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3 68169 9/15/2009
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Keywords: Sigma Canon Nikon Tele Zoom 35mm DG OS Stabilized APO


Registered: July 2008
Posts: 2
Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS APO review by c_4
Review Date: 9/15/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp at all focal lengths, very effective stabilizer
Cons: very heavy, noisy focus motor, turning on OS makes it noisier

I bought this lens 2nd hand because I wanted something with extra reach over the Nikkor 70-300VR; the optical stabilizer was also a desirable feature because I like to be able to go handheld in some situations.

In testing, this lens turned out to be absolutely tack sharp at all focal lengths, even at minimum aperture- I am extremely impressed with the sharpness. The optical stabilizer is also amazingly effective- I've been able to take sharp shots at 400mm focal length with just 1/15th shutter speed, which is incredible given the weight of the lens and the focal length.

The only drawbacks for me are that the focus motor is very noisy (but it is reasonably fast- things don't snap into focus immediately, but if you're able to pre-focus into the region where you know your subject will be, or use your camera's continuous focus tracking mode and follow the subject, this lens is quite usable for action/sports). For some reason, turning on the OS makes the focus motor even noisier: the OS itself is very quiet, about the same as the Nikon VR, but you get some additional noises when the OS kicks in: first, there's a whine/buzz as the moving element unlocks, then you get the expected quiet 'hissing" of the OS. While the OS is active, the focus motor seems to be much louder in operation than when it is turned off and then when you've taken the shot and have let go of the shutter button, after a second, there's another buzz/whine as the moving element locks in place again. Due to this and the physical size, you are quite conspicuous when using this lens, and it is probably not ideal for wildlife photography or in situations where the noise might be distracting.

It's too bad that this lens is discontinued, but if you are looking for a sharp, stabilized long telephoto, you might find a good deal on this lens on the used market as I did..

Registered: May 2008
Posts: 1
Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS APO review by mehdi_vip
Review Date: 5/22/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $855.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp . good color . handel
Cons: its havy . no hsm so no fast focus .

the images are good but no fast focus .
Larry Ingram

Registered: April 2006
Posts: 3
Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS APO review by Larry Ingram
Review Date: 4/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,000.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: The image stabilizer makes it hand holdable in decent light.
Cons: It's big and heavy, but there is no way I know of to avoid that.

I wrote this review and placed it with the older non DG version before this proper place was added. So far I am still amazed at the results I can get hand holding it
I bought the new DG version of this lens just over a week ago, hoping that the image stabilizer would help me get relatively sharp shots while hand holding. Due to age I am not as steady as I once was, plus because we now all can see our images in great detail on computer screens I am now much more aware of camera shake than I used to be. Well it's fair to say this lens blew me away, the images from my first batch of test shots were way beyond my highest expectations. I am using it on a Canon 20D which makes the lens become a 128-640 in relative terms due to the sensor size. Rather than go into details here I will list the link to the message on the sister forum of this where I have uploaded several as shot full resolution images, which you can download & evaluate yourself, plus another regular there has posted some similar shots using his Canon 100-400 L lens for an accurate comparison. I am still trying to learn how to hold it correctly, this is one of the bigest & heaviest lenses I have ever owned by a big factor. (recently also bought the Sigma 50-500 which is similar in size & weight).
Hope this is helpful to anyone considering this lens.


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