Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 HSM DG OS Contemporary (Canon EOS) - Review - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/2500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 250
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure 1/100s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 800
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 800
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 800
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/2000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 186.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 800
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure 1/30s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/125s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 220.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5DS R
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 207.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/640s

Competition

As already mentioned in the introduction, the main competition comes from the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS II (to the right below) as well as the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD (center). The Canon lens is in a different league but you have to be prepared to pay for the privilege. However, the Tamron lens is directly comparable across all value propositions. Unlike the Sigma (shown to the left with attached lens hood), you can get an optional tripod mount if needed. Additionally, the Tamron has a stabilized viewfinder image which is a big plus in our book. We haven't tested the Tamron yet so we can't really comment on its optical qualities though.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

The Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 HSM DG OS Contemporary is a bit of a mixed bag. Optically it does certainly deliver relative to its price tag. The broader center sharpness is not superb but still good for such a lens. The borders are soft at 100mm but then do you really care? The quality is very even in the middle section of the zoom range and there's only a slight drop at 400mm. Lateral CAs are well controlled. Image distortions can get more visible around the 300mm mark. The amount of vignetting is about average for such a lens. Long tele zoom lenses rarely produce a great bokeh and the Sigma has its issues here in certain scenes as well.

The quality of the construction is very good and somewhat better than your average consumer grade lens. Most users in the target audience probably won't mind the lack of a tripod mount but weather sealing would have been nice - after all, you will use such a lens primarily outdoors. The AF is reasonably fast. However, if you are primarily into action sports, you may wish to stick to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS II. The biggest weakness of the Sigma lens is its image stabilizer which stabilizes the image upon shooting but not during image composition (half-pressed shutter button). You can activate a stabilized viewfinder image via the USB dock but even so, the effect stays short of what native Canon lenses deliver here. Additionally, we were not impressed by the efficiency of the system. Thus even though the Sigma is quite capable in optimal conditions, we'd suggest to look elsewhere.

Optical Quality
(at 50 megapixels):
Mechanical Quality: to
Price/Performance:
      
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