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04-06-2011, 01:26 AM   #1
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Sigma 400mm APO f5.6

My new to me 400mm arrived today!

First impressions, its small! Compared to a 70-200/2.8 it is realy small.
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Decently sharp, still has a bit of PF at 400mm but I was expecting that.
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Just above the garage door handle is the remnants of a Neighbourhood Watch sticker, I didn't see it until I viewed at 100%, at which I could read the text

Most dissappointing fact was that the ebay seller blatanly lied about the condition. Another viewer of the listing posted this question, and the seller responded -

Q: This lens has a common issue where an internal element will develop haze. If you shine a flashlight inside do you see an haze or white spots on the focusing element? Thanks
A: Glass is very clean and crystal clear, there are 1 or 2 specks of tiny dust right behind the front lens element. This will in no way effect image quality, almost every lens has this.
As soon as I opened the box I opened the aperture and sure enough, on the focussing group is this
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Not happy at all!

The auction finished at $270usd, my feeling is that a lens with this issue is worth $150 at best. If I send it back I'm going to be out close to $100 in postage fees (here and back). Any thoughts or suggestions on best course of action for something bought from the other side of the planet?


04-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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i had similar problems with revuenon 55/1.2 ''very good condition''. after it arrived it had quite a lot of fungus. after complaint i got refund of about 25%. didn't want to return it for the same reason as you. my friend cleaned it (still not perfect, permanently damaged by fungus). but i am satisfied with it.
good luck resolving your issue!
04-06-2011, 10:48 PM   #3
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Guess what?! I was the guy who asked the seller that question.
I stopped bidding early due to other priorities.
I'm sorry to hear that it turned out to be a bad copy for you. I really thought it was going to be a clean copy based on his response.
You may want to contact ebay and paypal to see what your options are.
04-06-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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Get some quotes on repairing the lens plus shipping, if any. Get in touch with the seller and ask for a partial refund for the repair costs and if he balks, inform the seller that you will open a dispute for item not as described. Based on the seller's response to crewl1's inquiry (an outright lie), I don't think the seller would want eBay and PayPal to get involved in this dispute. I hope it works out for you.


04-06-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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The research I've done on this lens does not hold promise that a cleaning will do the trick.

I'll try to dig up the link but as I recall the problem is due to deterioration of the cement that bonds two glass elements in the focusing group.

I have this lens with the same condition and was hoping I could get it cleaned but ultimately was left with the impression that this condition is unrepairable or too expensive to fix.

I really like it otherwise and was hoping I could find a good copy.

Edit: Found the link.

Sift through the garbage and you will find this post " Luckily, I called Sigma Technical Services just to checked it out and I was told that the lens had the problem as Rob said - degradation of the lens cement. In order to fix this, the lens would have to be sent to a specialist optical centre where they can separate the lens groups and the lens would have to be grind down to remove the adhesive and I think repolished and re-cemented."

Last edited by crewl1; 04-06-2011 at 11:37 PM.
04-06-2011, 11:40 PM   #6
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Seller has been adamant that the lens was fine when he checked it, will have a look at the dispute options though.

Photos out of the lens though are actually quite good, better than I had expected anyway!

Just dissappointing to pay for a 'mint' copy and then find out it isn't so mint later!

Will post some photos up from it later, just about to lock the doors on an old house as I moved today! May be without internet for a few days while DSL gets provisioned.

04-06-2011, 11:52 PM   #7
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Congrats on the house!

I agree, my lens is not too shabby even with the issues, and I think mine is worse than yours.
04-07-2011, 04:34 AM   #8
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That link leads to a pretty riveting saga, Crew/1!

04-07-2011, 06:44 AM   #9
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You said it
04-07-2011, 07:14 AM   #10
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Well, thank you all for the heads up on this lens in general.
04-14-2011, 03:15 AM   #11
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I've got a couple of pics to show off now. I am even more impressed with this lens!

Firstly a portrait of my young bloke, he's really into striking poses now... This was roughly 10m/30' away. Hard to nail focus perfectly but as you can see from the crop, at ISO1600 can still see the hairs on the edge of his ear!!

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And the moon, obligatory shot of course, something a little different though being daytime.

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Both pics were handheld! No editing at all other than the crop and resize. Impressive colour and sharpness out of the camera for a $300 lens. Moon is a 100% crop btw.

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