proper sigma lens case with decent foam & interior padding .

On pulling out the lens you can see this is a well made & solidly Constructed casing made of alluminiim and is quite large and bulky . It comes with a support handle etc so you can attach to tripods or monopods or for help ith carrying the lens and camera whilst walking etc.

There 3 Electronic switches on the side of the lens , one is a lock , one is a Optical Stabilizer Switch and one is for manual or Auto Focus . All of these Switches are easy to use and are in sensible easy to reach places.

I'm attaching my lens to my Nikon D300 and i need more zoom for wildlife etc without the expensive price tag of the upper end lenses . I know as a rule you get what you pay for with equipment but the feel and quality so far on this lens is very pleasing.

On first walkabout with Sigma the first thing you realize is that it is quite weighty espicially when fully extended to 400mm , looking through the viewfinder focus on a object and i realize now how much i'm wobbling . Turn on The Optical Stabiliser hold steel take a shot and you hear the Optical Stabiliser Correcting the Lens .

There are 3 Settings on the Optical Stabilizer : Off / 1 / 2 . Postion off Is for tripod use etc , Postion 1 is handheld and postion 2 is for panning shots etc. The lens takes approx 1 second to fix the shot in position 1 and does the job very well .

The lens focusing and speed is very good indeed and has nice quite motor, i took several shots in HUSH HUSH Situations and lens didnt scare or frighten anything . Infact the actuall size of the front lens with a hood on is more daunting to animals etc than the noise of the lens.

All in all its done a very fine job indeed it handled everything that i've thrown at it . Focusing resonably quick . Even if you need to slightly adjust the manual focus you quickly just manually the focus ring , which is also a decent size about a quarter of the way up the lens .

All though i dont like tripod shooting ( prefer Walking ) , When used on a tripod you get some nice clear shots . Not quite real crisp profesional shots but very good for most people usage.

My friend uses the Nikon 400mm f2.8 ED VR AF-S , Now that does produce some lovelly crisp clear shots . But unfortunatly you have to have very large budget for one of these as since i dont i'm quite happy so far with my sigma .

All in all the sigma is a budget lens and it performs very well . I don't think you can go wrong with the price as the images it produces are very good .

The only thing i will add is it states in the owners maual that its " NOT WATERPROOF " too many curcuits inside etc so keep this in mind if your planning on using it in harsh environments .

Theres a picture below i took the first day out with it not the best but hay i'm still practicing .



Hope This Help's



Lozninja

Im' Posting This review Because There Doesn't Seem To Be Much Information On This Lens On Any Forums When I Needed Information Or Advice .

I Picked Up This Lens Second Hand , Bargain it had only been used a few times .

I opened the Box & the lens is all niceley solidly packaged in a proper sigma lens case with decent foam & interior padding .

On pulling out the lens you can see this is a well made & solidly Constructed casing made of alluminiim and is quite large and bulky . It comes with a support handle etc so you can attach to tripods or monopods or for help ith carrying the lens and camera whilst walking etc.

There 3 Electronic switches on the side of the lens , one is a lock , one is a Optical Stabilizer Switch and one is for manual or Auto Focus . All of these Switches are easy to use and are in sensible easy to reach places.

I'm attaching my lens to my Nikon D300 and i need more zoom for wildlife etc without the expensive price tag of the upper end lenses . I know as a rule you get what you pay for with equipment but the feel and quality so far on this lens is very pleasing.

On first walkabout with Sigma the first thing you realize is that it is quite weighty espicially when fully extended to 400mm , looking through the viewfinder focus on a object and i realize now how much i'm wobbling . Turn on The Optical Stabiliser hold steel take a shot and you hear the Optical Stabiliser Correcting the Lens .

There are 3 Settings on the Optical Stabilizer : Off / 1 / 2 . Postion off Is for tripod use etc , Postion 1 is handheld and postion 2 is for panning shots etc. The lens takes approx 1 second to fix the shot in position 1 and does the job very well .

The lens focusing and speed is very good indeed and has nice quite motor, i took several shots in HUSH HUSH Situations and lens didnt scare or frighten anything . Infact the actuall size of the front lens with a hood on is more daunting to animals etc than the noise of the lens.

All in all its done a very fine job indeed it handled everything that i've thrown at it . Focusing resonably quick . Even if you need to slightly adjust the manual focus you quickly just manually the focus ring , which is also a decent size about a quarter of the way up the lens .

All though i dont like tripod shooting ( prefer Walking ) , When used on a tripod you get some nice clear shots . Not quite real crisp profesional shots but very good for most people usage.

