We got some emails asking about our trip to Ayer to check out the Sigma lens. The photo below should give readers a clue on how things went :-)
We drove up and met Jim M at an Irish pub (which is how all Craigslist business should be conducted) in Ayers on Saturday. Jim is retired and was letting the lens go because, due to arthrititis, it was getting too heavy for him to use. We checked out the lens, took some test shots, and closed the deal before the appetizers arrived.
This Sigma zoom lens is a beast. The weight of the lens without a camera body is almost 4lb! It will be great to have a long zoom for wildlife shots and bird-watching outings. We will likely take it along with us on our outings, but probably will not have it in our day-pack.
The package from Jim included a set of Hoya 77mm filters (UV, polarizer, warm). It was good because while Sigma did supply a lens hood, shoulder strap, and a soft case, it did not include a lens cap. The lens is a few years old and does not have the latest in autofocus (HSM) mechanism from Sigma. It does, however, have an autofocus motor which means it will work perfectly well with our Nikon D40 and D90 bodies.
The 80-400mm zoom lens has an angle of view from about 30º to 6º, a minimum aperture of 32, and a min focusing distance of about 6'.
The biggest problem with using a long lens is keeping it stable. Sigma has designed an Optical Stablizer (OS) feature into this lens to compensate for the camera shake. This effectively translates into the ability to take photos at about 2 steps slower than typical.
We will likely use it with tripod, but it is nice to know that hand-held shots are a possibility.
This Sigma 80-400mm lens is in excellent condition and a welcomed addition to our toolbox. It will take us a few weeks to get acquainted with this big boy. We know that at F4.5, it is not a particularly fast lens. We'll wait for a nice sunny day and take it out for a full work out. Test shots will be coming soon :-) [Permalink] - Sigma 80-400mm zoom