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02-21-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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SIGMA 135-400mm f4.5-5.6 APO

I just purchased a used Sigma 135-400 4.5-5.6 APO zoom through an ebay auction from Henry's Camera in Canada. I'm curious. Might that lens have been traded in or sold to Henry's by a forum member here? There was no way of knowing which Henry's store had it. There weren't any in their used listings, so this was exclusively an ebay store sale. They only advertised it as an APO version, but the pictures showed it to be the DG version pretty clearly. If anyone here owned this lens, can you giive me a heads up on any problems?
I've been looking for one of these for a couple of months now. I'm going on an Alaska cruise this July and wanted something respectably long to have with me. I'll have a 21Ltd, Sigma 17-70, DA*50-135, this Sigma 135-400, and a Tamron 1.4X converter to use with my K10D. I also recently (Christmas and Valentines presents) bought my wife a K200D with the 18-55 II kit, and a DA 55-300. She's actually just returning from a cruise to the west coast of Mexico (with her Mother and sister) tonight. (first real test for the camera and her). We'll have both of these "kits" with us in Alaska. Any and all comments or suggestions are welcomed.
Thanks,
Brian
Not new to Pentax (~40 years), not new to photography, but always looking to learn something new.

02-21-2009, 06:23 PM   #2
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Hi Brian,

Does your 135-400 have a lens lock on it? If it does then it is a later version and you will find the lens lock quite handy as it tends to creep when moving around.

I have an earlier model without the lens lock, and I am really undecided on this lens. (see "Surfs Up" post in "Post your Photos' ).

My good friend KeithG has used this lens on his K10 and loves it, kindly offering to look after it for me . So it maybe me or the K20 may have some focus issues, more likely its me I think.
So I went back and had another look at the shots I took a few days ago, and I might be being a little tough on the lens.

Here are a few samples from that day, no cropping, no pp, except on the last one where I have added Fill light, a bit of exposure & vibrancy, all in lightroom.

The one thing I would reccommend with this lens is a good quality monopod and tripod, when you start getting out past 300 you need all the help you can get.

Enjoy your trip (thats on our agenda one day), I look forward to seeing the shots.

These are jpegs from the K20 & 135-400 @ 400. You be the judge.

Cheers
Grant.




Attachment 28759








someone said f8 & be there....well I was there...@135mm
Attachment 28760








this one has had some pp.
Attachment 28761

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 10-05-2009 at 12:52 AM.
02-21-2009, 06:45 PM   #3
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I think you should throw it in my bin Grant lol. Only kidding. Nothing wrong with the sharpness. Try it with the spot exposure. I didnt know Anne was a surfer. Ill just go and put a pillow in my bin lol.
02-21-2009, 06:49 PM   #4
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I haven't received the lens yet. The auction ended late Thursday and they claim 2-3 business days to ship. I probably won't hold the lens until next weekend, so I can only hope it has the zoom lock.
I've heard quite a few reviews like yours. Some good shots, some bad shots, some crisp, some soft. The problem is that I hear worse reviews about the newer 120-400 & 170-500 type lenses. It sounds like the 50-500 Bigma is generally accepted as being good, but my mind just won't let me buy a 10X zoom.
I really like your first and second shots (wish I was there too). The third looks a little soft.
Thanks for the samples. Especially samples around water. I spend a lot of time near or on the water when it's warm.
Brian

02-21-2009, 09:11 PM   #5
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I like this lens alot.

02-22-2009, 05:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by reknelb Quote
I like this lens alot.
I like your photos. Especially this one. It took me quite a while to figure out just what that was. It helped me wake up this morning!
I also went to your site. Very nice.
Brian
02-22-2009, 02:21 PM   #7
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Thanks.
I took those shots last year around this time. Just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit and the ducks will be migrating back through.
02-22-2009, 02:34 PM   #8
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I have the APO DG version (no lock) and it certainly needs one .. it creeps very badly.
Having tried it with the Tamron 1.4x I would say don't bother with that combo.
I am not overstruck on the lens tbh and will be putting mine up for sale shortly.

