Review Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO

According provided by Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO lens ('white' option, for Nikon cameras) huge thanks to the store you can find a huge number of diverse and not very expensive used photographic equipment, including similar lenses.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

In short

The Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO is an old super telephoto autofocus lens for full frame cameras. Relatively lightweight and inexpensive. Slow, weak at open aperture. This is a super budget option for a 'super long' lens.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE


The reliable chronology of all Sigma lenses is very difficult to determine. In general, there are 3 different Sigma 400/5.6 autofocus lenses:

  • Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED, 7 elements in 6 groups. 1987-1990.
  • Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO, from this review, 11 lenses in 8 groups. 1988-1994 year.
  • Sigma APO TELE MACRO 400mm F / 5.6 HSM, 10 elements in 7 groups. 1994-2001 year.

Perhaps there are sub-versions of these lenses, with a slightly modified housing design.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

Main technical characteristics of Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO:

Review Instance Name Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO Lens Made In Japan Ø72, version with Nikon F mount
Basic properties
  • The lens is designed for full-format cameras (similar to Nikon FX)
  • AF - automatic focusing due to the camera motor (analogue of Nikon AF)
  • APO - apochromatic lens
  • Presence of aperture control ring (Nikon analog NON-G)
  • TV - telephoto lens
  • MULTI COATED - multi-coated optics
  • Internal focusing with floating lens element system
  • The ability to use a tripod foot
  • The lens does not transmit the focus distance to the subject (similar to Nikon Non-d)
  • ULD (Ultra Low Dispersion) - using elements with super low dispersion
  • Albino - white (light) body to prevent overheating from solar radiation
  • Built-in telescopic lens hood
  • Belt clip
Front Filter Diameter 72 mm
Focal length 400 mm, EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 600 mm
Zoom ratio 1 X (no zoom, it's a discrete or fixed lens)
Designed by for Nikon film cameras (at the same time, this model was also available for cameras of other systems)
Number of aperture blades 6 straight petals
Tags focusing distance in meters and feet. DOF Scale for F / 22. On the bayonet side, there is a label for quick installation of the lens into the camera mount.
Diaphragm from f / 5.6 to f / 22. The lens has an aperture ring (Non-G - lens type) On the aperture ring there are marks for F / 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22.
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 4 m, maximum magnification ratio is 1: 9.5
The weight 1100 g
Optical design 11 elements in 8 groups.

The circuit includes 2 low dispersion element SIGMA ULD. Elements are located in front of the optical circuit.

Lens hood Built-in, telescopic, with fabric inner surface.
Manufacturer country LENS MADE IN JAPAN (Lens manufactured in Japan)
Period From about 1998 to 2004, it was later replaced by the Sigma APO TELE MACRO 400mm F / 5.6 HSM
Price BOO. option sold at 250-400 cu See Sigma modern telephoto lens prices here.

If anyone has a picture of the optical circuit of this lens, please share it in the comments.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE


Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO is well assembled, but does not cause much admiration.

The body has a fixed tripod foot with a large 'LOCK FREE' lock. The clamp of the foot can be freely rotated 360 degrees. A carabiner for a carrying strap is attached to the tripod foot.

Also, the lens has a built-in telescopic hood. On the inside, the hood is covered with a dust-collecting cloth. The hood is very poorly fixed in active or passive states and constantly hangs back and forth.

The lens itself is not very large, and most importantly - lightweight. It weighs only 1100 grams (weighs less than professional zoom lenses of the 70-200 / 2.8 class). I didn’t like that the lens uses 72mm filters, as most of these professional lenses are produced under 77/82 mm.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE


Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO focuses slowly.

The manual focus ring is wide, pleasant to the touch, rotates approximately 135 degrees. During manual focusing, friction of internal mechanisms is heard.

Focusing Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO internal - when focusing, the front and rear lenses remain motionless. For focusing, a floating lens element system is used, which allows you to get good image quality at any focusing distance.

The minimum distance is already 4 meters. The coefficient of maximum increase is meager and is only 1: 9.5. The lens has window with a scale of focusing distances in meters and feet, as well as the depth of field scale, but only for F / 22.

It's important: auto focus with this lens is available only when using him on cameras with built-in motor focusing.

