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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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11-14-2014, 09:54 PM   #2
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I didn't see where it states that this lens AF. Might it be a MF version?
11-14-2014, 10:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by seachunk2 Quote
I didn't see where it states that this lens AF. Might it be a MF version?
The title starts with "Sigma AF" and I don't think there is an MF version of the Tele-Macro (but could be wrong on that). The non-Tele Macro APO lens is MF. The picture also shows the ring with "MF/AF" on it for switching.
11-15-2014, 01:23 AM   #4
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Haha..silly me! I didn't catch the AF in the title or the ring switch. Thanks!

11-15-2014, 04:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by entropy1 Quote
The title starts with "Sigma AF" and I don't think there is an MF version of the Tele-Macro (but could be wrong on that).
There is a MF version of the 400mm tele macro. Seachunk2 has one: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/182500-wanted-acquired-sigm...o-af-77mm.html
It might be even rarer than the AF version!

Don't want to sound smug, but I scored the AF version from an Australian seller on ebay last week. It's on the way. Seek and ye shall find.

Last edited by Des; 11-15-2014 at 04:09 AM.
11-15-2014, 07:03 AM   #6
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Des is correct.
He even provided a link to an old post of mine from back when I was thinking about selling the lens.
I forgot all about it.

With the current grip kit prices on the K-5 IIS and K-3 so enticing I'm again thinking of selling it.
The OP's post caught my eye since I'd be interested to know what these sort of lenses might be worth on ebay.

Anyway, I don't mean to be hijacking this thread.
11-15-2014, 11:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seachunk2 Quote
Des is correct.
He even provided a link to an old post of mine from back when I was thinking about selling the lens.
I forgot all about it.

With the current grip kit prices on the K-5 IIS and K-3 so enticing I'm again thinking of selling it.
The OP's post caught my eye since I'd be interested to know what these sort of lenses might be worth on ebay.

Anyway, I don't mean to be hijacking this thread.
I don't think honest discussion is hijacking. I did not know there was an MF version of the lens, other than through the apparently common dysfunction of the AF. To be honest, the AF is slower than that on the Sigma 400mm 5.6 (non-APO) I had before and, having had to learn to use CIF before I fixed the AF, I still use it a fair amount of the time with birds. I miss the fast autofocus and smaller size/weight of that lens, but not the CA. I have no clue what an MF version would go for; my AF version was $550 on eBay a year ago, but I suspect would have gone for more if that had not been the buy it now price that I jumped on after agonizing for several minutes (by far my highest cost lens).
11-15-2014, 02:57 PM   #8
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Getting anywhere near $550 for mine would put me into a K-5 IIS with a grip for peanuts and a K-3 with grip for a small can of peanuts.
Tempting......I'll have to see what this AF version brings on ebay.

11-15-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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Thanks for the link.
11-15-2014, 05:01 PM   #10
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Some samples from this lens (not from me, I'm still waiting) to whet the appetite:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/130-lens-sample-photo-archive/153473-sigm...s-samples.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/192476-macro-sigma-40...ele-macro.html

The images look to me to be in the class of a F*300 or FA*300 with TC, a combination which would cost something like $US1100-1200. The F*300 alone usually sells for more than $1000. Of course the Pentax 300s are better built and considerably lighter, but I don't think it's a silly comparison. That is not to mention the astronomical prices for the FA*400mm f5.6 (like, $2,500).

Some idea of prices for the AF version of the Sigma 400 f5.6 tele macro, e.g.:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/254842-sale-sold-sigma-apo-...po-1-4-tc.html - $A900, including a Sigma 1.4x TC, March 2014
Sigma 400mm APO 5.6 Tele MACRO 77mm 1:3 Pentax: For Sale and Wanted Forum: Digital Photography Review - $US550 in October 2013
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/239199-sale-sold-sigma-400m...ele-macro.html - $A550 in Sept 2013
My next lens - just won a Sigma 400mm APO Tele Macro: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review - $US626 in April 2013
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/176019-sigm...do-i-have.html - $A460 on Gumtree Feb 2012
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/152860-sale-sold-sigma-400m...worldwide.html - 550 euro July 2011 (I assume this was the tele macro - the photos have now gone)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/162587-sale-sold-sigma-400-...o-af-mint.html - someone asking $US750 in 2010
Others report paying about $500 or so. (I got mine for $A510.)

Edit: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/36-sold-items/281504-sale-sold-sigma-400m...mm-pentax.html $US500, Dec 2014 - sold in minutes
Against the alternatives in K mount, seems a good buy to me.

As for the MF version, a useful comparison point is the Pentax A 400 f5.6. It is a similar weight, and I imagine the IQ is similar. Prices of that lens seem to have escalated in recent years, and it is hard to find. Here is one for $US600:
Pentax SMC P A 400 mm F 5 6 Lens | eBay
Against that, my guess would be $350-450 as a realistic price for the MF Sigma 400 f5.6 tele macro. More than the MF versions of the Tokina 400 f5.6 or the Sigma 400 5.6 72mm filter version, but less than the Pentax A.

Does that help you, seachunk2? Getting close to your K5iiS!

