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Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Tele-Macro on eBay
Posted By: entropy1, 11-14-2014, 09:26 PM

Item: Sigma 400mm APO Tele-Macro (77mm). I have NO connection to this (I know nothing about the seller or the lens beyond what the ad says) and I have my own that is NOT for sale, but I just bumped into one for sale on eBay in the US on a 10 day auction so I thought I'd post it since these almost never appear anywhere.
Price: auction (just starting around $200)
URL: Sigma AF 400mm F5 6 APO Tele Macro Lens 77mm Case Fits Pentax | eBay

The autofocus gears on mine "stripped" (really gear posts loosening so traction is lost), as they did for "Yuri" (from NZ, if I remember correctly) who bought one around the same time I did and this seems to be a common Sigma problem, not just for this lens. This has brass, not plastic gears like many of the Sigmas that apparently strip. I did fix mine (at the cost of the ball-detent on the MF/AF ring stopping working and then losing the ball in the carpet) and Yuri got his fixed in a shop. So be aware that could be in your future, but you don't need an unobtainable replacement set of AF gears.
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11-21-2014, 06:13 PM   #16
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2 more days but it's stuck at 400$. Maybe that's all it'll get.

11-21-2014, 07:43 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
Hi I saw that auction, and was about to bid, so I re-read the whole ad, and in "focus" the guy wrote "Manual". Though the photos of the box had AF written all over it. Let us know if it can auto focus ?
I also saw MF in the description. But from experience I know that the auto-generated eBay information about lenses is often wrong. I relied instead on:
1. AF written on the box,
2. a link to reviews of the AF version on this forum,
3. photos of the lens which (faintly) show a limiter switch and the words "Auto focus" next to "Sigma" near the base of the lens, just above the tripod foot. (The photos of the MF version that Seachunk2 posted just show the word "Sigma", and it is in a bigger font.)

The lens hasn't arrived yet. (Australia Post sent it to the wrong place but have now relocated it.) But I will confirm once I get it.

---------- Post added 11-22-14 at 01:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
2 more days but it's stuck at 400$. Maybe that's all it'll get.
That says sniping to me.

Last edited by Des; 11-21-2014 at 09:54 PM.
11-22-2014, 12:56 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
I also saw MF in the description. But from experience I know that the auto-generated eBay information about lenses is often wrong. I relied instead on:
1. AF written on the box,
2. a link to reviews of the AF version on this forum,
3. photos of the lens which (faintly) show a limiter switch and the words "Auto focus" next to "Sigma" near the base of the lens, just above the tripod foot. (The photos of the MF version that Seachunk2 posted just show the word "Sigma", and it is in a bigger font.)

The lens hasn't arrived yet. (Australia Post sent it to the wrong place but have now relocated it.) But I will confirm once I get it.
Looks like you've scored a great lens, pity about the wrong address.

Yeah I watched 3 people try to snipe your lens, and I bet the current one on ebay will have a few snipers on it too !
11-22-2014, 02:49 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
Yeah I watched 3 people try to snipe your lens, and I bet the current one on ebay will have a few snipers on it too !
Of course I sniped too, but I was still quite surprised I got it, to be honest. It's possible I had the highest max, but equally the result might have just turned on the order in which snipes arrived in the last seconds. The mechanics of sniping are still a mystery to me.

Makes up for the ones that got away, like a DA 70 that went for $A330, and FA 31 that went for $A660. The compensation for the former is a recent purchase of a FA 77, but the latter was an op that might not come again for a while.


Last edited by Des; 11-22-2014 at 02:58 AM.
11-23-2014, 07:21 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
2 more days but it's stuck at 400$. Maybe that's all it'll get.
Maybe not. Final price $US673.98. That's about $A770. I'm feeling even more pleased about my purchase.

Last edited by Des; 11-23-2014 at 07:28 PM.
11-24-2014, 04:57 PM   #21
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Reviews look good but this lens went for about $150 more than the going rate. Probably worth it due to the condition and the fact that it is pretty rare. There weren't a lot of details say how sharp it was or if there were any fungus issues so I hope it is a great copy.
11-25-2014, 01:21 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
There should be a fix for it, in-spite of Sigma not carrying any spares.
This is the story of the guy named Yuri whom Entropy1 mentioned:
Sigma 400mm apo tele macro - stripped gear - advice needed: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Lots of discussion about DIY solutions until you get to Yuri's fix on p.2.

On the strength of this I contacted Ben Vang at Camera CheckPoint in Dubbo (http://www.cameracheckpoint.com.au/) and I have decided to send my new lens to him for the same modification. Even though I have no reason to think there is anything wrong with it, I figure prevention is better than cure. And it is worth the money for the peace of mind.