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras with a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will focus automatically:

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras without a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will not focus automatically:

Only auto focus and sound confirmation of focus will not work with these cameras, all other important functions, such as automatic exposure metering and automatic iris control, will work well.

You will find a lot of useful information on the types of cameras and lenses Nikon here.

On cameras Nikon D700 и Nikon D70 the lens focused accurately and rarely re-focused. I had no particular complaints about the accuracy of focusing. In Live View, focusing becomes very slow.

Feature 1: lens version for Nikon cameras does not have a focus mode switch. To translate the lens into manual focus on cameras with motor For focusing, use the focus mode switching lever located near the camera mount. For cameras without motor Only manual focus mode will always be available for focusing. For Canon cameras, most likely the Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO version has a focus mode switch.

Feature 2: there is the effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changes in viewing angle during focusing)

Feature 3: Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO does not transmit the focus distance to the subject in the camera and is an analogue of Nikon Non-D type lenses.

Feature 4: during focusing, the lens and camera are very noisy

Feature 5: During focusing, the focus ring rotates and must not be touched

Feature 6: using a 1.4X teleconverter, you can get 560 mm at F / 8. Theoretically, Nikon cameras can work with such a set, in which focus sensors are designed to work with a maximum aperture of F / 8, they can be found here. I don’t have exact data about the work of Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO with teleconverters.

Feature 7: the lens has a manual aperture ring. To be able to control the value aperture from camera or for automatic installation aperture on modern central control valves, you need to turn the control ring to the value F / 22, and fix it with the locking lever with the red dot mark, which is located to the right of the marks aperture... The 'PF / 22' value and the detent mark are specially highlighted with the same red color to align them. If this is not done, then on a number of cameras, on the display, an error will be displayed - 'fEE' (ring aperture) Some cameras having diaphragm rheostatallow you to control the aperture using the ring aperturebut only in metering modes exposure 'M' and 'A'. You can read more about this issue in the section on Non-G Lenses. Ring aperture rotates with clicks, the values ​​F / 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22 are plotted on it; set an intermediate value between pairs of numbers using the ring aperture impossible. Intermediate values ​​can only be set using the camera menu.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE with lens Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8 MKII Nikon JAPAN

Image quality and sample photos

The lens is weak at F / 5.6. First of all, there is a weak sharpness. Even a six-megapixel matrix of an old woman Nikon D70 the lens actually "does not pull". Also, the Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO has strong chromatic aberration, and the APO prefix doesn't really help her.

The best sharpness is achieved in the range of F / 8-F / 13.

Vignetting is very noticeable at F / 5.6, it depends on the focusing distance and disappears completely at F / 10-F / 22 apertures.

On the positive side - not a strong drop in sharpness at the edges and corners of the image and more or less normal operation in side and backlight, a small level of distortion.

Nikon FX Full-Camera Examples - Nikon D700:

Download RAW c source photos Nikon D700 can at this link.

Examples on APS-C Nikon DX Camera - Nikon D70 (I suffer from CCD addiction):

Download RAW source photos from Nikon D70 can at this link.

Important: in the camera menu Nikon D70, with a Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO lens, you can set the maximum aperture to only F / 6. F / 5.6 is not available. Most likely, this is due to the fact that the Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO is not the original Nikon Nikkor lens and has incorrect programmed microprocessor. It is not known with which cameras a similar error is observed.

Pictures on Nikon D70 were taken using a tripod. With a light Chinese tripod, I was comfortable shooting at shutter speeds no longer than 1/160 second.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE lens length with lens hood

My experience

The cheapest Nikon Nikkor autofocus lens that 400 / 5.6 can use is Nikon ED AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6D Vibration Reduction. True, Nikkor will have to give a lot more money.

If you need a similar lens for little money, I would rather stop at some zoom class 70-300 / 4-5.6 and use 300 mm focal length with further framing than use Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO. Also, Sigma has many good and inexpensive super telephoto zoom lenses, for example Sigma 50-500mm 1: 4-6.3D HSM EX APO.

Sigma 400 / 5.6 AF APO I liked only the small weight and small size.

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE

SIGMA AF 400 mm f / 5.6 APO TELE on Nikon D70

Catalog of modern Sigma lenses can look at this link.