Last edited by Des; 12-06-2014 at 09:43 PM.
11-15-2014, 06:51 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
The images look to me to be in the class of a F*300 or FA*300 with TC, a combination which would cost something like $US1100-1200. The F*300 alone usually sells for more than $1000. Of course the Pentax 300s are better built and considerably lighter, but I don't think it's a silly comparison. That is not to mention the astronomical prices for the FA*400mm f5.6 (like, $2,500).

Some idea of prices for the AF version of the Sigma 400 f5.6 tele macro, e.g.:
Sigma 400mm APO 5.6 Tele MACRO 77mm 1:3 Pentax: For Sale and Wanted Forum: Digital Photography Review - $US550 in October 2013
That has to be the lens I bought on eBay for $550 last October. I am pretty sure it did come from California (after all, it has a very dark tan ;-) ).

I can say that, despite what Vivitar says, it works with the Vivitar Series 1 1.4x teleconverter, though I have not gotten around to doing any formal tests of IQ and am NOT a pro. It does not increase the focal length reported to the camera, though - still shows up as 400mm, hence the shake reduction may not be quite optimally tuned, but probably not important at that focal length. I've attached a few handheld bird snapshots from last spring taken with the combo (a chipping sparrow, bathing yellow-rumped warbler, and bathing Carolina wren in my back yard). They were not done with a tripod, not cropped, not sharpened or otherwise postprocessed, or anything else. So not to be compared to the amazing shots posted on this site, but they demonstrate that the lens at least works with that TC.

Yikes - I see it's gone up to $300 with 8 days left. Don't people know about ignoring eBay listings and sniping at the very end? Maybe that MF version would pay for a K5iis (but won't someone then have to buy a nice birding lens?).
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11-15-2014, 07:16 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by entropy1 Quote
I can say that, despite what Vivitar says, it works with the Vivitar Series 1 1.4x teleconverter, though I have not gotten around to doing any formal tests of IQ and am NOT a pro. It does not increase the focal length reported to the camera, though - still shows up as 400mm, hence the shake reduction may not be quite optimally tuned, but probably not important at that focal length
I just bought a Kenko 1.5x TC and hope to use it with the Sigma 400. What I thought I'd try was entering the equivalent focal length (560 or 600) manually, by turning on my K-30 with no lens attached. It should then prompt for the focal length. Can anyone say whether that will work (for shake reduction purposes anyway - I don't imagine the EXIF would be affected)?
11-19-2014, 05:49 PM   #13
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We pay a premium for the relatively few good affordable long lenses available in K-mount. Here are Sigma AF 400mm f5.6 tele macros in Nikon mount in excellent condition:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/EX-Sigma-APO-Macro-400-mm-F-5-6-D-Lens-tele-for-NIKO.../271678431119?- a dealer in Japan selling for $US408.
Sigma APO Tele Macro 400 mm F 5 6 Lens Nikon Excellent 085126173272 | eBay - Australian seller seeking hard currency! Passed in at $US397
Admittedly you would miss shake reduction on a Nikon body, but you would gain HSM rather than screw drive AF.

If these were a Pentax mount I think they would go for considerably more. I guess we'll find out soon how much more when the auction linked above finishes.

Some people seem to have gone to the extreme of adapting a Sigma tele macro in Nikon mount to fit on Pentax cameras:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2782214

For those really keen on this lens in Pentax K mount, it is worth a look on the Gumtree sites around the world. Here is one for sale in South Africa:
http://www.gumtree.co.za/a-lenses/bellville/sigma-400mm-f5-6-apo-telemacro-p...20910341057209 - asking 7200 rand (about $US650)

Remember that Gumtree sales generally offer no real protections. Caveat emptor. The best you can usually do is to insist on paying by Paypal, which at least gives one practical means of redress. Otherwise if somethng goes wrong you would be relying on general consumer protection mechanisms in the relevant country.

Last edited by Des; 11-23-2014 at 07:26 PM.
11-20-2014, 05:29 AM   #14
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Thanks for the link, found it on the bay before reaching this threat..i mean thread hahah
this would go for more than a thousand bucks...currently the higher bidder
cheers
11-21-2014, 05:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
There is a MF version of the 400mm tele macro. Seachunk2 has one: Sigma 400 mm 5.6 tele-macro AF (77mm)
It might be even rarer than the AF version!

Don't want to sound smug, but I scored the AF version from an Australian seller on ebay last week. It's on the way. Seek and ye shall find.
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 ?

---------- Post added 11-22-14 at 10:39 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
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.
There should be a fix for it, in-spite of Sigma not carrying any spares. There are shops that sell micro gears - associated with radio controlled cars and planes - so you should be able to find a blank gear in plastic or metal with the correct teeth and pitch etc. The only thing might be that you'll need to drill a hole absolutely in the center on a drill press.

You should also be able to find a suitable ball bearing again through radio controlled stores. I've lost a ball bearing in the same way, you simple empty out your vacuum cleaner, and run it over a wide area of carpet where you lost it. If you can detach the hose and rub it against the carpet you should eventually suck it up. Then empty the vacuum and go CSI looking for it. Hey presto it worked for me !
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