1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sigma 80-400 OS.. too good, or not too good, that is the question?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Iain Shields, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    Well I'm finally just about able to get into the market for a long zoom lens for my Canon EOS-350 having saved up the pennies over the summer.

    I'm looking very closely at the Sigma 80-400 OS but I'm quite concerned about possible slow focusing due to the lack of HSM motor, does anyone have views on this... any hands-on views would be very helpfull.

    The Canon 100-400 L IS looks the business and seeing the results people like Johndm are getting with it confirms this, but I'm afraid the extra £300 over and above the Sigma's price of £600 or so (yes, ebay prices) is just streching too far for me. :(

    As for what I'm intending to shoot with it... Well, due to the girlfriend's love of horses (and her having her own) I'll be dragged to every local horse show to take her and her horse's picture, and every big horse show to take everyone else's picture, so super fast focusing isn't the order of the day here... but I wouldn't like to be held back too much and would hope that the lens would cope reasonably well with motorsports, wildlife and the odd airshow. All things image stablisation would come in very handy for, which is why it's such a big selling point to me.

    Am I hopeing for too much from this lens?

    All opinions welcome, thanks.

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  2. kenlynch

    kenlynch
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    111
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Rochdale
    Ratings:
    +1
    Don't know a lot about the 80-400, although I seem to remember hearing about it not being that good (I could be completely wrong there though).

    I have heard people give good reviews about and seen some great shots from Sigma's 50-500mm (sometimes called the 'Bigma'). It's a only 1/3 of a stop slower at the long end but gives and incredible 50-500 range. It has HSM but doesn't have OS, but that can be circumvented easily with a monopod or a tripod. It's also only £599 on 7dayshop.

    Worth looking at anyway.
     
  3. seany

    seany
    Banned

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Messages:
    2,987
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Manchester city
    Ratings:
    +1
  4. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    I hear what your saying about the 'Bigma' Ken, I've seen plenty of people singing it's praise's (and rightly so it would seem) but the lack of any type of image stabilation pretty much rules it out for me, extra 100mm or not. I really don't want to have to carry a tripod/monopod to get good long shots.

    Thanks for that seany, I was just finishing off going through fredmiranda before even attempting POTN :rolleyes: lol.

    What is surprising me is just how close in quality terms it seems to be to the Canon 100-400 L IS according to all the info I've dug up about it... The only area where it seems to fall behind is in speed of innitial focusing due to the lack of HSM.

    Now 1 or 2 people have claimed that it really is badly slow but the general opinion seems to be that while it is a good bit slower to focus in on a subject compaired to the very quick Canon 100-400 L IS, it actually is pretty good compaired to other lens (e.g. Canon 75-300 IS), and once focused in it holds the subject in focus very well.

    How much of a problem do you think this will be considering what I intend to use this lens for (see 1st post)?

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  5. severnsource

    severnsource
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    322
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +9
    My recent experience with Sigma lenses would make me think very carefully before trying another one. I fancied getting a long lens to photograph the wildlife that we get round here and bought the Sigma 170-500mm, as it wasn't too expensive. The results wre disappointing; the contrast is low and it seems to be impossible to get sharp results. While this is partly due to the difficulty of keeping a long, slow lens still, even the few shots that don't have camera shake (even using a tripod) are slightly soft.

    The other lens that I bought was the 24-70 F2.8 DG. Now this lens had received glowing opinions on the web, so I thought that it would turn out to be a good lens. It was terrible, worse than the Canon kit lens. It again had low contrast, it was soft in the corners, even when stopped down and had chromatic abberation. This one went straight back. Now it may be that I had a bad sample, but the manufacturers should do the quality control, not the customers.

    These experiences contrast strongly with the Canon lenses that I have. The first was the 70-200 F4 which has converted me away from prime lenses. It is sharp, contrasty and handles well. The 10-22mm is also an excellent lens.

    Bill
     
  6. mattym

    mattym
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Messages:
    2,116
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    maidstone
    Ratings:
    +101
    sigma do seem to have what can only be described as 'patchy' quality control

    there is nothing wrong with the 70-300 i have, but others have reported them to be so soft you can see it through the vewifinder! that said, if you send it to sigma, they will 'realign' the lens for free...
     