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Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO - an old, simple fix for the super telephoto range. Lightweight (compared to other 400mm lenses) and inexpensive with consistent image quality.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 28, on the topic: Review Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO

  • Dmitriy

    But how it looks! Like L-ka! Feel like a pro for five cents))

  • SemperFi

    Є such a non-APO thing. I am drowning on Sonya 77th. Catch nepogany shots, although it is required to illuminate nepogan, for diaphragms 8-11.

  • Vladimir G

    Judging by the review, the lens is rather weak, but the photos from 700 are gorgeous!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      On cover, sharpness is good, and resize :)

  • Oleg

    Sharpness is not enough of course. But "Fotika" - respect and respect.

  • Kirill Yankovsky

    I have a very rare TELE MACRO 400mm F / 5.6 screwdriver. At 5.6, too, not very, but better than the review version. On f9-13 shows the wonders of sharpness and a very beautiful color

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Can you send her appearance here in comments?

      • Kirill Yankovsky

        Arkady, here is my Telemacro

  • anonym

    With the move to a new address, constant glitches with access to the material began. And now there is text, there are no pictures.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Let's fix it :)

  • Rodion

    I don’t know how it was possible to make a lens with 11 lenses that wasn’t the most interesting in quality.
    At one time, Volosov met only three and was able to make far from the worst three hundred, at that time it was one of the best.
    IMHO, it is better to take something shorter and cut, and then sprinkle.
    PS Somewhere I saw a test of nikkor 400 mm against 80-200 / 2.8. As a result, the conclusion is that it was easier to sprinkle 80-200.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Now they put 12 lenses in fifty dollars, although you can recall teccars from the 4th. Yes, and Tahir is not 400 mm.

      • Rodion

        They put 12 at fifty if it's F / 1 or so. Those. with extreme performance. There is nothing extreme here. Just think, the same 70 mm aperture as Tair-3.
        And there is no difference - 300 mm or 400 mm for Tair-3. Because there is Tair-16 500 / 4.5 with only 4 elements.
        And it is much better than the lens from the review in the photo. See for yourself on the Lens Club his card.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Much better than?

          • Rodion

            Sharpness first of all - the resolution is noticeably higher, judging by the photographs.
            For the military Tairov (and the T-16 is a military one, also something connected with aerial photography) some very interesting types of glass (?) And solutions were selected, they were not at all like what was produced for the consumer.

            There was also an F-3 400 / 4.5 lens, constructed according to a modified classical telephoto lens circuit. It turned out also a sharp little thing.

            It is a pity that I myself have not tried these glasses, but not yet evening)

            • Arkady Shapoval

              Let's hope that it falls into your hands :) there will be an interesting review!

  • anonym

    I have a question and suggestion for Arkady.

    Many lenses have such a parameter as the focus distance.
    For example, at
    - Sigma 17-50 f2.8 is 0,28-2m and after 2 meters it's infinity.

    - Nikon 70-300 is 3-15m and after infinity.

    I’m wondering why this characteristic is not indicated anywhere on the websites of sellers and does not attach importance to it? Can I write an article about how it affects the quality of the photo, is it worth paying attention to when choosing and buying a lens, or is it not worth it?

    For me personally, the topic of this characteristic has not been disclosed, and I have not seen sensible explanations anywhere.

  • Arkady Shapoval


  • anonym

    And “inexpensive” is HOW MUCH ???
    ... a good "portrait" ...;))))))))))))))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In the region of 250-400 cu

    • maugli

      Now Avito is sold under canon for 10 tr

      • Oleg

        On OLH yesterday I saw silver, written under Canon, the price is 1700 hryvnia. It is written that in good condition, but only removes on an open aperture.

  • anonym

    Nikon D700 - SUCH a device can take pictures WITHOUT a lens !!! ;)))))))))
    Good car" …. ;)
    And the lens from a distance can be mistaken for a professional Canon for sure ...

  • Charleshed

    In addition to a variety of optics, Sigma also produces SLR cameras. The main difference between the SD15 model and other cameras is that it uses a very peculiar matrix.

  • Dmitriy

    This is not a Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED APO Review.
    This is just Sigma AF TELE 1: 5.6 f = 400mm MULTI-COATED. The APO version is much better. Straight generally better.

  • Andrei

    Arkady, what do you think, if we compare sharpness at 400 mm and f8, which will be better - this sigma or the new sigma zoom contemporary 100-400? It is clear that the price segments are different, but still. Thanks.

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