My friend uses the Nikon 400mm f2.8 ED VR AF-S , Now that does produce some lovelly crisp clear shots . But unfortunatly you have to have very large budget for one of these as since i dont i'm quite happy so far with my sigma .

All in all the sigma is a budget lens and it performs very well . I don't think you can go wrong with the price as the images it produces are very good .

The only thing i will add is it states in the owners maual that its " NOT WATERPROOF " too many curcuits inside etc so keep this in mind if your planning on using it in harsh environments .

Theres a picture below i took the first day out with it not the best but hay i'm still practicing .

Hope This Help's

Lozninja

------------------------------
www.Digiscoped.com
also, if you're particularly bored, try www.andybright.com - mediocre aviation photography
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Visit Andy Bright's homepage! Find more posts by this user  
albion14
Registered User

Registered: September 2009
Location: south east QLD,Australia
Posts: 94
Review Date: Fri December 25, 2009 Would you recommend the product? No | Price you paid?: $1,100.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: none!
Cons: too many to list,would'nt focus,noisy OS,pictures very poor

i bought this lens for birding,and i my oppinion its a absolute

failure,i would'nt recommend this lens to anyone,its extremerly

poor quality OS,took ages to settle and when it did still jumped

wildly,the quality of photos it took were extremerly low quality,

Do your self a favour,save your money and get a Canon L,or

other camera brand quality lens,i did-and no problems whats so ever.

I hope this may help someone avoid the same mistake i made

regards A14
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
Ron Houser
Registered User

Registered: February 2006
Location: Panama City, Florida
Posts: 62
Review Date: Sat January 23, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: good construction, very good image quality, very quiet operation, excellent value
Cons: none

I've had this lens for only 2 days, but after using it to photograph a few birds in trees, I am very impressed. It is much sharper than my old Sigma 400mm APO, which just quit autofocusing. This is a fairly big, heavy lens but I use it on a homemade gunstock mount with my Sony Alpha 100 camera, which has built in image stabilization. The price was $110 cheaper (through 47th St. Photo) than Nikon or Canon mounts since it does not have (or need) image stabilization. That should be of interest to you Sony users. I've been photographing birds for over 20 years and can definitely recommend this lens. From the online reviews I've seen, you might try stopping down to f7.1 or f8 to get the best quality. This lens is very quiet in focusing and only "hunts" for focus when there are a lot of confusing tree branches. It's best to use manual focus during these times anyway. There is no lens creep at all. If in doubt, buy it. You won't be disappointed.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
Tord S Eriksson

Tord

Registered: July 2010
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 45
Review Date: Tue November 30, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Optical stabilizer, price, availablity
Cons: Sharpness not the best, flare problems, bulk (nose heavy)

Had planned to buy a Bigma, but this was the one available at the time. Quite quickly it became apparent that if you use it at its extreme ends the result is not very brilliant, but at f8 and medium zoom it is pretty impressive. It is a front-heavy lens, thus feels heavier than it is - recommend a tripod, or monopod!

A long time now since I owned the lens, but looking at old photos the other day proved it to be excellent at short focusing distances, in the wide-to-medium end particularly! Like its sibling, the 150-500 it needs lots of light to perform!

------------------------------
Tord S Eriksson,
enthusiast for everything done outdoors, including photography, and reading a good book!

Pentax K-x, K-7 & K-5, plus a heap of lenses from Pentax, Tamron & Sigma
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
JSER
Forum Member

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 265
Review Date: Wed July 6, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Quality, focus speed, weight
Cons: none yet

I have had the terrible 150-500, which was stolen, thankfully, replaced with this under insurance, I also have a Nikkor 28-300 at 600, both are superb lenses, I was considering the 50-500 but the 120-400 offer a better max ap, better weight and better results, also way too heavy, if you have not tried the Sigma 120-400 you are missing out.

I often use this lens at 200asa, 15th second at 300mm the IS is soooooo good.