  7. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    Before I went for the 100-400L, I was all set to get a Bigma, as I thought the L stuff was too dear.

    I read, read more, read LOTS more, got quite fed up reading reviews.. :suicide:

    As you know, I went for the L, thinking f***, this cost more than the camera.

    Now I've had it for 8 months, still learning how to use it, still experimenting with settings........do I regret paying £830 for it (brand new Kerso ebay)............

    NO, if I'd got the Bigma I think I'd still want a 100-400L now, and would'nt be happy.

    Save a bit longer...you won't regret waiting a little longer... :smashin:

    See...1/60th at f8......panning
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    I'm still at a loss as to which lens to get here :mad: :suicide:

    I keep seeing images from the Canon 100-400 while researching that shows me that it is a great lens... but it is the price of the thing!!!. It's not like I wouldn't buy it if I had the money readily available, I would... I just don't have access to that kind of cash right now, and probably won't have for a while due to various events coming up.

    I've phoned round the camera shops in my area to see if any of them stock the Sigma 80-400 but none of them do so I cant even have a quick play with it. In regards to the quality of it's results I've come across a few pics from it that seem very good indeed, posted here:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=94856&highlight=80-400
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic2/238513

    Well I guess I'll just have to keep thinking about this one, and while I'm doing that I'll keep saving the pennies... hopefully if I think about it long enough I'll end up with the cash to get the Canon 100-400 :rotfl:

    Sorry to keep boring you all with this :boring:

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  9. RobertP

    RobertP
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    522
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    19
    Location:
    Woodford Essex
    Ratings:
    +0
    What you are going through is the reason I splashed out and got one. I was even thinking of trying a manual focus lens with an EOS adaptor.

    Reading through forum threads all over people seem to buy and sell various lenses then keep the 100-400L . Too soon for me to say if it was a good move or not - so far it seems to be.

    Those that sell the 100-400 seem to do so to replace it with a big prime lens.
     
  10. mr jones

    mr jones
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,041
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    (S)cumbria, UK
    Ratings:
    +22
    if im gonna spend alot on a lens, im making sure its L glass

    although thats more because i NEED the f2.8 and all the reviews ive seen have been brilliant, when i can get it then yes ill happily spend more than my camera on it, and buy a 2x extender which will allow me 400mm performance on a lens that stil does f5.6 but will quite happily do f2.8 where i need it *thumbs up*

    i know its irrelevent but £600 is alot to spend on anything, if what you need is £900 just save alot more because you'll miss out on the versitity of the gear when you most need it and you'll always be "wish i had that x lens"
    you wouldnt buy a house if it wasnt EXACTLY what you wanted,or a car, same with spending nearly a thousand pounds (you could feed over 1000 orphans for one day or give 200 of them the means to feed themselves for a lifetime with that amount...) on a lens, get what you want, even if it means having to save for another few months (and feed the wife on catfood and stale bread..) to get what you really want!



    this pointless post was brought to you by carslberg and mCains smiley faces!
     
  11. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    Well I've done it, I've ordered my new lens, and my choice was...

    ...Sigma :eek: shock horror :devil:

    Basically it mainly came down to money as I just can't justify spending the guts of £900 on a lens, especially as I don't make any money from this photography lark.

    Apart from the cost, the results people have been getting from this lens don't seem too far off the Canon alternative and that was what pushed me over the edge into purchacing the Sigma.

    So there it is, decision made. Thanks for everyone's comments and advice (even though I didn't really take any of it!! lol) I'll update this again when the lens arrives :smashin:

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  12. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    Hey....I've made nearly 4 quid out of my L........ :D
     
  13. Mr THX

    Mr THX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Barnsley
    Ratings:
    +31
    John

    Can't for the life of me find this seller on e-bay - can you point me (no lense pun intended) in the right direction ??

    Nice shot BTW ....... great feeling of speed. :smashin:
     
  14. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    Here ya go.....I think I have a phone number somewhere...Seany will have it to hand, as I think he's recently been in touch with him.