Few shots taken with mine on the K10D.











02-22-2009, 04:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
I have the APO DG version (no lock) and it certainly needs one .. it creeps very badly.
Having tried it with the Tamron 1.4x I would say don't bother with that combo.
I am not overstruck on the lens tbh and will be putting mine up for sale shortly.
I think your shots are very good. Maybe not Pentax Star quality, but very nice nun the less. I followed through the Flikr site > home and searched for 135-400mm. Quite a few shots came up and most look pretty darn good (to my tired eye anyway).
Brian
02-22-2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
someone said f8 & be there....well I was there...@135mm
I'd have been there too, but a hell of a lot closer than 135mm!
02-25-2009, 12:51 PM   #11
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Lens arrived today

My lens arrived today, just minutes before I had to leave for an eye exam. Of course, now my pupils are fully dialated and it is a clear, blue, bright sky and it almost hurts to be out in the sun. To top it all off, when I returned from the eye exam my mail had arrived, which included the Hoya Pro1D UV(0) and the Sunpack DHG Circular Polarizer that I ordered for this lens. Tomorrow I have to go to work so it will be drool, drool, drool, until I get a chance to get out there and put this lens to the test.
It is the APO DG model and looks almost new, but unfortunately it does not have the zoom lock. Zoom creep is astounding on this lens. It almost doubles in length between minimum and maximum extension. Has anybody come up with a reasonable work around for the lack of the lock? How about a tight rubber band partially over the zoom ring and partially over the body of the lens?
Brian
02-25-2009, 06:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
My lens arrived today, just minutes before I had to leave for an eye exam. Of course, now my pupils are fully dialated and it is a clear, blue, bright sky and it almost hurts to be out in the sun. To top it all off, when I returned from the eye exam my mail had arrived, which included the Hoya Pro1D UV(0) and the Sunpack DHG Circular Polarizer that I ordered for this lens. Tomorrow I have to go to work so it will be drool, drool, drool, until I get a chance to get out there and put this lens to the test.
It is the APO DG model and looks almost new, but unfortunately it does not have the zoom lock. Zoom creep is astounding on this lens. It almost doubles in length between minimum and maximum extension. Has anybody come up with a reasonable work around for the lack of the lock? How about a tight rubber band partially over the zoom ring and partially over the body of the lens?
Brian
Sorry Brian, no ideas on the lens creep, I tend to carry mine with the lens pointed up, or cradled across my arm. A snoot bag works to.

Mind you, the looks you get from people when you walk around with it hanging off your neck are amusing....they go from open amusement to slightly quizzical to down right admiration... as the lens creep extends.

I'm sure you will get a lot of enjoyment out of the lens.
Cheers.
Grant
02-26-2009, 01:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by calicojack Quote
unfortunately it does not have the zoom lock. Zoom creep is astounding on this lens. It almost doubles in length between minimum and maximum extension. Has anybody come up with a reasonable work around for the lack of the lock?
Terrible isn't it.

I found the best way was to buy a lens cap off Ebay that has the cord attached to it.
I loop the cord round the tripod mount and then put the cap on and twist which tightens the cord and stops it creeping.

I think that makes sense ?

I would probably be a little less harsh on the lens if this wasn't such a problem.
02-26-2009, 03:58 AM   #14
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MikeP,
I see in your signature that you have both the Sigma 135-400 and the Tamron 1.4X TC. Have you tried them together? If yes, what do you think of the combo?
Brian
02-26-2009, 05:51 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
Terrible isn't it.

I found the best way was to buy a lens cap off Ebay that has the cord attached to it.
I loop the cord round the tripod mount and then put the cap on and twist which tightens the cord and stops it creeping.

I think that makes sense ?

I would probably be a little less harsh on the lens if this wasn't such a problem.
duct tape :P
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