---------- Post added 11-25-14 at 08:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kraigg007 Quote
Reviews look good but this lens went for about $150 more than the going rate. Probably worth it due to the condition and the fact that it is pretty rare. There weren't a lot of details say how sharp it was or if there were any fungus issues so I hope it is a great copy.
I agree that (assuming it is a good copy) it is still a worthwhile buy even if over the going rate. Depends how you look at it. Cheaper than F*300 or FA*300+TC. An absolute bargain compared to the FA*400 f5.6. That lens seems to have roughly doubled in price in the last 4 years, and now goes for almost 4 times as much as the Sigma. Sure, the FA* is a bit smaller and lighter, and seems less prone to problems like autofocus failure, haze etc, but according to some reports of people who have used both, the Sigma produces better IQ.

Last edited by Des; 11-25-2014 at 06:11 AM.
11-25-2014, 05:40 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
On the strength of this I contacted Ben Vang at Camera CheckPoint in Dubbo (Camera Check Point services for photographers) and I have decided to send my new lens to him for the same modification. Even though I have no reason to think there is anything wrong with it, I figure prevention is better than cure. And it is worth the money for the peace of mind.
Hey, If it aint broke .......

It does auto focus Des ?

As far as those prices are concerned ...... I'm out ! I bid something ridiculous and came short. I bought a Tokina RMC MF for a 150 bucks instead.

Maybe if another comes up I'll try again, but not for AU $770, and not with a dodgey gearbox. My K-3 is faster than the K-5 with the screw drive, so I doubt the gears would last long. The gear shafts need a bracket at the top to retain them, so's the shafts don't wobble out under af.

I wish Sigma would just make a new 400mm tele macro.

11-25-2014, 06:06 AM   #24
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Yes only a pessimist fixes something that ain't broke.

Many people would like to see a revivial of 400mm primes. (AFAIK, Canon is the only manufacturer that still makes one.) But it ain't gonna happen, least of all in K mount. Which means the better legacy ones should keep going up in price.

Enjoy your Tokina - sounds like a snap for $150. I'm going to spend that just fixing the AF that isn't broken!
11-25-2014, 06:38 AM   #25
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Maybe in time I'll find a tele macro at the right price, but there's more to life than checking ebay all the time. I think the RMC tokina might be a little better in the reviews over Sigma MC, but it'll give me something interesting to do when it gets here.
11-25-2014, 04:25 PM   #26
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Apparently the Tokina benefits from being stopped down quite a lot:
www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/1778868

I know what you mean about trawling ebay. I actually stumbled on the tele macro. I was looking for FA 77, and had a saved search for "Pentax 77" in lenses. The tele macro turned up because of the 77mm filter size. (I've given away the secret now!) It would probably turn up in a saved search for "Pentax 400mm" in lenses, but that would also haul in a lot of by-catch such as Sigma 120-400 and 135-400 zooms and a number of manual lenses.
11-25-2014, 04:35 PM   #27
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So I am as tempted as ever to pull the trigger on a K-3 with grip & the 540 flash. I'm going to offering my Sigma 400 for sale to help fund the purchase. If you might be interested, reference the pictures posted by DES showing my lens from the last time I considered part with the lens. I just want to make certain the K-3/grip/540 is still available for $846 as I'm seeing on some of the other threads.
11-25-2014, 04:54 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by seachunk2 Quote
So I am as tempted as ever to pull the trigger on a K-3 with grip & the 540 flash. I'm going to offering my Sigma 400 for sale to help fund the purchase. If you might be interested, reference the pictures posted by DES showing my lens from the last time I considered part with the lens. I just want to make certain the K-3/grip/540 is still available for $846 as I'm seeing on some of the other threads.
Yeah I'm very interested, let me know if you want to pull the pin. Is yours the manual focus tele macro ?
11-25-2014, 05:09 PM   #29
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Mine is a MANUAL FOCUS. The lens is shown here https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/182500-wanted-acquired-sigm...o-af-77mm.html
11-25-2014, 05:17 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Apparently the Tokina benefits from being stopped down quite a lot:
RMC Tokina, 400mm 1:5.6 Any good?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
I based my decision on this forums reviews:

Sigma 400mm F5.6 (AF) Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

vs

Tokina (Hoya) RMC 400mm F5.6 Lens Reviews - Tokina Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

So user experiences seem to show that the Tokina might be better - but thats all relative to what the user has in their bag and their understanding of what is good and what is not good.

At $117 USD for the lens (shipping $37USD) I'll be getting what I paid for ! lol In fact I'm not entirely sure it'll have a K-mount, it wasn't advertised as any mount, it looked like it was K-mount from my intense looking. If it turns out to be something else, I'll just change the mount, I've got a few dismantled K-mount lens "filangies" lol.

---------- Post added 11-26-14 at 10:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by seachunk2 Quote
Mine is a MANUAL FOCUS. The lens is shown here Sigma 400 mm 5.6 tele-macro AF (77mm)
Yeah I've read it, it looks pretty nice. I've read that before, I remember it was the manual focus version. whats it like ?
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