    Just what you REALLY want here.....

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CANON-EF-100-...ryZ30070QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    :hiya:
     
  15. Mr THX

    Mr THX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Barnsley
    Ratings:
    +31
    Thanks for that John much appreciated.
     
  16. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    Think long and hard before you buy the Sigma... ;)

    Get along to jessops with your camera, and ask to try the Sigma and 100-400L in the shop. You'll get some hands on, AND shoot a few images to bring home and examine in detail.... :smashin:

    I was all set on the Bigma, but as you know spent the extra in the end, and I'm soooo glad I did.
    Hey...even Condyk ended up with the 100-400L (although he's now sold it coz his safari trip is off for the moment)

    I thought it was an obscene amount of money to spend on glass, but hey, you only live once.... :D
     
  17. Mr THX

    Mr THX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Barnsley
    Ratings:
    +31
    Wrong bloke :confused: think you got me mixed up with Ian who has ordered a Sigma zoom lens...........

    I'm still considering which Prime 50mm (1.4 or 1.8f) to go for, had read a few of you mention ordering from 'Kerso' and thought I'd look in there as well. Nice few lenses he has too.
     
  18. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    :blush: Sorry...its been a long day today... :suicide:
     
  19. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    I was wondering who John was refering to there :confused: :D

    And believe me I have thought VERY long and hard about this, probably too much in fact :suicide:

    Yes the Canon is the better lens, but is it £300 better than the Sigma?? to me, no. As I mentioned before I just cant justify spending £900 on just one lens for my hobby, £600 is allready stretching things in this regard.

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  20. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    Arrrggggghhhhh.... Just got an email..... "Out Of Stock, Sorry" :mad: :(

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find somebody to hurt!!!
     
  21. RajUK

    RajUK
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    157
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Reading
    Ratings:
    +6
    Hi All

    You might want to try http://www.onestop-digital.com ? I bought a Sigma 12-24 ex from them, and they say they'll refund any import charges, but then again support is in HK, hmm

    Strangely though the warranty card in the 12-24 was the same type in the 24-70 ex macro which I got from http://www.7dayshop.com which apparantly Sigma UK will honour ?

    I am in the same dilemma regarding a telephoto, of do I get a 80-400 OS or a 100-400 L IS.

    Am half tempted to get the Sigma so that it matches the rest of my lenses, but then I always did like the look of the white L lenses. Silly I know to base the choice of lens on style over price/performance.

    Maybe I should just toss a coin ?

    regards

    Raj
     
  22. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    Go to Jessops with your camera, and ask to try a 100-400L...

    Take a few shot home to examine, and you'll be convinced... :D
     
  23. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    That's who I ordered with, Sigma 80-400 OS is out of stock, but they dont tell you this untill two days after you order :nono:

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  24. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    Out of interest John, have you tried the Sigma 80-400 OS yourself, or the 'Bigma'? Just interested in your thought's on using them and what results you may have got with either of them.

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  25. Johndm

    Johndm
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    1,804
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Bedford UK
    Ratings:
    +56
    I had a Bigma on my 300D last autumn....fired off a few to bring home and examine. Not bad I thought, but did yet more reading, found some 'original' 100-400L shots to compare....no contest.. :D

    Bigma is exactly that...very big and heavy...my 100-400L is heavy enough. :eek: and the Bigma is just too slow if the light isn't bright, plus no image stab.. :thumbsdow

    Fro my extensive reading, some people are happy with the lens, some add a tripod, and many trade up to the Canon.

    PM me your email, and I'll send you a couple straight out of the camera with no PS if you like... :hiya:
     
  26. RobertP

    RobertP
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    522
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    19
    Location:
    Woodford Essex
    Ratings:
    +0
    I would not suggest you spend more than you can afford but... I looked at the selling prices of 100-400L's on ebay and it was rare for one to go for less than £825 and they sometimes did better. At £875 from Kerso it was not going to be that big a financial loss to try one brand new and then sell it on if need be.

    I've been away for a week (without the big lens) ... the airshow was a washout a couple of weeks back so I've still to see the best from the lens. Even so what I have seen so far means I will be keeping it.
     
