View Full Version : Sigma 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 Apo DG

26th April 2009, 08:13 PM
Info required.
Does anybody have this lens and if so what do they think of it. How does It compare to the Bigma ?

Nick Temple-Fry
26th April 2009, 08:23 PM
Well I've been posting with it (usually paired with the zuiko ec1.4) for quite some time - in fact I just posted a thread with images from it. (most of my shots are labelled with the lens in the gallery)

A good lens but appreciates a little stopping down at the long end and obviously (because it doesn't start at a very fast number) needs a camera that can use iso 800 and sometimes above to capture action shots.

It is a bit smaller than the 50-500 - so I have no problem in including it in a days shooting kit.

Sadly I think it is discontinued - so I think you now need to go onto the 2'nd hand market.


26th April 2009, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Nick, have just had a quick look at your Little Grebe shots you do the lens justice with your skill. I have seen one new at an on line retailer for 419 . Undecided to either get an EC 14 for my 50-200 or this lens as my next purchase ?

Barrie Norman
26th April 2009, 08:52 PM

At 419 that is agood buy, the 50-500 is now over 1,000.00 both the 135-400 and your 50-200 would work well with the EC14 and would buy the 135-400 first then buy the EC14 at a later date as the lens will not be there for long at that price and the EC14 will be aroun for a long time, thats only my opinion.


Nick Temple-Fry
26th April 2009, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Nick, have just had a quick look at your Little Grebe shots you do the lens justice with your skill. I have seen one new at an on line retailer for 419 . Undecided to either get an EC 14 for my 50-200 or this lens as my next purchase ?

Personally I'd get both (I have them anyway).

The ec1.4 50-200 is a magical combination, often commented on in this forum - but that still only gives you 280mm (but with great IQ). The 135-400 gives you, well 400mm on its own with good IQ, and 567 with the ec1.4.

The 135-400 has always been overshadowed by the 50-500 (and also was never well available) - but it's a good lens.


27th April 2009, 07:04 AM
I bought a 135-400 from a forum member earlier this year and have been very pleased with it. I tend to use it on its own handheld as I'm not skilled at using the longer focal length you get with the EC14 added. Like Nick T-F I think the 50-200 with the 1.4 is a magic combination but the 135-400 gives just that much more reach. I usually stop it down to f9 and get good results. Buy one if you can. The main shortcomings are that the feel and finish of Sigma lenses is not as good as Oly and the zoom works in the opposite direction which can be irritating. The ability to switch from auto to manual focussing on the lens is an advantage since it's quicker than doing it on the E3.

27th April 2009, 09:30 AM
I thought afterwards that I should have posted a photo. This heron had just launched an unsuccessful attack on a large brood of day old mallard and was looking for somehting else. Taken at the London Wetlands Centre.


27th April 2009, 11:38 AM
As Nick says, the 135-400 needs to be stopped down slightly to give of its best, especially at the long end.

They do come up on Fleabay occasionally (which is where I got mine).

I think the IQ from the EC14/50-200 combination tops it significantly, but that extra reach does make a big difference for birds & wildlife.

Of course, the other thing with the EC14 is that it makes a useful and pocketable extra bit of reach with other lenses. Had good results with both the 14-54 and Sigma 105mm when I haven't had the longer lenses with me.

27th April 2009, 04:19 PM
It is discontinued but got one from Ffordes Photographic Ltd online...they are in Inverness.Got it for 419 + p/p ...don, forget the 77mm Skylight filter (about 30).

I have stated on this site before that I wanted one up to 500mm.Was going to get one from the Focus on imaging show at the NEC around 600 - 700 but they did not have any with OLY fit and the order prices were at least 1100. (gulp). I looked at the OLY 70-300 with a 1.4 or 2 attachment and was advised at the OLY STAND that this would mean a loss of available light and would be unsuitable for shooting wildlife.......????!!!!! |The OLY chaps did try and get the Sigma bloke to get me one for the cheaper price but they said their hands were tied..Boo Hoo.

I am still trying to get to grips with the 135- 400 as I am not used to such a big one so have not come to any real conclusions yet.
One thing i have noticed is that it NEVER really looks in focus though the viewfinder but the shots come out more or less O.K.

A couple of shot I have managed so far........



Keith *chr

28th May 2009, 04:47 PM
Just thought I would close down this thread I finally decieded on the EC1.4. got a mint example mail order from ffordes for 250 about 100 saving on new. it finally arrived yesterday after Royal mail lost it for a week, sending it to the wrong address, it finally found its way back to ffordes.Thanks to all for your advice.

24th June 2009, 08:55 PM
I hope it's ok to open this thread again as its relavnt to me in that I often wonder about getting more reach for my sports/outdoor photography.

Im happy with my 50-200/EC14 but it does spend a good 50% of its time at its maximum reach. Today, as always at my son's cricket matches, I wanted to get closer in to the action out in the middle.

A Bigma would have the reach to get great facial expression, but given the comments on this thread, there are other clear options such as the 135-400 or adding an EC-20 to my 50-200. There is also the Zuiko OM 400mm telephoto which for cricket use would be fine as I tend to use MF to catch the batsman/bowlers as just as they are batting or bowling rather than risk the AF missing them and going to the background, it works well.

400mm would be plenty I think. I'm leaning towards the EC-20, but given the discussion here, I wondered if there was a view on the pros and cons especially when comparing to the other lenses mentioned.

24th June 2009, 10:36 PM
I'd get the EC-20 - the IQ with the 50-200 is much better. I had the 135-400, and got rid...


25th June 2009, 06:34 AM
I think you're better off with the Sigma than adding a 2x teleconverter to the 50-200. I've not used my EC20 since buying the Sigma 135-400, which gets a lot of use. I think there's a good market for a lens of this focal length and it's a pity neither Oly or Sigma now sell one. Some months back when we were suggesting a wish list for Mr Watanabe the lack of an Oly lens was mentioned. I hope he does something about it. Oly lenses, in my view, have a much nicer feel about them. The Sigma zooms the wrong way and the manual focus ring turns when in auto focus. Being behind rather than in front of the zoom ring it often rubs agains your hand.

25th June 2009, 08:01 AM
I'd get the EC-20 - the IQ with the 50-200 is much better. I had the 135-400, and got rid...


It could be I had a bad sample - that's very often the problem with the Sigmas - they can be good, but you have to be lucky...