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Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 Review RSS Feed

Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
3 5,521 Sat August 17, 2013
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $257.50 8.33
Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6

Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6
Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6
Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6
Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6
Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6
Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6

This is the older of Sigma's two 135-400mm autofocus lenses, not to be confused with the Sigma APO 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG.

Sigma product development engineer Yasuhiro Ohsone talks about the development of sigma telephotos including this lens.
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: Seattle,
Posts: 26
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $145.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness, bokeh, color, handholdable
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New Or Used: New   

I haven't done any scientific testing but I have had great fun getting street photos with this lens. It is handholdable - even with relatively small aperture wide open - though not bad for 400mm. And the bokeh seems always smooth and with just enough peripheral info in the shots. It is pretty big and bulky to carry around and you kind of have to hold it facing up to the sky when not in use as the zoom just slides down, but it focuses quickly and isn't especially noise so you can get some fun street shots. This first one was posed. Forgot to mention this is the earlier APO lens without the "DG" moniker. Perhaps why the lower price.
at 135mm
at 260mm
at 400mm
and for you birding enthusiasts the rare -hahah-
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 440

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Size, tripod collar, image quality relative to price, fairly compact (reversed hood)
Cons: softish wide at 400mm, stiff zoom ring
New Or Used: New   

I've only just received this lens from the marketplace used here, it's the older non DG gold ring version with smooth plastic not crinkle finish. Essentially identical minus the zoom lock & DG rear coating.

First impressions were mixed, I got some good shots stopped down but wide open even at lower zoom levels I had what appeared to be some soft images. Further investigation revealed back focusing big-time Thankfully an easy fix with the K20D and a full +10 on the adjustment menu it sorted.



I highly recommend checking this lens for focus issues, especially if you own a camera with adjustment (K10, K20 -> K5/K7 etc possibly others) It wouldn't surprise me if people have been disappointed in this lens when focus issues are the culprit

Even at 400mm the lens is sharp if stopped down, even F6.3 makes a good increase in resolution (my non scientific tests on text @400mm made a clear different from F5.6 -> 6.3 but not a large jump from 6.3 -> F8). It's not super sharp 400mm wide open, but for example is sharper than the 70-300 @ 300mm wide open (easily). Could be used in a pinch.

Zoom ring is stiff, and not super precise but workable enough if you aren't fussy (and at this price it was a good value lens!) Auto-focus is standard noise for screwdrive, fairly snappy speed and rear element based so no annoying front element rotating if you use filters . Interestingly zoom creep hasn't been an issue for me, but as I said i've only just received it so I might notice later.

I intend on getting a monopod for this, and using at motorsports + surfing. Also my K20D meters underexposed by around a half stop with the lens too, but +0.3/0.5 EV shift fixes that.

Example F8 @ 400mm 1/640th

F5.6 @ 135mm 1/100th

Example F11 @ 360mm 1/1000th

Sound for the money, I would recommend if you can live with the few drawbacks it provides. Photozone has a good review too, worth checking

I've been frustrated in using this lens for quite a while, I added a UV filter for front element protection a while ago and hadn't noticed any problems (at low zoom levels 135mm etc) but it dawned on me yesterday that the filter was causing a great deal of problems.

Whether this is internal reflection or what i'm not sure, but the design of the lens doesn't appear to like this filter (Marumi UV MC)

F6.3 1/2000th no filter

F6.3 1/2000th with filter

I recommend using without filter.
New Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: northeast TN
Posts: 14

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 20, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $370.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: price, weight, good optical & build quality
Cons: zoom creep
New Or Used: New   

I have the older non DG model but i like this lens alot. If not for the zoom creep i would have rated it 9 or 9.5 if that was possible. I only use this lens on my tripod for wildlife shots and i find the image quality very good, is the lens perfect no, but for the price i dont be leave there is any thing out there better imho
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