  27. Mr THX

    Mr THX
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,293
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Barnsley
    Ratings:
    +31
    Have to concur about using Kerso - Had a quote from him today and he undercut Onestop-Digital on Body, Lens and grip :smashin:

    Will be putting my order in with him very soon...................
     
  28. condyk

    condyk
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    399
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
    Ratings:
    +7
    Well in my quest for safari handling/quality perfection I have owned and tried most of the contenders. The best all rounder is the 100-400 IS L (let's leave aside the stellar Sigma 120-300 2.8 because of cost). It's a bit slow like the Bigma but the IS works beautifully, it is fairly light and enables more consistently decent keepers. Not perfect, but absolutely good enough for most.

    The Bigma is a cracking lens for the money but you need a monopod for it (Feisol Carbon Fibre is great value). Not as portable as the Canon IS but good handling and resale. Image quality not far off but lacks some pop in comparison. 500mm is just very cool and I miss that extra length (missus!!)

    Sigma 100-300 f4 and TCon combo ... damn, this is a fine lens. One of Sigma's very best at a silly price. Fast with great AF and HSM motor. Optically, up there with the 100-400 IS L but has no IS/OS. With OS this would be a Canon Killer.

    300mm IS L f4 ... wow this is a nice piece of design. The hood slides in and out rather than the usual daft Canon approach of sticking a giant MacDonalds Coke Cup on the end. Very sharp and colourful with great 3d capabilities. The best really but it's not a zoom and so I personally sold it on once I'd realised for sure once again I'm a zoom kinda guy.

    80-400 OS ... another slow lens and doesn't have the HSM motor. AF is Ok if you're pretty close to focus already but slower if you go from way out to focus to focus. Fine for wildlife shooting 95% of the time. Not a motorsport lens :rotfl:

    So, I could happily do with any of these and adapt. I'm not on a quest for perfection or need to look good and own a Canon L. I want a lens that handles well, is reliable, has good resale and can meet my own personal quality standards and do it consistently. One may be better optically than another, but there is not actually that much in it and if they all do the job well enough why should I worry?

    If I was spending £650 or so on the OS I would personally stump the extra £200 for the 100-400 IS L and get one SH or via Kerso. Pay him by direct bank transfer and take a slower insured delivery option if you want to save some cash. Sell some of the sh*t we all have hanging around the house. Call in some debts. You're also buying an asset with any decent lenses from any brand (NOT just L's - that's a myth!!) and if you need to sell the 100-400 IS L you will lose little. You may even make a few quid if you're clever :smashin:
     
  29. Iain Shields

    Iain Shields
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    786
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    N.Ireland
    Ratings:
    +3
    He is very good for Canon gear, as you say undercutting Onestop-Digital and also providing an international warrent on all items (Onestop-Digital dont allways provide an international warrenty on Canon products).

    He however couldn't undercut Onestop-Digital on this particular Sigma product, or even get that close to matching it... so that's the reason I went with them.

    Thanks for posting Dave, I appreciate your comments knowing that you have owned all the lenses you've mentioned.

    The thing is, with Onestop-Digital asking £606 for the Sigma and Kerso currently asking £875 for the Canon, we're starting to get closer to a £300 difference rather than the £200 difference you mention.

    When it comes down to it, as I mentiond earlier, I just don't have the guts of £900 to spend on a lens, nor do I really want to... £600 is pretty much my limit here, and in this price bracket the 80-400 OS seems to be one of the best contenders (the Sigma 100-300 f4 is VERY tempting) but the OS on the 80-400 just sells it to me.

    Regards,
    Iain.
     
  30. condyk

    condyk
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    399
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
    Ratings:
    +7
    Good choice Iain ... I liked the OS when I had it and only returned it because it had a front focus problem and I couldn't get another one for the same price.

    You've thought it through and so I think you will enjoy it. Many buy cheaper when they really want something more expensive and then never feel happy. I don't think that will be the case for for you :thumbsup:

    Be interested in how you get on and seeing some shots.
     

Share This Page

Loading...