Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS APO
(From Sigma lens literature) The Optical Stabilizer (OS) function, developed with Sigma's own technology, compensates for shaking of the camera.
Using Sigma's original OS (Optical Stabilizer) function, two types of sensors inside the lens detect vertical and horizontal movement of the camera. Two types of camera-shake compensation modes handle all types of shooting conditions. In Mode 1, the system detects and compensates for vertical and horizontal movement of the camera; ideal for still-image photography. And in Mode 2, the system detects and compensates for vertical movement of the camera; ideal for motor sports and other situations where panning may be desired.
For Nikon cameras, it is only possible to use OS system with models equipped with image blurring compensation mechanism. It can be used with following Nikon cameras: F6, F100, F80/N80 series, F65/U, F75/U2, D2 series, D1 series, D100, D70, D70s, D50 and Fuji Film FinePix S2 Pro. OS mechanism cannot be used with other Nikon models. In addition, OS mechanism and Auto Focus operation of this lens do not work with F5 cameras. (Check Sigma's website for the latest list of compatible bodies.)
The new multi layer lens coating and lens design reduce flare and ghosts, which is a common problem with digital cameras and also creates an optimum color balance through the entire zoom range.
This lens has two SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements in the front lens group and one in the rear lens group for correction of chromatic aberration throughout the entire zoom range.
The rear focus eliminates the need for the front of the lens to rotate, thus allowing the use of circular polarizing filter. A zoom lock switch is built in to prevent the lens from extending due to its own weight, and the lens is easier to use.
It is also possible to use this lens with Sigma 1.4x EX and 2x EX APO Tele-Converter to make ultra tele-zoom. With the optional APO tele-converter 1.4x EX, it works as a manual focus tele-zoom lens from 112mm to 560mm f/6.3-8. With APO tele-converter 2.0x EX, it works as a manual focus tele-zoom lens from 160mm to 800mm f/9-11.
Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS APO User Reviews
9 out of 10 points and recommended by c_4 (2 reviews)Extremely sharp at all focal lengths, very effective stabilizervery 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.reviewed September 15th, 2009 (purchased for $800)
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..
10 out of 10 points and recommended by mehdi_vip (1 reviews)sharp . good color . handelits havy . no hsm so no fast focus .
the images are good but no fast focus .reviewed May 22nd, 2008 (purchased for $855)
10 out of 10 points and recommended by Larry Ingram (3 reviews)The image stabilizer makes it hand holdable in decent light.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 itreviewed April 15th, 2006 (purchased for $1,000)
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.