One of the best all time review sites is here

http://www.dpreview.com/
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
JSER
Forum Member

Registered: July 2011
Posts: 265
Review Date: Sat August 13, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros: Finish, speed, price
Cons: weight

I have this lens, and have also used a Canon 100-400, I will stay with this thank you.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
birdasaurus
Registered User

Registered: February 2012
Location: Northeast
Posts: 4
Review Date: Mon February 6, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: solid construction..sharp photos at wide angle
Cons: poor quality at 400mm

I bought this lens after going to my local camera story to but the canon 100-400. I liked the construction, much lower price and after trying both on my cameras there didnt seem to be much difference in pic quality. When the sigma focuses I can get sharp images for my purposes. I've also messed up quite a few shots at long focal lengths, which is why I bought the lens. I almost went back to but a used Canon 100-400 but still didnt like the push pull design. Sigma just came out with a new 50-500 with os that is getting great reviews for the price of the canon.. might consider that. For now I shoot the sigma on a tripod, f8 to f11 low iso and no filter... pics have been ok in this regard.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
Russ@HKG

Russ@HKG

Registered: February 2012
Location: HongKong
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sat February 25, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid construction, smooth focus ring, works well on a monopod
Cons: Heavy

Bought this a year ago when I went to get the Sigma 50-500, which was out of stock for Sony mount, so I bought this as it also got good comments in dpreview.com.

Using both Sony A100 and SLT A55V with this lens, brings great shots hand-held for medium range. Continuous focus of the A55 tracks an quickly maintains focus on flying birds.

I have also used the 2x teleconverter with tripod for some quite good results (especially one of the moon iso100/f11/ S1/100). Manual only focusing, but the smooth focus ring action when using the Alpha55 x7 and x14 focus zoom feature, means a crisp focus is achievable.

Medium distance telemacro effect using extension tubes with this lens in good light has also delivered good shots of Butterflies, wasps etc..
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  
dlwaterbear
Registered User

Registered: January 2013
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2
Review Date: Fri January 18, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $1,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: -
Cons: -

I am actually half decided to recommend or not recommend this product. Most people say this is cheap but I'd say this is priced not affordable(Since I am a student and don't really have income-imagine how hard I saved for this bloody lens)...

The quality of the glass against CA is good; lens hood to prevent lens flare reasonably; AF speed is not superbly fast but neither is it exceedingly slow; lens build is solid-Sigma's famous matte black finish; mass of lens although heavy but still acceptable; the OS is reasonable well to say it at least it beats the "SteadyShot Inside" of my Sony a55v body...

The deciding factor is most probably the IQ(Sharpness).... I'd like to say at 120-200mm the lens is pretty sharp wide open(who the heck uses this to shoot birds far away?) but anything beyond that prepare to stop down... sharpness is still acceptable at 300mm wide open(note that its already f5.6)

I have seen tons of reviews saying sharpness wide open at 400mm is acceptable but I beg to differ... Its worse than my (Tamron DI 70-300 f4-5.6 macro) at 300mm wide open. Please mind the price difference. The Tamron although older, is 5times cheaper than the Sigma(Although it lacks the 400mm range and has noisy AF). The sharpness of the Sigma can't even be recovered even using lightroom 4(You just create ultra pixelated pictures) so if you are looking for good IQ you have to stop down but I don't like the idea of stopping down. Who in the right mind buys a lens already at f5.6(very slow) wants to stop down more(f8)? Moreover if you are going to shoot at forested area(like me) I don't think this is going to work out.

Yes... yes... most of you would tell me to use a tripod but I don't want to lose mobility for stability...Moreover the tripod only steadies the camera and lens but not the subject so.... shooting at 1/50 isn't a very good idea is it?

As you all are already told, I use Sony (a55v) and that means my High ISO capability isn't good so basically my ISO threshold is ISO1600-3200.

In conclusion, I must say this lens will work better for High ISO performer cameras like those that can perform at above ISO3200 but not for mid-range or entry-level cameras. If you are starting Bird Photography go get the kit lens... It is more than sufficient for your birding needs till you mature into a full fledged hobbyist bird photographer where you should most likely get manufacturer's own lens in my case the Sony 70-400; Canon users, Canon's very own 100-400 push-pull and for Nikon users, 200-400... Thats why I am half-decided on whether to recommend or not to recommend since I don't really want to make people think to highly of this lens and in the end be disappointed that it does not perform up to their standard...

$1500 is a great deal of money even to those with middle income...
So do consider and weigh your options...

To save more or to buy cheap equipment? Thats your choice....
Do visit my profile on facebook and comment on my photos..

Sincerely,
Darren(facebook name: Dlkillwaterbear)
A hobbyist Bird photographer stuck in Singapore.
This user is offline
Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message Find more posts by this user  


Powered by: ReviewPost PHP vB3 Enhanced
Copyright 2006 All Enthusiast, Inc.



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Search the net with ask.com
Help support BirdForum
Ask.com and get

All times are GMT. The time now is 15:59.